The desire to capture beauty started when I moved to Arizona at the age of four. The sunsets inspired me to pick up some discarded oil pastels left behind in an abandoned mining camp where we lived. It was so hot in the desert at night that Mom and I would sleep on the back porch, watching the sunset. There was no television, no electricity, and not even any running water in our little desert town.

Childish attempts at recreating early subjects of sunsets, donkeys, and ocotillo continued until I moved back to Santa Monica, CA. Then, confined to an apartment, my wild-child brain went crazy. I drew and painted like a pent-up fiend. And that is when, at the age of nine, my efforts began receiving recognition as an emerging talent.

It had been nearly 30 years since I had last painted, but in 2008 it came back to me quickly with the help of a very talented instructor. I still create with jewelry, glass, and mosaics, but painting is the gift that I feel I was handed. I believe that I must respect that gift by expanding with it.

Website:  Southwest Inspired


Artist Profile

Valarie Isley