Valerie Coursen

Valerie Coursen


    Please contact artist for purchases, commissions, etc.

    Mixed Media Paintings

    Artist's Biography

    Valerie Coursen was born near Boston, Massachusetts and now is living near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and she has been creating artwork her entire life. After graduating from the Rhode Island School of Design she had a flourishing career as an illustrator creating designs for books and paper and textiles. After a few years she longed to work larger again and started painting on canvas at the historic Emerson Umbrella in Concord, Massachusetts. She later moved to Philadelphia and was inspired by the new city and the larger art studio and other artists. The studio in Philadelphia brought experimentation in painting and printmaking where she continued to take classes at the University of the Arts. She kept up her freelance and book illustration work, continued to paint and today she works in a barn shaped studio close to her house and teaches workshops there and in Nantucket.

    Artist's Statement

    I approach my creative process thinking of color and color relationships. I am drawn to things that are weathered and have a patina and like to experiment with mark making, unconventional tools and printmaking techniques. These techniques are applied to natural papers such as rice paper and then pinned to the studio wall and look like layers of falling colorful leaves. They are cut and torn and added to my mixed media paintings. I never tire of exploring with paint, building layers, creating patterns and laying a swath of solid color next to a layered detailed area. Painting is a language all its own and one I am always invigorated by learning more of.

    Selected Exhibitions

    Two- and Three-Person
    Two Person Show, East End Gallery, Nantucket, MA

    Three Person Show, East End Gallery, Nantucket, MA

    2015 - 2021
    Main Line Arts Center, Haverford, PA
    Invitational and juried exhibitions

    Arts and Re-Creation Tri-Annual Art Show for Visiting Artists, Penn Charter Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

    1998 - 2021
    Open Studios, Valerie Coursen Studios, Narberth, PA

    1995 - 1997
    Open Studios, Brown Street Studios, Philadelphia, PA

    1994 - 1995
    Open Studios, 915 Spring Garden Street Studios, Philadelphia, PA

    Open Studio, Emerson Umbrella, Concord, MA


    The Poodle Who Barked at the Wind, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY

    Clever Letters, American Girl Company

    Mordant's Wish, Henry Holt and Co., New York, NY

    Sisters, Running Press, Philadelphia, PA

    Professional Experience

    Nantucket Art Association, Nantucket, MA

    Valerie Coursen Studio


    Nantucket Art Association, Nantucket, MA
    Artist in Residence

    Nantucket Art Association, Nantucket, MA
    Artist in Residence

    Previous Residencies
    Little Compton, RI
    Artist in Residence

    Awards and Honors

    Cuffie Award
    Most promising new illustrator for children's book Mordant's Wish

    Print Magazine Award
    Illustrations and Book Design


    East End Gallery, Nantucket, MA
    LAA Collective, Wayne, PA


    Large scale paintings for Hilton Hotel Lobbies
    Private commissions of paintings and painted paper collages


    Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
    BFA, Printmaking and Illustration

    Kansas City Art Institute, Kansas City, MO
    Continuing Education, Painting and Ceramics