GladArt Watercolors by Gail Vass website designed and published by Gail Vass  Copyright 2017

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Watercolors by gail vass

     At 5 years old, I announced boldly that I was going to be an artist when I grew up. My love for birds and animals was also evident as I would bring home a baby robin and a baby crow to care for.  As an adult, I spend a lot of time studying the birds, animals and plants of God’s creation from my own yard and nearby places of farmlands or other natural habitats. My own backyard is a wildlife nature center from my gardening efforts that blends in with the sprawling farm fields. It is in the solitude and stillness that I hear a good theme springing up out of my heart like a well of water from the Creator Who paints life! And when the watercolor paint flows out onto my paper, I continue to “hear” the overtures played out through the subjects I’m painting. They often are accentuated with a message written in words when the painting is finished. I also feel very attached to these little creatures that I paint, especially the birds. They are like little companions that make their daily visits to the feeders and the pond.

     Watercolor paint is a flowing medium and moves around on the paper. But the paint needs the water to become “alive” just as we do. I love the soft, transparent effects it can make in setting the mood. A strong quality of my paintings has been described as “clear transparent color and quality of light, almost like it’s glowing through the foliage.” I continue to strive for that glow and movement. In many of my paintings, the perspective in the compositions direct the viewer upwards toward the light.

     Fine art painting in watercolor has been a more recent addition to my career as a commercial graphic artist. After graduating from commercial art school in 1976, I worked in major advertising agencies and studios. I also did freelance work at home when raising my two young boys along with my husband, Mike. My work consisted of many various projects such as designing retail store newspaper circulars, logos for auto dealerships, hair salons, other businesses, designing restaurant menus, posters and hand painted signage, caricatures, flyers, newsletters, cartoons and logos for Christian ministries, watercolor house portraits for building contractors, to name a few.   I also published a Christian women’s newsletter and magazine that was distributed across the U.S. and internationally. Publishing a magazine was a big dream of mine and thought I’d continue producing it until God took me by surprise and expanded my horizon with fine art watercolor painting and operated two galleries of my own!  I joined the Minnesota Watercolor Society in 2011 and became a signature member a year later. I feel honored and blessed to have won Best of Show and other top awards since I don’t enter many exhibitions. That isn’t my goal.  My watercolor originals, prints and images have sold locally and nationally to private collectors and published as greeting cards and in other publications. Now, I have come full circle with graphic design again with the position as Editor of Minnesota Watercolor Society Brush Strokes Newsletter of 8 or more  printed pages sent out to the members. It’s been an exciting journey.

     I hope and pray my artwork blesses you with a glad heart and can sing along with me of the good theme intended by our Creator!

Editor & Designer


-Minnesota Watercolor Society Brush Strokes Newsletter

Juried Exhibition Acceptances and Honors


-MNWS Spring Show Acceptance

-Mntka Center for the Arts “Art of the Garden”


-MNWS Spring Show, Third Place Award

-Mntka Center for the Arts “Art of the Garden”


-MNWS Spring Show, Merit Award

-Mntka Center for the Arts “Art of the Garden”


-MNWS Spring Show, Emerich Stordahl Award


-MNWS Spring Show


-MNWS Spring Show, Emerich Stordahl Award

-Mntka Center for the Arts “Art of the Garden”


-MNWS Spring Show, Best of Show Award

Publications in Print


-Courage Kenny Cards, “Welcome Home”


-Courage Kenny Cards, “Birthplace” & “Over the Hills”


-Courage Kenny Cards, “Christmas Stable” & “Over the Hills”


-Country Register of Minnesota July/Aug issue Cover art and artist biography

-Safe Home magazine of London, England Winter issue, “Birthplace” & “True Shepherd” paintings featured

-Little Sisters of the Poor Organization of London, England, Christmas greeting cards with “Birthplace” & “True Shepherd”

-Safe Home magazine of London, England Spring issue, “Resurrection Day” painting featured

- “Grandpa’s Devotions,” Book Cover art “My Hallowed Place”


-Garden Gate magazine crabapple tree illustration

Solo Exhibitions


-Courage Center, Stillwater, MN 4 week display

-Woodwinds Corporation, Woodbury, MN 8 week display

-Health East Corporation, St. Paul, MN 4 ½ week display


-Gallery W, Long Lake, MN

-Athena Gallery and Showroom, Mound, MN

-GladArt Gallery, Maple Plain, MN

-Creekside Overture Gallery, Maple Plain, MN


-U.S.A. Government of Idaho, several wildlife original paintings

-Several Private Collectors locally and nationally



-MNWS February members meeting

Recent Credits

“My heart is overflowing with a good theme…”

-Psalm 45: 1