Lake Itasca: True Source of My Inspiration
Gillian Bedford, Plein Air Painter

Lakeview Gallery

RECEPTION Friday December 1 from 5 to 7pm, talk at 6pm
EXHIBIT December 1, 2023 – February 24, 2024

LISTEN: Gillian interview with Northern Community Radio’s Andrew Dziengel →

Gillian Bedford’s paintings, full of color and emotion, have an expressive quality and also an abstract nature, yet refer to an image or scene from her new home in the North Woods of Minnesota.

She is an artist who has deftly described the loud and quiet passion of the lakes, trees, and bogs of the North and has developed her own style and original body of work.

Artist Website →

Artist Statement

Color is what inspires me to paint. Over the last few years I have challenged myself to paint with a limited palette built from five or six colors. I used these practices when creating this body of work about Lake Itasca. 

This last year I painted Plein Air at Lake Itasca often. Other times I paint from images of Lake Itasca while working from my studio in Bemidji, MN. In my studio I have also created small studies on 5”x7” pieces of watercolor paper. These studies have often prepared me for the composition or emotion I want to paint on a larger canvas. 

When I first moved to Minnesota four years ago, I was moved by the significance of living close to the Headwaters of the Mississippi River. Lake Itasca State Park was one of the first places my husband and I visited together after moving here from Pennsylvania. I feel a connection to Lake Itasca State Park because it was here where my husband and I would go for hikes, exploring the trails, and enjoying the view at the southern tip looking north where it funnels through the openings in the trees far off into the distance.

Artist Bio

Gillian Bedford loves the feeling of putting paint on canvas and the ability to use large amounts of color. She paints in acrylics and oils. She started using acrylics five years ago when she was on a roadtrip across America and painted the scenes along the way. Using acrylic paint has helped Bedford be able to change ideas quickly before settling on her final vision. Her paintings are full of color and emotion. They have an expressive and abstract nature yet refer to an image or scene from her home in Minnesota.

Bedford received a BFA in painting from Temple University’s Tyler School of Art. Painting was not her first choice of medium, but after exploring photography, jewelry, and ceramics, she found her true home in painting.