Artist Statement

Gail Lehman Fine Art

When I am in my studio the magic that I feel takes all the chaos of the world and life and sets them aside. My vision is focused on that square of canvas in front of me; this was the feeling which helped me to make the choice to move away from my career as a space planner and designer.  Over a period of twenty-five years I had completed the design of nearly 2.5 million square feet of corporate offices and hospitals and I began my career as an artist, which I had yearned to do for many years.  As an architectural space planner and designer, I had been instrumental in the art selection process for my clients and I believe those years fed into my desire to become an artist of merit in my own right.

In 2001 I enrolled in our local college to review what I had done in design school but with a different “eye”. I began my journey through my first years of classes in drawing and painting and moved through a progression of still life, landscape, figure drawing and then to my “true love”, abstract expressionism and figurative abstracts. I took many workshops and studio classes with some extraordinarily talented teachers and professional artists both on the Monterey Peninsula and in France.

I submitted my first paintings in 2009 to a juried show in Sand City, California sponsored by the Arts Council of the City of Sand City and was thrilled to be selected as a participating artist. That led to an invitation in 2010 by the host gallery to have my first solo show.  The following year I was selected to be “Artist of the Month” at Santana Row in San Jose, California.  While on a trip to Spain that spring I made contact with a woman who “loved” my work, asked to represent me and consequently, I now have 18 paintings in Valencia, Spain. Additionally, I have several collectors in Boston, San Francisco, Berkeley, San Jose, The Monterey Peninsula, Napa, London, Paris, Barcelona, Valencia and Amsterdam.

My process is done in many stages with a great deal of paint and layers applied and pulled apart to reveal underlying layers of color. As the painting develops, more and more is revealed that shows me the direction where I want to take the painting. It is both a nonrepresentational style of painting and yet, figures and objects sometimes emerge (see “Hidden Venus” and “The Lady in Red”).

My great inspiration is the sea. I am fortunate  to be able to walk along the beach in Carmel-by-the-Sea every morning and witness the changing colors of the sky, the sand, the rocks and the water.  I am awed by the Abstract Expressionists who opened the world to a new style of painting: primarily Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock, Joan Mitchell, Hans Hofmann, Juan Miro, Gerhard Richter and Wilhelm de Kooning.