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by Angus Sabo January 25, 2022
We had the opportunity to chat with Val Moker, internationally acclaimed artist, to talk about her roots, where she draws her inspiration and motivation. And of course, her wearable art featured in the QCGifts.ca Lovers Box for Valentine’s Day.
Val grew up on a farm not far from Regina and as a typical farm kid, used what was available in the yard to foster her artistic side. Charcoal from a burnt out fire for drawings and clay from the earth to create figurines - these humble beginnings and of course a farmer’s work ethic set the foundation for Val’s journey.
After drawing (no pun intended) inspiration from a memorable high school art teacher, Val went to the University of Saskatchewan for a degree in fine art. Her original pursuit was a career of fashion design through post-secondary education in Vancouver, which lacked support on the home front.
Her foray into fine art was an uphill climb. In what has been a historically male-dominated arena, Moker had to fight tooth and nail against stereotypes through perseverance and adapting masculine features to her style. By using a heavier palette featuring earthy tones and prominent browns, Val’s paintings leaned more masculine and Val’s Cowboy series is a fantastic example as the Western life portrayed is decidedly manly. Sun kissed skin tones and classic textiles of leather, faded denim and plaid are prominent while softer tones and shapes make up the backgrounds.
Despite the battle, Moker perseveres and has won many domestic and international awards for her artwork. And she wants to be sure that women don’t have to face the same kind of scrutiny she did along the way. A perusal of her catalogue reveals many examples of female subjects and Moker is an advocate and mentor for developing artists.
Val works with a mentor herself, whose relationship is invaluable. She and 11 other artists across the world are in a mentorship group with U.K. artist Edward Povey. Edward pushes Val out of her comfort zone and helps her focus her efforts on planning and composition in ways she wishes she would have known 30 years ago. He provides honest feedback through his critique that Val describes as “in such a nice way that you don’t know you’ve been slammed dunked on.” While this feedback does require humility and the time and effort to re-do her work, she knows it will push her art to the next level.
What’s next for Val? What isn’t next for Val? While we’re certain she has many more paintbrushes in the pot, these are pretty exciting. Val’s working on a series of paintings on the subject matter of mental health, citing the need to go deeper into her emotional bank than she ever has. She’s also dipping her brush into digital ink and is working towards a Non-fungible Token (NFT) painting. NFT’s are like digital one-of-a-kind pieces of art that provide the owner with a traceable record of ownership and rights. Val’s also had her eye on the United States market and is investigating opportunities to bring her art to what could be an opportunity ten times larger than here at home in Canada.
Val’s artwork featured on a kimono is one of four special items in the QC Gifts Lovers Box. The kimono is a beautiful piece of wearable art with a soft and luxurious feel that, according to Val, can be worn equally well on a night out as at the pool! It’s available in three unique designs based off of three of Val’s paintings, Jewels of the Night, Love in Central Park and Gem Cluster.
by Kathy Sabo February 15, 2024 1 Comment
by Kathy Sabo February 01, 2024
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