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“Don’t think about making art, just get it done. Let everyone else decide if it’s good or bad, whether they love it or hate it. While they are deciding, make even more art.” – Andy Warhol
Andy Warhol’s words are scrawled above a doorway in Valerie Greene’s Brush and Easel Gallery in Fresno. And rightly so. Nearly two years ago, after more than 20 years working in the mortgage industry, Greene dove headfirst into the art world by opening her gallery. Having always had an creative bent, for Greene the change allowed her to fully express who she’d always been: an artist.
A voracious creator, Greene seems to have taken Warhol’s words to heart. Having embraced her artistry after years of devoting more of her time to mortgages than modernism, Greene is all about experimentation and enjoying the process of creating. “It’s all an experiment,” she says. And you shouldn’t get bogged down in being perfect or worrying about what others will think.
The Brush and Easel Gallery features the work of several dozen local artists, including a lot of Greene’s pieces. Almost every wall in the space is covered floor to ceiling in art. The back room is where Greene holds classes, teaching children and adults drawing, painting and the encaustic technique, which uses wax as a medium. The gallery is located at 1476 W. Shaw Ave., just west of Fruit, and is open Tues. through Fri., 10-6, and Saturday, 10-4.
Here, Greene talks about getting out of home loans and into the art world, her artistic family tree and the moment she finally declared herself an artist. (And yes, that is a giant wax chicken next to Greene in the video. He is one of her encaustic pieces currently in process. And no, he did not want to be interviewed for this piece.)