Artist Cooperative

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                          120 W. Gurley St. - Mezzanine     Prescott,  Arizona  86301                             (928) 499-4428

Valarie Isley

    The desire to capture beauty started when I moved to Arizona at the age of four. The sunsets inspired me to pick up some discarded oil pastels left behind in an abandoned mining camp where we lived. It was so hot in the desert at night that Mom and I would sleep on the back porch, watching the sunset. There was no television, no electricity, and not even any running water in our little desert town. Childish attempts at recreating early subjects of sunsets, donkeys, and ocotillo continued until I moved back to Santa Monica, CA. Then, confined to an apartment, my wild-child brain went crazy. I drew and painted like a pent-up fiend. And that is when, at the age of nine, my efforts began receiving recognition as an emerging talent.


    Artistic desires continued to drive me through high school where I discovered silversmithing and jewelry design. I worked professionally creating jewelry until my second child was born. At this point, “real life” got to me and I knew I had to start earning and making a living. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Business, earned my real estate broker’s license, and worked for the City of Prescott for eleven years - nearly forsaking art. While compiling annual reports, budgets and recreation program mailings, artistic inclinations would creep into my work attracting the attention of the city manager. Even this wasn’t enough, as I needed ever more creative outlets.


    It had been nearly 30 years since I had last painted, but in 2008 it came back to me quickly with the help of a very talented instructor. I still create with jewelry, glass and mosaics, but painting is the gift that I feel I was handed. I believe that I must respect that gift by expanding with it.