Austin Oil Painter Valerie Rawlings
Texas artist Valerie Rawlings specializes in original oil paintings — portraits, landscapes, still lifes or figurative art. She has painted hundreds of realistic and impressionistic oil-on-canvas artworks, and especially enjoys portrait and still life compositions that use bright colors – yellows, oranges and reds. Ms. Rawlings enjoys traveling to scenic locations to paint people and landscapes, but does most of her work in her studio near Lake Travis.
Val began her artistic career in 2007 with the creation of a set of Botero-like figure studies. At about the same time, she painted a couple oil paintings of her two teen-aged children, one of these including the family dog. This kindled a strong interest in pet portraits that persists to this day; she now has a large portfolio of dog portraits, Austin landscapes and depictions of friend’s cats.Most of these have been painted on commission; although Valerie’s bird paintings were done solely for the joy of capturing these animals in their natural settings.
Recent Paintings (2012-2013)
In the past year, Val has accepted more commission work (including portrait and floral still life oils). She has also done a few landscape paintings of the city skyline and landmarks. For an aspiring oil painter Austin provides many unique vistas and a broad diversity of subjects to paint; so she is never at a loss for new ideas. Frequently working with three easels/canvasses at once, her production is limited only by the available space in the Rawlings studio.
Valerie’s Favorite Oil Painters
Even before her first fine art class, Val admired the work of the major French oil painters, particularly the masterpieces of Gauguin, Monet, Manet, Renoir, Van Gogh and other impressionists. She continues to marvel at the economy and precision with which these masters captured the essence of the subject, and how well each painter understood how the human mind works to formulate an impression of the scene. Their talent enables each viewer to experience a personalized image of the cityscape, portraiture, figure study or still life, effectively creating a customized version of the masterpiece for everyone.
More recently Val has developed a deep appreciation for the artwork and painting techniques of her instructor-mentors, particularly Dreama Tolle Perry, Virginia Vaughan and Austin oil painter Noel Robbins. These professionals have unique artistic styles and the imagination to select compositions, colors and shadings that would be counter-intuitive to novice artists. Their inspiration and coaching have made a great contribution to Valerie Rawlings’ progress as an oil painter, and their online galleries and artists’ blogs are a continuing motivation for Val to advance her own skills.
An Austin Oil Painter’s Perspective
There are many advantages to being an oil painter in Austin, Texas. The weather is ideal for painting – according to the NOAA, there are 115 “sunny” days/year — and it’s almost always warm enough to paint outdoors. There are dozens of art galleries nearby including the Blanton Museum of Art, Austin Art Garage and the Wally Workman Gallery. And, on any given day, there are oil painters, watercolor artists and acrylic specialists at formal exhibitions or impromptu events throughout the city.
Central Texas has a wealth of interesting landscape, still life and portrait subjects — and a vibrant art community providing plenty of inspiration and encouragement. All these resources provide a fertile environment for oil painters, and Valerie Rawlings has taken advantage of these opportunities. She looks forward to taking on new commissions and artistic challenges as she expands her repertoire as an Austin oil painter. Please subscribe to this blog for updates on her portfolio and thoughts on impressionism and other art forms.