Valerie Nerva paints in oils, acrylic and mixed media.  Most recent work has centred on the natural world, featuring landscapes and gardens.

“By the pond : early glory.”

Can you tell us more about your recent focus on nature, gardens and landscapes?

As with so many people during the pandemic, life became centred around the home and local area.  My focus artistically shifted very much to what was immediately around me – the beauty of our new garden, the almost eerie sense of peace and quiet of the surrounding countryside, and the feeling of nature being seen and heard in a new way.

“Beauty in lockdown finding a way through”

What was the inspiration and story behind your oil painting ‘Beauty in lockdown finding a way through’?

Beauty in Lockdown – We had built a new home in 2019 at the bottom of our existing garden.  When the disruption of the building work subsided we were able to create a new garden amidst the building rubble.  During the spring of 2020 the roses and plants we had moved sprang into glorious bloom.  Amongst these was the Queen Elizabeth rose.  This had been rescued as a dying, pot bound, neglected plant and nurtured back into life.  To see this rose each day from our window looking so positive and abundant was an affirmation that there was life and hope in the dark times of the first lockdown.  The path beside the rose bush leads towards an unknown place.  As our world felt at the time of painting.

“Sunset towards the castle”

Tell us more about your creative process and how you set out to create ‘Sunset towards the castle’?

Many paintings evolve over a long period, and such an image is Sunset towards the Castle.  In order to paint a picture I need to feel a connection, a sense of magic, an inspiration with the subject.  Sunset towards the Castle is based on the wonderful Bamburgh Castle on the Northumberland coast., but it could be anywhere magical the viewer imagines!
The process used here was to build up layer upon layer of oil paint glazes to give a translucent effect and optical colour and allowing the image to gradually emerge.  Thicker and more opaque oil paint was used in the later stages to firm up. The canvas was in the studio for some weeks, being added to and adjusted until it finally felt right.

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