Heather Brown, Founder of RampArts Jersey has known Valerie for many years, initially through Valerie’s company Vintage Joys Jersey. They first met when a vintage collection popped up in Liberty Wharf. Heather has always had a keen eye for anything preloved, and gravitated towards Vintage Joys huge collection of retro goods! Since then, Vintage Joys have taken part in RampArts events, most recently on Gorey Castle for the RampArts on RampArts creative festival event in the summer, as well as Christmas Markets and art sales too.
Q&A with Valerie
When did you found Vintage Joys Jersey and what have been your greatest achievements?
My Vintage Joys business was founded twenty years ago it has been brilliant and fun to do but is too much hard work now I am an OAP, my husband has been a great support throughout the vintage business.
My biggest achievements was holding Vintage fares to raise funds for Jersey Cancer Relief to pay back what they gave my family during illness, also having a stall on Liberation day for ten years, I have popped up in St Helier on a few occasions when the rent was affordable in empty shops ,that was great fun.Vintage Joys have also been lucky enough to take part in a series of RampArts Jersey events over the years since meeting Founder Heather Brown at our pop ups in St. Helier.
Why have you made the decision to focus solely on your art now?
My artwork has always been a hobby I have wanted to develop for such a long time but life in general got in the way, always busy doing something and married to a farmer and two children in those early days a working partnership that took up so much energy didn’t have any strength left to paint.Tell me about your artwork, how would you describe it?
My art is colourful and bright I want people to smile when they look at them. I use good quality paper and brushes I sometimes use salt and cling film to get certain effects with watercolour.What is the inspiration behind your artwork?
My art teacher from school was my Inspiration Leo Harris, he taught me so much. My favourite artist is Cezanne with his bright colours and still life just love his work.
Have you exhibited or sold your work already – if so where?
I have had an exhibition at the Opera House and the Jersey Arts Centre, where I sold a few originals.
I have been selling some pictures at Collins and St John’s village stores as well.What’s next for you?
I will keep on painting as it is so relaxing and good for your mental health painting is my passion and hope to continue painting colourful pictures for a long time.
How can people buy your work?
I have recently joined an artist group The Jersey Society of artists. Looking forward to painting outside on location around Jersey with likeminded friends
I also sell my prints online via facebook.
Life begins at 60 with new ideas always popping up in my head.
Email: [email protected]
Facebook: Art by Valerie Le Blancq
During the interview Heather soon discovered that (Jersey being Jersey) she already knew Valerie’s son Jono Le Blancq, front man of local band The Cryptics, having been to many of their gigs, they’d played birthday parties for Heather and her twin back in the day, at venues such as the Bluenote, Green Rooster and the Troubadour. It’s obvious the Le Blancq’s are a very creative and talented family, with Valerie’s Granddaughter Edie following in her footsteps making her own retro inspired range of jewellery.
One of Jersey’s longest serving bands, The Cryptics have been wowing audiences and making girls dance since the year 2000. They have played far and wide, and shared stages with the likes of the Cynics, the Henchmen and the Paybacks.
Live shows guarantee dancing, light shows, lasers and the famous Cryptic backdrop of cool and trashy clips projected onto the band as they play. They proudly hold the title of Jersey’s only Garage band – in a field of crusty troubadours and bland cover bands – regularly treating their audiences to a savage blend of Garage, Twist, Beat and Frat. – Quote from Bubble Brain Records.