About Sadie Valeri

Sadie Valeri is an award-winning classical realist painter. She offers art instruction in traditional realistic painting and drawing techniques, both online and at her beautiful San Francisco Atelier.
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Featured in American Painting Video Magazine

Last month American Painting Video Magazine visited me in my San Francisco studio and interviewed me for their Summer issue, just released yesterday! You can hear an interview with me in my studio and also in-process footage of my newest painting, Undersea.

Download Volume 2, Summer issue here!

15.75 x 20 inches, oil on panel 

About the painting:

Walking through San Francisco’s historic North Beach neighborhood, I stopped to look at a shop window full of collectibles and curiosities, and caught sight of a large, barnacle-encrusted bottle. I went in and spoke to the shop owner, who said he he had dredged up the bottle from the bottom of the San Francisco Bay while diving.

We struck a deal, I walked home with my treasure, and the next day the barnacle bottle was perched on my still life shelf, quietly demanding to be painted.

Over the next few days an arrangement evolved which promised to consume my studio time for weeks: A collection of salvaged treasures seemingly dredged up from the bottom of the sea. 

In this painting I have grouped objects with a variety of edges and textures: The waxed paper nearly disappears as it melts into the shadows of the background, while the spiny contours of the crab claw strike a dramatic silhouette. The soft cool highlights of the glass bottle must compete with the warm, sharp whites of the barnacle shells.

To capture this variety requires the most subtle decisions about color, value, and edge control. It takes many layers of thin oil paint to create the final result, as many as seven to ten layers in the most complicated areas.

Reader Comments (10)

hello sadie,
love the new painting, can you post some detail pics of the large bottle, it's amazing.

July 2, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlee

Thank you - I made it so when you click the image you can see a larger version. No detail shots yet.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

Very cool about being featured in the mag Sadie!

And, that's a really beautiful painting. It has a real mystery to it and the wax paper is a wonderful compositional device I think. Lovely work.

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterPaul

Thank you so much, Paul!!

July 3, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSadie

you are really mastering this type of paintings - Each new one a renewed pleasure to see and more perfect than the previous one. Nadia

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNadia


I saw your bit in the video magazine. What kind of white did you put on your palette from the jar. Was it lead white? Ive seen simialr kind of jar made by w&n artists series.

July 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKai Halmesvaara

Hm, no, I use Titanium white from a tube, not a jar. The jars were solvent and medium. Maybe the editing of the video made it look like I used paint from a jar?

July 5, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSadie


I recently came across your work and am fascinated by it. Its so well executed and has inspired me to try a piece with paper. It looks like a really challenging exercise.

Thank you for creating such beautiful work for inspiration.

July 6, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJeanette Jobson

Thank you, Jeannette!

August 1, 2011 | Registered CommenterSadie Valeri

Sadie, this piece is ... wow ... inspiring. It's not only beautiful but you've captured sense of life returning to a lost and discarded object is. It's one of my favorite themes in both art and life. Here you've brought it home so powerfully - but also so peacefully! It's moving. Thank you for sharing an image of this beautiful painting.

September 11, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterTricia Ratliff

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