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Riding the Hippo

Riding the Hippo


All Reasonable Offers Will Be Considered.

To purchase this piece in person, come visit our Gallery Thursday-Sunday 11am-5pm through July 30th.

To purchase online, add to cart and follow prompts.

(PICK UP ONLY. Contact Ella at the Gallery to make arrangements; 541- 490-8757)

Medium: Oil painting on panel board.

Subject: Abstract and non-figurative

Style: Organic

Ready to hang.

Year: 2022

Approximate measurements:  48″ long x 1.5″ wide x 24″ tall

Item#: 114

Artist: Valerie Erichsen Thomson (learn more about Valerie below…)

1 in stock

SKU: 114 Categories: ,


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Pick up only (Questions? Contact Ella at the Gallery; 541-490-8757)

Item#: 114

Read more about Valerie and our Lobby for Local Art Show

Artist: Valerie Erichsen Thomson

“For me painting is color poetry.

We say something ‘speaks to’ us when we are drawn into it. Mysterious and delightful, this sensing, feeling something from the colors, shapes and gestures is the painting’s language, its conversation with us. Each painting is unknown before I begin. If I think I know how it will go, I am invariably mistaken as the poem, or fragment of a poem, is excavated. The scratchings, the smoothings, the gestures, the scribbles, bit by bit reveal something new. That is the fun part. The discovery, the unearthing … an interesting word that, for something uncovered, brought to light.

Collectors often ask me what influenced me or why I chose a title for a painting. The answer is I often don’t know. When I paint I am responding to colors and shapes, how the paint surface looks, whether the places where colors meet pleases. I may have transient thoughts while painting, where some fragment feels like something, but it’s often like a dream, hard to decipher when I come out if the dreamscape of painting. Often a title will present itself, like a fragment of a poem with a larger story, but amorphous still, and open to contemplation. Looking back on a painting once it seems to have coalesced, I often have a sense of a scene, with activity, but it remains tantalizingly elusive.

In 2022, I started to mix my own paints, using pure pigments and walnut oil to achieve the richest color and tactile paint quality.

I graduated from St. Andrews University where I received distinction in philosophy. I have lived in Scotland and Germany, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer, graduated summa cum laude in textile design from FIT, New York and studied painting at The Art Students League in New York before settling in Oregon, USA.

My work has been exhibited on the east and west coast of the U.S. My last solo show was Critic’s Choice in Portland, Oregon. I was the winner of the Liquitex International competition cosponsored by ArtFinder, with the triptych The Wonder Of Days II chosen from entries by artists and galleries in 37 countries.

My paintings are held in collections worldwide, including the United States, Canada, the Netherlands, Cyprus, the United Kingdom, Australia, Croatia, Poland, France, Germany, Spain, Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong.”

See more of Valerie’s works here.


Writing Inspired by “Riding the Hippo by Valerie Thompson

My friend, the Bright Blue Hippo, wore her best Mexican shawl for the occasion.

The shawl depicted a time long past when Walt was still alive. Bright Blue had just purchased this sparkling garb. We had gone to a tiny hole in the wall shop, too small for me, but just right for her. The shopkeeper took one look at my friend and declared that she had just the right thing for Bright Blue. The shopkeeper disappeared for quite some time. I thought we had been dismissed of little accord.

Then out came this magnificent great shawl, completely hiding the shopkeeper. It seemed to soar aloft of its own Accord, dancing on the wind.

Bright Blue gasped in surprise and joy. Without hands or hooves, the shawl billowed in a gentle breeze and landed on the back of my friend, Bright Blue Hippo.

Later that day is when she met Walt and was asked to star in his next show, Fantasia.

~Rob Abramovitz

Additional information

Dimensions 48 × 1.5 × 24 in