Valerie Fowler

I have an enormous passion for painting and have built my life around its pursuit. Nature is my constant inspiration. My paintings are complex settings which deal with past and future states of nature on earth. Through implied narratives and scenes from stories yet untold, I relay my concern for our fragile earth and the mark we humans make on it as well as more personal stories taken from my life and my own interaction with nature. Over time I have developed personal touchstones and archetypes sourced from my native Texas environment which suggest allegorical themes.

I combine realism and abstraction in an always evolving manner. I don't want to know exactly how a painting will develop. I love the discovery--my reaction to the paint and color itself results in changes to the painting as I progress. I am especially thrilled with unusual color juxtapositions which create unexpected and startling vibrancy.

With a specific idea and theme in mind, and photos and/or sketches as source material, I start with a brief pencil sketch on the canvas or, more commonly, I go directly to paint. Once I have paint on the surface I put away the source material so that I am not too much influenced by it. I try to keep planning to a minimum, preferring to concentrate more on the feeling I wish to convey, keeping my mind open to possibilities as they arise. Abstraction occurs as a result of this attention to the diversions on the canvas itself. I count on these open paths of discovery to reveal subconscious and personal undercurrents which ultimately bolster the narrative and thematic elements.

Currently I am exploring two distinct thematic avenues: one in which I am concerned with the actual breaching of the earth’s surface (industrial drilling, fracking, natural resource exploitation for instance) depicting scenes with cutaway views such that the earth is exposed below ground, and another, more personal avenue; a series of large scale works on paper depicting scenes from my neighborhood and immediate environment in which there is an intersection between nature and humankind.