Valerie Jean Pettifer
mixed media painting
Colourful, textured paintings in acrylics & pastels. Large Victorian schoolhouse studio, secluded garden and courtyard, plus spacious car park.
  • Visitors All Year
  • Tuition Given

I've always loved drawing and painting, and had hoped to take up a career in art, but in the event it was over 40 years after leaving school that I eventually took it up as a serious hobby in 2006.  In 2012 my husband and I transformed the entire house into an art gallery and hosted my first Cambridge Open Studios, welcoming over 100 visitors.  The enthusiasm from them was fantastic, and as a result I was offered a solo exhibition in the Curiosity Gallery, St Ives, Cambridgeshire, followed by a commission for the new JD Wetherspoons in Royston.  I quickly outgrew my home studio and in 2013 I moved into the Old School Studio in Whittlesford, South Cambridge.  I soon realised that the only way to fund my passion was to turn the studio into a small business; daunting at any time, and as a pensioner with no previous business experience it was really scary!  It's been hard work, but 5 years on it's established and going from strength to strength!  I'm lucky to be supported by fellow artist Lesley Rumble, plus many more local artists, whilst my husband Dave acts as Facilities Manager, keeping the studio spick and span.   My daughter Dinah helps with the admin, and each year my friend Stacey creates a wonderful brochure, packed full of enticing one and two day fully tutored workshops, with a whole host of professional artists, as well as writing a great newsletter, which now goes out to over 550 people.  She also keeps the website up to date, and the studio Facebook page is followed by nearly 500 people.  So all in all I'm very lucky with the people I have around me, and thanks to the drop-in days I host twice a week, the studio has become well established in the Cambridge area as an artistic hub.  The downside of all this is that I get little free time to paint, but paint I do, and when I do it's such a joy!  I love mixed media painting on large canvas's using lot's of texture and colour in acrylics, collage and other mediums.  I still enjoy working with pastels, and occasionally tutor workshops in pastels and mixed media.  But first and foremost I live to paint!   2018 was my 7th Cambridge Open Studios, and my third time sharing with fellow artist and tutor Lesley Rumble.  Between us we displayed more than 100 paintings, as well as showing our work in progress and discussing working methods, as people always find this interesting!