Location: Rectortown, Virgina, USA
“My studio time is precious time. The door is shut and all else quiet and calm; that means the horses are happy. Many artists can come and go from a canvas and keep their intention and focus. My process is more feverish and responsive with increasing momentum. To leave a canvas would break the spell of emotion and many layers of subconcious planning. A canvas left more than a day would dry too much. Fluid ‘wet on wet paint’ is an important aspect to my final effect.”- Gail Guirreri-Maslyk
Gail has been around horses since her college years when she got her first horse. “I was born knowing I wanted to breed jumpers and be an artist. As a military brat, having a horse was not happening. I got my first horses first year in college when parents moved over seas!” Gail said in an interview with #EquineArtHour on Twitter.
Since then, Gail has made combined her passion for both horses and art to create lively, colorful and spirited horses that seem to have a life of their own on her canvas. “I am always trying to push the process. My goal is to keep paint clean and simple.”
Besides being a prolific artist living in Virginia, she also owns Cloverlone, a Holsteiner and spotted Holsteiner breeding farm. Living in ” Virginia horse country”, she is surrounded daily by not only her own horses, but by the farms, gardens and beautiful natural landscape that would be any painters dream.
Gail is also a computer programmer and graphic designer. “In the early 90’s I was working as a graphic artist (magazine adverts) and started to get bored. Adverts were all equestrian. I would add splashes of paint into the backgrounds of print ads. Was not long before I was painting horses after that.” she said.
Art Gallery Data is Gail’s online gallery for artists and galleries that updates connected webpages of the represented artists. For an example, when an artist updates a painting is sold, Art Gallery Data will then update all of the connected pages that concerns that particular artist. For more information: https://www.artgallerydata.com/about.htm
Gail’s art has been featured and included in many equestrian magazines, including The Chronicle of the Horse, The Roanoke Valley Horse Show (poster), Horses in Art magazine, Friesian Grand Nationals (poster) IALHA National Championships (poster)
HITS Finals (poster) among others.
Here is Gail’s interview with #EquineArtHour this past Sunday:
TFS: Have you always painted horses?
GGM: So, I learned to draw in art school. First two years were spent with the figure in black and white.
TFS: How long have you been around horses? Did you always want a career with them?
GGM: YES! I was born knowing I wanted to breed jumpers and be an artist. As a military brat, having a horse was not happening. I got my first horses first year in college when parents moved over seas! 🙂
GGM: How long was it till you combined your love for horses with your art?
GGM: Early 90’s I was working as a graphic artist (magazine adverts) and started to get bored. Adverts were all equestrian. I would add splashes of paint into the backgrounds of print ads. Was not long before I was painting horses after that.
These are two of her advertisements:
TFS: Have you ever created art for a poster for a horse show?
GGM: Yes, I was the Roanoke Valley Horse Show poster and promotions artist for 15 years. Also did posters for Andalusian and Friesian shows.
TFS: Any upcoming art shows/exhibits?
GGM: I show only locally during spring summer due to breeding season. Upperville Horse Show will have a juried show this year.
TFS: Can you tell us more about your style?
GGM: I start with a large brush sweeping in the movement of a skeleton, using glowing color, magenta or transparent orange which is my favorite. Once the washes are in place I start drawing with a filbert on edge. Add purple to orange and you get a rich brown. I use Gamblin transparent oils primarily. I add semi-trans or opaque in final stage of painting.
TFS: Do your ever paint live? Or do you stick to using reference photos?
GGM: I still enjoy painting plein air landscape and live model. My horses don’t ignore me well enough. face plant in canvas :)~
I LOVE dramatic movement. So I do use my camera a lot. Thousands and thousands of photos to look back at.
TFS: Are there any artists/people that inspire you with your art, or that you admire for something?
GGM: Living close to the Sporting Library in Middleburg VA, Munnings !!! Very emotional for me. Big brushes yet fine boots/ tack. From art history, Van Gogh, Matisse, Degas and Rodin. Maybe too obvious. Color and curves!
TFS: Any wise words for other artists?
GGM: No different than horses, work work work!!! Working daily is only real difference from successful vs not. Make momentum!
TFS: What are the ways you find most useful for promoting your art?
GGM: Good question! 1. SEO and mobile html!!! I built an API for art. 2. juried art and horse shows 3. paint in public.
TFS: Can you tell us more about your “Art Gallery Data”?
GGM: My portfolio was getting to big to manage in html. I had many needs for archiving my art and sharing it with galleries/shows. The art in Art Gallery Data is managed by artists and galleries. If marked sold then it updates all web sites live. You can print show/sales cards as well. It is a powerful tool; free for artists and galleries to try. The data entered can feed into a website, updating all of the pages concerning the artist.
TFS: Is there a medium that you have not worked in but would like to?
GGM: Bronze! I have done some sculpting and just love it! I would need to do large work to get what I want out of it.
TFS: Do you give any other workshops/classes?
GGM: I teach privately in my studio weekly and do workshops in town. I taught a basic drawing class at sporting library last Sunday. I love teaching! I just supply some guidelines and you never know where an artist will end up. Exciting to witness.
TFS: Do you have any works in progress?
GGM: I keep 4, 5, 6 or more going at once. I just finished another Brahman bull in pink and green. I find it humorous!
Thank you for letting me interview and share your art, Gail! Hope all goes well with your future shows and Art Gallery Data!
Huh? What? Well, I will believe that when I see flying Shetlands !