Pidduck: ‘Field Work’ a homage to the nobility of work, colors of VC

November 29, 2002
Santa Paula News
By Peggy Kelly Santa Paula TimesThe opening reception at Live Oak Gallery for “Field Work,” featuring the art of Gail Pidduck, was crowded with not only art lovers but with the area growers who came to see the latest works of the prominent artist whose studio is in a canyon near Santa Paula.Pidduck’s childhood, growing up on a farm west of Santa Paula, as well as her high school and college experiences working summers at Burpee Seed Company greatly influenced her choice of subject matter when she became an artist.Mixed in with serene scenes of fields and bright flowers - so sure are Pidduck’s talents that at times it seems you are looking at gloriously hand-tinted photographs - are paintings of laborers, always portrayed with great dignity by Pidduck, who has been focusing much of her art on studies of fieldworkers.“With this ‘Field Work’ series, Gail’s subject is the nobility of work, her subject is the people of Ventura County. . .her pallet is the part of Gail’s work I most enjoy. She has caught the color of Ventura County,” said John Nichols, who with Jennifer Heighton owns the Live Oak Gallery in the historic Ventura downtown section.The small gallery held so many people that the crowd seemed to move as one around the room to see Pidduck’s latest paintings.Although Pidduck enjoys the challenge of portrait and still life work, the Live Oak Gallery exhibit was mostly confined to the subject “Field Work” and the life of farm laborers.Pidduck received her art training at Brigham Young University where she studied under Alex Darius, Trevor Southey, J. Roman Andrus and a young teacher assistant, Gary Ernest Smith. Pidduck feels the background she gained at BYU set the stage for her interest in figurative landscapes, and for her regionalism.
After receiving her BA, Pidduck returned to Santa Paula and studied under Glenna Kurz of Oxnard. She recognizes the years spent with Kurtz as pivotal in her understanding of color and the oil medium. Pidduck paints in oils on both boards and canvas.In the back of her car she always carries a lightweight easel as well as a stack of small gessoed boards. Pidduck said she has come to realize more each year that one must paint when one can and not wait for the perfect subject or uninterrupted time. Some of these small works become paintings for sale, others are important only as exercise and end up on the back porch wall at her studio.Pidduck’s work has won numerous awards and is part of several important collections; her paintings have also found of variety of uses where fine art is needed.“Field Work” will be exhibited through January 12th, 2003.For more information, please call 643-2583, or visit the gallery on the web at The gallery is located at 40 N. Fir St.; hours are weekends 1 to 5 p.m. and by appointment.

Site Search



Call 805 525 1890 to receive the entire paper early. $50.00 for one year.