Gillian Rau & Students at the downtown Kelowna Okanagan Regional Library

On , In Artscape

1380 Ellis St, Kelowna

On display to August 30th, 2016

Doug Boyd    •    Yolanda De Villiers   •   Karen Etheridge   •   Darryl Frasier    •   Elaine Frasier   •    Janet Gerber   •   Sheila Heidte   •   Shelley Hewitt    •   Tim Nakashoji   •    Ingrid Sivorot   •   Lillian Sokil   •   Bev Whiting


Gillian Rau’s passion for sharing her love for oil painting, shows in the vibrant and energetic adult groups she teaches in her studio in Kelowna.

Students are always welcomed no matter what painting level they are at. Although many of her students have never painted before, and learn at their own pace, they quickly achieve an intermediate or higher level.

The artists are taught the full techniques of mixing an infinite range of colours from a limited palette, correct brushwork, composition, and perspective, as well as the emotional, technical and intellectual  aspects of the wonderful world of oil painting.

Within a very short period the artists are all able to create their own wonderful  and exciting masterpieces.

Gillian is also an established international artist,who having spent most of her life in sun- soaked Africa, immigrated to Canada in 2010. She now resides in the beautiful Okanagan Valley of British Columbia.

Gillian continues her love of oil painting, teaching Art Enhancement programmes for children, as well as running demos, workshops and ongoing classes for adults.

Besides teaching and exhibiting annually at Art Walk, ( which attracts some 7000 visitors) commissions provide the main body of her work.

Her paintings hang in South Africa, USA, Australia, and throughout Canada.


My passion for art stems from my childhood, growing up in the very beautiful Muskoka District of Central Ontario.  Early in life, I developed a great appreciation for the beauty in the natural surroundings of the woods, lakes and rocks of the Canadian Shield.  Our family’s cottage was situated on the eastern shore of Eagle Lake, where we could enjoy the magnificent evening display of the ever-changing colours of the sunset.   Living there, I was constantly in touch with the land, and I developed the eyes to see the beauty and detail of the creation.

While studying architectural technology, I took both a sketching class and an art history class, where I developed an appreciation for the world of visual arts.  While my life’s journey has taken me in different directions, I have always had a desire to be able to paint, but the opportunity to study had not presented itself until June of 2013, when I met Gil Rau.  By the end of that first brief encounter, I had discovered that she taught oil painting lessons and I was eagerly looking forward to my first lesson.

Since that time, I have been studying oil painting with Gil’s assistance.  It has been a joyful adventure to begin to understand the dynamics of design and how the oils respond to the brush and to learn the techniques of painting.  As a part of this journey I have been learning the importance of really seeing the subject, studying the form, line, and colours of the object I am painting.  Since studying with Gil, I have purchased a new camera and have been amazed at the variety of strange pictures that now interest me:  rocks, snails, tree roots, and sand.  I am seeing the world with new eyes. 

At this retirement stage of my life, it has been both exhilarating and satisfying to discover the joy of painting.


I moved to Kelowna as a teenager and have spent most of my life here.  I too have been married for almost fifty years and have three children and six grandchildren.  I retired 12 years ago and started taking art lessons at the request of my wife this January at Gillian Rau Studios. 

Although I have painted a few Bob Ross style pictures while taking various classes, this is the second oil painting I have completed with Gill.  Through this process I have learned a tremendous amount about colour, technique, design and perspective. She is a very talented and highly skilled artist.  She posses a natural ability to share her love of painting and has a great deal of patience with her students of all abilities and encourages each of us along the way.


I was born in Kelowna BC and spent most of my life here.  My husband & I were married in Kelowna and will celebrate our 50th anniversary this year.  We have 3 grown children and 6 grandchildren.  I tried painting because it seemed that everyone I knew in my age group was painting.  I felt if they could do it, why couldn’t I?  I tried acrylic painting through an evening course, and took a few Bob Ross oil painting classes but was left feeling frustrated and unsatisfied with what I was doing.  When I heard of Gillian Rau Studios I decided to give that a try.    It has been a struggle for me with a lot of interruptions in my lessons because of family issues.  Gill is an extremely patient teacher with incredible vision and knowledge and has brought an insight into painting, perspective and the brain eye connection that has been worth every moment of struggle for me. 

My painting is of the ocean along the Oregon Coast.  While I don’t like being on boats or ferries or cruises, the ocean calls to me. 


Shelley Hewitt is a newcomer to oil-painting and started lessons with Gillian Rau in February 2015. She is drawn to colour, working as a  textile designer for many years in Cape Town, South Africa and later  designing wallpaper borders for Ambiance Design in Kelowna.  Fascination with Impressionism is a strong influence in both her  landscape and floral work. Hewitt studied textile design at the Natal Technical College in Durban, South Africa. She immigrated to Kelowna in 1993 with her husband Richard and children Katherine and Robert.


My name is Tim Nakashoji. I have lived in Kelowna since the late 70’s. I work as a  landscaper. Throughout my life from growing up in northern Ontario to  Vancouver Island to the Okanagan, I have always loved art though I never  followed it with any seriousness. I sketched and doodled. The reason for my art  appreciation was my older brother who is an incredible artist with a natural and unique talent. I met Gill Rau a couple of years ago and was impressed with her oil paintings. A year ago I decided to see if I could paint and asked Gill if I could join her class. She accepted me and I started my first painting, which is included in this exhibition; it’s of my older brother, Dave. 


I am a painter based in Kelowna, British Columbia. I began working in oils at a young age, drawn to images of nature. I have explored various media and techniques but have a particular affinity for the style of the impressionists. My choice of subject matter gravitates to hidden passages, pathways and doorways, following the light, drawing me in. Each images evokes a memory…I hope that they do for you as well.

I have studied science, landscape design and teaching. My painting instruction includes programs at the U of A, as well as workshops including Zhaoming Wu, Robert Johnson and Kristy Gordon. I am privileged to now learn from Gillian Rau at her painting atelier.


Ingrid has lived most of her life in Kelowna where she worked as a teacher specializing in Music Education, Learning Assistance and Art.  She has also appeared in local theatre productions as well as appearing in some local films and commercials. Singing is a passion for her.  While she has painted in acrylics and has done some printmaking before, painting in oils is a newly discovered love.  Ingrid thinks Kelowna is one of the loveliest places to live and enjoys the picturesque subject material that Kelowna provides for artists.  This  painting entitled “Kasugai Garden Dreams” is actually her first ever oil painting and she is is grateful to have had the tutelage of her gifted teacher.


As a child, Beverley spent countless happy hours drawing. Not surprisingly, her favorite class at school was art. Although mostly self taught, one fun class specializing in the finer techniques of drawing while at university, added some finesse. Then she began experimenting with water colors and acrylics. After working a year in the corporate world, she sought a more creative job. A few paintings of flowers earned her a coveted position in the textile design industry. Recently, an old friend of those early textile design days, encouraged her to try oils. Gil Rau is proving an amazing teacher and Beverley is loving becoming proficient in this too.


I am a South African born law graduate calling Canada home for the past 12 years.

I have always expressed myself through art and remember as a young girl sitting on my Grandpa’s lap and communicating with him through pictures I would draw on a small chalk board. I never spoke to him during his life time but remember those times of ‘communication’ with fondness.

Today I still love expressing myself through art. I love painting places where I have been and love, things that I have touched that evoke feelings of happiness in me.

As my journey continues I emerge happier and hope you enjoy my work and whatever memories it might stir in you to then become your story.