Date of birth: 30.09.1953
Scholarship holder since: 01.09.1994

The footpainter Gayle Russell was born with cerebral paralysis on 30 September 1953 in Auckland, New Zealand. Gayle does not let cerebral palsy, stop her from achieving her dream of continuing to be a respected artist. Gayle works as an enthusiastic painter who enjoys painting in acrylics because it is relaxing and therapeutic.

Gayle’s fascination with New Zealand native wildlife developed more over three years ago when she became a professional painter three mornings a week at the art studio of qualified visual artist Tania Sunde. Since 2019, Gayle has produced a diverse series of bird paintings of New Zealand.

Using the brush between her toes, Gayle begins by applying thin layers of diluted colour or thick paint to the surface of the canvas using an array of brushes and techniques. Layer upon layer of colour are built up over time and that is when Gayle applies more detail. Her painting style is expressive, smooth, intense contrasts of interesting brush strokes.

Other interests are her love of rock ‘n’ roll music, being with her family, playing with “Bibby” her cat, attending and seeing friends at her church.

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