This I do know: when God has placed a desire on your heart, you don’t look the other way.” ~ Gail
Painting and Process
Gail painted her first image in 2013 after her friend, Jan Forbes, encouraged her to attend her watercolor class. Gail’s intention was to unwind, but the resulting gift has been far greater! To this day that first painting, Fall in Manitoba, is quite popular.
Gail did not paint again until January 2017, with some aches of concern about being able to recreate that initial success. That concern began Gail’s practice to pray before each and every painting. She asks God’s breath to enter into every bit of the painting, removing her own will, so that each stroke is just what He intended. And with that practice, each and every work of art from Gail West Studio comes to life.
Business and Ministry
In early 2017, Gail brought her paintings to a local printer, Monticello Printing. There, she worked with Brenda Blake to create some cards and prints that she could share with friends and family.
The next week before leaving for church, Gail picked up one of her cards to bring along. She wasn’t certain quite why, but was familiar with the nudging of the Spirit and brought it along none the less. During service the pastor announced that a recent outreach effort through Hope International had been a success, but had a very real need for five additional children to be sponsored.
Gail looked at her card and felt a deep knowing: she was supposed to sell them to sponsor as many children as she possibly could. With her church in full support, Gail started selling cards locally and to whoever was willing to listen to the cause.
In December 2017, Gail received a big break when a local company, MP Nexlevel, requested the purchase of 1,700 cards to be used for their Christmas greetings. This single order sponsored three children from Roggie Village for one full year, giving them food, clothing, medical care, and education. That single purchase was also significant for Gail personally as it spurred her to leave her corporate career and pursue her gifts and love for outreach full time.
Since then she has hired a business coach, partnered with her branding and website team, and hired a photographer. This has been scary and even overwhelming, yet God has placed these and countless other wonderful women in Gail’s path to lead and support her.
Now, I am not going to say that the thought of leaving my job, hiring a coach (Teri Johnson rocks!), hiring Elevate5 to build my brand and website (JoDee and Cara are such class acts!), and hiring a photographer (Laine Torres knows her stuff!) hasn’t been scary. This I do know: when God has placed a desire on your heart, you don’t look the other way. I thank God for my supportive family and the countless wonderful women He has placed in my path. Now let’s just see if it is His will to take this mission global!” ~ Gail
Faith and Family
Gail grew up in Manitoba, Canada. She was blessed to be born into a family built upon respect and love for each other. Her dad, still the family’s rock, and mom, who has passed, were both the foundation and glue that held the family together. So much so, that yet today the siblings remain very close.
Gail moved to the United States in the 1980s with her three daughters, Mandy, Nicole, and Jill. She then married her husband, Chuck, and was blessed with two more incredible children, Chris and Heather. Since then, their family has grown to include two wonderful son-in-laws, Paul and Tom, one fabulous daughter-in-law, Tanya, and nine grandchildren.
Family and faith are the core of Gail’s life and passion for painting. She is grateful for a family that continues to cheer her on and breathe support and life into her work.