Claudia Spinelli has been drawing and painting since childhood, attending The Art Students League in high school. She studied painting and jewelry design at The Rhode Island School of Design from 1977 through 1980. In the 1980’s, she painted self-portraits and landscapes in oils and watercolors, incorporating her sense of design and fashion with her self-depictions. In the 1990’s she began to explore abstraction with an increasing interest in process, relying on her mastery of watercolor, acrylic and ink techniques.