Gail Backus' non-objective art is the proverbial beckoning forefinger, teasing the viewer into the acrylic or watercolor. Is that claret form a mountainscape behind a lake? Perhaps . . . come and see. Sometimes the title is an indication: Snow in the Mountains (2016). Sometimes the invitation is much more open-ended as with New Beginning (2019). Either way, you are drawn in.
Improvising with contour and shape, she searches for the next original image to express a feeling, a moment, or an idea that will refresh. Backus recruits the natural world into her work, leaning into Arcadian subject matter available in her home region of Ontario. "My paintings are haikus to the beauty of nature." Her other canvas and Yupo paintings also feature texturized and multi-media work. Artist collectives and galleries in Toronto sell her unique, particle-fine, interpretational paint-work as fabric printed tunics and kimonos.
Featured in juried art shows on multiple continents, Backus took second place among 32 nations and regions in the Aichi, Japan Triennale. In 2017, she was a featured artist at the Visual Arts Mississauga. Numerous other juried shows have featured her artwork, including the Society of Canadian Artists’ international juried exhibition. Backus is an established and involved figure in the Canadian national and Ontario regional art community belonging to eleven professional collectives, institutes, or societies. Trained in the Fine Arts (B.A., York University), she is also an educator (B.Ed., Art Specialist, York). She belongs to the Ontario College of Teachers and the Canadian Federation of University Women.