Val van der Poel — ARTIST

Val van der Poel

Val van der Poel

Artist Val van der Poel, in her own words —

I am Val van der Poel and I am a mutli-media artist. I am also a wife, a mother and a grandmother, but since 1997 my passion has been painting. I have studied with a number of local artists as well as artists like Zoltan Szabo and Terry Isaac but my most frequent teachers are art books and experimentation.

When I started painting large works scared me so I started small and I started with watercolor because I love the lightness that can be achieved. Although watercolor remains my favorite medium, I soon started working in acrylics, charcoal, and pen & ink. Recently I have added mixed media, oils and fabric painting as part of my art adventure.


That is what art is for me: an adventure. I almost never know when I sit down what is going to happen. Sometimes a painting will go just as planned but other times the work seems to have a mind of its own and I just go where it leads me. Sometimes the work is very serious and other times it is just plain fun.

I do not have a set style so my paintings are an eclectic mix. Because every day is not the same, my paintings are not the same either. I will switch styles, media and subject matter regularly.

Some days another artist’s work will inspire me to try my hand at something new: other days a photo in a magazine will give me an idea. That is when I search my files looking for a reference that fits with the idea. Often I will just draw the main element of a painting and make up the rest of the piece.


I will occasionally do a detailed drawing in pencil before finishing with pen or color. Landscapes probably dominate my body of work but there are few subjects I haven’t tried.

I have always had art in my life because my grandfather was an artist, calligrapher and engraver. I remember watching him paint, en plein air when we were on camping holidays. At that time I had no idea that I would become an artist but life has a way of surprising you.

Orange & Brown

I don’t think I have a favorite artist or style of art; I might like only one piece by one artist and many by another. I like many paintings that I wouldn’t hang in my home because I can see the quality although the style does not suit me.

I love it when people are drawn to my art, whether they buy it or just enjoy it. Comments like “I would love to walk there”, “it reminds me of…” and “Oh, I love this” make being an artist even more worthwhile.


Only a few years after I started painting, I started teaching art to beginners. It was very rewarding and I learned as I taught. One of the things I said to my students was to enjoy themselves; they won’t paint the same way I do – they will paint their own way; there are basic tools, which I try to teach, but each of us uses them differently: so paint because you enjoy it and don’t worry about what other people think!


When I started painting I never really considered that I would be where I am today; a professional artist with a home based gallery, my art in other galleries and in homes around the world. I never expected to be an art teacher or workshop instructor. Art was just going to be a hobby but now it takes up a large part of my life. I imagine the future will be much the same although I hope to be selling more art if only to make room for the art I have yet to paint.



Val van der Poel

Val van der Poel





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