The Village Gallery of Local Artists is pleased to feature the work of Valerieann Giovanni during the month of July 2022. A reception will be held on Friday, July 1st from 5-8 PM.
Valerieann Giovanni has been a professional artist for over 40 years, with 25 of those years teaching others how to paint, author, Reiki Master, and mother of 6. She is a self-taught artist with many awards, who dedicated many years to mastering realism before developing her own style.
Giovanni’s present work depicts emotion and the energetic vibrational flow that comes from them. She uses oil paints mixed with essential oils, which are safe to smell, harmless to touch, have a pleasant aroma, and add a superior degree of control than traditional turpentine or mineral spirits.
Giovanni was raised on a dairy farm in a small town of three hundred people in southern Idaho. From an early age, she showed talent and a keen interest in art. At the local county fair each summer, she intently studied the paintings on display. Observing that the blue ribbons were most often awarded to those who painted inside the lines of realism, she grew determined to master that style. With no access to oil painting classes, she learned to paint by trial and error.
Before long, Giovanni was winning first place, grand prizes, and being commissioned for works of art. Images of her paintings found their way into local and state news. “I had arrived,” or so she thought.
In 1989, upon completing a beautifully detailed painting of one of her dad’s Percheron horses, Giovanni was surprised at her internal response. She thought to herself, “So what, I can paint any subject picture-perfect, why not just take a photo . . . it would take a lot less work.” At that moment, Giovanni determined she would rather quit painting than keep working so hard to create the illusion of realism. Accolades and praise no longer mattered and making money took a back seat to the heart.
In the spring of 1991, when Giovanni was eight months pregnant with child number four, she heard there was a woman from Germany coming to a small neighboring town to teach an art class. It was a rare opportunity, so with curiosity and a great desire to learn, she attended.
In the first class, the teacher said, “Today we’re going to paint joy.” Giovanni was stunned and wondered, “How do you paint something you can’t see?” The idea of painting feelings was completely foreign to her and in her words “blew out all my neatly defined painting circuits.”
Giovanni’s first attempt was met by the teacher’s raised eyebrow. “That doesn’t look too joyful,” the instructor said. “You have to feel joy inside first, and then let that joy flow down your arm into the paint and onto the canvas,”
Sequestering for a day, Giovanni shut herself off from the outside world, determined to test what she had learned. She gave herself permission to play with paint as if she were a child again, mixing paint with new wonder. Giovanni explained, “My mind silenced as it surrendered to the feeling of the brush plunging into the paint, the sensation of one color merging with another. Mesmerized by the process, my body began filling with a love beyond what I had known love to be; divinity breathed me.” She had created a painting from the heart, not the mind. A deeper artistic spark was fanned to a flame that day.
Giovanni’s original oil paintings can be found at the Village Gallery along with “Magical Journey” card decks that she developed. With 55 cards of original paintings, 55-word cards, 12 number cards, and an instruction book, Giovanni says you can “engage with and gain awareness of subtle energies at work in life, and learn to play with the mysterious 90% of the mind rarely used.”
The public is invited to come to the reception on July 1st and meet Valerieann Giovanni, see her paintings and ask her about her magical painting journey. The Village Gallery is located at 6512 State Route 179 in the Village of Oak Creek. They are open 7 days a week and take applications for new membership. For more information, stop by the gallery, call (928) 284-1416, or visit the website at https://sedonalocalartists.com.