My name is Deborah Gillis and I’m a painter. I work primarily in oil on larger canvases or wood panels. I am originally from Portland Oregon but now work primarily at my studio in Tucson, in the Steinfeld Warehouse Gallery and Studios. My paintings are a cross between abstraction and representation of the natural world I see around me. For the last ten years, prior to the onset of the COVID pandemic my work was mostly abstract in nature but in the last year I have started a new body of work that combines abstraction with representation in a mixed collage of images. In this new work I am attempting to capture a feeling of time and place.
Open Studio Tour
About the Process
Water has always been a key element in my work and it is interesting to me that my paintings have continued to change and grow in this new environment. Ironically, water or lack thereof is still an underlying theme in my work as we face climate change, extended drought and dwindling water supplies in our rivers and reservoirs.
In October of 2022 Steinfeld Warehouse Gallery and Studios, we presented a juried exhibition titled, “WATERLINE: A demarcation line, a metaphorical or literal gauge for the times we live in.” with well known, Tucson artist and juror Miles Conrad. My work in the show was a response to the dire situation with the Lake Powell and Lake Mead dwindling reservoirs with their . The two pieces (shown below), were titled, Lake Mead: September 6,2022; 1044.29 ft, only 149.29 ft to “Dead Zone” I and II.
My working process is an additive/reductive process. I might have an initial idea for a painting but that is seldom the final result. Through many layers of adding and subtracting paint I try to allow the process to dictate the final result. No area of the painting can become too precious: I always want each painting to stay active, compelling, fresh.
How to Purchase
After working in a studio by myself for many years I find joy, comradery and inspiration working with my fellow artists in the Steinfeld Studios. It is a pleasure to open our studios and gallery each Saturday for our friends and public to visit.
All my work is available for purchase. Anyone who is interested may purchase work through Venmo.