Doreen Valenza — www.doreenvalenza.com
My concentration has been a continuous exploration of several recurring design themes and the evolution of those themes. I approach each work as a design problem with a solution. Variations excite and inspire me to advance the designs to the next level. Each work becomes part of that evolving series.
I am both a painter and collagist. My collage paintings are design puzzles, with no preconceived plan. The work evolves layer-by-layer, piece-by-piece, all while trying to incorporate a strong overall design element and balance.
They are combinations of cut painted paper, acrylic, ink, and oils on masonite and on canvas. I enjoy the challenge of cutting the paper into pieces, painting them, working on the composition and finally gluing it all down.
When involved in the art of creating a piece, “I am like an actor in the moment, so in character that at times I don’t know how I created the piece, or if I can ever again repeat the performance in exactly the same way.”
When I am painting in oils the process is different and so is the subject matter, but I also use the layering process, building color on color. I use a glazing medium, a technique that was used by the old masters- 1 part damar varnish, 1 part turpentine and 1 part linseed oil that I mix with each pigment. I have also added oil sticks, ochre pigments and charcoal to this 3-part formula.
My inspiration comes from subjects as varied as the cultures of the fertility goddess, ancient cave paintings, masks, aborigines, and the American Indian. Artists that have inspired me are Matisse, Kandinsky, Gaugin, Modigliani, and my late college art professor, Ugo Giannini. I am energized by great color combinations, and stimulated by the colors of nature, especially those found in the American desert.
D. E. Valenza
Doreen Valenza, a New Jersey artist, earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Caldwell College, Caldwell, NJ.http://www.caldwell.edu/
She continued her post collegiate studies at:
- Fashion Institute of Technology, NYC – http://www.fitnyc.edu/html/dynamic.html
- The School of Visual Arts, NYC – http://www.schoolofvisualarts.edu/
- William Paterson University, NJ – http://www.wpunj.edu/
- Kean University, NJ – http://www.kean.edu/
- NJCVA – http://www.njcva.org/
She studied Chinese Brush Painting with the late master, David Kwo
Encaustics with Barrie Andrews, and has attended other art related workshops and seminars.http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Encaustic
During her career, she worked as the Visual Merchandising Director for:
- The Museum Company – http://www.l-m.com/museumcompany.html
- Viva International Optical Group – http://www.vivagroup.com/
- Bloomingdale’s – http://www.bloomingdales.com/
Doreen has been a Visual Merchandising/Marketing professional curator of store exhibitions, a visual artist who arranges objects in space.
As a design consultant and a faux finishing artist she has worked on commercial and residential applications.
In 2003, Doree left her Visual Merchandising / Marketing career to focus on her Art. She has immersed herself in creating and exhibiting her works and is on the board of several art organizations.
Girlfriend Goddesses, her collection of hand sculpted jewelry, paintings and prints will be featured on her new website www.girlfriendgoddesses.com.
How would you describe your painting style or the way in which you create a piece?
Approaching each collage-painting as a design puzzle, I cut and assemble the design. The works are combinations of cut painted paper, acrylic, ink, oils on masonite and on canvas.
I like the natural color of masonite and use it as my background base color, then build layer upon layer until it all comes together into a composition in which I feel the colors and forms are balanced.
It is a challenge to cut the paper into pieces, paint it, work on the design finally glues it all down. Sometimes the paper is painted after the shape has been cut out. It is unplanned, evolving while I am working on the piece. Once I decide to glue it down the decision is final, finishing the piece by adding a coat of sealer.
When painting with oils the process is different. I use a glazing medium, a technique that was used by the old masters- 1 part damar varnish, 1 part turpentine and 1 part linseed oil mixed with each pigment layering color upon color.
The Origin of the Star Tulips Series
The Star Tulips Series
Subterranean Star Tulips Orange, 18” x 24”, paper on masonite
A stylized flower, that Doree called a “ Star Tulip” originally appeared in her early oil paintings of Galax Gemini circa 1978. Her sign is Gemini and ever since she was a child, loved science fiction and looking up at the stars. “The Galax Gemini” series are free-floating beings, voyagers visiting from outer space, inspired by way of Easter Island, Mayan, Olmec and aboriginal cultures.
In these early paintings the Galax Gemini, are adorned with special flowers. This flower that grew from her imagination continues to evolve and to metamorphose and transforms in the complex cut out collages she is working on today.
The evolution can also be seen in a series of abstract paintings where she takes and manipulates this basic shape into orbs and computer virus. In her series called The Star Cities Series, the shape becomes part of abstract towering cities.
Her “Star Tulips” celebrate life, fertility and regeneration. This basic symbolic shape recurs throughout her work. They are growing in the desert, below the earth and sea but are originally from outer space.
The Feet Landing Series
Feet Blues, 9” x 12”, Acrylic on paper
In the Feet Landing Series, Doree decided to have the Galax Gemini body disappear- with only their feet and Star Tulips remaining on the canvas. The Galax Gemini feet are “landing” on the Star Tulips, disembodied, and free-floating above the canvas.
Her work, of stylized feet, originally the Galax Gemini’s feet, continue to evolve- from landing on Star Tulips to landing on grapes, Subterranean Desert Pods and Snakes.
“I have been painting these feet since the late 1970’s, and in 2003, while recuperating from 2 operations on my foot, started painting the feet from a different viewpoint, utilizing bright optimistic colors- thinking they would be a mind body cure for my aching feet.”
She is inspired by the old saying: “Keep you head in the clouds and your feet on the ground”, and believes that your feet can “land” you wherever you want to go, as far as your imagination can propel you.
‘My feet land only for a short time, and then they are off to other worlds. They make me smile.
Cave Flesh* Androgynous Flesh* Slave Flesh* Somebodies* Girlfriend Goddesses
Paintings and Hand Sculptured Necklaces.
Snakes, Buffalo, Fertility Goddesses on Cave Wall, 20” round, Acrylics on canvas
Doree’s inspiration for this series came from varied subjects. A fascination with ancient cave wall paintings and the cultures of the fertility goddesses lead her to create her own vision on canvas. Using these inspirations as a starting point, she created her own vision of what these early painters might have done on those cave walls.
This series of oil paintings conceptually began as androgynous multiple body images. Originally the paintings concentrated on the back of the body, then the bodies were turned around, and metamorphosed into symbolic figurations of womanhood inspired by the early “Venus” figures. Of these figures found in archaeological digs dating from the Ice Age 25,000 years ago, her favorite is the most famous – the Venus of Willendorf found in Austria.
Then in 2003, the figures leaped off the canvas, transformed into 3 dimensional hand sculptured necklaces. Under development is her Girlfriend GoddessesÒ website (www.girlfriendgoddesses.com) which will showcase her jewelry collection and other “goddess” works.
Her collection and works of the Goddesses transcends all races and ethnic groups, and celebrates all Womanhood, the Primal Mother who gave birth to the first human beings. Since the actual meanings of these early figures are lost to us, she feels free to experiment – “I am constantly experimenting.
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