Artist Statement

My paintings are inspired by the beauty of landscapes. Having lived most of my life in the north of Germany, I am fascinated and inspired by the natural landscapes of California, especially the coast and mountains. The sky and landscape are very different, and inspire me to paint them in the way they influence my feelings. I call the style of my paintings “modern impressionism.” I want to make people happy and let them nurture positive feelings through my artwork. Nothing is more beautiful and healing than the magic of nature. I want to capture the charisma of nature in all its shapes and forms. 

About Modern Impressionism

At school I was impressed by the traditional impressionism of the old masters. The technique of painting with lots of small dots, that create an image was something very new and innovative at their time. The depiction of the inner impression is what art means to me. Impressionism says so much, by being quiet and modest at the same time. This is what fascinates me. It lets us dive into a different world in a calming and relaxing way. Impressionism means slowing down, breathing in and connecting with nature, with ourselves. 

I like using a vibrant color palette for most of my paintings, because I want everyone who sees my paintings to have a “vibrant” feeling when looking at my art. The positive impact I can achieve through my art is what I love about being an artist.

-- Valerie Olson --

Bringing a painting to Life

I use oil paint for all my paintings. Oil colors are so rich in pigments and just feel very pure compared to acrylic paint. I’m always impressed by the magic I can do by mixing different colors to achieve any hue I can imagine. I like taking pictures of the beautiful landscapes I explore. Being outside and feeling what earth, air and water want to let me know is essential to painting a landscape. It’s not only about the picture, which is just a snapshot and doesn’t show my personal view. It’s about the feelings I experience. My paintings are all about the emotional value. In the process of painting, I will first look at the pictures I have taken to choose a scene I want to recreate in my style. I then create an “under painting” of predominant colors that give the final painting more depth and vibrancy. Then I will start with the actual layering. I try not to overlap brush strokes too much, so the painting feels loose. Brush strokes come together in a mosaic effect. I think this resembles nature very well. A mosaic or looking through a kaleidoscope give the objects room to move, and show that nature never stands still. I can let my paint brush do magical things to create movement or quietness in a painting, because I don’t blend colors together too much. Our eyes connect the strokes to unities of meaning themselves. And that’s what I do when I explore the outdoors. A scenery comes together to a unique unity that involves all my senses.