Interview with Calgary Artist Gloria Gelo

by Monika Blichar

I love colour more than anything. I often wear black but usually pair it with pops of colour and surround myself with loads of it. There’s something about it that makes me happy which is exactly how I felt when Gloria Gelo’s submission came in for this year’s SOLD OUT show at the Muttart Conservatory! Gloria’s work conveys passion, adventure and emotion through the use of a variety of colour and abstraction. I caught up with her to learn a little more about what she does and what she will be selling at this Friday’s event!

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1-When did you start making art?

I started drawing and painting from a very early age. All I ever wanted was to become an artist. I studied fine art in college, but choices in life took me in different directions, yet all of them allowed me to remain creative in some way. I managed to be creative where creativity wasn’t always appreciated, and each journey has helped shape who I am. I believe that life leads you to who and where you need to be and mine led me through many paths that ultimately came full circle to where my heart has always been, an artist. I left my corporate job in January 2018 and finally started painting full time and living my dream.

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2-What inspires you to do abstract art?

Everything! At a young age my work was very representational. When I picked up the brushes again after 30 years, I started with realism, and then quickly realized I didn’t want to feel constrained. I am a perfectionist by nature, so creating abstract art allows me to be more free and let go so the other side of Gloria has some time to play.

3-People often ask about the meaning of abstract art. What is the meaning for you?

For me, abstract art is my interpretation of either what is in front of me, or what is felt in my heart as I paint. My intent is to create art that makes people feel something, and hopefully reflect and recall moments in their lives that bring them joy.

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4-Do you create work based on feelings, experiences, themes or subject matter in mind?

All of the above! When I go into the studio, I never really know how the pieces will turn out, but somehow the concepts, colours, design, and composition seem to emerge before me, almost intuitively. It’s a wonderful way to paint. In fact, a friend asked me if one of my pieces was inspired by the circles on my kitchen rug, and oddly enough, without realizing, it was!

5-What will you have at the Art World Expo on March 16 at the Muttart? Will you have an exclusive show specials or promotions?

I’m excited to showcase my work in ink, resin and acrylic polymer at the show. The colours are bright and bold. I was inspired by the 60’s for some of the work, and in an effort to get looser and more free with my paintings, I blasted the stereo and ended up with a series that is filled with movement and colour. Yes, so swing by my booth to say hello and find out.

6-What are your art plans for your business in the next five years?

That’s a good question. I want to continually explore new ways to express myself and the world around me. I hope to keep learning, grow as an artist and give back through teaching as the years go by.

6-Just for fun: If you could interview any artist past or present, who would it be and why?

Georgia O’Keefe! She was the Mother of American Modernism. She created art based on her interpretation and personal style, rather than just a realistic copy. I love her images of natural things, especially flowers, portrayed in a simple and meaningful way.

To learn more about Gloria, visit her Facebook Page. Be sure to stop in at her booth at the show this Friday if you have your ticket! We are sold out this year-tickets for next year’s event will be on sale soon!

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Monika Blichar is an Entrepreneur and Artist. She is owner of Monika’s Art Boutique-Studio & Gallery in North Vancouver and producer of Art World Expo and Painting Dreams International Art Tours. She is always pushing boundaries as an artist and creative entrepreneur. Her love of the arts has been a part of her life since childhood.

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