Birds of Paradise
“An undiscovered, passionate expression of humanity and faith was unleashed when Valentine Svihalek began to paint after the birth of her first child. This brave, playful mama artist turns her vulnerability to color and texture, creating works that are both reminiscent and forward-thinking.” ---Alexandra Meyerowitz, Director of Development, Lux Art Institute San Diego
After having my first child, surrounded by people who spoke a different language, I began to feel isolated. I found myself painting every ‘free’ moment I had, usually while my son napped, providing release. These times were often brief, therefore working quickly, vigorously, and openly. The work began to open communication, one conversation, then another. Motherhood reinvigorated my creativity and courage in new ways. Elizabeth Gilbert summarizes it nicely in Big Magic when she says, “be the weirdo who dares.” Now, as a mother of two, I cherish each of these precious balancing moments dearly. It is through these endeavors, no matter where in the world I am, that I find my way home.
I’ve always been a bit of a nomad, born in Antwerp, living most of my life in California, then Brussels, down to Italy, and now settling in the Czech Republic. Thanks to my bachelor studies in philosophy and masters work in education along with the accompanying chill San Diego lifestyle, reflective and reflexive behavior is completely intertwined in my approach to life and creative expression.
Painting is my way to explore themes of motherhood, personal development, and identity. My aim is to expose the complexity and beauty in the mama-self | mama-mother duality; sharing the joy, balance and strength arising from this nature. This connection is the heartbeat of my work.