Valentine Viannay is a Parisian artist and designer, who grew up in an artistic community of dancers, photographers, painters and musicians in the 70's. Painting has always been her outlet for self expression and she was pushed very early both at home and at school. She studied at Parsons School of Design and the New School in New York, and Central Saint Martin's in London where she majored in Set Design. After graduation, she worked in the set department for the theatre and feature films in London and eventually moved to San Diego in 2001 to paint.
Upon arriving in San Diego she started her first business, Painter Genie (www.paintergenie.com ), where she created luxurious faux finishes, murals and custom fabric designs. In 2008 she began creating a line of sustainable local made products available, now combined under her latest venture, Gift Horse Handmade (www.gifthorsehandmade.com).
You can visit Valentine's Studio L'Atelier in Mission Hills at 2655 Reynard Way, San Diego, CA 92103. Call during the week 858.336.6332 or come by on a Saturday 10-4pm.
Artist's Statement: I started painting at a very early age, and was fortunate to grow up in an artistic Parisian home. I attended Decroly, a French primary school that focused on the arts (painting, music, theatre, pottery) for children as young as three years old. When I was eight, I was enrolled in professional art classes, an opportunity not necessarily embraced by my adult classmates but one for which I am eternally grateful. I went to Parsons School of Design in New York, before finishing my studies and graduating from Central Saint Martins in London. That education landed me in the London theatre scene, where I worked on productions for the National Opera House and Fulham's Lost Theatre. From there I jumped to films where I had the chance to work with Jean-Jacque Annaud on "Seven Years in Tibet", as well as working in set design for Fernando Colombo, Rose Troche, and Tim Burton. That opened the door for my move to America in 2001, where I began to apply set design techniques to interior design in people's homes doing murals and decorative wall finishes. The economic downturn of 2008 gave me the opportunity to reinvent myself, and I learned screen printing which paved the way for me to open my own workshop/art gallery, L'Atelier, in San Diego in 2016. Having my own workshop has allowed me the freedom to create in ways I had not done before. The pieces currently hanging at Lapis Room in Albuquerque reflect my exploration of mixed media art using cut plywood, marmarino and venetian plasters, oil, charcoal, metallic leafing and silkscreening.