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Creativity is my favorite mode of travel, an open-ended journey. I don’t need much when I am in my studio, except materials to produce lines, shapes, colors.

Once the paint cans are open, my mind is free to discover and explore. The figure has always been dominant in my years of making art. What inspires me are the physical gestures and emotions of people. I am not a detail oriented person. When I start a painting I prefer loose and gestural brush strokes, layering warms and cools, lights and darks, and random lines, applying and erasing, dripping and slopping.

I dance around the canvas.

At some point the figure or figures on the canvas require the dance to slow down, and this is when I simplify. I slow down, and think more. I anchor the painting with the use of darks. I turn the painting upside down to lose the subject and paint more abstractly. I go back to the roots of composition and color theory.

I prefer to leave a painting just a bit unfinished rather than over worked. This allows the viewer to enter into the painting with their own stories. Having lived in California my entire life, I am influenced by the California colors, golden hills, and clear blue skies, swimsuits and swimming pools.


Gail Ragains’ work is reminiscent of the Bay Area Figurative Movement, yet she holds a strong style of her own. She intuitively reacts to the materials at hand. Painting a still life or the figure, she strips away the non-essentials to give a loose interpretation of form and movement. Gail’s art education started in the early 1990’s at the Pacific Art League, Palo Alto Art Center, Community Colleges, and workshops with various artists. She continues to explore with new materials, and always finds joy in the process of art making.

Gail has been exhibiting her work for the past 15 years. She is represented by several galleries in the US and Canada. Gail was born and raised in the SF Bay Area, and currently lives and works in Redwood City, California. Having been a Massage Therapist for 25 years, a background in dance and athletics, and weekly drawing sessions with a live model has given her an intuitive connection to the human form.


Fun fact: Gail lived by the beach in her 20’s and made cappuccinos at Mr. Toots in Capitola, and danced with Tandy Beal. She has always traveled through life as a free spirit and is thrilled to return to this beach town as a professional artist at Curated. You may pick up on the essence of her creativity if you keep in mind that she is truly a California Girl who loves nature and color and people.

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