As of 2013 Gloria Massé lives in Gibsons, BC, Canada but spent most of her painting career in a humble abode deep in the rainforest of Gambier Island, west of Vancouver. She paints that which thrills her to be alive, the things that touch her deeply.
Her brushes are drawn to the wild: fur and claws of bears and wolves, feathers and scales of birds and fishes, and the silk and raw linen of wild flowers and grasses. In some of her paintings she uses familiar vegetation as a path by which to approach the mystery of an animal.
The sculptural quality of the animals interests her. She sees the light reflecting from the transparent hair on the massive back of a bear as being similar to Monet’s haystack paintings.
She is fascinated by texture: grass and hair, so similar, provide the opportunity for thousands of brush strokes, often in transparent layers. In this way, a bear or wolf in motion becomes grass running.
Her love for colour is seen in the warmth of earth in raw sienna, burnt sienna, the ochres and umbers. Greens, reds, blues and purples are used for expressing emotion or simply for their raw or delicate beauty.
“The cedar, fir and hemlock trees tower over my studio; the winds from the north and music help to keep me in touch with the muse, the earth and the animal within.” . . . Gloria Massé
Watch this 1994 TV documentary about Gloria and her work . . .