Valerie Ross – Focus on Local Artists – Issue #14

June 2013

ValerieRoss

Valerie Ross

For June, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features Pinawa visual artist, Valerie Ross. In September 2005, Ross stood on a dock in Pinawa looking out at the river. In that moment she knew where she was meant to be. Eventually her husband, Alex, was drawn into the possibility of one last adventure. In May of 2006, they left sixty-three years of living in Southern Ontario to immerse themselves in Pinawa’s pristine beauty.

Local residents often spotted Ross, with camera in hand, taking pictures of the nature and wildlife. She sent many e-mails and photos to family and friends describing excitedly all there was to see. Ross wished she could convey what she saw and felt so passionately about into something tangible, something that was personal in and of her.

In 2008, Ross’s sister, who is also a visual artist, encouraged her to paint what she saw. Although Ross had never painted before, except for a few flowers on sweatshirts, and had taken no art courses, she bought a few brushes and then … five years later she hasn’t looked back. Her work has been displayed at Green Water Art Show in 2012 and at the recent Eastman Juried Art Exhibit. It can be seen and purchased at the new Pinawa Art 211 Gallery at Lewis Centre.

Ross uses vibrant acrylics. They suit her well as she paints with bold, strong strokes. She loves there immediacy as they dry quickly and challenge her to stay in the moment and “just do.” Ross likes to say that when she paints she becomes the birch leaf blowing in the wind, a gentle ripple on the river and the grass matted by a sleeping doe. She has become known as the “Birch Lady” with many of her birch paintings in homes throughout the region. Ross’s husband passed away last November. She recalls him saying, “Valerie, the painting is done, it’s beautiful, now step away.” Ross has a hard time knowing when a painting is finished. “It’s like reading a book, you never want it to end.”

For June, the Winnipeg River Arts Council features Pinawa visual artist, Valerie Ross. In September 2005, Ross stood on a dock in Pinawa looking out at the river. In that moment she knew where she was meant to be. Eventually her husband, Alex, was drawn into the possibility of one last adventure. In May of 2006, they left sixty-three years of living in Southern Ontario to immerse themselves in Pinawa’s pristine beauty.

Local residents often spotted Ross, with camera in hand, taking pictures of the nature and wildlife. She sent many e-mails and photos to family and friends describing excitedly all there was to see. Ross wished she could convey what she saw and felt so passionately about into something tangible, something that was personal in and of her.

In 2008, Ross’s sister, who is also a visual artist, encouraged her to paint what she saw. Although Ross had never painted before, except for a few flowers on sweatshirts, and had taken no art courses, she bought a few brushes and then … five years later she hasn’t looked back. Her work has been displayed at Green Water Art Show in 2012 and at the recent Eastman Juried Art Exhibit. It can be seen and purchased at the new Pinawa Art 211 Gallery at Lewis Centre.

Ross uses vibrant acrylics. They suit her well as she paints with bold, strong strokes. She loves there immediacy as they dry quickly and challenge her to stay in the moment and “just do.” Ross likes to say that when she paints she becomes the birch leaf blowing in the wind, a gentle ripple on the river and the grass matted by a sleeping doe. She has become known as the “Birch Lady” with many of her birch paintings in homes throughout the region. Ross’s husband passed away last November. She recalls him saying, “Valerie, the painting is done, it’s beautiful, now step away.” Ross has a hard time knowing when a painting is finished. “It’s like reading a book, you never want it to end.”