Profile of the Artist

Valerie Ellen Magro, as a lover and observer of nature, creates her art in many forms. Her fine art paintings and handmade fine crafts reflect this admiration. Preferring quietness and solitude, she allows her artistic spirit the freedom to perform in whatever media is suited to the current inspiration.

Born in New York City and currently residing in Sparta, NJ, Valerie is a self-taught artist & designer. Her talent was nurtured and encouraged at an early age by family & friends. It has grown immensely through the years with focused study of art books and materials, observation, and of course, practice. Her paintings are mostly representational and at times impressionistic depending upon the subject or mood to be portrayed. She works in all media: oils, pastels, watercolor, collage, acrylic, and pen & ink. The palette favors blues, greens and muted earthy colors. The style is detailed yet free. Valerie likes her paintings to feel "alive" with the movement of wind blowing or waters flowing. The portraits also seem to “breathe”. Among her favorite subjects are people, fantasy, animals, underwater themes and coastal or rural scenes. She especially enjoys plein-air painting with her art groups but when confined to the studio, she finds that playing music suited to the subject and mood of the painting being worked upon is an excellent & inspiring tool when one can not be outdoors. Another inspiration is viewing the work of her favorite artists that include: Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargeant, Howard Pyle, JW Waterhouse, The Hudson River Painters and wildlife artist Carl Brenders.

In her fine crafts, Valerie likes to incorporate natural items. Anything from birch bark to milkweed silk; grape vines to ferns are captured and immortalized in the works. "Bringing the outdoors in makes the atmosphere of the home more spacious yet comforting." Recycling is also a passion of hers. Transforming objects that are normally thrown away into unique ornaments and home décor items is very satisfying.

Valerie’s paintings and crafts have won many awards in shows and are displayed in galleries, public buildings, and are in numerous private collections all over the USA and in Canada, many of them being commissioned works. She is currently an active member of the Ringwood Manor Art Association, The Sussex County Art Society, and BARKS animal rescue (where there are plenty of subjects for animal portraits)!

At present, Valerie is sharing her knowledge of fine art & crafts with students of all ages in and outside of her home studio. Workshops are available for groups or individuals. She has also been active in the Teen Arts program at the Sussex County Community College in Newton for the past 5 years.