Artist
Valerie Berkely Wausau, Wisconsin

Valerie Berkely uses her finger tips as brushes to create her abstract paintings. For Valerie, the art is all about the process, the paint, her mood, and the moment. She admires the artist Wolf Kahn, who once said, “the picture is the conclusion of an experiment in which the hint of an image becomes actuality." Like Kahn, Valerie’s paintings combine pictorial landscapes with painterly abstraction. The vibrant primary colors capture the hues of the sun rising and setting, and the texture of her fingers across the surface divides sea, land, and sky. There is something very dreamy about these works, exemplified by their color, texture, and atmospheric quality. Valerie’s first “art epiphany” was seeing Seurat's La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Bowled me over! I actually fell down. And I knew I was to become a painter.”

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    About The Artist

    Valerie Berkely uses her finger tips as brushes to create her abstract paintings. For Valerie, the art is all about the process, the paint, her mood, and the moment. She admires the artist Wolf Kahn, who once said, “the picture is the conclusion of an experiment in which the hint of an image becomes actuality." Like Kahn, Valerie’s paintings combine pictorial landscapes with painterly abstraction. The vibrant primary colors capture the hues of the sun rising and setting, and the texture of her fingers across the surface divides sea, land, and sky. There is something very dreamy about these works, exemplified by their color, texture, and atmospheric quality. Valerie’s first “art epiphany” was seeing Seurat's La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Bowled me over! I actually fell down. And I knew I was to become a painter.”

    Artist Statement

    On a recent trip to France, I enjoyed all the Monets in Paris. I also
    studied with Serena Barton, noted artist and author in oil and cold wax
    painting. This pivotal event led to a change in my view towards abstracted
    landscapes. While I love a far horizon (so good for goals), I now shift my
    gaze downward or upward. Instead of looking "out" for inspirations, I watch
    my step seeking through the tangle of field and stream. Or I crane my neck
    to feel the wind in the woods. Finding fresh perspectives for oil and cold
    wax textures, I still rely on mixing primary colors to achieve new goals.
    I strive to capture beautiful, complex, transparent, textured and colorful
    surfaces in my paintings. "What keeps my heart awake is colorful silence"
    (Claude Monet)

    Artist Background

    University of Wisconsin-Superior
    Bachelor of Fine Arts, 1976

    Hear What Collectors Say About Valerie's Work

    Valerie Berkely 8/25/2018 | 1:24 PM

    Thank you, K Cross, for your kind words. So much of my work with paint is about feeling, whether happy, calm, strong. And a horizon always builds in that depth!

    commentsNew Wall of Trees
    K Cross 8/24/2018 | 11:02 PM

    your paintings are extraordinary. Each has such a depth of feeling.

    Valerie Berkely 10/23/2017 | 1:45 AM

    My second solo exhibit entitled Primary Focus is hosted in the Vault Gallery of the Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Wausau WI, running now through January 6, 2018. All new work (over 50 paintings) in oil and cold wax medium. This means: stay tuned to UGallery for even newer work!

    Valerie Berkely 3/6/2017 | 5:31 PM

    I am pleased to announce that my painting in oil+cold wax entitled "Summer Breeze" has been accepted for inclusion in the 27th Annual Midwest Seasons juried competition held at the Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Wausau Wisconsin. Exhibit runs through April 1, 2017. Over twelve years of trying to get accepted into this very competitive exhibit, this is only the SECOND time I have succeeded.

    Valerie Berkely 12/7/2016 | 1:10 AM

    I am pleased to announce that my painting in oil+cold wax entitled "Ruby Love" won an honors cash award in the juried competition "Roots-The Ties That Bind" held at the Center for the Visual Arts in downtown Wausau Wisconsin. I am humbled to earn this level of acceptance by the public in my community for my new work. Stay tuned for more!

    Valerie Berkely 11/15/2016 | 10:40 AM

    After experiencing the recent Super Moon, I am even more inspired to continue working in my Moondance Series!

    Valerie Berkely 11/2/2016 | 9:30 PM

    So so happy for my second sale thru UGallery -- and it's my second Moondance painting too! I feel like howling at the moon, woo-hoo!

    Valerie Berkely 10/20/2016 | 2:20 PM

    Would love to hear from others who love Moon paintings and nocturns. I am obsessed in a very happy way to create my series Moondance.

    Valerie Berkely 10/3/2016 | 12:37 PM

    Simply So Happy due to my first recent sale on UGallery. My "Moon Dance" was a joy to create in oil + cold wax. So many textures and nuances of color. What makes an artist happy? PAINT. What makes an artist even happier? SELLING. Enjoy and stay tuned for more "nocturnes".

    Valerie Berkely 5/22/2016 | 2:56 PM

    Not new to painting -- been painting all my life! But new here to UGallery. Stay tuned as I create my "PRIMARY FOCUS" - using only the primary colors plus white using only my fingers. Oil paint and cold wax medium: think buttery frosting finger-painting. Keeping to a more abstract sensibility so that it feels like a landscape. I often paint small to later paint BIG. And my paintings get named based on snippets of song lyrics or titles. Can you guess? I love how music and paint can come together in the studio!

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