“I am a representational Landscape Painter, in pastel and acrylic. I work both plein air and in my studio, from a variety of subjects. Landscapes, seascape, and industrial scenes form the bulk of my works.”
One sculpture class was all it took for Gil Dellinger to fall in love with art. He describes that college experience as the moment his life “caught fire,” and he’s been pursuing art ever since. A multi-talented artist perhaps best known for his seascapes, Gil is equally adept in three mediums, primarily using acrylics for his studio work but also working in oils or pastels when he paints on location.
Early on, Gil was fortunate to find mentors, particularly the great Western artist Wilson Hurley, who championed his work. He is grateful to many others who’ve provided opportunities along the way, such as fellow pastel artist Carole Katchen and American Artist editor Steve Doherty, both of whom promoted Gil’s work in publications, as well as Peter Adams of the California Art Club and Robin Knowlton of the Knowlton Gallery in Lodi.
Over the years, Gil’s works have been collected into countless private, corporate, and museum collections, and he has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. He has also been an active proponent of the plein-air movement, and has often been invited to participate in plein-air competitions and events. Gil notes that three particular plein-air exhibitions have been career highlights for him: painting as one of 12 artists on the Forbes Trinchera Ranch near Durango, Colorado, in 1996; painting as one of 25 artists at the Forbes Chateau in Ballerov, France, in 1997; and painting as one of 15 artists rafting down the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon in 1999.
Being part of the larger artists’ community is important to Gil, which is why he has been involved with a number of esteemed arts organizations for many years. He is a past president and Signature Member of the Plein Air Painters of America, a Signature Member of the Pastel Society of America, a Signature Member of the Laguna Plein Air Painters Association, and a Signature Member of the California Art Club.
More recently curating exhibitions has become a passion for Gil as it provides yet another opportunity to be involved with his fellow artists. In 2003, in response to the attacks of 9/11, he worked with artist John Cosby to curate the traveling exhibition “From Sea to Shining Sea,” which featured the work of 47 artists and toured the United States for three years, making 12 museum stops along the way. He has also helped curate five museum exhibitions for the Haggin Museum in Stockton, California.
Teaching is another way that Gil gives back to his fellow artists. He served as Professor of Art at the University of the Pacific, teaching drawing and painting for more than 30 years. During his tenure there, he received the Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching Excellence and Professional Contribution. He now teaches part-time at the Laguna College of Art and Design, and he occasionally teaches painting workshops as well.
From seascapes to horses to vineyards to people, Gil Dellinger has dedicated himself to capturing the beauty and drama he sees all around him, and he notes that one thing has remained consistent: “I’m just so grateful for my gift. I think of my life as a gift, and I think the gift that I’ve been given should reflect the excellence of the Giver.”