Gabrielle Baker

Gabrielle Baker


Harlem, NY, African-American Abstract Artist. At the age of ten I took a still life watercolor painting at the Arts Students League of New York. My first art instructor helped me hone my watercolor technique and gain confidence as an artist. After several years there, I continued expanding my knowledge of art and further develop my artistic abilities at Fiorello LaGuardia High School of Music and Art. Unfortunately, as I got older, there was minimal support and encouragement to continue art as a vocation. I pursued art as a hobby and nothing more. I certainly never thought of it as a livelihood. In college, I did a complete one-eighty during college and majored in Science with the intent to go to medical school. However, the artist in me would not let go so I minored in Art. Nevertheless, I felt my interest in art waning.

Fast forward thirty-plus years. With a renewed desire to paint, I took an art class at The Parson’s School of Design. The half-day class focused on mixed media, traditional still life, and abstract painting. My confidence and passion in my painting ability came to life, thanks to much encouragement from my instructors. Still, I was painting as a casual hobbyist, on and off…but a nagging inner voice continued to ask “why aren’t you painting?” This time, I answered “Why not”!

An invitation to apply to participate in a group exhibit called “Contemplations in Diversity” in Montclair NJ in forced me to take action. My entry, a painting of copper metal oxidizing, was purchased! I took that as a clue and encouragement to take it seriously.

Metallurgy & Mineralogy
The decision to paint metals and minerals was not intentional or deliberate, rather, the subject chose me. After reading about “feng shui” concepts, I became interested in metals and metallurgy, the science and application of metals and their alloys. The first two paintings in this series, Metallurgy 1 and Metallurgy 2 confirmed for me the beginning of my journey as an “abstract artist” and I viewed this as an assignment or charge. I recently took what I thought was a slight departure from the Metallurgy theme and made a shift to minerals with a painting of turquoise. Studying the qualities of turquoise, I learned that turquoise contains iron, copper, and aluminum. A higher concentration of copper results in the formation of blue turquoise while green turquoise is formed when more iron is present. I was pleasantly surprised to learn that I am still in my “element.”


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