Deborah Gillis earned her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Oregon, Eugene, in 1975, and her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon, in 1995. Her work has been the subject of numerous exhibitions throughout Oregon, Arizona, and Washington.
Deborah Gillis’s unique painting technique is distinctive among contemporary painters. Working on either panel or canvas, Gillis starts her creative process by adhering a top piece of canvas to the surface on which she then paints in oil. By exaggerating some details and downplaying others, Gillis’s compositions occupy a hazy ground between realism and abstraction, ever wavering between what is real and what is not. Her paintings tend to encapsulate the transitory nature of landscape and metaphorically life itself.