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In this new series of paintings, Valerie is revisiting a theme close to her heart: the world of plants, specifically, the universe of seeds and pods. Tickled by the effervescence of spring, she has spent the last few months in search of images, wandering through the bountiful nature of her native Bay Area, rediscovering the threatened magnificence of Hawaii, and vicariously exploring the natural wonders through the eyes of fellow travelers.

Satisfied with her collection, she lets the flurry of images sift through her mind and take shape at the tip of her pencil. From her sketches, she establishes the final drawing that will be the skeleton of her painting, be it a watercolor on paper, or a mix of watercolor and acrylics on canvas. Some specimens are represented once, while others go through several incarnations. Yet all emerge through a multilayered process of observation and imagination, reasoning and intuition, design and serendipity.

Valerie’s paintings manifest her belief that humans and nature are inextricably interconnected and interdependent. They open the door into a universe infused with a poetic and surreal quality: each image clearly evokes the botanical world, yet, it conjures up something not quite plant-like. Did humans finally succeed in (re-)creating nature in their own image?

Besides, this verdant « little private utopia » is a plea for (bio-)diversity, at a time when it is threatened. This world of wonder, nudges us to take pause, and imagine new ways to think of it and of ourselves.