a Shilepsky Van Raalte is a graduate of Mount Holyoke College. While in law school at Case Western Reserve University, she spent many hours in the building next door, the Cleveland Museum of Art, often in front of Picasso’s “La Vie.” While studying for the bar examination, Van Raalte painted watercolors. She put up her paintbrush for while and had a brief but significant career as a child advocate as Assistant Circuit Coordinator, 9th Circuit, Division of Guardian ad Litem.
In 2010, Van Raalte pursued art education in drawing, portraiture, painting, and mixed media with local fine artists, Redux Contemporary Art Center and Creative Spark Center for the Arts. She recently studied with abstract expressionist Professor Michael Phillips at the College of Charleston. Professor Phillips encouraged her to pursue painting professionally.
She has been delighted by the support and encouragement. In early 2016 Senior Art Critic for New York Magazine Jerry Saltz, liked her new painting “Rose Colored Grasses” and commented “cause you got juice”. Van Raalte uses an array of colors and bold brushstrokes to convey the flow she feels while painting. Some works include the use of palette knives and even her fingers. Her paintings are often whimsical and light, but some focus on darker emotions. She hopes her art inspires a feeling, thought, or even a conversation. She lives and paints in the Lowcountry of South Carolina, her home of more than twenty years.