About Val Lawson and her art

Who I am and why I paint
I make paintings about literal and emotional 'reflections'. I use the effect of light on colours, shapes or perception to capture a remembered moment or person, the inspiration of beautiful words, or the essence and atmosphere of a place.

Whether abstracted or more realistic, my work is expressive/ I use colour, line and shape to reflect a mood, an emotion or an idea. Major influences have been the work of Monet, Van Gogh and Sorolla, and increasingly I paint in a more abstracted impressionist style. I love to play with lively mark making and texture to convey the story of an image, and work mostly with oils or acrylics, occasionally in mixed media.

Painting has always been a part of my life. My early ambition to go to art school was not to be, and instead I pursued a "proper" career in IT. Painting, drawing and sketching were fitted around the demands of that career and family life. Only since retiring have I been able to focus on painting and develop as an artist.

I am mostly self-taught and have been lucky to find several excellent teachers. Over time, I have worked in various different media, styles and genre. I enjoy experimenting and trying out new techniques and different materials, and believe that continuous change is an important aspect of life.

In the studio, this evolution has included: using a palette knife rather than a brush to make abstract impressionist paintings; painting portraits using a Fauvist palette; and creating abstracted landscapes with acrylics enhanced by collage and inks. My recent commissioned work has included an expressive portrait, a colourful view of a local bridge club at play, and a more realistic Italian beach

I have a great interest in colour and have been working through a lengthy exploration of the many different tubes of paint in my studio so I can review my future palette; images of these tests have been posted in social media, and there is more info in my blog. Because I moved recently, I am still setting up my new studio space, sorting through materials, planning the storage and working space. I like to prepare the palette for a new painting and to stand at my easel, so organising the studio is important.