Meet Maria. Don’t you love the froufrou? Maria didn’t pose like this; she posed nude. Gail Postal took her home and dressed her up.
Ariel gives you a better glimpse of how Postal does it:
First Postal draws the figure from life using graphite on an Ampersand Gessoboard, initially sketching the whole body, then carefully working on the head, then perfecting the details and proportions of both. The model poses for ten to fifteen 3-hour sessions. Look at her first steps drawing Connie:
Now for the fantasies. Postal turns the background into glowing gold.
For Postal, “color is pure joy,” so next, using a limited palette, she adds layer after layer after layer of bright pigments. The paintings can take weeks or months because each layer of the transparent oils she prefers can take days to dry and she needs many layers to achieve the vibrant intensity she loves. Color, patterns, glitter, sometimes actual jewels (like the red crystals in Connie’s earrings) and, voila:
Gail Postal’s style has been inspired by Russian icons and Fra Angelico; by Persian miniatures and Japanese hand-tinted photos. Her portraits are “contemporary sacred icons.”
Postal is also adept at still life and what she calls “poultry:”
Let’s end with an exclamation point of a painting:
saw the article in artists mag, had to see some more. very revealing of you,and very beautiful
Gail, your work is inspiring and all its own creative delight. How lucky those students were to have you, and how lucky we are to have you back, painting as much as you can and wish.
Five years after retiring, I discovered that painting not only delighted me, but eased my pain from a severe spinal problem as no medication could. At the same time lines for original poetry woke me up in the middle of the night. I am still doing both. How I wish I could muster the mastery you bring to your work!
Very fascinating story, and kudos for the thirty-five years she was “making art” in the classroom.
Beautiful work, inspiring life story. Thank you.
Gail, these are simply beautiful, an unexpected pleasure as I open into the reading…
and a reminder about the Joy from committed work. To your health!
Hi, I enjoyed Postal’s artwork very much. I too posphoned my writing until later because of working, but now that I’m retired, I can dedicate more time to getting better at the craft of writing and look forward to more hours of discovering what I can do.