For the last 30 years Valerie has dedicated herself to recording the flora and fauna of the British countryside in the demanding and challenging medium of watercolour. Valerie loves working in graphite in which she finds complete relaxation and the perfect tonal exercises for her watercolours. Pastels are another favourite medium and she uses them regularly when sketching from life. Valerie is a completely self taught artist.
Living in the city of Worcester she is surrounded by the beautiful Worcestershire countryside and its wild, and not so wild, inhabitants, which are her main inspiration. She is especially drawn to the natural and man-made waterways, which provide green corridors for a wildlife population under the constant threat of urbanisation. Throughout the year they provide much of the background material for her paintings.
Details of birds and animals are taken from dead specimens usually found on the roadside, she then spends time in the field and rescue centre’s to study her subjects in the flesh. Valerie feels that just watching animals and birds after all the detailed study is the most important and rewarding element to her work.
Valerie has been influenced from very early age by the watercolour work of Archibald Thorburn, the natural history paintings and illustrations of Charles Tunnicliffe and Terrance Lambert, the drawings of Aubrey Beardsley, Burne-Jones and the paintings of the Pre Raphaelites and the Newlyn School. Although her work has a very illustrative style she strives to create space and luminosity in her finished pieces.
Having fostered cats for over 25 years for the Cats Protection she finds great pleasure in painting and drawing them, usually depicting them at their leisure in garden surroundings.
Valerie exhibits in galleries around England and is regularly invited to Nature in Art in Gloucestershire as an artist in residence. Valerie’s paintings and drawings can be seen at The Gallery at Bevere where she also teaches throughout the year and is in demand around the country as a teacher and demonstrator.