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GAYLE MADEIRA

“After I took the Natural Pigment’s best practices workshop, all my methods changed. I finally feel that the materials I’m using and the way I’m using them are completely safe and archival and that I can explain them to customers using actual data.”


ABOUT THE ARTIST

Gayle Gibbons Madeira (b. 1969 Texas) is a contemporary artist who paints in the classical tradition and is based in New York City. While being raised on a farm in Virginia, Gayle developed an intense love for nature. Later, with a BFA in dance from SUNY Purchase, Gayle made her living in NYC dancing and doing illustration, graphic design, and presentation work.

Starting in 2010, Gayle began to fulfill her dream of being a fine artist. She has studied anatomy, ecorché, drawing, and painting at the Art Student’s League, School of Visual Arts, Grand Central Academy, New York Academy of Art, and Salmagundi Club.

Gayle’s work has been, or is currently being, exhibited at Sotheby’s in Los Angeles, The MEAM Museum, The National Arts Club, Salmagundi Club, Williamsburg Art and Historical Center, Principle Gallery, Abend Gallery, Foundation Gallery, and the New York Hall of Science, among others. Her paintings have appeared in various magazines, books, and films and have been finalists in the Art Renewal Center’s juried salons (2017, 2016, 2015), the Portrait Society of America (2016) competition, and the Artist’s Magazine (2015, 2009).

The following has been said about her work: “Gayle’s paintings encapsulate moments of beauty in a timeless fashion. They transcend any real place and time and send the viewer into a parallel reality. Her style is influenced equally by old masters and contemporary art and she masters them both. While naturalistic, it is subjective and captures the spirit of the subject imbued with a relatable melancholy.”


ARTIST STATEMENT

I've been dancing since the age of 5 and worked as a professional dancer since 1992. Being a dancer has inspired me to be drawn to subjects that have beautiful movement – light, clouds, sky, grasses, water, anything resembling hair or fur. My paintings have fairly melancholic themes within the portrait, still life, and landscape genres. I generally attribute this predilection to the Swedish part of my genes. Sometimes my paintings accidentally turn out to be a little happier but this is without intent on my part.

My goal in painting is to capture my feelings about a subject and not just the subject itself. I am moved by the expressions of people who have not had an easy time in life, or who are going through a difficult transition. I am compelled to tell their stories and share them with the world through my paintings with the hope that this will foster empathy, understanding, and connection.

I’m fascinated and excited by the three-dimensional, sculptural aspects of oil paint, the way light passes through their layers and bounces off brushstrokes. I love the way this can create a feeling of the painting dancing or moving as you view it from different locations, and that oil paintings must be seen in person to have a full sense of their three-dimensionality. In this day and age of instant gratification and fast, bright images, I’m compelled toward work that is subtle and requires seeing in person with quiet contemplation to grasp fully.


GAYLE MADEIRA ON NATURAL PIGMENTS

I believe that it is the responsibility of every artist to understand the chemical structure of their materials to ensure that their work survives in the best shape possible for as long as possible. When I switched from watercolor to oil painting, I did thorough research into all the tools: Mediums, substrates, paints, etc. I found a lot of conflicting information and not very much hard science. After I took the Natural Pigment’s best practices workshop, all my methods changed. I finally feel that the materials I’m using and the way I’m using them are completely safe and archival and that I can explain them to customers using actual data. Whenever I have questions, George always responds quickly with the perfect answer.

When I began oil painting, I bought paints from almost every paint company and used them extensively. When I started using Rublev oil paints, my journey was over. Most paint companies grind pigments to the same sizes and shapes. The Natural Pigments process creates paint with differently sized pigments, which is the same method used by the Old Masters. This adds another dimension of texture and quality to the painting as the light bounces off these shapes differently depending on the pigment. This quality is especially evident if you are an advanced painter who has tried many other paints. Their colors are unique, gorgeous, and inspiring.

The Natural Pigments lead white oil paint has an ethereal, pearlescent quality which is immediately apparent. No other paint company comes close to making one as beautiful. Their Velasquez and Oleogel mediums are non-toxic and genuinely wonderful for helping to create the sculptural effects and brushstrokes that I want in my work.