About The Artist: Andrea Cleall

As a child I spent a lot of time in an attic. I reminded myself of Heidi from
the book of the same name, looking out her top floor window, at the fresh
unspoiled snow. I became aware of the first prints, always bird tracks as
they seemed to be the first ones up in the morning. Ordinary, often
unsightly things become beautiful shapes under a blanket of snow,
shovels and lawn mowers left in the yard, tilting sheds or out of order autos.
There was little color but for the cardinals who made up for the lack. The
brilliant red, like a heart, a rose or a drop of blood got all the attention,
unlike the cardinals in Hawaii who compete with unlikely flowers, bigger
than life leaves and floating birds with scissor tails.

I did a lot of drawing in that attic cove while my little brother zoomed his toy
car or whatever he was pretending to be his toy car, under my chair and up
my arm. We weren’t spoiled children, I had one cut out doll book. I would
trace the figures and then design and color outfits for them, and I did that
for the long months I lived in that attic. It’s a good memory. Drawing
became then a go to place for comfort and peace. I drew all the cartoon
figures in my high school annual and got A’s in art. I had to earn my keep
after high school and had a bunch of cool kids before long but when they
were launched into whatever they had in mind for their lives I started back
to art schools. I have been studying art one way or another ever since, over
40 years now.

I paint peaceful pictures, not meant to provoke thought but to anesthetize
thought. I follow the rules of perspective and composition but always try for
that elusive quality that takes you out of your mind and into the thrill of the
moment you see something so lovely you catch your breath. It can be as
simple as a shadow.

Alexander Valley

Alexander Valley’ Oil on Canvas, 18 x 24