Come and view this month’s art exhibition whilst enjoying a coffee or tea. All art is available to purchase and a percentage of proceeds goes towards The Hub.
Val grew up in York before moving to London as a teenager in 1966 to take up a career in hairdressing. As a child she was happiest when spending her time drawing and painting and had aspirations to become a commercial artist, but in the 60’s art was not perceived as a ‘proper job’ for a girl, hence the move to London to work in the family hairdressing business. However, in 1976 and married with 3 children, Val decided it was time for a career change. She took a job in the electronics industry in North London, and gained a qualification in HR which led to a successful career spanning 33 years.
Then as retirement approached, Val’s thoughts turned back to her artistic days, and at 57 she started to paint again. Her hobby quickly developed into an obsession that 11 years on is still consuming her every waking moment! She quickly immersed herself in every aspect of art, and soon discovered that her natural artistic ability was as strong as ever. The next three years were spent attending a series of tutored workshops and demonstrations, reading art books and magazines, and visiting galleries, and practicing at every available moment. With a strong sense of composition and a love of colour and texture, her paintings became lively and varied, and her inspiration was taken mainly from her travels at home and abroad.
Val is equally at home creating detailed wildlife studies, as she is painting semi-abstract mixed media works, some of which are on a large scale. She has a particular liking of Japanese themed subjects, and many of her works are based on interpretations of old Japanese prints.
In 2013 she started a new venture and undaunted by the fact that she was 64, launched herself into her own studio business in Whittlesford. This quickly developed into an artists hub, that has become well established on the Cambridge art scene. Val also tutors the occasional workshop in mixed media and pastel techniques, as well as employing many other professional artists who tutor a wide variety of one & two day workshops. In addition to this Val exhibits and sells her paintings in Cambridge and East Anglia and is a member of a number of art societies in the region, including the prestigious Cambridge Drawing Society.
To learn more about Val and view her work visit:
As a child, I spent more time doodling, daydreaming and drawing, when in the classroom, rather than concentrating on the set classroom tasks. My imagination would take me into distant and obscure worlds, where light and dark merged. Colours fused into eachother, to cover all objects and figures with continuous colour fluidity. In these strange worlds, form, shape and order did not exist in the normal way. It was all in the imagination. I did not know it at the time, but this imagination is what drives art. I also did not know at the time, that I was and still am, synaesthesic, which enables me to visualise the world around me in my special way and this must be very useful, in my artistic pursuits. Expression of this however, is very personal, with a difficulty in conveying this to others. This has made me somewhat conservative and traditional, in much of my work, although this is now changing. Exciting for me.
As a pupil, I found that I really enjoyed the rare treat, when we were allwed to paint in class, using waterpaints. I started painting more seriously, when I was about ten years old, when I chose to have a set of poster paints as a present. My confidence was boosted when in my early teens, I came first for my age group, in an all Birmingham painting competition, sponsored by the then Milk Marketing Board, requiring candidates to paint a dairy scene.. I did not understand at the time, why a dairy scene was important to the school children of industrial Birmingham, but maybe its purpose was intended to enable inner city pupils to explore new ground.
As I continued with my education, I chose a scientific career, with art becoming a leisure activity for me and this separation between career and leisure, has worked well for me until now. Now that I am older, with less work pressure and added confidence in expression, I hope to develop a more adventurous approach, where science and art will merge in continuous fluidity, just like my synaesthesic world.