“A Day in the Life” with Toronto Mixed-Media Artist Gail Blima

The artistic journey of Gail Blima is a captivating tale of passion and creativity. From her early explorations in black and white photography to her current endeavours in mixed media, she has woven a rich tapestry of artistic expression.

Since 2018, Gail has embraced the world of mixed media, diving headfirst into a realm where imagination knows no bounds. Her journey began with a single painting destined for our home, but it soon blossomed into a full-fledged career. Now, she graces art shows, collaborates with galleries, and takes on private commissions.

Creating mixed media art requires an array of supplies, and Gail’s weekends are spent scouring antique shows for hidden treasures. The thrill of discovery lights up her eyes—whether it’s a vintage Life magazine or a rare find from Mad Magazines. These artefacts become the building blocks of her nostalgic paintings.

But Gail’s art isn’t just about visuals; it’s also about words. She carefully selects phrases to complement her collages, seeking that elusive perfect match. As she bounces ideas off those around her, she invites you into her creative process. You’re a silent collaborator, witnessing the birth of each masterpiece, even though the final decision rests in her capable hands.

-Written by Robert Greenberg, husband

Gail Blima
Fun commission of Spider-Man. Superheroes are a big part of my practice.
Gail Blima
My booth at Exhibition Place, The Artist Project 2023.
Family shot at my son’s wedding in October 2022.
In my studio surrounded by paintings and supplies.
Inspiration is everywhere. A Star Wars phrase I used in a painting.
Gail Blima
My first private exhibition at Starving Artist Café, Toronto.
Gail Blima
I don’t just paint, sometimes I try other mediums. This is a fused glass workshop I took a few years ago.

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Which ‘hood/area are you in?

I live in midtown Toronto and have a home studio. Once my son moved out, I overtook his bedroom which had the best lighting, tossed out his bed and have been creating ever since. I am originally from Montréal and moved to Toronto over 25 years ago.

What do you do?

I am a mixed-media artist. I create paintings by first creating a collage using anything from comics, recipes, magazine covers, album covers, playing cards, cereal boxes, or candy wrappers. The choices are endless if I can glue them down. After the background collage is complete, I paint an acrylic overlay using the power of language. The words and the collage are intertwined. An example would be a background collage of Monopoly money and property cards and the overlay says, “Well Played”. My art is meant to convey optimism, empowerment and positivity.

What are you currently working on?

I am currently working on a series of nostalgic paintings. Recently, I participated in The Artist Project in Toronto with over 26 new pieces. This has been what I’ve been doing since last June along with some superhero commissions.

Where can we find your work?

Kefi Art Gallery, Toronto | Artsy | Website | Instagram

 

About Joel Levy 2599 Articles
Editor-In-Chief at Toronto Guardian. Photographer and Writer for Toronto Guardian and Joel Levy Photography