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I have been working in the field of art most of my life. When in college I studied art education and taught others in my spare time in my senior year. After receiving my BA degree in Fine Art and Design, I worked as a layout designer and artist for an advertising company in Birmingham, Alabama for six years. Later I began to concentrate on computer layout and design and eventually started my own marketing, advertising & design firm which was in operation for over 25 years.
After my children were grown, I returned once again to my passion of painting and teaching. My art is a blend of soft brush strokes and designs that enables me to create unusual impressionistic abstracts as well as more realistic works. I use many different mediums, such as oils, watercolors, pastels and mixed media, but I always tend to come back to my acrylic paints most often.
When not painting, I enjoy teaching workshops as well as Paint Party classes at the Sunflower with owner Linda Burrell. I share my love of art with anyone I can convince to pick up a paint brush. My passion is to help others find their own creativity and joy through art.
I currently reside and paint at my home studio in Raleigh, NC, at the Sunflower Studio in Wake Forest and at Topsail Beach. My husband Steve and I have been happily creating artistically together for over 36 years. We have three married children and five grandchildren.
About My Work
My art and creative process begins with experimentation and total freedom of expression. When I use larger canvases it opens up my work to even more interesting design possibilities. If you throw different mediums into the mix anything can happen!
A fresh, hand-stretched canvas is exhilarating to me, especially when I paint in impressionistic and abstract styles. When I begin a canvas, I stay away from anything meticulous and let the paint fly in all directions! There’s always time for details later.
Many times I’ll use soft blended brush strokes as well as strong bold lines that might give the sense of flowing water, strong winds and intense sprays of light. I never start out planning these designs and color combinations, they usually just happen as the painting evolves.
When I use watercolors, I allow realism into my work most of the time, occasionally using antique photographs as my inspiration. But even then I never know what might happen, so I keep my options open! Creating abstracts using watercolors can be very exciting too!
I have realized the beginning and ending of my work is never important, just the wild and crazy journey in between. My goal is not to sell my work or become “famous”. It’s just exciting to do something I’ve never done before, for the creativity and joy of it.
-Gayle Strouss Blackerby