Gail is a local artist and watercolour teacher from the Whyanbeel Valley. Her medium is transparent watercolour –
“I love everything about it from its exquisite glow to its challenging unpredictability… I love the thrill of it…
Watercolour painting is like driving without brakes”.
Gail was chosen for a children’s art program at the National Art School (then East Sydney Technical College) as a ten-year-old and won an international art competition at fourteen.
On leaving high school, she trained as a layout artist and copywriter and for the next forty years worked in major advertising agencies in Australia and overseas as a writer, art director and creative director.
In 1978 she won a Silver Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival.
In 1983 she established her own corporate advertising consultancy in Sydney and, together with her husband Robert Hanan worked for many blue-chip companies including Rosemount Wines, Thai Airways, Deutsche Bank, Banque Indosuez and Drizabone.
In 2000 the company was responsible for strategic planning and signage for Sydney Airport’s Olympic and Paralympic program.
In 1990 Gail attended a watercolour workshop as part of Sydney University’s continuing education program.
This ignited a passion for watercolour which she pursued by attending workshops and masterclasses with leading watercolour artists including the late Charles Reid, Alvero Castenet, Joseph Zbuvic and Cherry Hood.
She exhibited annually for the next ten years in group shows at the Balmain Watchhouse Gallery.
Gail’s teaching career began in 2002 as a volunteer at Lou’s Place, a women’s refuge in Sydney’s Kings Cross. In 2004 Gail and Robert moved to 17 acres in the Whyanbeel Valley adjacent to the world heritage rainforest.
A custom-built studio was added in 2008, and in 2010 Gail was awarded a $10,000 RADF Grant for as solo watercolour exhibition “Painting Paradise” at Karnak Playhouse and Gallery.
Gail regularly teaches at Douglas Arts Base in Mossman and also conducts private lessons. She is a member of Port Douglas Artists Inc and has become an avid urban sketcher with the Port Douglas/Mossman Urban Sketchers.