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Steph Valek-Shaltz

My first studio was by the side of my Grandma & Great Aunts at the card table. They gave me piles of paper from their score pads and encouraging words of praise after my sketches were complete. My subjects were usually faces & pets with flowers incorporated.

In Elementary School, at around the age of seven, I was selected from my class to participate in a “special art class” where I would leave my regular 3rd-grade class and meet in the Art room. My teacher was very encouraging. She would display my artwork after it was completed and would have me speak about it to the class.

I continued my interests in the Arts throughout my primary education. After graduating from High school I moved to Nashville Tennessee, where I lived with my Aunt & Uncle for a couple of months before getting my own place. My Aunt entered one of my watercolors in the Nashville State fair, where my art received a blue ribbon.

I moved back to Michigan, where I met my husband, got married, and had a daughter. My artwork was put on the back burner while I pursued a career of 33 years as a hairstylist to help support our family unit. I am now retired and able to spread my wings while pursuing my artwork. My passion brings much happiness!

I consider myself to be self-taught, having no formal education in the Arts. My passion has always driven me to continue learning by reading, practicing techniques & experimenting with vibrant colors. I hesitate to put myself in any specific category because my art is fluid and develops and evolves over time. My style is eclectic and influenced by hours & hours of thumbing through NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC magazine. This is where I learned about the culture and vibrant color.

My favorite medium is acrylics on canvas, watercolor, and pastels, although, I have an interest in almost every type of art. Persistence, patience, and practice has made my art what it is today with plenty of room to grow! I'm also pursuing an apprenticeship as a silversmith, which is truly a blessing.

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