Growing up on a sheep farm in East Gippsland gave Gillian her strong connection to land and nature, and she continues to be inspired by her environment, now working and residing on the Mornington Peninsula.
Studying painting at RMIT from1976 to 1980 brought her attention to an urban artistic haven, where she was inspired by Australian and American abstract expressionism.
She began to look at ways to layer paint and colours, and develop a language of symbols of a gestural nature that gave her work energy ,form and strength.
After completing her post graduate studies in painting she was awarded the RMIT Travelling Scholarship, where she was able to tour major European galleries and see paintings she had only ever seen in art books. Artists such as Matisse, Van Gogh and Picasso came to her attention.
On her return, she moved from inner city Melbourne to suburban Ivanhoe continuing to exhibit in many group shows, producing semi-abstract expressionist subjects in landscapes, colourful and rambling flower paintings and striking stilllife paintings, loving a new found domestic enviroment .
In 1990 Gillian and family moved to Red Hill,where she began painting the beautiful vistas of the Mornington Peninsula. She was soon also inspired by the abundance of produce grown in the area, and for a period concentrated on still life subjects using watercolours ,oils and acrylics. Over time she established herself as a respected community artist, exhibiting her work widely, running a local gallery and shop and completing numerous commissions- private pieces, stationary, signage, prints and portraits. She won many local awards during this time.
Gillian continues to experiment with new concepts, forms and materials. She paints with an intuitive response on paper and canvas allowing new images to arise usually through series of lines and layers. " It is always an exploratory process". She loves diversity and explores many mediums and subjects.
Her work is collected both locally and internationally. She enjoys the challenge of expressing the inner through the outer, and hopefully discovering beauty in the process.
i work with a multitude of mediums to express my artistic ideas- they flow between still life pieces, realised with almost botanical accuracy, to abstract, painterly and layered expressions. My imagination is given scope and room to roam by moving between detailed work and loose naiveity, and further, through the diversity of artist tools and the materials I use- oil, acrylic, ink, water color, Japanese sumi brushes, hand made paper, charcoal and more. Whether it be a kind of contemporary realism or abstract scenes I see my work as visual landscapes, playful, vivid and alive.
1976-79: Bachelor of Fine Art Painting, R.M.I.T
1980: Post Graduate Diploma of Fine Art
1980: Awarded the R.M.I.T Travel Scholarship
1981: 5 months study/travel around Europe for educational purposes
1981-85: Practising Artist in a group studio, West Melbourne
1984: Diploma of Education, Melbourne State College
1979: Myer Gallery, Lonsdale St Melbourne, graduate show
1980: Brim Brim Art Gallery, Queenscliff, group Show
1987: Caulfield Art Centre “Surroundings” group Show
1988: Linden Gallery, St Kilda “Push” group show
1990: Café Yartz, Northcote
1991: Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery. “Peninsula Artists”
1992: Red Hill Estate Vineyard,”Landscapes Of The Mornington Peninsula”
1992: MPRG. Group Drawing Show
1993: Fitzroy Gallery, Group Show
1994: First Settlement Gallery Sorrento and Art House Sydney
1995: A.R.T.Gallery Collins St, Melbourne.“Harvest Exhibition”, “Spring Exhibition”, and “Cornucopia”
1995: Papillion Jewellers and Gallery, Malvern
1995: Fitzroy Gallery group show
1996: Café La Strada, High St Armadale “Celebrating Life”
1996: The Art Shed “The Garden Party’
1996 :Noels Gallery “Spring On the Peninsula”
1997: The Art Shed, Red Hill ‘Fantasea”
1999-2014: Red Hill Cool Stores Gallery, represented.
2011: Manyung Gallery group show.
2011: Art Melbourne exhibitor.
2015: Red Artists Gallery group show
2015: Merricks House Gallery, joint exhibition
2017. Whistlewood, Shoreham, “Sense Of Place” group Summer Show
2017.Manyung Gallery, “Backyard and Veggie Patches”, joint exhibition
1992-98: Committee member Art Red Hill
1994:One of three women speakers for Art Event, Stephanie’s Restaurant, Melbourne
1996:One of three speakers for Art Event, Café la Strada, Malvern
1997: Artist in Residence, Rye Primary School
1994:The Seasonal Produce Diary
1995: Four paintings for Smokehouse Pizza Restaurant, Sorrento
1995: The Women’s Diary
1996: The Hairdressers at Balnarring. Large panel
1996: Painting Smokehouse Pizza restaurant Sth Yarra
1997: Series of four paintings for Spotless Services,Melbourne
1992: Best Watercolour, Hastings Marina Art Show
1994: Best Flower Painting,Flinders Art Show
1995:Best Painting,Flinders, Art Show
1996:Best Drawing,Hastings Marina Art Show
1998:Best Flower Painting, Flinders Art Show
2017: Coast Magazine “From the Ground Up”
1999: Country Style Magazine “Savoring the Seasons”