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Toni Gullion-Reding

Toni Gullion-Reding



Born and raised in Kentucky, I found my love for painting at Murray State University and knew that this was the most fulfilling and critical time in my life. Throughout the years I have ventured down many paths, but have always returned to art knowing deep down that making this is what guides and directs my soul. Painting is a cleansing experience and has become a necessary form of expression to me as an individual and an artist.

After reaching a point in my life, it became necessary to stay home to take care of my two children. Many years passed as I watched them grow, and one day I realized their independence had reached a level that would allow my creative spirit to grow. Once I commited myself to being a full-time artist, I nurtured and developed the unique vision given to me. Then, upon completing a large painting titled "Coming out of the Darkness", I finally felt ready to share my thoughts and passion for the natural wonders we are surrounded by.

At times I consider myself a seasonal painter about nature that I am surrounded by, and it is no won-der that my creative highs reach its creative peak during the fall. At this time an abundant, colorful glow fills the sky and ground with an array of colors no artist's palette can match. During the winter months, I look to the sky for inspiration by observing intricate snowflake forms that take on a landscape of their own. Then, on hot summer days I find myself captivated by the ocenanic world where a fasina-ting myriad of colors and shapes can be seen and photographed behind the lens of my camera. My paintings are filled with imagery that is subdued, yet vibrant and always reflective of the seasons in which we live. My canvas has become an entity that translates how I feel for the stunning visual world in which we live.

As an artist, I am attracted to a vast array of natural, graceful objects from the sea, to the sky and
beyond. Life is filled with many fascinating forms that are delicate in nature, but what intrigues me the
most are the more intricately woven objects life has to offer. I am often asked where my ideas come
from and the answer to this is that my visual vocabulary blooms from my love for organic forms and
my fascination with color. My interest in photography is reflected in my later paintings in that they are
not solely abstract.

My child-like sense of wonder and my desire to be visually stimulated only grows as I mature as an
individual. At times, it is not simply the object itself that is visually appealing but the shadow that the object casts:

“A leaf is fragile as it blows in the wind full of vitality, but eventually it loses this and
falls to the ground. It thinks its life is over, but it is not. The shadow hovers over it and
protects it. It knows how vulnerable and scared the leaf is, and it knows how badly it
wants to survive. The shadow is strong, and it gives its strength away until its fragile
companion has life once again.”

I find the surroundings of an object also play into the mood of a painting. After changing my
palette from vibrant blue skies, to autumn-colored sunsets, and then to stormy skies, I
discovered that this alone changes the mood of a painting quickly. These color variations are
what have kept my visual walk through life from ever tiring.

When painting an object, I depict what attracted me to it through the use of light, line and color.
It is very challenging to paint an object in a color that enhances its beauty, so I carefully
choose every palette to give each and every painting a mood of its own. Much of the time I am
drawn to bright, vibrant colors, but subtle colors also have their place on my palette because they
emit completely different feelings. The chosen image is then painted on a much larger scale
allowing me to show the intricate details and subtle variations of color with more precision.

Color gives off an array of emotions and can influence the way a person perceives it. As a painter, I
have created abstract images that speak clearly by bringing the viewer in for a closer look. I hope that while viewing my images a sense of intimacy with the subject is felt, and that they have become fro-zen in time long enough for you to enjoy nature's visual journey.


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