Val Hudson, artist

a%20response%20to%20four%20quartetsIf you are to really appreciate one of Val Hudson’s paintings you need to take time out to empty your mind, relax and then let your imagination do the work.

You can then luxuriate until a moment, hidden in the depths of your memory, is awakened by her atmospheric abstracts.

And that’s exactly what she hopes you will do.

When Val paints her pieces she wants them to be mysterious and contemplative.  She wants us to abandon any preconceptions of what’s there and ultimately she wants us to enjoy the experience.

“I like the viewer to create what they see in a painting. I like to evoke imaginations.

“If my work takes the viewer on a journey or brings back a memory I really feel I have achieved what I set out to do and I am happy,” she explained.

Although each of her paintings, which are layered oil and wax on canvas, has a title – for instance Blue Edge which alludes to the meeting of the sky and water or even ice – she says that she does not really want to pin them down. “They can be whatever you see in them – you don’t have to understand the colour and shapes.

“It’s like listening to music. You don’t have to understand the notes to be able to enjoy it,” she says.

Val studied art at Central St Martin’s and although she has been painting and selling her work since the early 90s it was four years ago, when she moved to Barlow from the south, that she started to paint full time.

“I had friends here and came to Derbyshire because, in the first instance, it is beautiful, but also because it is so unpretentious. Everyone is so friendly and straight-talking. It is a very interesting place to live.”

The artist, who also enjoys dance and music, has travelled the world, and before turning to art, had other jobs including working in a Buddhist retreat.

All she has experienced has been added to the vast pool of memories that is the inspiration for her work – be it light, earth, sea, rivers fire or flora.

“A starting point for one of my paintings is often a piece of music or a poem and I try not to force anything to happen but rather just let myself go into the work. I like to have music playing while I paint.”

Val is confident with her style so has also started working on commissions.

She says that engaging with people and creating a painting as a direct response to their lives is something she loves.

“I find it so magical when someone says they can see themselves reflected in what I’ve painted for them. I endeavour to make that which is invisible visible and it is quite exciting when you know someone can see it,” she adds.

n Val’s work is being exhibited at Gallerytop at Rowsley from June 20-August 9 and she also has as solo exhibition at Tarpey Gallery, Castle Donington, from August 23 until the autumn.

She is part of a group show at the Spring Bank Arts Centre in New Mills from September 25-27 and is also hoping to be at the Wirksworth Festival in September.

For more details about her work go to