Ridge at Dusk
Egg Tempera on Panel
25 x 31 inches
Valerie Shesko is a former gallery director, Associate Editor of The Artist’s Magazine, and Instructor of Fine Arts at Quinnipiac University. She has exhibited her award-winning work in museums and galleries nationally and internationally including the J.B. Speed Museum, Louisville KY, Stadtische Galerie, Regensburg, Germany, and the Artists’ House, Jerusalem, Israel, among others. Her work is featured in the book Art Journey: American Landscapes 89 Painters’ Perspectives by Kathryn Kipp and is in the permanent collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum and corporate and private collections throughout the U.S. and abroad. She received a B.A. in art history from SUNY at Binghamton University, an M.S. in art Education from Southern Connecticut State University and an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Cincinnati.
I grew up in urban New York City but was fortunate as a young adult to vacation in the Catskills, the Adirondacks, and the White and Smokey Mountains. Thus began my life-long love of landscape. Later travels to Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Norway and the American southwest have continued to inspire the light and forms in my work.
I want the process of painting, combined with memory and imagination, to direct my work: random colors and shapes often suggest landscape motifs, the challenge then becomes making what has emerged more real.
As far as influences, I quote two reviewers: critic Max Halperin (Chapel Hill, N.C.) observed that “Shesko’s…bright landscapes…some in oil, most in egg tempera, … all look as though painted jointly by the American Thomas Moran and the English Joseph Turner after passing through the era of abstract expressionism – with the new approaches but with their 19th century sensibilities intact.” Curator Daniel Brown (Cincinnati, Ohio) noted another influence: “she combines the Chinese aesthetic of essence and simplicity, with the other-worldly light of American Hudson River School painters, and the vast sense of American space and geography.”