When I asked Valerie to send me some information about her art, the bio she sent was so beautifully written that I felt like I was having a conversation over coffee with a friend. I know you are going to enjoy reading her background, where she is at with her art currently, and what her intentions are for her future.
“I’ve been inspired by colour all my life. The vibrancies, the energies, the moods and the harmonies that colour creates ‘talk to me’.” In all my paintings I try to capture this, creating a visual story through paint strokes, colour combinations and balance.
My art journey began in elementary school where my work was chosen to represent my school in a display at the Ontario Parliament Buildings. I continued to create in oil pastels through high school. My instructor was an elderly woman who lived on a farm in rural Ontario. Her property inspired many works through those years. I recall a lesson in the very colourful fall when she pointed out that I was lost in the colour of the trees and had forgotten the subject. To this day I deal with this. During university, my time to paint was limited, but after graduation and moving to Vancouver, I picked up painting with acrylics. Most of my work during the 1970s was plein air, which is interesting because I have not done plein air since those days.
During the years when I raised my two children and worked full time, my art once again was relegated to the back burner. My creativity was apparent though in other areas of my life.
As a Graphic Designer, I operated my own small company for 23 years and instructed design and colour theory at BCIT for the Faculty of New Media. Who would have thought when I was a teenager getting lost with colours around me that I would find my way to teach colour theory at the college level?
After retirement in 2012 I again started painting, firstly with acrylics and then with oils.
I love old buildings with character and stories to tell. Many of my recent works are of these subjects. But I throw in landscapes and the occasional portrait and still life. My son travels a lot, as do my husband and I. From these journeys, I have many photos waiting in the wings for my next painting.
I guess I would classify my work as representational realism and I am always trying to loosen my strokes in a more ‘painterly’ style. This is my continued focus going into the future.
If I was to give advice to a new and emerging artist, it would be to paint with abandon. Don’t be afraid of getting it wrong or making mistakes. While maintaining good art and design focus, paint with your gut. Paint what brings you joy. I wish I could recapture that style from my youth.
Vancouver Island is also an easy source of inspirational subjects too and living here motivates me to bring colours to life on my canvases.”
Valerie is a juried Active member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, the FCA Arrowsmith Chapter and is a member of The Old School House Arts Centre (TOSH) in Qualicum Beach.
She and two friends, Birgit Coath and Jacqueline Dunn paint together each week and provide inspiration to each other. Their group is called “Artists 3” of Qualicum Beach. Their next show together will be in The Brown Gallery at TOSH February 19 – March 14, 2019. You are invited to come out and see many of their latest paintings.
You can contact Valerie at this email: firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling her at this number: 250-594-7843
More of Valerie’s work can be viewed at her website: valeriegiles.com