This month’s featured artist, Veronica Vale, follows adventure wherever it calls her name, taking in breathtaking scenes that she recreates into vibrant, expressive paintings showcasing nature’s beautiful blend of both rugged and delicate details.
How would you describe your work?
I see my paintings as landscapes that present nature through the eyes of an idealist – one who finds serenity and bliss in the subtle refinement and cultivation of nature’s rugged beauty. Using my own photos and memories as reference, I translate the powerful beauty of nature into modern, stylized acrylic paintings. I combine acrylic paint, metallic paint, and pen and ink, to provide a balance of loose, painterly expression with elements of graphic design. Each painting then becomes a window into my mind, a postcard from an adventure gone by, and a happy, restful space for a restless mind.
What influences your art?
All of my landscape paintings are inspired by my own experiences in nature. I try to capture the entire experience, feeling, and mood of a landscape rather than its realistic depiction. Have you ever taken a picture of a particularly incredible sunset and found that the photo didn’t quite capture just how magnificent it felt in person? In my paintings, I aim to imbue energy back into those landscapes through more vibrant colors, visceral textures, and satisfyingly clean linear elements to align more with the true memory of that place.
How have you evolved, personally, as an artist?
I used to think that happy art would never be taken seriously. “Art must comfort the disturbed and disturb the comforted,” and all of the other vexing quotes thrown out in my art seminars would reverberate through my mind and startle me into creating work that matched these sentiments. I’ve discovered that art isn’t about expressing any one particular feeling or mood – it’s about authenticity. I’ve learned to stop creating the kind of work that I think I “should“ create, and instead, focus my energy on creating work that feels most authentic to me.
You participate in several in-person markets and fairs – what do you like most about these events?
I started my art business right in the heart of the pandemic. My first year and a half of business, I connected with others through art exclusively online. As the world emerged from our collective hibernation, I was introduced to the world of art fairs. I had been so accustomed to the solitude, that they were a bit of a shock to my system – but in the best way imaginable. I get to engage with people and talk about art and what it means to them. I get to witness instinctive reactions to my work in person and connect with people who are moved by what I create.
How do you carve out time to be creative?
A lot of times, people think that inspiration strikes like lightning, but I’ve found that inspiration follows action, not the other way around. I actually schedule set times to paint in my routine. I work all morning at my computer on the business side of things from marketing and communication to shipping. After lunch I paint until it’s time to take my dog for his evening walk (dogs’ internal clocks are the best alarm clocks anyways). This routine ensures that I have time for all aspects of my business, and it prevents me from waiting for inspiration to strike. Instead, I start working knowing that creativity will flow.
What are you working on that excites you right now?
I’m working on a new series of original landscape paintings that pay homage to the beauty and majesty of the Blue Ridge mountains. This new series feels closer to home than ever before, in subject matter, style, and tone. Each new series feels more and more like the work I was meant to create, and I find that to be the most exciting discovery as an artist.
I recently launched the Vale Brand Line with art products like apparel, tote bags, yoga mats, home decor, drinkware, stickers and much more. It’s always been important to me that my work be accessible. I want to make art for everyone, not just those who can afford the higher price tag of original paintings. I could not be more excited to share my work with anyone who may treasure it.
What is one piece of advice you’d like to share with fellow artists?
Release yourself from anybody else’s expectations and make the art that you feel called to make. Whatever kind of work that you feel compelled to create, I promise you, you will find your audience. Once you find that community of people who truly appreciate your most authentic expression, you’ll realize that it is so much more valuable than trying to please everyone with your work. Make the art you love – after all, you’re the only one who can express your unique voice as authentically as you can.
If you are interested in learning more about this month’s artist, Veronica Vale, you can find her work online at www.veronicavale.com as well as follow her on Instagram @veronica.vale.art. For local events you can refer to her website for dates and locations.