Gérard Maillé's Journey as an Artist
My journey as an artist began, as with so many children, with a love of drawing. In fact, all kinds of manual and construction activities attracted me as a child. My parents, recognizing my natural artistic flair, sent me to a fine arts school for several years until I was about seventeen. The experience was pure joy. I loved it all, and I remember especially the smells of the art studio, a mixture of paint, clay and turpentine.
This pathway, however, was sadly not to continue, as I then entered the French Airforce. Yes, I am French, born on the Mediterranean Coast of France in the fishing town of Sѐte. I suppose being French kind of goes hand in hand with being an artist, but at this point in my life such was not to be. I was born in the post-World War 2 era, and my parents saw a need for job security, rather than me becoming a Rembrandt or a Gaugin. My artistic journey was therefore interrupted.
In 1974, I married an Australian girl, and we set forth to make a life for ourselves in the north of France. I worked in aviation at Bourget Airport in Paris, and we got on with family life. In my spare time I painted, thriving on the encouragement of my wife and children. Our home became my gallery. At this point, my painting style was heavily influenced by the great French classics, and I loved painting still life, landscape and seascape. Oil on canvas became my hobby.
In 1986 we decided to emigrate to Australia, a life-changing experience on many levels. For one thing, it signalled the end of my career in aviation, as I was determined to forge a new career in art. This began when I decided to do a graphic art course in Brisbane in 1988, with a view, of course, to opening a graphic art business, which I did, under the name of “GM Design”.
The nature of my business evolved very quickly, as I saw the opportunity to make my art even more commercial beyond just graphic art. I began to do murals, commission paintings, decorative art for commercial venues and home interiors and exteriors and eventually gilding. It was a world of art expression that I would never have dreamt of in France, and there I was, making a career of it in Australia. The name of my business changed most appropriately to “Art on Walls”.
As I continue to run my business today, my focus has turned more to commission painting, a kind of return to the origins of my love of art, but with the difference that I now paint in a range of styles, as testified to in my art catalogue in my website. I am particularly proud of my “trompe l’oeil” and window effect paintings, which have proven very popular.
I have also developed an interest in book illustration. My completed works include technical illustrations for the trade and medical industries, LOTE textbooks for education, and my own recently published work, the illustrated comic series “Chronicles of Shade”.
I have a well-developed understanding of the place of technology in the field of art, and have accordingly expanded my illustration competency by developing my skills in digital art. By adding this valuable skill to my already large repertoire of technology skills developed as a graphic artist, I have been able to assist artists and indeed a range of business people to build their own websites. This has now become a significant area of professional activity for me.