Valerie Andrews Garthwait was born in Hartford, Connecticut. She graduated from the University of Connecticut with a B.F.A. in painting and continued her education, earning a fifth year from the University of Hartford. Her work, in both watercolor and oil, falls within the realm of Impressionistic Landscape Painting. She is a member of the Connecticut Academy of Artists, the Old Lyme Art Association, and The Slater Memorial Museum. Since 1978, she has exhibited in many juried and invitational shows across the state.

When she was a child she grew to love the changing landscapes and gardens of the places where she lived and visited. Her father was in the Air Force and her family lived in England, California, Florida, and Massachusetts, and she traveled extensively before returning to settle in Lebanon, Conn., their place of origin. She raised two children and taught art in the Plainfield Public School System until 2003. She continues to paint and exhibit her work.

Most of her subject matter is taken from scenes in the town of Lebanon or the surrounding areas, and many of the wooded and flower scenes are from her backyard. Some of her works are also scenes from photographs taken on trips to Hawaii, the Caribbean, Alaska, Mexico and, most recently, England and Ireland. She rarely includes people in her paintings unless they are family.

Valerie Andrews Garthwait now lives on 60 wooded acres, has a small alpaca farm in Lebanon, teaches art one day a week, and spends the rest of her time painting, farming, and traveling when she can.