Featured Artist Gail Kolflat

Artist Gail Kolflat’s colorful paintings capture moments, portray transitions and tell bold stories. Enjoy her portfolio and visit her website to see more.


Painting of two younger woman speaking with an elderly woman in a flower shop by Gail Kolflat

“Evening Activity: gossip and floral design” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 31” x 41”


My paintings are of humanity. They reflect people engaged in a variety of activities or at assorted events. The inspiration for my subject matter is my interest in the human experience, and the intrigue of people immersed in enterprise, pursuit or leisurely moments.


Painting of people cutting down encroaching bamboo by Gail Kolflat

“Suburban Plight: encroaching bamboo” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 61” x 47”


Described as “Americana” by some, and “contemporary genre” by others, all my paintings have abstractions mingling with a loose but identifiably peopled realism. Crafted with bold colors, upon close inspection one might notice varying textures, nuances in application of pigment, the manifestation of linear elements and idiosyncratic aspects of composition. Some pieces have irregular perimeters.


Painting of three women on a train conversing by Gail Kolflat

“Dinner and Conversation: more than meets the eye” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 38” x 38”


Creating the artworks, I start off by using acrylic paints. Eventually, towards the end of the process, certain techniques or color combinations might be implemented with oil pigments. The larger pieces are either produced on oversized canvases, or multi-panel assemblages.


Painting of a county fair by Gail Kolflat

“Entertainment and Amusement: summer fare, county fair” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 82” x 59”


My body of work falls into three themes—Snapshots, Transitions and Impact: Big and small.The Snapshots themed paintings are compositions suggestive of a photograph, with a scene depicting people brought together at a location, the moment captured as happens when taking a photograph.


Painting of the the progression of birth and death by Gail Kolflat

“Life and the Progression of Human Bonds: birth and demise” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 96” x 38”


The Transitions theme tells a story of people and their interactions. They are often portrayed in a certain place and time, juxtaposed with a contrasting scene of how things have transpired or evolved into at a later time—a transition.


Painting of the aftermath of hurricane Sandy by Gail Kolflat

“Hurricane: Sandy aftermath” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 102” x 50”


Lastly, the Impact theme presents issues of voiced concern. They deal with looming situations, large and small, such as natural disasters, environmental worries, women’s rights or global terrorism.


Painting of three women flower arranging by Gail Kolflat

“The Dust Settling: for what it’s worth” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 50” x 37”


The objective of my work is not to simulate a realistic scene. There is plenty of room for experimentation and to pull away from rigidly accurate perspective or photographic depictions of people. My aim is to encapsulate a story, an occasion, or a circumstance, distinctly portraying it in the style and type I have developed over the years.


Painting of a child in a stroller and his mother on a bus by Gail Kolflat

“Hold: urban transport” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 30” x 40”


When devising a composition, I start with a scene or an event in my mind, and have a basic preference for the eventual color scheme at completion. I lay the piece flat on the floor and wash the canvas abstractly with hues sympathetic to forming a dynamic dialogue with the colors I envision the piece to have on completion. I use up to four pigments in this wash.


Painting of children watching butterflies by Gail Kolflat

“Environmental Concern: fewer butterflies” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 96” x 62”


Once dry, I overlay the painting with an improvised sketch of the scene or event. This is done freehand, referencing preliminary drawings and photographs as needed while I work. I complete the painting by adjusting shapes, textures and colors, as I am inspired, free of any plan.


Painting of three women in a flower shop by Gail Kolflat

“Suitable Arrangements: time and place” Oil and Acrylic on Canvas, 37” x 49”


To stimulate my imagination, I like to visit art galleries and exhibitions. Ambling about from afar, I find myself exploring, surmising, and ultimately forming what might be described as an “appreciation of immediate ambiance”. This is usually done from a distance of fifteen to twenty feet. The visual impressions garnered from these visits influence my creative process. Once I’ve returned to the studio, ideas resurface, and impact my practice when crafting new, fresh paintings. I endeavor to produce works that are bold, colorful and dramatic at a glance with strong compositions meant to hold the viewer’s interest.


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