Thursday, November 25, 2010

Art Studio Tour: Valerie Willson

I visited Valerie Willson in her studio a few days ago and found her doing--encaustic!

Valerie  is one of the few artists I know who makes her living as an artist. I knew her first as a print artist and oil painter, who set up the studio where I learned so many mono-print techniques. I love her vivid colors and organic shapes. Her work is elegant and beautiful.

 On Valerie's work bench I saw the brushes she uses, the wax colors, the heating plate, a heat gun. Valerie's walls were covered with intricate images printed on tissue, which she is incorporating into her encaustic (wax painting) work--some of the same images I have seen worked into her paintings.

"I have a library of around a hundred block prints," she explained. "When I sit at shows and art festivals, I carve them in "easy cut" and try to see how intricate I can make them."

Valerie's work has a unity, due partly to the vibrance of her colors, and partly to the way she uses these block prints in new ways in every medium she is working in.

I love this idea, of developing unique imagery... that sets one's work apart and defines it. I've already begun looking at my own work for images that I can develop in this way.

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