Show Preview | Valerie Collymore

Seattle, WA
Fountainhead Gallery, April 3-27

Valerie Collymore, Geranium, St. Remy de Provence, oil, 16 x 20.

Valerie Collymore, Geranium, St. Remy de Provence, oil, 16 x 20.

This story was featured in the April 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine. Get the Southwest Art April 2014 print issue or digital download now–then subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss another story!

In Impressionism, the deeper the connection with the subject, the more the artist’s vision can be felt. This is the case with Valerie Collymore’s show at Fountainhead Gallery this month, titled Impressions of the French Riviera and Provence, which runs April 3 to 27 with an artist’s reception on Saturday, April 5, from 5 to 7 p.m.

Collymore’s perspective is a result of spending her formative years in the French Riviera. After the passing of her father, Collymore’s mother left the U.S. with her small family to travel in western Europe before settling down in southern France. “During my time in France I was always drawing and had a wonderful art education up until the age of 18,” she says. Her mother, whose second career was as an artist, encouraged her daughter’s budding talent while dragging her to nearly every museum in western Europe.

As pragmatic as she was artistic and vowing to be self-sufficient, she quit art at 18 and returned to the U.S. to focus on a career in medicine, leaving her drawing materials behind for nearly three decades. But friends often encouraged her to revisit her passion, and in 2008 a trip to a local art class reawakened her love of art. “Something happened in that art class, and I realized the strength of the calling,” she says.

Since then Collymore has captured the scenes of her youth in a rich impressionistic style. This month’s show includes nearly 25 of her works. “This collection honors the region that I grew up in and my mother’s tremendous fearlessness 
and vision in taking us to live there,” 
Collymore says. “I’m picking subjects that I have deep connectivity with on many levels.” This is her first solo show with Fountainhead Gallery, and her works are a welcome addition. “We like to go from very realistic to very abstract works,” says curator and gallery owner Sue Peterson. “We have one other artist who does impressionism that is more contemporary, but Valerie’s is more traditional. And it wasn’t hard to think of her filling a great spot in the gallery.” 
—Joe Kovack

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Featured in the April 2014 issue of Southwest Art magazine–click below to purchase:
Southwest Art April 2014 print issue or digital download Or subscribe to Southwest Art and never miss a story!

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