The teacher


Valerie has been trained in the art of expressionism and intuitive mark making.  Her fearless approach  creates a unique learning environment

Valerie Butters is an artist who burst upon the art scene in Montreal, Toronto, British Columbia Ottawa and Paris. She is fascinated by the subconscious and influenced by surrealism and expressionism. Valerie has studied under many prominent contemporary artists such as: Jennifer Hornyak, Marilyn Rubenstein, Seymour Segal, Shirly Jats, Philip Iverson and Sophie Jodoin. She was also inspired by the revolutionary Canadian artist, Paul-Emile Borduas.

Borduas created a very different vision of life and art with his spontaneous expressions of emotions, feelings and sensations. While his work was considered radical at the time, Butter's work is seen as joyful explosions of colour and emotion. Her evolution and exuberant exploration of colour and composition make her still-lifes and landscapes flamboyant and exciting.

Valerie attended the Ottawa School of Art in 2001, and in 2005, graduated from a three-year Comprehensive Arts Program at the Saidye Bronfman Centre, in Montreal, where she received art scholarships in 2003 and in 2004. Her quick evolution and exploration of colour and compositions resides in her still-lifes and landscapes. Her large formats and flamboyant style have caught the eye of art critics such as Herny Lehman of the Montreal Gazette, who described her work at "....interestingly gaudy, exuberantly messy..."

Valerie has returned to Quebec after 13 years of living and working in Pemberton British Columbia. She now lives in the Eastern townships of Quebec...in the picturesque village of Knowlton (aka Three Pines) with her husband, son and fur babies.


I suggest staying at the Auberge Knowlton.  The auberge is on top of the "bistro" (le Relais) where many murder mysteries have been solved by Inspector Gamache.

Le Relais, Knowlton

The workshop itself will take place in the Art Lab gallery. The gallery is located in the heart of the village.  I have rented out the space for this workshop.

Art Lab gallery 

The workshop will take place in the center of the picturesque village of Knowlton, Quebec. 
Located just an hour east of Montreal, in the Eastern townships.
You might already know of Knowlton as "Three pines" in the well known Louise Penny books.

Knowlton, Quebec 

This workshop is designed for painters who are looking to explore their own work with my guidance and in a group dynamic.
Although this is an individual workshop, it is important for an artist from time  to time to work in an immersive experience with no distraction from average day to day life. 
The workshop will take place in the Art Lab gallery (that I have rented out entirely) in the center of the charming and well known Knowlton Village (calling all Louise Penny fans). 
The village is not only picturesque, but has a rich arts presence and has many charming cafes and restaurants that are steps away  from the studio space.  I recommend staying at the famous Auberge, that is the center of all the Inspector Gamache books. although there are other options I can recommend too.

My objective for this workshop is to have you approach your work with more strength in your ideas, and be in a more playful and confident headspace.  My instruction will be based on my strengths as an artist and a communicator, with an open mind through observation and guidance. 

The goal of this workshop is to focus on three things primarily;

-Loosening up
-Identifying your strengths
-Technical guidance and tools to add to your toolbox

 Many artists struggle with staying loose and are often afraid of their own work.  Understanding what makes your work good, or what failed, will help with that. 
Learning to understand your work better will help you overcome your fear, that ultimately makes you stiff or lost.
I will also try to help you identify and build from your strengths  Although that may seem simple, it is often an artists roadblock.  To objectively identify what makes you and your art unique, and how to build from that.

We will explore different ideas on how to put paint down and remove it.  An exploration that should add more fun and adventure into your work.  These are the technical tools for your toolbox.
experience and background is necessary. 

If you are  a beginner, this might not be the right fit for you now.  Keep working and take classes.  In this particular dynamic, you will likely be lost and feel defeated.  These workshops often bring our tears to the beset of us and I don't want to turn you off art for life!

Although every artist will have different strengths and different weaknesses, it is necessary to be comfortable enough within your vision as to elevate the overall experience.

The price of this workshop is $650 per person. 
This does not include accommodation and food.  
This will include a table for your workspace.
You will have to bring your own easel  and I will see about working on the walls.  Please bring your supplies and I can recommend a list should you wish.  

The workshop is for Five days from 9-4 with my guidance , and the space can be open all afternoon and evening for those of you who are warriors extraordinaire.

I have included two extra days to this (Saturday and Sunday) where we will have an option to extend your studio time without instruction for two days OR organize and open studio/show to the public.  This is a decision that we will make as a group.   
Studio extension will be $100 (total per person) for two days, or donation help with wine and cheese for a show opening. 

If i can not fit you in, do not worry... this is something I plan to do at least annually.  I am still finding my footing having just moved across the country from British Columbia, and back to Quebec.

Valerie Butters

The Warrior Artist


April 22-26, 2024