Artist Spotlight Series: Valerie Leuchs
Happy Artist Spotlight Series Monday!
I am taken with the bold and colorful abstract works of this recent find
Enjoy getting to know the talented
New York, New York
What is your training?
Throughout my childhood I took art classes and in college I studied Studio Art at Boston College and participated in a study abroad art class through the Maryland Institute College of Art in San Miguel de Allende. Later, I created art on and off mostly for gifts to commemorate special occasions or to decorate my own apartment. It wasn’t until 2017 that I started to paint more regularly as a break from caring for two young boys and then I slowly started selling my art. In early 2020, with so much shifting, I really increased my focus.
What inspires you and your designs?
I am inspired by nearly everything in my life. My memories, New York City, travel, and interiors. Essentially, I paint my emotions.
What is your favorite piece?
“Marine Street” is a favorite.
I originally painted it as a gift for my brother who was moving from San Diego to Rhode Island. He loved my geometric paintings and said I could have complete control over the finished piece. I chose masculine colors that reminded me of New England. When it came time to give it to him it was too large. In the end, my good friend and Interior Designer, said it had to be hers. We had it shipped from New York to Brisbane, Australia. I am so happy that she has a painting of mine since she was one of my earliest supporters when I first started painting more regularly. When she sent me the installation photo I was thrilled how perfect it looked in her new home.
How has your area influenced your work?
New York City is a wonderful, lively and beautiful city but it is also gritty and imperfect. I feel like every painting of mine has a bit of imperfection and grit to it. I usually incorporate marks with pencil or scratches into my abstract pieces. My geometric paintings are free-hand. I don’t use tape, just a ruler or shape to draw it out at the beginning. Sometimes the pencil peeks through, or the first layer of paint can be seen through the next. There is something perfect about the imperfect.
What is your favorite restaurant in NYC?
My all time favorite restaurant is Casa Mono on Irving Place. We have gone there for birthdays, our engagement and anniversaries. I also love Marc Forgione in Tribeca for date night. Pearl’s Oyster Bar is our go-to place when I am meeting up with my Boston College girlfriends. It has the BEST lobster rolls in Manhattan and my New England girls know lobster rolls.
What is your favorite cocktail?
I always choose a glass of sparkling wine over a cocktail.
How do you balance personal life and work?
I paint while my two boys (7 &5) are in school and I use the evenings to handle administrative tasks. I also carve out time on the weekends if I have a deadline. I am OK that it is a juggle because I am happy to be doing a career I love while also being home in the afternoons to take my boys to the playground or activities. It is also convenient that I have my art studio in our apartment making it is easier to balance personal and professional.
I would love to go on a Safari and then end the vacation at a beautiful beach resort.
My dream commission is to paint something for a designer show house.
Your favorite host / hostess gift to give?
Fresh flowers, LeVain Bakery cookies or a bottle of Sancerre
Who is your style icon?
Jennifer Aniston and
Your favorite up and coming artist?
Check out Meg Britten too.
What is your most treasured possession?
My Mom passed away when I was 26 and I inherited her beautiful jewelry. I wear one of her pieces of jewelry nearly every day. For the last few years I have not taken off a necklace of hers that she designed with her initials. It has unique heavy gold script letters with one small diamond in the middle. I get compliments on it all the time!
What are you reading?
Recently, I’ve been building a collection of decorative books. I just purchased “A Room of Her Own”. I am enjoying learning about the talented and creative woman showcased in this beautiful book. I was happy to see JJ Martin founder of my new favorite brand La Double J included.
What are you listening to?
What are your favorite blogs / publications?
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