How Gabby Slattery has used her artwork to find peace and certainty in tumultuous times.
Gabby Slattery’s bright and lively art style has been a source of emotional outlet and inspiration throughout her life. During the uncertain and hectic times of the COVID-19 pandemic, she dove into her art and is now pursuing a full-time job creating and selling her works in the Chattanooga community.
Like many Gabby’s first experience with art came during her time in school. Initially, she felt confined by the expectation of realism in her art. Later, she picked up acrylic painting and found it peaceful to “just let go and create messy, playing with colors and techniques” rather than restricting herself in the realm of the realistic.
“It became my meditation over the next few years,” Gabby said, “and the one thing that helped me through some of the hardest times in my life.”
Gabby enjoys utilizing “the full rainbow of bright colors” and is fond of using neon to make her work “blacklight-reflective, adding a fun and unique flair” to her vibrant pieces. Adding to her affinity for the colorful, Gabby works diligently and often spends hours formulating, creating, and finishing one of her paintings in a single sitting.
Gabby’s art is “inspired largely by nature, spirituality, and emotion” and all the colorful expressions present in them. She uses bright colors to create visuals that convey “the beauty in the full spectrum of colors” and “offer bright, peaceful, or lively vibes” in their expression.
“I think of colors as emotional outlets,” Gabby said, “and it made sense to me to incorporate them all to show that being alive involves blues as much as yellows, sunshine and rain, a yin and yang, but with the full rainbow.”
In the past year, Gabby has decided to pursue her art full time after realizing that the “typical 9-5” was unfulfilling and making her unhappy. The inconsistency of a part-time position during a pandemic left her in dire need of change, and the pursuit of art full time was “necessary for my mental health,” according to Gabby. Now, she “trusts that everything will work out for the highest good” without worrying too much about “material problems” and is focusing on herself and her art. Gabby began showing her work at the Collegedale Sunday Market this past October and hopes that she will be able to continue participating in more markets in the future. While online sales are fine, “the personal feel of face-to-face connections” that a market provides is something she looks forward to.
“I’d love to have my own storefront someday,” Gabby said, “filled with all kinds of art, from wearable to wall-hanging and home décor.”