I approach my creative process thinking of color and color relationships. I am drawn to things that are weathered and have a patina and like to experiment with mark making, unconventional tools and printmaking techniques. These techniques are applied to natural papers such as rice paper and then pinned to the studio wall and look like layers of falling colorful leaves. They are cut and torn and added to my mixed media paintings. I never tire of exploring with paint, building layers, creating patterns and laying a swath of solid color next to a layered detailed area. Painting is a language all its own and one I am always invigorated by learning more of.
Valerie Coursen was born near Boston, Massachusetts and now is living near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and she has been creating artwork her entire life. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design she had a flourishing career as an illustrator creating designs for books and paper and textiles. After a few years she longed to work larger again and started painting on canvas at the historic Emerson Umbrella in Concord, Massachusetts. She later moved to Philadelphia and was inspired by the new city and the larger art studio and other artists. The studio in Philadelphia brought experimentation in painting and printmaking where she continued to take classes at the University of the Arts. She kept up her freelance and book illustration work, continued to paint and today she works in a barn shaped studio close to her house and teaches workshops there and in Nantucket.
Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI BFA, Printmaking and Illustration
Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO Continuing Education, Painting and Ceramics
Awards & Honors
Cuffie Award Most promising new illustrator for children's book Mordant's Wish
Print Magazine Award Illustrations and Book Design
2021 Nantucket Art Association, Nantucket, MA Artist in Residence
2008 Nantucket Art Association, Nantucket, MA Artist in Residence
Little Compton, RI Artist in Residence
2000 The Poodle Who Barked at the Wind, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY
1999 Clever Letters, American Girl Company
1995 Mordant's Wish, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY
1994 Sisters, Running Press, Philadelphia, PA Illustrator
Large scale paintings for Hilton Hotel Lobbies Private commissions of paintings and painted paper collages