Austin, TX, USA
Valerie grew up in the large city of Houston, Texas where she sat on the curb listening to grackles after the rain. She desperately longed to be closer to nature and wild spaces. Instead she wrote poetry and drew people, trying to convey her emotions through theirs. She studied Studio Art at the University of Houston where she earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts with a concentration in Painting and a Master in Art Education. She taught Art for several years with all ages. After getting married and having her two very energetic sons, she found it difficult to find the energy and focus time to make art so she took her sons to the park every day. There she remembered how important nature was to her and her children. How nature revived and inspired them and her mind was flooded with ideas for art. Now she combines humans and nature in her drawings and paintings, the wild spaces around us and within us. She has since moved to Austin, Texas with her family where she finds endless wild spaces to explore. She also dreams of exploring the wild spaces in Italy, the home of her heritage and her heart.
I have always been drawn to the mystery and beauty of wild spaces, where nature has taken over. I am also intrigued by the untamed spaces within ourselves; our restlessness, our obsessiveness, the messiness of being human and our relationship and identity with nature. I’m curious about the many paradoxes within nature and within ourselves; our strengths and vulnerabilities, our joys and sorrows, our goodness and our cruelty. That curiosity and wonder drive my art. I’m constantly playing with images in my mind; landscapes, tree branches, insects, algae, flowers, moss, water, fire, and the human form. When I’m creating art, I am exploring ideas and feelings and leaving questions hanging in the air. I just finished my Mother Earth series, which has twelve oil paintings about our relationship with nature. I’m currently working on a new series, Season Portraits, where I represent each season with a face of nature. Ideas for art are the constant reel playing in my head since I can remember. I think about painting constantly. I believe it is the reason I’m here.