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Artisans Center of Virginia

 Gail Ratliffe, Artist - Tidal Creek Enterprises, LLC

Nature's creatures hand drawn and painted on gourds.

Artisans Center of Virginia Juried Artisan

Nature is my inspiration in both subject matter and canvas. For the past 10 years, I have dedicated myself to growing gourds from seed all over our King George, VA property. It is exciting and rewarding to watch the tiny sprouts turn into enormous vines. The mature gourds hide under a thick leafy canopy, only to reveal themselves after the first hard frost! I so look forward to this annual treasure hunt.

Why gourds? Why not paper or canvas? If I am going to depict Nature in my work, why not begin with something Nature made? This art is also meant to be studied up close, to be touched and held, and moved around if need be. Sealed works are easily wiped clean.

Virginia birds and wildlife (including frogs and bugs) are my favorite subject matter. In rendering them, I primarily use pyrography, watercolor, colored pencils, and acrylic paint. Occasionally, I call upon oil pastels, alcohol and leather dyes. Someone very wise said the only way to truly see something is to try to draw and paint it…and with gourd art, that also includes studying the gourd itself too.

Professional Distinction: Commission/Custom Work, Demonstrations

Gail Ratliffe

Member of Trail Networks:

540.623.4677 (my cell)

[email protected]



See my work at Oak Crest Winery and Vineyard’s Artisan Gift Shop