Valerie Doran Bashaw


Opie Gallery
September 3 - October 30, 2021




“Shibui”, a Japanese term meaning “understated elegance”.


Byzantine mosaics, Islamic tiles, Celtic knots, clouds drifting across the moon, storms passing through, shadows cast by trees, reflections of light on water, rhythmic, repetitive, shifting and changing. Geometry and geological layers, fractals and Fibonacci proportions, tessellations and patterns, migrating birds and mandalas, golden sunrises and pink sunsets.


I like to make order/organize accidental marks, whether working with paper or fabric. With no endpoint in mind, I trust intuition to guide me, what can I add, remove, embellish, to complete the composition?


I continue to be challenged by the cyanotype medium on paper, an often unpredictable medium.

I have explored many types of papers, each with its own properties. For example, some of the migrating bird images are on Japanese washi papers, oh so delicate, yet ethereal. My imagery is often inspired by my concerns re endangered species: insects/pollinators, bees, birds, native plants.

I chose a medium that reflects the feeling of the image. The fragility and unpredictable nature of the process ties directly to these concerns.


In my two-year investigation of cyanotypes, I have created several kinds of stencils (the imagery that blocks the sun or UV rays). I have cut rubylith (an early graphic design tool), painted on clear plastic, used found objects, metal screens, mica and more. Often, I layer an image over another. Many of the works in this show have a base of rust or eco-printed papers, with the cyanotypes printed over them. Some of my most recent pieces look like ancient documents, what might they reveal? Additionally, all works are protected with UV resistant coating, and gel medium.


I am including one silk work titled Estuary, which is rust-printed fine silk, embellished with metallic threads, the contrast is wonderful, delicate, ethereal. I see shifting tidal pools of water, rushing in, moving out, what creatures inhabit them?


These works embrace my aesthetic of quiet, meditative work, meant to encourage and remind the viewer to sit and relax, unwind and retreat from the hectic world. A soothing work of art on your wall helps to create peace in your environment. My work has been collected by chiropractors, physicians, therapists, medical centers, places of healing where one might seek renewal. It’s a way to retreat from the busy world and focus instead upon being quiet, reflective, centered. Our nervous systems are so over-stimulated by the constant onslaught of the digital realm, noise, and more, we need a place to retreat and contemplate.


I do hope that you find some peace and quiet in my work.


“There is an endless net of threads throughout the universe. The horizontal threads are in space. The vertical threads are in time. At every crossing of the threads, there is an individual, and every individual is a crystal bead. And every crystal bead reflects not only the light from every other crystal in the net, but also every other reflection throughout the entire universe”. Rig Veda

“The mission of the artist in an over-technologized society is to call the old magic back to life”. Author Tom Robbins



Valerie Doran Bashaw of rural Kansas is a fiber/mixed media professional artist. Her interests and inspirations are many. She is an avid gardener, growing gourds, vegetables, native/pollinator friendly plants and flowers.


She has been a practicing artist nearly all her life. With 30 years of experience developing unique wall hangings created by dyeing natural fabrics in intricate patterns and jewel tones. In her earlier career, she participated in art fairs, showing and selling silk scarves More recent work includes wall pieces of resist-dyed silk fabrics, sewn/pieced together and stretched over deep frames. Inspired by geology, geography and the weather, these pieces often are like regional landscapes. A large commissioned work was installed at the University of Kansas Hospital in 2011 and works are in other public and private collections. Work is available through galleries and her website,


She is a fine arts educator continuing to teach at the college level, has a Bachelor’s Degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and Master’s Degree from the University of Michigan, both in Fine Arts/Fiber. She has taught students of all ages and abilities through Metropolitan Community Colleges, the University of Central Missouri, Park University, the Ghost Ranch Conference and Education Center in New Mexico, Kansas City Young Audiences, Accessible Arts, Bishop Spencer Place, the Barstow School and other venues.


She continues to be active in the local and regional art scene, including serving as the former Vice President of the Best of Missouri Hands organization. She is a member of the Kansas City Artists Coalition, Missouri Fiber Artists, American Craft Council, and is on the Board of Directors for Sharing a Vision for Generations, awarding scholarships to students in the Graduate Degree Lakota Leadership/Management Program at Oglala Lakota College in South Dakota.