Faith Gaillot thought of a career in journalism, but took a commercial art course simply by chance in her senior year of high school. As the course ended, she made a promise to her enthusiastic teacher to further pursue her art. She went on to take art courses in college and became enamored of the emotional possibilities in pen and ink drawings.
This show will feature a variety of those pen and ink drawings, including automobiles and pet portraits. As a means to work her way through college, Ms Gaillot drew cars for a local car dealer, and designed Christmas cards for the auto showroom.
One drawing in the show is “Portrait of a Beagle”, with highly detailed textures of fur, and a focus on the eyes. She still keeps in touch with her college instructors–who were important influences, and this work came from a class exercise to draw and paint images of pets using multiple media. She also uses watercolor to add color and highlights to these pen and ink works.
Realism has always been important to Ms Gaillot, including the classicists like Michelangelo and DaVinci, who were attracted to religious subjects. Perhaps that’s why Southern Maryland’s churches hold a special fascination for Faith. She noticed that plenty of the art displayed in local galleries featured subjects like water scenes and old barns, so she decided to work on something different– something she was inspired to draw. She recounts that a collector once said to her, “Your drawing of the church just speaks to me, you give it a soul, a heart.” Ms Gaillot says “People seem especially attracted to these,” and she has made a point of including these highly detailed church drawings in every show.
Currently Ms Gaillot is working on a drawing of The Christian Center, behind the Dunnsville Post Office. And she is working on equestrian portraits as well, some of which will appear in this show.
When asked to describe her process, Ms Gaillot replied, “I do a basic outline, then freehand draw in pen and ink. I find that it is the most challenging medium and demands that I stay focused. What makes it beautiful to me is the intense detail. You can’t camouflage mistakes easily. I use only one pen, and have made it work for me… maybe I have finally conquered it. The rewards are great! ”
The show opening reception is Friday, February 12th at 5:30PM; the show continues through March 20th at The Tappahannock Art Gallery.