Gail Edwards Interview
Tell us a little about yourself:
I grew up in a small rural town in Manitoba, Canada that was about 1 1/2 hours from the nearest city. As a child I spent much of my time outdoors, sometimes making mud pies other times painting the shed with leftover John Deere green paint. My parents were not happy! School wasn’t a pleasant experience… I guess I didn’t like being told what to do and would much prefer to visit. However, the two A’s that I did earn were in gym class and art class. I remember watching my mother draw and it almost put me in another world. It amazed me that an elk that she had seen in the winter was now coming alive on a piece of paper. How cool was this! Photography is for sure my second passion, so long drives to photograph what ever catches my attention. Traveling is also on my top 3 list of things to do!!
When did you first begin to make art?
I applied to a commercial art course when I left high school. The course was full and I was told to reapply next year. Well, life goes on. When my daughters were little I started a night class learning how to paint with acrylics. Loved it!! The next year I started to supply stores with my painted art. A couple years after that I started teaching others.
When did you first start using Photoshop and how did you learn?
So…then I meet this photographer guy! Great photographer, funny, kind heart and he knows Photoshop! Self taught I might add. This is the beginning my digital journey. I first would just do basic editing but eager to learn more would ask tons of questions. He would always share what he knew. What a whole new world! I started picking up magazines and watching tutorials. I took a one week advanced Photoshop course to further my skills. I’m always learning! Some things go over my head…I don’t get channels 🙂
What inspires you?
Stories. With my parents owning a dairy farm there wasn’t time for bedtime stories. Faces….that’s usually where I start and the story comes. Romance is a big inspiration!
Who are some of your favorite artists?
Pino is my favorite!!! But some of the artist you may know are Billa Bozem, Caroline Julia Moore. I think the old masters paved the way so we can be whatever kind of artist we want.
What is your typical process when creating a piece of art?
I start with the face and go from there. The story evolves as I go. Sometimes a piece starts out as something and finishes completely in another direction. I decide the color tone early in the piece, then I know if it will be a happy creation or not.
Where do you get your source materials from?
I love photography and am good at it but I don’t photograph people very much. So, I resource images online. Stock images are my favorite to work with. Professional photographers and professional models are a great start to my story. I also use other sites that people are happy to share their images for free.
What is your favorite Photoshop trick/method at the moment?
Dodging and burning with a 50% gray layer. This has saved me a lot of re-do work!
What is your favorite Photoshop tool or plugin at the moment?
I enjoy using OnOne. There are about 3 or 4 settings that I find I use most. I could create the same effects in Photoshop its just faster and more instant to use a plugin.
What work of your own are you most proud of?
I created a piece called Barbed Captive. She had light bulbs and webs in her hair. This story is one of hope and promise. I’m sure not everyone will see it this way. But that’s the special thing about art, each one of us can look at a piece and create our own story.
What are you currently working on?
Always creating new stories and hope they will be told. Always learning and I hope this never stops!
What would you tell someone who is starting out making Photoshop art?
What a WONDERFUL world you have entered!! Yes, it can be frustrating but the rewards in the end are enormous!