Depicting people was Valda's great love and where her artistic talent excelled. She sought not just to capture a likeness but to express something about that person. For many years, she did portrait commissions. Later, her subjects were people and/or events in the news that moved her.
1940s and 1950s
Valda's career as a professional artist began in the 1940s. Her primary focus was on portraits but she was also involved in producing murals.
At the same time, she was taking classes at the Art Students League in New York. She felt that the League was a powerful learning experience, not only because of the skills taught there but also because of the interaction with other artists. People who would become leaders in Modern Art such as Roy Lichenstein and Robert Rauschenberg were there. However, the atmosphere was such that there was an exchange of ideas between the artists regardless of their artistic vision.
"I studied at the Art Students League with Reginald Marsh and learned from him the Mareger medium he used in oils, the underpainting, the glazing and the involvement with the human figure and its manifestations of individuality."
Valda continued to do portrait commissions and murals into the 1960s.
Art by Valda - Faces - page one