THE ART OF VALERIE ANDREWS GARTHWAIT

"I like to paint natural forms and serene, quiet places. I love being outside next to nature and try to capture that feeling of being there among the plants and trees, next to the water, breathing in and smelling everything around me. Plant forms, leaves, shimmering sunlight and shadows, and their reflections in the water inspire me to paint and, by painting, I feel that I become a part of the scene. I record it in my memory and on canvas. Color and brushstroke excite me as do change of light and shadow on an object. I like to contrast the thinly painted dark, sometimes transparent, glaze-like areas in my paintings with the thicker, built-up opaque areas where the brushstrokes become visible.

I am impatient when I paint and want to cover the canvas and capture the mood and images with loose brushstrokes that describe the forms I see. I try to get the feeling of depth by sometimes crossing the picture plane with branches or driftwood to create the feeling of looking through near objects into the depth beyond. I often paint en plein air, or capture the composition and light effect with my camera, and paint later in my studio from photographs."