Gaia Orion has gained international recognition and received awards of excellence from, among others, the Manhattan Arts International and the Eurasian Art Union in Russia; as well as being favorably reviewed by New York art critic Jill Conner. She has exhibited in Paris, New York, San Francisco, Toronto and Moscow; as well as in Mexico, Columbia, Spain, Germany, Hungary and Bali. Her artwork has been featured in 95 different publications in Canada, USA, France, UK, Taiwan and China; with 25 cover pages and numerous articles and interviews. She has been the curator for European Integral conferences and the Global Mindful Institute events. She is a founding member of the Toronto Association for Transformational Leaders and a member of its affiliated New York chapter.
Art has always been a lasting reflection of historical stages since the dawn of humanity. Gaia’s colourful, detailed, harmonious oil paintings are narratives of our personal and collective stories in these present challenging times. She deeply feels the call to return to the natural and the spiritual and that it is an absolute necessity for us as a species to take responsibility in our next evolutionary step. Consequently, the artist is actively engaged with her artwork and has collaborated in many projects worldwide working toward constructive and positive change.
Furthermore, although her themes are universal they also speak more specifically with strong feminine images inviting women to embrace and reconnect to who they are in the full scope of their power and capacities.
Gaia has built a successful international art career and is also a certified creativity coach. She is a mentor for anyone willing to ignite their art career and brings art-based learning tools to the corporate world. Gaia is passionate about leading a fulfilling, healthy life. With her creativity she has found her way of sharing and connecting deeply with people.
She is originally from Paris, France, where she studied and graduated with honours as an architect. She now lives in nature North of Toronto.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION ABOUT GAIA’S ART CAREER
Click below for details about exhibitions, awards, bibliography, professional affiliations, media features, partners and influential testimonials.
GAIA ORION: A STORY OF IDENTITY, TRANSFORMATION AND FREEDOM
On the day of my wedding, I was 24, my best friend organized a ‘fashion runway’ with all my friends dressed up in the different phases I already had been through in my short life.
- The girl scout uniform I wore from age eight to eighteen!
- The white round collared shirt, straight skirt and headband of the good Catholic girl.
- The pretty dress of my monthly bridge and dance club my parents signed me in hoping I would meet a proper boy from the same type of ‘good family’ (that didn’t work as you will see!).
- The typical Parisian outfit with the Hermes scarf I would borrow from my mom as a teenager and the $1,000 Weston shoes I had bought with my babysitting money.
- Then came the mismatch colours and the orange jeans of my architecture student style.
- The motorbike helmet, ripped jeans, Harley Davidson boots and black skull scarf I wore when I started working as a delivery girl for Zap Pizza.
- The custom-tailored suit of my next student job at the Opera house.
- And last the hippie hemp dress my boyfriend sent me from Canada, with the matching belt I would wear on my newly shaved head.
The man I married that day was unlike anybody I had met before. We fell in love on a bus in Morocco two years earlier. When I uprooted myself from Paris to live in his farmhouse North of Toronto I let go of all my clothes, it felt as if the various identities given to me by family, religion and society were left behind. It is at that time that I discovered the artist I didn’t know I was. One of my first paintings called Free! rose from nowhere with the power of a timeless symbol carved on a rock. Unknowingly she was showing me what my new life was about and where I was heading. The open ecstatic black silhouette was not just walking on water, she was running over the waves and reaching for the sickle moon.
When I started showing my work to the world I saw how this free woman was not only speaking to me, she was touching the core of many women at all stages of life. She was telling us all: Who are you? Who is the real you? What is your ‘moon’? What gives you extraordinary power and energy? Can you take off all your ‘clothes’, trust life and run forward for a life that is only truly yours? And how about collectively? Where are we all heading in our forward movement?
Freedom for me, at this stage of life, was found in the blessing of being a mom. In fourteen months I had three children (a son and then twin girls). Being both overwhelmed by this drastic change of life we decided that my husband should quit his factory job. We had no idea of what we were doing, we jumped into unknown waters. We trusted that life could only be better than hating a job for the next decades holding on to the security of a monthly paycheck.
Necessity awoke our hidden entrepreneurial skills and within three years we had two successful businesses. A hand-dyed clothing line that we were selling at outdoor shows and festivals and a certified organic sprout business.
Owning these two very different enterprises taught me about the roles that we all play in our chosen (or not) identities, whether at home and at work. I started to appreciate the human story as an existential journey. Seeing life as a wholistic unfolding turned out to be my main guide and soon will become the central theme of all my art.
Being way busier than we wanted, we made another crazy move of selling our most lucrative business: Sprouts For Life.
Selling this company allowed us to buy our home by a river in the Northern forest and live the peaceful life we dreamed of. Left with a seasonal job, I had plenty of space to paint. We were both stay at home parents and had time to dedicate to our meditation practices. Being in the bush reconnected me with my first seven years of life growing up in Africa mostly barefoot and naked on the beach. I realized how these earlier years provided me with the foundation for my love of nature, my attractions to colours, simplicity and my aspiration for living free.
In each of my paintings, I was weaving my personal stories while at the same time it felt as if the images were showing me the way to unfold as a woman. Creativity became my main teacher on the spiritual path with its flow states and resistances, peaks of bliss and emotional storms, rewarding joys and devastating disappointments.
I am leading a hermit artist life hidden among the trees but when I share my archetypal oil on canvas I realize how relevant and timely they are in our present global context. It feels as if the symbols in my work transmit the qualities of the stages and states of a future world many of us are working to manifest.
Art has always been a lasting reflection of each period of history since the dawn of humanity. I am proud to feel part of a tribe of artists who are telling the stories of our present times. These artists I meet along my professional travels worldwide are all extraordinary human beings deeply committed to their own personal transformation. Their creations illuminate our world with peaceful and harmonious enchanted aesthetics that is only matched by the beauty and intelligence of nature. The messages encoded into their work carry universal truths and wisdom while touching us in an heart-opening manner.
Running successful businesses allowed me to apply all I had learned to my art career. Since 2006 I exhibited in Paris, Moscow, New York, San Francisco and Toronto; as well as in Mexico, Columbia, Spain, Germany, Hungary and Bali.
As a certified coach I help artists to believe in their gifts and their capacity to make a living from them.
My rich inner artist’s life also inspired the design of a unique blend of creative and transformational tools that are delivered to groups and leadership teams.
One of my latest paintings called She Flourishes, invites each of us to shine the myriads of colours of our unique talents, to find our strength and confidence but also to be open-hearted, sensitive and vulnerable. These qualities are essential for our personal health when coping with our demanding lives. When organizations invest in the humanity of their people they contribute to the well-being of our collective lives.
When we look at her we can feel the resonance of courage, freedom and beauty when we let go of what we were told to be, when we run toward the sickle moon of our dreams, when we live the life that only we can create for ourselves. When we each aspire for the best we can be, our capacity to build together a flourishing world can almost start to feel in our reach.