About Valerie Mangion
1-17-17 - Maybe it's a mistake to keep updating my "about." Life keeps changing. In the past two months, our sweet horse, Rocky, died, and also our cat, Andy. What is happening to our family? We've gone from eight animals to four in a little over a year. We're shrinking too fast!
11-2-16 - Below is the intro I wrote when I created this website three years ago. I guess it's current enough. Rabbit, my soulmate horse, died almost a year ago, on December 9, 2015. I can't bring myself to take his picture down. We're down to two horses, one dog and three cats - all elderly, all increasingly difficult to care for. We're essentially running an old people's home for 4-footed people, while struggling to stay healthy enough to take care of everybody else!
Thanks for visiting my website.
Hello! I assume most people who make their way to my website will do so because they already know me – but in case you are a stranger, I will try to describe myself. First, let me just say welcome, come on in, please leave your dirty shoes by the door. (I have no idea why I wrote that, but it seems fitting for the internet. I'd make you cookies to take home, but my computer has probably already done that...)
Let’s see, I am a short, increasingly dumpy and creaky middle-aged person with randomly curly hair who is all about trying to stay positive in the face of certain doom – whether it’s my own personal doom, or doom on a global scale.
Towards that end, I stay REALLY BUSY and focused on my major life passions: painting, writing, reading, vegetarian cooking, and loving and caring for animals. Horses and art have been my major reasons for living since I was a little kid. Drawing horse heads was my entry into an art-centered life. Painting saw me through the long period of younger adulthood when I was a city dweller who had no access to horses.
Happily, I now live on a 56 acre farm in the beautiful Driftless region of Southwest Wisconsin (currently being threatened with utter ruin by frac-sand mining), with my sweet, tolerant husband, Ellis, three horses, two dogs and three cats. To be honest, owning horses, one of whom is an elderly rescue horse, has proven to be so expensive and time-consuming that I despair about the time they have taken away from painting. Sometimes I wish they would all get struck by lightning. But they’re great models and inspiration; beautiful, sweet and funny creatures, and they’ll probably outlive me, so I deal as well as I can with giving everything and everyone the time they deserve.
I’ve been keeping journals since I was 17. I’m currently on Volume 131. I have always felt a strong need to record my life – long before everyone in the world started recording every moment of their lives on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. I see my narrative paintings as being the visual equivalent of my journals. I might be working on a series that reflects my interest in animals and the world around me and then I might pause (one such "pause" lasted seven months) to do a self-portrait to help me process some unpleasant event in my life. (I also subscribe to the belief that all paintings are self-portraits of the artist.)
Creating a website is a major step for me, as I am at heart an introvert and reluctant to “put myself out there.” But anymore it seems like you can’t even enter an art show without having a website, so here it is….
me on my trusty steed, Rabbit