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Artist of the Week: Velvett Tetrault
VELVETT TETRAULT of Waddell works in paints and mixed media. She also designs beaded jewelry pieces to make the world a little more “blingy,” she said.

VELVETT TETRAULT of Waddell works in paints and mixed media. She also designs beaded jewelry pieces to make the world a little more “blingy,” she said.
This series spotlights the talents of visual and performing artists in the West Valley.
This series spotlights the talents of visual and performing artists in the West Valley.
Rachel Trott
staff writer

This series spotlights the talents of visual and performing artists in the West Valley.

Name: Velvett Tetrault

City: Waddell

Art form: painting, jewelry


West Valley View: How did you start painting?

Velvett Tetrault: Back when I was 16, I took my first art class in high school.

Then I started getting into oil and acrylic painting. What I did was I watched videos on TV, PBS-type stuff. Eventually I started getting books and videos that had different artists and along the way I took some sculpture and painting courses through different community colleges.

I spent a couple of semesters in Virginia doing screen printing and working with fiber arts. My last class I took was metalsmithing at the Mesa Arts center, but I'm kind of coursed out. It's kind of hard for me to get around. It was easier going to classes before but now it's kind of hard, so I just try to make my art better myself.

WVV: So your art is a constant learning experience?

Tetrault: Right. Actually, for most of my life I really didn't have a particular style or subject, although everything looked very science fiction when I was young. It just came out that way.

Then I started to do landscapes and still life, even as soon as like a couple of months ago I was still doing things like science-fiction type art, portrait type paintings, mixed media type things and abstract.

WVV: What kind of mediums do you use for your paintings? What is your creative process like?

Tetrault: Mostly I'm using fast-drying acrylic. I had a period where I was doing mixed media, a lot of gels and colors and that kind of thing.

As for my creative process, what might happen is that I'll be watching the TV with some coffee in the morning, and all of a sudden I get this idea. Maybe it's a program about physics, astronomy or string theory, and I'll have this vision in my head of what I want to paint.

A lot of the projects that I do come this way. I'm just sitting and letting my thoughts roll around in my head and then all of a sudden it's boom! OK, I'd like to do that.

WVV: You paint a lot of birds as still life, why is that?

Tetrault: I do them well and I like animals. There's just something about animals, I'd rather do an animal than a person, and I've always been like that since I was a little kid.

They're also kind of pudgy and fluffy and I like what I can do with them.

WVV: What kind of jewelry pieces do you make?

Tetrault: They're bead work, it's all beaded one bead at a time. They're very intricate.

I started making my jewelry back in 2005 or 2006. The bead factory, which is no longer there in Glendale, had beading classes by some top jewelry artist and I would go there and take lessons on how to do the different types of necklaces, or different types of stitches.

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WVV: Do you ever wear any of the jewelry you make yourself?

Tetrault: No, I rarely wear jewelery that much, but I like the bling aspect of it, especially the crystals. The jewelry is for the fun of making something sparkly and hoping that somebody wants to wear it.

WVV: What are your goals for the future?

Tetrault: Short term, I'd like to do a whole bunch of birds, just for the business side of it. Then flowers are another thing that I like to do that I can do well.

WVV: What keeps you motivated to keep doing your artwork?

Tetrault: It's part of me. If I'm not doing it I'm thinking about it, the ideas come and the first thing I think of is oh wouldn't that make a good painting, that's why I keep doing it.

I don't think I could last long without doing it. Plus I like bling, I like the different colors and there's a sense of pride too when I finish something.

If you would like to be featured as an artist of the week, email

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