Artist Profile: Gail Bean

Artist Gail Bean presents her colorful portfolio of paintings and speaks about the joys of being an artist and teacher.

 

"Circles of Depth" acrylic on panel, 6" x 6"

“Circles of Depth” acrylic on panel, 6″ x 6″

 

ABI: How does teaching and creating art enable you to live your passion?

GB:  For as long as I can remember, art has been an important part of my life. It is my passion, my life’s work. Whatever my activity, whether I am working with my students, in my studio, taking a walk, or traveling, the creative process is always with me.

 

 “Hilltop Village” acrylic on canvas, 24” x 30”

“Hilltop Village” acrylic on canvas, 24” x 30”

 

When my children were young, I encouraged them to draw and paint. We spent summer days drawing together out on the deck of our swing set. We read children’s picture books and talked about the illustrations. In my classroom, firsthand observation of the impact the visual arts have on my students’ academic growth is powerful. Working on my own paintings is just as powerful in that I’m able to create something with my expressive style. Having the opportunity to teach, share, explore, and learn about art is a gift!

 

“Season’s Change” acrylic on canvas, 22” x 32”

“Season’s Change” acrylic on canvas, 22” x 32”

 

ABI:  What techniques and tools do you use in your studio practice?

GB:  My acrylic paintings are contemporary abstracts. I love to experiment with color and texture. My painting style is spontaneous, but I do give careful attention to the rules of composition. My tools are a varied collection of brushes, sponges, palette knives, rubber scrapers, plastic wrap, or whatever I can find to make a distinguishing mark. I sometimes add other media to my work. I may use matboard or fabric scraps to build the composition before painting. Sometimes I add colored pencil or ink lines to emphasize an edge or create levels of detail above the painted surface.

 

“Amusement Park” acrylic on canvas, 16” x 16”

“Amusement Park” acrylic on canvas, 16” x 16”

 

Life is busy with schedules, tasks to complete, and time restraints. By contrast, my own painting style allows me spontaneity and freedom to experiment. I am not restricted to a time frame. If the work is not successful I paint glazes over it, leaving the old as an underpainting for the new. I love the process as much as the completed work!

 

“Giant Redwoods” digital painting, 34” x 45”

“Giant Redwoods” digital painting, 34” x 45”

 

 

ABI:  Tell us about new directions and mediums you are working with.

GB:  I recently began working with digital art. I have taken many photos locally and when traveling, and these are the basis of my work. Manipulating my images in a computer software program allows me to enhance and exaggerate colors and textures, much like I do in my acrylic paintings. One advantage to digital work is that the “paintings” are sold as giclée prints on canvas or quality paper, making the work affordable to many. Though I have not yet done this, I could take the canvas prints in another direction by altering the printed image with paint or additional drawing. The possibilities are endless!

 

“Virginia Beauty” digital painting, 15” x 20”

“Virginia Beauty” digital painting, 15” x 20”

 

My artistic goal is to create interest and intrigue within the painted or digital image. There is a story behind every painting whether the subject is abstract or realistic. I hope that my work allows the viewer to see beyond the obvious. Because I teach creative problem solving, I also want to continue learning about new techniques and become more proficient as a practicing artist. The creative process, whether it be in the classroom or at home in my studio, is the most rewarding aspect of my career.

 

 

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