From little sketches to gallery walls… and dreaming big!

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Sketch for my painting "I have a dream"

Ten years ago my art was just little sketches on restaurant napkins and pieces of scrap paper. What does it take to transform ideas into a big dream?

First I had to think to myself that it could be possible. I meet many talented artists that show me their sketch book, and I often tell them ‘see this one if you made it in big on a canvas it would look amazing’. That’s basically what my husband told me when he first saw my drawings…….

 

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Living With Conscience and Integrity

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Autumn Reflection Oil 20x16 2014

Here is how I encountered what these words even mean! I was at a restaurant when I just started dating with my, now, husband; when it was time to pay, the waiter gave me back too much change. Before I was about to gladly put the extra money in my pocket, Dolphin called the man to let him know he had made a mistake. This natural gesture of integrity was totally new to me. At that moment I realised that there was a way of living that I had never even considered…..

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How to marry business and art?

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Image-Studio-Tour-Gaia-Orion

My good friend Tristan once told me one day that I inherited from the business mind of my dad and the artistic sense of my mom. Although it might sound weird to some people I have always approached my art with the idea that I want to sell it and make a good living from it. In my experience it has never affected my creative process : the place where art comes from is totally different than the planning and reasoning brain required for leading a successful career….

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The Origin Of My Name

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Mother Earth - Oil on Canvas 24"x24" -2013

Someone asked me one day to write a story “to explain the origin of my name”, so as promised, here is the story.

My name is Gaia Orion. “Is that your real name?” I am asked often. It all depends what we mean by “real”!

I was born Anne Marie Cecile, a classic French and Catholic name. I married a Canadian man named Gabrion Orion, so this gives the Orion of my family name. When I was pregnant with my twins, my husband was making lists of potential names for the babies and when he came up with the name Gaia as a suggestion I immediately said “Oh, this name is for me!”. It is around this time that I was just starting to paint and I wanted an artist name to sign my paintings…..

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The impact of my Free! painting

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Free-GaiaFree-GaiaFree!  is one of my very first original paintings. I had no idea of the power she emanated when I created her.

As an artist it is very hard to see our art in an objective manner. For many years I could never really ‘see’ her for who she was. One day I was having a healing session done on me and my Free! image came really clear into my mind’s eyes. Only then I fully saw her: ecstatic, totally uninhibited and open like a butterfly; her outline is strong and soft and gentle at the same time which makes her also sensual. She is not just ‘walking’ on water… she is running on water,….

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“Do the art that you want to do”

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Free-Gaia-OrionI was at a local art show and an older lady beside me was selling her artwork as well. She is a very talented artist and her subject matter was Canadian landscape and wildlife that she painted on wooden objects like canoe paddles, boxes, candle holders etc. As we were getting to know each other she told me that she loves my art and in a slightly embarrassed voice she said “my art is kind of hokey”. As we talked more she showed me a binder she had with pencil drawings that she used to do a long time ago…..

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Married and happy. The support of a lifetime for my art. The 12 keys of our successful relationship.

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Gaia-and-Dolphin-Orion-1995

I often remind my husband that without his support, his encouragement and the foundation of our relationship, I would most likely have never been an artist. Here we are today, 20 years later after we met on a bus backpacking in Morocco.

Meeting couples that stay together for a long time and that are happy is increasingly rare. Passing the 20 year mark since our meeting this year makes me reflect on the keys of our successful, long lasting relationship….

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Choosing The Right Canopy For Art Shows

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Canopy-GaiaWhen I am at shows, I am often asked about my canopy so I thought writing an article could be useful to many other artists.

The Cheap Canopy: Everyone’s Sad Experience

Many people that do their first outdoor show make this mistake: they go and buy the cheapest canopy from Costco or Wall-Mart with a blue, green or brown top. After the first show you will notice that the art does not display properly because it is dark under the tent and light is essential to make our paintings look beautiful….

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Choosing The Right Canopy For Art Shows

Is Your Computer Sucking Up Your Time? Tips for Staying Focused

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Artist-Gaia-Orion-Managing-Time-On-The-ComputerOne of the biggest challenge self-employed colleagues and artist’s friends have is how to integrate some discipline regarding the time spent on the computer. I find that the world of technology brings a huge distraction to my days.

It is obvious that having a website, writing a blog, posting regular news on social media and occasionally searching online for new connection opportunities are becoming essential to presenting ourselves to the world….

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The Truth About The Nomads

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My husband told me recently “you should really change the bullshit text you have about your nomads painting!”… this is how it goes:

These nomads are carpet weavers. On their carpets they weave pictures of the stories of their lives. They weave as they go and carry all their belongings. All of them, young or old, pregnant, carrying babies, carrying everything. They walk all day, day after day, and sleep anywhere. Life is simple. They have very little, only the necessary. They walk across the plains, through the fields full of rich colours and textures. This beauty is the fabric of their life woven in their carpets.

I think I could live like this; I admire their life; I admire these people.

This painting is inspired by a movie from Iran called Gabbeh that is about those nomads.

Nomads by Gaia Orion- Oil on Canvas - 18"x24"

 

In the movie, the truth is that their lives actually have just as much confusion and misery as our complex modern lives…..

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The Truth About The Nomads