The Artist

It's 6am, coffee in hand, I fire up my Mac and start to paint, I realize I'm in love with my life

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Val Warner, wildlife artist, painter, animals, Val Warner, wildlife artist, painter, animals, - The Artist
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Vision and Purpose

To illuminate the spirit through my art and attitude. I live in the Sierras between Sacramento and Tahoe with my husband, Chuck and our 2 golden retrievers, on 5 beautiful mountain top acres. I have been inspired to draw, study and paint all of my life with the never ending focus on the play of light on living creatures, whether they be trees, rocks, or breathing beings. I was asked once why I paint by a well known plein air painter. I told him quickly, "It's me, it's what I do" Well, later that same day as I headed out to paint, I realized that when I paint I get to become very intimate with my subject. I see it for what it really is. Light, color, radiance, energy and a reflection of it`s surroundings. I'm brought to tears every time. That's why I paint. To share that. To show that. To live that.

Style & Method

I choose to live as an oil painter. I have always used oils and find they lend themselves to the luminosity and depth I NEED to show in my work. Living creatures are so full of bounced light, it is a never ending challenge to put that in my paintings. My style is basically realistic though I love a juicy plein air now and then. My quest is to show my subjects in a way that causes to viewer to stop and take notice. To appreciate the power, gentleness, whatever that is unique to that animal or person or location. I've been told that my work has a certain radiance that transcends the canvas and connects with the spirit of the animal or subject. Good. That is my purpose.


For the first 25 years of my adult life I was an active, fun, busy mom of two real sport active kids. Once grown and gone from our home I started on my journey through many classes and educational forums to develop (or just uncover as it has turned out) myself as a professional artist.
  • Academy of Art, San Francisco CA - where I focused on illustration and anatomy. I love anatomy. I learned an appreciation and dedication to detail and perfection in my work. By that I mean to be clean, immaculate etc with line and brush work.
  • Workshops - from wildlife art workshops in Montana to plein air in the mountains of Colorado with the top Artists in their fields I paid close attention and gleaned all I could. Wonderful experiences each and every one. My teacher and mentor Marvin Mattelson taught me time is needed, a clean prepared color palette a necessity and the best brushes and paint available is what it takes to create lasting, beautiful art. Thank you Marvin!

Memberships & Associations
  • Tahoe Art League
  • Artist's for Conservation, previously know as Worldwide Nature Artists Group
  • Society of Animal Artists

Shows,Awards, Publications:
  • 2008 NatureWorks, Tulsa People's choice.
  • 2008 Wildscapes Magazine June 08, article and cover.
  • 2010 The Wildscape Magazine's International Award , Special Commendation for Devotion.
  • 2010 Artist's for Conservation Medal of Excellence
  • 2010 Artist's for Conservation's Conservation Award for Devotion.
  • 2010 Special Commendation in the Wildscape Editor's Selection for Artists for Conservation Exhibition 2010.
  • 2011 March issue Wildscape Magazine of London, Article on "Painting the Soul and Spirit".
  • 2011 Artists for Conservation (Nature Artists dot com) annual live show with my elephant piece and Lynx paintings called "Smoochin Elly's" and "Lynx and Nuthatch".
  • 2011 Southwest Art Magazine's Artistic Excellence Competition has awarded "Devotion" (the elephant and keeper painting) "Runner Up".
  • 2011 Wildscape Magazine's Artist of the Year competition awarded "Lynx and Nuthatch" Highly Commended.
  • 2012 Bennington Center for the Arts' Annual Art of the Animal Kingdom - "Lynx and the Nuthatch".
  • Commissioned Portrait of Ms. Jane Goodall for her 50th anniversary celebration of saving our chimp brothers and sisters.
  • 2017 SAA show at Trailside Gallery in Jackson Hole with Canada Geese painting,
  • 2017, acceptance into the prestigious Society of Animal Artists YAY! ! !

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