I am a multidisciplinary artist who, depending on the concept I'm presenting, works either as a painter or a metalsmith. My art is about transformation and the energy within, its effect on us and the power we have to affect it. I am interested in positive transformation whether physical, psychological, or philosophical. I am intrigued by the energy that it holds, requires, and releases.
Painting allows me to escape the physical and explore the emotions and feelings of transformation. My paintings are abstract impressionism in an atmospheric, dreamy style rich in color and often with high contrast between darks and lights. Purposely meant to stir emotions and feelings instead of being anchored with a visually recognizable object.
Working in metal I can show the physical interpretation of movement and change. I can forge the steel and silver to appear as though it is flowing like water and growing vines, or to be soft and delicate like silk. Changing the perception of metal from rigid to fluid is also about getting people to change their thoughts of what they see and experience around themelves.
In my search for contentment and soul’s peace, I am walking a path of creative exploration observing physical transformations in the natural world, along with the emotions and feelings that those changes bring to the surface. The pieces I create speak to hope, change and becoming better, weathering the storms and learning to swim within the chaos. With my art I offer an accessible vehicle for others to reflect on, to contemplate the beauty in transformation and change. I am inviting the richness of Possibility to their lives.
Valerie Ostenak is an American painter and sculptor. Her intuitive atmospheric paintings feature metal leaf, adding strength to the ethereal emotions being conveyed with paint. Hot forged steel and cold forged sterling silver are the focus of her signature flowing sculptures and art jewelry. Published in art jewelry and blacksmithing books, interviewed by National Geographic, Ostenak has taught metalsmithing workshops at universities and metal associations nationwide. She is currently represented by Steidel Contemporary in Palm Beach FL, Maria Elena Kravetz Gallery in Argentina, and Gallery of Modern Masters in Sedona AZ.
Honors: Selected by the UN Environment Programme and the Climate Museum to have a painting printed on a 5'x 8' flag flown over Rockefeller Plaza; Invited by Rolls-Royce Automotive to partner with them for their North American Owner's Meet in Lake Tahoe; Saul Bell Jewelry Design Award Finalist–Alternative Materials; Artistar Jewels Exhibition, Milan Fashion Week, Italy (multiple years); Centurion Luxury Jewelry Show–International Emerging Designer Award; Halstead Jewelry Design/Business Development Grant.
I am visually inspired by the rich colors of oceans, forests, and flowers, by the perfect curve in the shape of a wave, the winding tendrils of vines and how they connect to everything around them. I am intrigued by Space visually and metaphorically. Images from the Webb and Hubble telescopes utilizing UV and IR filters show us billions of galaxies and richly colored nebulae. Though separated by incomprehensible distances, they are the light within the darkness.
Conservation and environmental issues relating to bees & pollinators, forests, and oceans are a deep interest of mine. A percentage of sales from these series—For the Bees, Listening to Water, Forest Bathing—go to the respective agencies I support : Project Apis m., National Forest Foundation, and Ocean Conservancy.