Gail Basner is a native of the Chicago area and was born and raised in a family of artisans. Her father was a designer and engraver of decorative fine hardware, and her mother was an accomplished artist in oils. Gail attended classes at the Art Institute of Chicago as a child to develop her natural talent as an artist, and she majored in art throughout her formal education. She was side-tracked with little spare time for art during her working career. After retirement in 1997 she has thrown herself into her passion for watercolors.
Gail has studied since 1997 with Dan Capobianco and has attended workshops with Lenox Wallace, Tom Lynch, Terry Madden and others. Most of her instructors were students of the late well-known watercolorist, Irving Shapiro. She is a member of the The Art Center in Highland Park, the Wilmette Arts Guild, and the Glenview Art League. She has shown her work to the public in juried art fairs in the North Shore and northwest suburbs of Chicago. She has appeared as a featured guest on the cable television show, "Artist to Artist," that has aired in many of the Chicago suburbs, and she was commissioned to develop artwork that was utilized in promotional mailings in her hometown of Highland Park, Illinois.
Gail finds watercolor such an exciting medium that she wants to paint everything of beauty to her. This is why her subject matter is so diversified. She paints to capture a feeling or a moment in time. Her Chicago series includes nearly forty famous and favorite landmarks that highlight the beauty of Chicago and demonstrate why it is a special place to live and visit. Her love of children, animals, and architecture is captured in her paintings, and her commissioned portraits of families, pets, homes, and businesses are in many private collections.
Her greatest rewards are observing the emotions of her clients when they first see her finished treasures—from the enthusiastic response of a CEO after seeing the original watercolor including his logo that will hang in his chain of stores and that has been reproduced on thousands of calendars which he distributes each year, to the tearful reaction of a husband when he first saw the original watercolor of his favorite dog that had passed away.