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Valerie Collymore – “A Passion for the French Impressionism”
April 4 @ 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
An event every week that begins at 11:00am on Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday, repeating until Apr 29, 2019
The Fountainhead Gallery will host an exhibit by local doctor-turned-French Impressionist painter, Valerie Collymore. The exhibit, entitled “A Passion for the French Impressionism,” reflects Collymore’s mastery of the painting style and knowledge of the historical movement, and underscores how Collymore’s unique scientific background contributes to her art.
Collymore isn’t afraid to embrace science as she paints. On the contrary, the combination comes naturally—Collymore always loved to draw, but also earned good grades in science as a child. What’s more, before pursuing her full-time art career, she put herself through an Ivy League medical school and worked as an accomplished pediatrician for several years.
“I decided I wanted to be a physician around the age of 9. I have an inquiring kind of scientific mind, as well as an artistic mind and that has led me to really wanting to connect the dots and be sequential [in my painting process],” Collymore says. “For instance, I like to show [students] that paint is not a magical substance that only a few super-talented people can master when they’re in the zone. It’s a viscous solution—pigment with oil in it. We can bend it to our will and manipulate it.”
Collymore’s straightforward, rule-based approach to art—the result of her background in medicine and intensive study with American impressionist masters like C.W. Mundy—is something she likes to pass on to her students to make learning to paint more rewarding. For instance, Collymore emphasizes tangible things in her teaching practice—color theory, the chemistry and physics involved in mixing paint, and the geometry inherent to quality art composition, for instance. She is intent on honoring the various learning styles of her art instruction clients and on creating individualized learning plans and goals.
“The science in art becomes very helpful because it’s an equalizer. You can connect the dots, there’s an answer for everything. I’ve come to understand that art is a continuum of the medicine practice.”
Valerie feels strongly about creating an emotionally safe environment in which to hold critiques of client artwork, after experiencing one unnecessarily brutal critique during her early years as an artist. Valerie is intent on bringing the healing aspects of art-making to her classes, on creating community, and providing an environment where students feel nurtured and special.
Likewise, her detailed, studious approach lends the collection of 20 works she will show at the Fountainhead Gallery in April a masterful and life-like quality.
“Valerie demonstrates a passion for French Impressionism and always brings a fresh approach to the French Impressionist tradition. Her depictions of the French countryside have become looser and bolder both in line and color. Even a simple vase of flowers or crockery are imbued with a story and deep affection; they come alive for the viewer.“ – Sue Peterson, Fountainhead Gallery
“A Passion for the French Impressionist Tradition” runs April 4th-April 29th, 2019, with an opening reception April 6th from 5-7 PM. All of Collymore’s displayed works will be available for purchase. The Fountainhead Gallery offers an early sign up for collectors beginning the week before the opening. Gallery hours are Thursday-Sunday 11 AM-6 PM. For more information visit the Fountainhead’s website: https://www.fountainheadgallery.com/
About Valerie Collymore
Valerie Collymore is a French Impressionist oil painter and fine art instructor. Her works are inspired by Provence and the French Riviera, where she spent much of her childhood. She teaches workshops at the Frye Art Museum, the Gage Academy of Art, and the Women’s University Club of Seattle. She also teaches small groups of students and mentors emerging artists Atelier style in her workshop in Bellevue. Prior to becoming a professional artist, Collymore received her MD in Pediatrics from Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons, and was a practicing physician for many years. She integrates her background in Science into the teaching of art by sharing the Science in Art and by breaking down complex art concepts into easily assimilated and user-friendly units.
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