Author/Artist Name

Virginia WalshFollow



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Academic Level at Time of Creation


Date of Creation

Spring 2024

Artist Statement

My work is deeply rooted in my upbringing and the environments I grew up surrounded by. Most of my inspiration comes from revisiting childhood memories and translating them into themes relevant to my adulthood, primarily through painting. The majority of my body of work consists of portraits, specifically those of people I love dearly and whose faces are most familiar to me. I am fascinated by the way light interacts with skin, how sunlight at a particular angle can allow the flesh to appear translucent, and the myriad of color within the shadows of the face.

I strive to tell a story through the eyes of my subject, which is an aspect of my portraiture I put special attention into rendering. Eyes can transform the insipid to something deeply poignant, and unveil meaning behind mundane. Though my work is incredibly personal, eyes are my connection to the audience; there is no need to ‘understand’ portraiture, but the ‘windows to the soul’ translate the semblance of the piece for my viewers to empathize with.

Being raised in rural western Kentucky has also had a profound impact on my art making, as well as the environments my subjects are seen existing within. My landscapes are inspired by the nineteen acres of woods I once lived in, and exploring the creek with my younger sister in the summer. Spending many late July afternoons hiking through sun-lit foliage and collecting geodes in the sparkling stream of the brook has heavily influenced my painting, where I long to recreate the feeling I experienced during those many summers within my work.

My artistic influences are an assemblage of individual works I was introduced to in development that shaped certain aspects of my portraiture currently. My hometown of Paducah, Kentucky houses the Lower Town Arts District and Yeiser Art Center, where I was fortunate enough to both witness and be a part of many exhibitions growing up. Local artists such as EJ Abell, who taught art classes out of her home that my sister and I attended in elementary school, and Bill Ford, a long-time family friend and icon of Paducah, have shaped me into the painter I am today. I have drawn inspiration from popular artists such as Georgia O’Keeffe for their color palettes and brush work in addition to my influences closer to home.

My art is a reflection of myself and all I have loved, the experiences that have molded the reality I currently exist within, and a sincere admiration for the natural beauty of all God’s creations. Striving for exploration and the desire to stay curious.


Zbynek Smetana; Mike Martin


This is a general collection of the work I have created over the past few years as an art major.

Art 399 Portfolio



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