My journey as an artist began, as with so many children, with a love of drawing. In fact, all kinds of manual and construction activities attracted me as a child. My parents, recognizing my natural artistic flair, sent me to a fine arts school for several years, until I was about seventeen. The experience was pure joy. I loved it all, and I remember especially the smells of the art studio, a mixture of paint, clay and turpentine.
This pathway, however, was sadly not to continue, as I then entered the French Airforce. Yes, I am French, born on the Mediterranean Coast of France in the fishing town of Sѐte. I suppose being French kind of goes hand in hand with being an artist, but at this point in my life such was not to be. I was born in the post-World War 2 era, and my parents saw a need for job security, rather than me becoming a Rembrandt or a Gaugin. My artistic journey was therefore interrupted.
In 1974, I married an Australian girl, and we set forth to make a life for ourselves in the north of France. I worked in aviation at Bourget Airport in Paris, and we got on with family life. In my spare time I painted, thriving on the encouragement of my wife and children. Our home became my gallery. At this point, my painting style was heavily influenced by the great French classics, and I loved painting still life, landscape and seascape. Oil on canvas became my hobby.
In 1986 we decided to emigrate to Australia, a life changing experience on many levels. For one thing, it signalled the end of my career in aviation, as I was determined to forge a new career in art. This began when I decided to do a graphic art course in Brisbane in 1988, with a view, of course, to opening a graphic art business, which I did, under the name of “GM Design”.
The nature of my business evolved very quickly, as I saw opportunity to make my art even more commercial beyond just graphic art. I began to do murals, commission paintings, decorative art for commercial venues and home interiors and exteriors, and eventually gilding. It was a world of art expression that I would never have dreamt of in France, and there I was, making a career of it in Australia. The name of my business changed most appropriately to “Art on Walls”.
As I continue to run my business today, my focus has turned more to fine art, a kind of return to the origins of my love of art, and also a return to my personal origins in the Mediterranean region of France. I love painting everything Mediterranean, but with the difference that I now paint in "trick of the eye" style [“trompe l’oeil”] . I am particularly proud of my window effect paintings, which have proven very popular.
Gerard Maille is a French artist living in Australia. He was born on the Mediterranean Coast of France in the lively fishing port of Sète, and so has a uniquely personal perspective on Mediterranean life and the region's seascape and landscape. Gerard enjoys sharing his passion for his native region by painting a wide range of Mediterranean subjects.