DeValentino brings abstract acrylic paintings to library

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Angela DeValentino had about a day to gather pieces for her first art show. 

The Adairsville resident answered a "call for artists" post on the Cartersville Public Library's Facebook page the last week of November after the artist who was supposed to display work in its art gallery in December and January canceled at the last minute. 

"I saw them post on Facebook that they needed kind of a last-minute artist to come in, and I messaged them," she said at her artist reception Tuesday night. "This is exciting."

Adult services library assistant Meghan Stipe, who is in charge of the gallery, said DeValentino was "the first one to respond and communicate with me" about the post.  

"She's been so awesome to communicate with, and she got me her stuff within a day," she said. "She got to me really fast, a bio and everything, and so we got it all set up. She's very wonderful to work with."

DeValentino, 36, has 13 paintings, mostly abstracts done in acrylics, on display through the end of January. Some feature realistic elements like silhouettes of trees, a dolphin, flowers and a waterfall added on top of the abstracts.

"I think what I enjoy about abstracts is just everybody sees something different, and I like to hear what people see when they look at it," she said. "It's just a fun thing for me to hear what people see when they're looking at them."

Stipe said DeValentino's work is "different than what we've had because it's more abstract."

"She does this fluid art method, which is really cool," she said. "I've never seen anything like it before, and I like how she mixes the realistic elements with the abstract. It's really cool."

DeValentino — whose "very supportive" family, husband Adam; son Kamdin, 14; parents Steve and Linda Severson; sister Ashley; niece Kaprie, 10; and in-laws Jim and Carol DeValentino accompanied her to the reception — said she liked the gallery and the way her paintings were displayed in it.

"I think it's a good space," she said. "It was just right for what I had. It's easy to work with."

The Southern California native said she got interested in art "when I was real little."

"I just liked drawing and things like that," she said. "It was just a relaxing thing for me to do."

When she was 12, DeValentino took her first painting class, using acrylic paints, "and I loved it," she said.

"Then after that, I took three years of art in high school, experimenting with different mediums, but I didn't like anything as much as the acrylic painting," she said, noting she sometimes creates mixed-media pieces. "Back in 2015 when I quit my job, I had the chance to kind of experiment more with acrylic paints and whatnot. It's so relaxing to me. It's a release for me."

DeValentino, who works part time now, said she is a self-taught artist aside from the art classes she took in high school. 

"I watch a lot of Youtube videos of other people who do different things, and that's kind of where I get some of my ideas for different techniques and whatnot," she said. 

As for what inspires her when she's painting, DeValentino said, "I don't know."

"I kind of just let the paint flow and do what it does," she said. "I've never really thought about that before."

She does, however, have some favorite scenery she enjoys painting.

"I like beach scenes, woodsy areas with the trees, like this one with the silhouettes," she said. "I like to do silhouettes on top of my abstract paintings."

DeValentino, who had lived in Cartersville since 2010 until moving to Adairsville a couple of months ago, said she thinks it would be "fun to do" other exhibits to showcase her hobby. 

"It's kind of a scary thing to do at first, to put yourself out there, just because you don't know what people are going to say, and criticism is scary," she said. "But I've always wanted to do this."