Gabrielle Pilot’s family led a nomadic life during her childhood and early adolescence; following her father’s career path in international banking. “We would fly, and my mother and we children would follow by cargo ship. It would often take weeks to join him in our new home.”

“When we came to Montreal, I met and fell in love with the young man who would become my husband, Wakeham Pilot. I went off to the US to study biochemistry, but we missed each other so much that I came back to Montreal and enrolled in École des Beaux Arts – so much for science.”

“Our design class planned one of the playgrounds at Expo 67. When I graduated, I learned that women were paid half of what men earned. Well – there was no way that I was going to put up with that! So I started painting fashionable clothes and sold them to Bloomingdales. I was doing quite well. I always had a paint brush or pencil in my hand, and I was fortunate to have Wakeham’s father Robert Pilot as my teacher. He taught me how to create layers and textures.”

While Gabrielle filled the roles of wife, mother and business owner, she continued to paint. It was and still is her centre – her point of reference with herself.

“I’ve been fortunate to have three studios, and my subject matter varies with their location. I do more scenery when in Maine, swans and other birds when in the Townships and more portraits in our Montreal studio. Recently, I’ve been painting abstracts and I’ll be showing them at the exhibition.”

Gabrielle shows us a sequence of abstracts with brilliant colours, created with a mixture of palette knife and brush strokes. Several have a central human figure, surrounded bold colours and shapes. The figure provides a point of focus for the viewer, allowing time to them take in the rest of the work, almost like following the ripples in water.

Gabrielle’s sees life and her environment as art, as part of her being. She describes her thought process when composing a painting; “I make the connections, interweaving shapes, colours. Making backgrounds into foregrounds, and positive shapes into negative ones. All with the intention of that has a harmonious unit to the effect of the whole.”

“A successful painting is one that can absorb the viewer and give an emotion rather than being a display of colour.”

You can see Gabrielle Pilot’s most recent works at the Victoria Hall Gallery from September 27 – October 26. Mary Martha Guy will also be exhibiting. The Gallery is located at 4626 Sherbrooke St. West in Westmount. 514-989-5226. Enjoy!

Related Posts