Where Pink Pigeons FlyJun 15, 2018 03:26PM ● By Carrielle Sedersten
Coming from a very artistic family, Gabi Quiroz’s parents always encouraged her creative endeavors. Her mother taught her to shade, her father used to draw, her grandmother quilts, and she has an aunt who draws and writes.
After being raised in such an environment, full of inspiration and creative energy, it’s no wonder Gabi became the artist she is today.
But her upbringing also fed another passion—animals. Growing up an only child, Quiroz was never lonely with all her animal siblings keeping her company.
“We started off with one dog and then it kind of became a zoo,” she says. “From there—fish, guinea pigs, hamsters, a cat, and another dog.”
After leaving the nest, Quiroz couldn’t imagine life without animals. Today, she has three cats, a miniature pinscher named Bella, and Wilbur, a potbelly pig, who will be 3 years old this May.
Quiroz loves all animals, but especially pigeons. That admiration is evidenced by the name of her business, Pink Pigeon Studio.
“I’ve always admired pigeons for how beautiful they are, but they’re always commonly referred to as rats that can fly,” she says. “Pink Pigeon is about recognizing the beauty in something that isn’t usually considered beautiful.”
Finding beauty in the unusual is evident in her work. Quiroz begins her creative process looking up the symbolism she wants to convey in multiple references, and then constructs the scene to take her source pictures for the piece she’s creating in a series, which normally consists of 10 pieces.
From there, she works in her two primary disciplines—oil paints and colored pencils—to develop works of symbolic imagery and figurative study. Her pencil drawings are intricate and hyperrealistic while her paintings tend to be more fluid, yet both are always rooted in nature.
Life and death symbolism is ever-present in Quiroz’s pieces. She considers herself a spiritual person and believes in the afterlife. In her current series, she’s using local flora, such as peonies and poppies, along with animals bones found in the Midwest.
See more of the artist's work at gabriellequiroz.com.
This article appears in the May/June 2018 edition of Encounter.