Anne Gilna was born in Chicago, Illinois, growing up with a love for drawing wildlife and nature, particularly birds.
She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Indiana University, with emphasis on classical oil painting, portrait and figure drawing, graphic design and artistic anatomy.
Soon after, Anne worked in various Chicago commercial art studios, learning many aspects of art production. She also maintained freelance accounts, further developing her skill in portraiture.
Anne has been studying watercolor painting since 1999 under the direction of botanical painter June Hill Pedigo, learning the art of traditional botanical painting. She has merged this technique with her lifelong study of birds to create detailed yet simple works of art.
Anne has been exhibiting work in area art fairs as well as galleries and nature centers, such as Suburban Fine Arts Center, College of Lake County Community Gallery of Art, Artcetera, Deer Path Gallery, Ryerson Conservation Area Visitors Center, Rivershire Nature Center, Wild Bird Centers and the Anti-Cruelty Society of Chicago.
She continues to create custom portraits in graphite, colored pencil, or charcoal for numerous clients in the Chicago area.
“As a portrait artist, creating a simple likeness of the subject is not nearly enough. My goal is to capture the energy of the subject. Many of my clients plan to give the portrait to a friend or family member as a surprise. It is tremendously satisfying to later hear from the recipient telling me how much they appreciate the work I’ve done.”
“My goal as a painter of botanicals and birds is not only to depict their characteristics accurately, but for the viewer to understand the beauty of the subject matter. I hope to bring that out using composition and color.”