The Inside Story ~ Val Miles

As far back as I can remember I have been making art. My mother used to paint and I
still have two paintings that I did with her at around 9 years old, one of Templeton the rat
and Charlotte from Charlotte’s Web and one of my Siamese cat. The painting of
Templeton was hung in the Mendel Art Gallery to represent Brunskill School. I was
always taking some kind of art class as a child, often those offered by the Mendel Art
Gallery, which I loved.


In high school I continued to make art. I was a fan of children’s book art and I could
spend hours being drawn into the amazing worlds created by the beautiful illustrations in
them. I had a large painting of Alice in Wonderland and the Cheshire cat hang in the
library at Nutana Collegiate for a period of time.


Although I spent three years at the Alberta College of Art in Calgary in the 70’s, it wasn’t
until I was the Program Manager at the Community Arts Program at the U of S that I
really started to develop my skills and style as an artist by taking classes there. It was a
class called Off the Grid that was taught by Miranda Jones that influenced the work that I
have been doing for the past seven years. I loved and continue to love the process of
working with mixed media, gilding and putting colour and pattern together. I think that
my love of children’s book illustrations and storytelling continues to influence my work.

‘Templeton and Charlotte’
‘Taking Time to Smell the Roses’
‘Little Home in the Forest’

Bridging ~ Val Miles

One way that I have bridged my art is by studying and using some of the work of Gustav Klimt to inform my own. I had seen some of his original work and found his use of paint and shapes to be very interesting and realized that our work had a lot in common.  We both use metallics in our work and a lot of his imagery such as flowers, line and shapes were similar to ones that I was already using. I love to use colour and really enjoyed the bold, exciting colour that is often found in Klimt’s work.

Last spring I embarked on a series of paintings for a show that I was having at the University Club on the U of S Campus.  I don’t usually paint large canvases and thought that this would be the perfect opportunity to work big and explore this subject matter.  I chose six of my favourite of Klimt’s pieces and did my interpretation of them.  One way that my work differs is that Klimt did a lot of portrait work while I prefer to use other imagery to get my message across.

 

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