When I met this talented artist, she was a stranger in an Italian class. As we struggled to conjugate verbs and laughed with our fiery haired insegnante, Valentina, we became friends. Her kind spirit and gentle manner were apparent. Her talent was something I came to discover. As she described her passion for painting, long, colourful acrylic strokes on canvas, her eyes would light up and her mouth would curve into a shy smile. This was obviously someone who loved their work, one of the greatest gifts you can have in your life. Can you imagine, the morning light of each day signaling a new infusion of excitement and inspiration for your work?

Gillian Redwood Gillian came to Canada about six years ago, but a soft Welsh accent still laces her speech, and Wales still lives in her heart, drawing her back most years.  It also helped to shape her as an artist. Under the tutelage of Tom Hudson at the Cardiff School of Art, Gillian found her niche, and has been developing her individualistic style in intense colours, bold strokes of paint, and an understanding of energy.  And while she trained and worked for a period as a graphic artist, it was the tactile act of brush to canvas that truly captured her heart–non-conformist, bold, and with an intense captivation in the concept of energy and how it translate into lines and colours on the canvas.

Hearing about the ancient art of Chinese medicine first piqued Gillian’s interest in the concept of energy.  The flow of energy through the body, and its connection to the earth and beyond, lit her imagination.

As Gillian developed her style, she began to expand her examination into the energy within the body, and how it melds and meshes with the energy of others, the earth, the stars, and the grand expanse of the universe. Her studies fostered inspiration into many incantations:
Women of Myth and Legend
Uncommon Man
Energetic Universe

Women of Myth and Legend showed dreamy colours and soft, voluptuous lines. The Uncommon Man displayed strong, hard lines that emanate masculinity and the allure that draws the female heart. But Energetic Universe truly brings these two realms of energy together.

Check out Gillian speaking from her latest exhibit at the Martin Batchelor Gallery at 712 Cormorant Street in downtown Victoria:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gtuFQLQvXIU

Prepare to be wowed.  Energetic Universe combines the overt strength and visceral potency of man and the vitality, fortitude and gentle beauty of the female body and her concomitant energy.

Gillian Redwood, Mystic

Mystic

Gillian Redwood, The Four

The Four

Many of Gillian’s current works are inspired by Italy, a love for a land, people, and magical language that we share. During a recent trip to visit her daughter (who carves out a life in the northern mountainous region of Italy with her Italian husband), this ancient culture whispered stories in her ear, and their energy naturally flowed from artist’s hands to canvas.

Barlotti Beans, Energetic Universe

Barlotti Beans

Lido, Energetic Universe

Lido

I was fortunate enough to attend the opening of her exhibit (which runs from February 7 – March 5, 2015) at the Martin Batchelor Gallery in downtown Victoria. I stood transfixed at the ethereal beauty and depth of the expansive canvases. Each told their own special, inspired story. It was a pleasure and an honour to experience the energy, and know the artist… and call her a friend.

See you at Italian class, Gillian!

Gillian’s entire website at: www.gillianredwood.com