The Heroine’s Journey of Geraldine Gillingham

What is the best thing that I love about my work? Love the spontaneity of mark making on a clean white canvas with all of the possibilities that that painting might be. I love that when I am painting time stands still, it is only me and the canvas. During those moments I am completely lost in the process and nothing else matters.
What is my idea of perfect happiness? Perfect Happiness is having freedom to do as I please. Of course my family, friends and having good health also fit into that equation.
What is my greatest fear?
if something ever happened to my children.
What is the trait that I most deplore in myself?  That I doubt myself sometimes and my abilities as a painter.
Which living persons in my profession do i most admire?  I admire other artists when they are kind, open and honest to people just starting out. Along the way I would never have continued painting without the support of other artists who have gone before me such as Sharon Barr, Karinlynn Cummings and Margaret Ryall just to name a few.
What is my greatest extravagance? Travel, Food and my new studio currently being built in my backyard.
On what occasion would I lie?  I would tell a lie to protect someone I care about. But I suck at lying.
What is the thing that I dislike the most in my work?  I dislike it when I cannot resolve a painting, when everyday I paint for hours only to go the next day and the next, painting layer after layer and nothing seems to work. The paintings that come quickly are the magical ones that seem to come out of nowhere. When I have to really struggle with the painting it may feel forced and then I am unhappy with it.
When and where was I the happiest, in my work?  Everytime I start a new painting, I am the happiest in my work. The possibilities are endless and the visions I have for what that painting might become gives me the joy.
If I could, what would I change about myself?  I would want to be fearless.
What is my greatest achievement in work? My greatest achievement is that I am getting better with every mile I put on the brush.
Where would I most like to live? Right where I am right at this moment. I adore my home province of Newfoundland and after being away for 20 years, I just moved back to the island with my family and friends. There is no other place in the world that I would rather be (that is a song by the way). The rugged coastline and views of the ocean all around me, the hospitality and spirit of the people remind me every day that I am so lucky to live here.
What is my most treasured possession? I just purchased a 75 year old home in St. John’s and I love it so much. It has so much character and it is filled with vintage furniture and found items that I thought would be perfect for my little home. My paintings are in every room and I love collecting old things that would tell stories if they could talk. Of course, my dog is always there by my side or curled up by the fire. When my boys are home it is a pretty sweet.
What is my most marked characteristic? My hobbies and interests are ever changing and usually I am extremely passionate about them. These interests are varied and can become totally consuming but without a doubt, next year or next month I will be on to something else.
What is my most inspirational location, in my city? Downtown, Signal Hill, Quidi Vida, Anywhere near the ocean, on the trails and out in nature.
What is my favourite place to eat and drink, in my city? Love to go to YellowBelly Micro Brewery for their craft beer on Friday night happy hour. Love Duke of Duckworth because of the history of the place. Pretty much anywhere down on Duckworth or Water Street in downtown St. John’s. I have only been back for one year so I am still researching to find my favourite place. St. john’s has so many cool places that it will take me awhile to get around to them all.
What books influenced my life and how? Man’s Search for Meaning, by Viktor Frankl This book made me realize that no matter what happens in our lives we can choose our response to it.Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle This book helped me understand the importance of being present in the moment and to get out of my own head. To always try to separate myself from my ego. Other books that stayed with me for a very long time are: City of Thieves by David Benioff, The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstien, A Tree Grows In Brooklyn by Betty Smith, The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, White Oleander by Janet Fitch
Who are my favorite writers? Mariam Toews is an amazing writer, I love all of her books. Other writers that I have read and love are Margaret Atwood, Wally Lamb, Ken Follett,
You Only Die Once. What music would I listen to on my last day? Al Green, Ella Fitzgerald, ColdPlay, The Tragically Hip, Just to name a few. Hope it’s a long day.
Who is my hero or heroine in fiction? Astrid in the novel White Oleander for her spirit and survival instinct and Lisbeth Salander for her fearlessness.
Who are my heroes and heroines in real life? My mother
Which movie would i recommend to see once in a lifetime? Love Is Strange, Life is Beautiful, Out of Africa, Forest Gump, Dead Poet Society
What role plays art in my life and work? I breath, sleep, drink painting. I try to paint every morning, that is the best time for me to be creative. When I am not painting myself, you can find me reading about art/artists, and talking to others about painting. I even paint in my dreams some nights.
Who is my greatest fan, sponsor, partner in crime?  My partner is crime would be my husband, he is always there to support me. Right now he is building my dream studio for me and he puts up with me painting all the time, He stretches my canvas for me, does the wiring and is planning to learn about matting and framing so that he can frame all of my work. Making art takes a great deal of money, time, and resources so it does require the support of your family. My two sons are big supports for me as well. They are always there to offer advice and feedback on my art and I am always amazed at how insightful they are. My art friends Margaret Ryall, Chania Allan and Karinlynn Cummings are always there for advice when I need them. Finally my My sister-in-law, Paula Burt supports me in numerous ways.
Whom would I like to work with in 2018?  I would love to work with Theresa Girard in the near future. Not sure it will be this year but hopefully 2019.
Which people in my profession would i love to meet in 2018? I have always wanted to do the Master Series Artist Residency with Steve Aimone. Not sure that I will be able to do that in 2018 but it is on my bucket list.
What project, in 2018, am I looking forward to work on? In November I will be doing an Advanced Painting Retreat with Audrey Phillips with 10 other artists. It is something that I have been wanting to do for years.
Where can you see me or my work in 2018? The Kraken Art Gallery, St. John’s, Newfoundland, Red Ochre Gallery, St. John’s, Newfoundland, East Window Gallery (online gallery), Savvy Art Gallery Oakville, Ontario,
What do the words “Passion Never Retires” mean to me? If something is your passion, it is part of your life and you will never stop doing it.
Which creative heroines should Peter invite to tell their story? KarinLynn Cummings, Margaret Ryall,
How can you contact me? You can reach me through Facebook and Instagram or email me at

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