Valerie Connelly began painting early in life, but it became her passion after a life-altering skirmish with spinal degeneration threatened to put a permanent end to her mobility. To help herself face the lengthy recovery from spinal surgery, she returned to painting the world around her. Her experiences living in West Africa and guiding students in France helped her focus the beginnings of this art-filled journey. Then she painted the endangered swamps and prairies of her native Illinois homeland. From there she added cloudscapes and landscapes of the northern central parts of the United States, the mountains and rivers of Colorado, and the waterfalls in Tennessee, where she now resides on the Cumberland Plateau half way between Nashville and Knoxville. Wild horses, bears, moose, woodchucks, exotic waterfowl and migrating Canadian geese populate her work along with commissions of pets, landscapes and waterscapes.


In November 2016, Valerie traveled to the Galapagos Islands, an archipelago hovering at the Equator 600 miles from the coast of Ecuador. Her 2017 plan is to produce thirty or more paintings of the magnificent sea lions, tortoises, sea turtles, sharks, sting rays, sea stars, schools of colorful fish, crabs, iguanas, frigate birds, pelicans, shore birds, blue-footed and red-footed boobies who populate the cliffs, lava rock shorelines and underwater coastal waters surrounding the Galapagos. The moody waters of the rocky shorelines and tranquil mangroves, stately stands of giant cactus, low-growing lichens, sandalwood trees, Banyan trees and the mangroves themselves will certainly appear on canvas along with the creatures who live within and upon them.


Click to learn about Valerie's book publishing services and music composition services at and click here: FEARLESS! to hear the music and read more about Valerie's Broadway-style musical, which staged in July 2016. The Video and the Cast Album are in production at this time. Watch for more about them.

Also, visit to hear much more of her music --- orchestral works, piano solos, instrumentals and songs.