Deborah Lawrence Schafer’s work conveys an ethereal quality that embodies the natural environment’s ability to transform a landscape and its relationship to time­, also a reflection of life’s transience. She primarily draws inspiration from the ever-changing land and sea of the Bay Area, coastal Maine and coastal Mexico. Even her early work in kinetic sculptures and discrete technological systems focused on the ephemeral.

Born in San Antonio, Texas, Deborah has a BA in Visual Arts from Princeton University. She has worked at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., the Fine Arts Museums and Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco, and has curated exhibitions at both the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art and El Museo del Barrio, in New York City. Deborah left her career in the arts in 2005 around the time her son and parents met untimely deaths. These events solidified her interest in the ethereal and broadened her interests to include biotechnology and the development of new medical devices. She eventually began painting again and today works on both art and biotech projects.


These pieces are a celebration of the bounty of nature and an exploration of the tension between the natural and developed worlds. Juxtaposing themes of control and wildness is a new direction for my work as I wrestle with the balance that is needed for harmony to exist. I am drawn to the symbolic imagery of flowers. While historically they are a coded language of sorts, their meaning is somewhat mysterious. In contrast, straight lines convey their own meaning very precisely.

—Deborah Lawrence Schafer