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Travel provides me with the luxury of time away from the familiar and from the complex of responsibilities that populate daily life. I am fortunate to have the opportunity to travel and for its impact on my work’s development. My art is a journey too. It starts with the eyes, but is only successful if it touches an emotion and triggers a deeper response. Read on for brief descriptions of past travels.

Summer, ever since 2005
My retreat in Newfoundland
I spend much of my summer at my little house on Change Island, Newfoundland. It's been fabulous! I have a studio there now (pictured below) just a few steps from the house and the ocean. When I take a break from painting I can look out the huge picture window onto a Monet painting: waving wheat grass and the end of the point. It's a serence and glorious place. I always return with several new canvases from my time there.

January - February 2004

I have been fortunate enough to be able to go to Costa Rica for the last 4 winters. The past three have been extended working trips for me. I am able to focus fully on my art with both my reading and my work: no phones, no “Mom can you help me do this” to disturb my concentration. I won’t mention the sun and the beach, the fresh fruit and vegetables, or the fresh fish and friendly people, or even the fabulous coffee.

I moved from Punta Leona to Quepos this year renting a house high on the side of a mountain with a balcony overlooking the ocean. My collection of coral and rocks from the beach continues to grow. I hope to return next year because I found it a very comfortable and inspiring place to work.

Last year I worked on Chinese calligraphy inspired by Viet Nam and the calligrapher I met. After doing that and reading some Kandinsky, I developed my own compositions, working with line, colour and direction to convey emotion and narrative.

This year, I continued to work with mylar and yupo and developed a new grouping based on my reading of T.S. Eliot, interpreting some of the images he writes about. Those materials are challenging to control and I find that fascinating. I am very excited about the mylar work "The Wasteland". Of course, I also worked with watercolour as well.

 

 

 

 

March 2003

I am back from a working month in Costa Rica. The sun and ocean and space set the scene for a very productive time. Many new works, some on a new paper yupo and mylar, if either can be called paper. Influences from Viet Nam, lots of colour, some new calligraphy that I even know the meaning of, people, beach rocks and a new series.

December 2002 & January 2003

Spent an intense 5 weeks in Southeast Asia: I traveled to Cambodia & Viet Nam, with a few days in Bangkok. All were culturally rich and overwhelming.

I loved the people as well as the temples. Powerful images abound: children, friends in rain, entertainers in Hoi An, the Elephant temple, woman amidst the grains. The art scene in Viet Nam is the best I have ever seen.

Happily, I met several artists and visited studios and galleries. One of the artists is Ty: please visit his web site, www.typainter.com. I came back with original art pieces in gouache, oil and lacquer. The colours, textures and faces of the photos I took and my memories of the experience all end up in a layer of my work sometime, somewhere. Perhaps the Oriental touches that have been cropping up in my recent work will now be more developed.

2002

I have just returned from Costa Rica, New York City, Newfoundland, Victoria and Saskatchewan. At each place, I either had my brushes or my camera. The colours and textures always find their way into my new work. There are many new and different pieces to be shown this season. As well, I have continued to be fascinated with the simplicity of line of Oriental character, and the aesthetics of emptiness which that implies.

2001

My work at the aboriginal healing circle in the Yukon and at the art workshop at Atlin B.C. (near the Yukon border) have me working on the ideas of Meditations on Circle and the Aesthetics of Emptiness. Neither is finished. I think I may have a lifetime of work.

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Studio: 251 Bank St (at Cooper), suite 502 (by appointment only)|Ottawa, ON, Canada K2P 1X3..
Tel: 613-261-1351 | valorie@valoriepreston.com ..

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