My journey as an artist began with a simple desire to view colors in a more intense and personal way. Color has the ability to inspire one to reflect on God’s beauty as it lives in nature and to evoke the type of energy that is found in the lives of extraordinary people.
More specifically, I’m inspired mainly by the history, beauty and spirit of the western United States and the remarkable people that have inhabited it in the past up to the present day. Interestingly enough the American West is a beautiful example of a place where the two components in its inspirational story coexist; the exceptional people (Native Americans and the pioneers) and the beautiful landscapes.
For the most part, my paintings reflect the way I process some of nature’s wonders. Extreme contrasts with primary colors energize me and cause me to imagine a time or place that brought me a sense of excitement and inspiration. Most of the paintings don’t come alive until a dynamic contrasting color is introduced. In my eyes, reds, oranges, pinks and vibrant blues are mandatory for most of the paintings to reach their true potential. The idea is to grab the viewers when they enter the room by taking them off guard with a beautiful burst of colorful contrasts, thereby causing a positive shift in mood.
In summary, my work is a reflection of my determination to see nature and life from God’s perspective and not my own. Through tragedies and victories the world around me is always enhanced by His choice of colors that He decides to use to comfort and inspire us on his beautiful canvasses of nature and of people. To me, they are always bright, hopeful, stunning, and most importantly… colorful.
Valerie Oechslin has been painting since the mid 1990s after she turned from a career in the pharmaceutical business to the “right brained” field of art and design. A self-taught artist, she began to create large colorful creative interpretations of the world around her. The shift into the creative world also led her into the custom design and building of unique, niche homes. Each home’s interior was designed with a contemporary cottage feel, blended with a sophisticated loft style. It was then that her artwork started to take on a more sophisticated feel. While blending a more modern abstract style with an earthy flair, she found her niche in creating large full colorful creations to bring life and energy to the natural, cozy feel of a contemporary cottage.
It was during this period, that her annual visits to Wyoming and Montana played a significant role in the confluence of modern and rustic styles. Those times increasingly inspired her to modify her contemporary flavor into one that could be appreciated and appropriately synthesized into a more natural, rustic environment. Her colors are a welcomed addition to the western vernacular that may need a striking touch of modern “jazz” in what can be an otherwise, mundane world of earth tones.
She has made her permanent home in Bozeman, MT and is now continuing to employ the beautiful landscapes of Yellowstone to inspire and fuel her passion for color and its everyday impact on how we view the world.