Ready to begin.

Notebook created in preparation of the Fab Academy classes.

The image is a vinyl rendering, used with permission, of a piece created by William Schaff.

This piece, like so much of his work, speaks the gentle susurration of Hope and Courage. It is a theme you will see repeated throughout his years as artist. His work says again and again: Your struggles are understood. Your sorrows are shared. And the flaws you may wish to shamefully hide are, in their own right, beautiful. These are not words of Forgiveness, but something even more powerful: Acceptance.

In his larger works, Mr. Schaff stands face-to-face with the incomprehensible and manages to render tiny moments/movements of it in line and shadow. His images are handles that allow people to grasp hold of and begin to move such tornadic immensities.

Men and women around the world, who have never met him, tattoo his works on their skin for this one inexpressible reason: his works comfort like arms around the inconsolable. They are balm for wounds too deep to speak. They have been for me. It is a fitting tribute to a man who has the sorrows of a generation tattoo’ed on his own skin, to have his prayers for its’ healing tattooed on theirs.

Of course, words fail to capture the resonance of his voice. I encourage you to take a look at his work.

For those of you near Rhode Island, Mr. Schaff, along with friend and contemporary CW Roelle, will be speaking at the opening of an exhibition of new work, “Comfort and Loss,” on February 9th in Warwick, RI. Additional information is here.

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