Neutrals in Retrospect
For Montgomery native Gina Budny, her family, their beloved space on Lake Martin and her parents patronage of the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts fostered a love of art at a young age. During her high school years at The Montgomery Academy she took AP Art History, after some encouragement from her father who also studied art history in undergrad, and began a quick journey to her passion—creating unique commissioned pieces of art.
As a graphic design student at Auburn University, Gina remembers when she first picked up paints and found a canvas. “I had created a painting for myself, and my mom kept emphasizing how great it would look as a decorative work in someone’s home,” she says. When she first made the piece a career in art wasn’t on her radar—at least not in its current form. A study abroad semester in Rome, Italy ignited the fire that Gina says really taught her an appreciation for artists and art history.
After graduating from Auburn, Gina found herself in Birmingham. There she manages social media for Shoefly, an independent women’s boutique in Homewood, while also taking on a wide array of freelance graphic design clients including a Cloverdale favorite Vintage Year. With this wide range of freelance clients Gina is able to dedicate herself to commissioned pieces in her home studio full-time.
“My art process has evolved over the past few years into what it is now,” Gina says earnestly of her craft. Her passion truly lies in creating one-of-a-kind pieces tailored specifically for a room. “Commissioned work is where my talent truly comes out.”
“If I have the ability to go into the room, measure the walls, talk color schemes, and see the clients interior style” she believes, “I can get a better feel for the direction of the piece.” Her process begins with the client where color, design of the room, and most importantly the goals of the piece are discussed. From there, she uses her computer to mock up size suggestions. Gina says sometimes it can be difficult to look at her artwork and judge if it will work in the space, so providing mock ups and previous commissions to look at allows clients a more solidified idea of what their piece will look like.
Experience and a keen eye for neutrals with pops of accent colors has carried Gina through her commissions which can be completed in as little as two weeks for something sizable. Smaller pieces have shorter timelines, but all is dictated by the drying process. Typically gravitating towards acrylics, sometimes a specific color is needed and that is where house paint comes in handy. This trick allows Gina to match any specific color a client may have. Typically, canvases are covered in a resin mix, which she says gives added dimension and depth—with the side benefit of giving the canvas a glass like finish. Depending on the space created for, pieces can also have added silver and gold leaf.
As part of the Alabama Emerging Artists show in December 2018 in Hampstead, Gina was able to showcase her art for the first time in a large-scale venue. “This was my first show and I was very thankful to meet so many other amazing artists from Alabama. I am hopeful to be a part this event next December and am hopeful it will be an ongoing success!” she adds.
Gina utilizes her nights and weekends to paint in her studio basement in Homewood. Painting abstracts is her main focus but at Christmastime, a popular item for Gina is a series she calls “Little People.” These are commission-based abstracts with sketches of children’s silhouettes on smaller canvases. These are perfect for gifting to relatives or for at-home keepsakes. While most popular for the holidays, Gina says she’s happy to tackle a “Little People” piece at any time of the year—a perfect idea to mark Mother’s Day as so often the adage “babies just don’t keep” is proven true!
The bulk of Gina’s portfolio is large-scale abstracts designed to be impact pieces. She admits the bigger, the better and the pieces for over couches or above console tables often find themselves on her favorites list. Gina showcases her available works on her web site (ginabudny.com) as well as social media (gb.studio on Facebook and gb.studio_ on Instagram). In Montgomery, some pieces have found their way to the Ashley Gallion Interiors space in Cloverdale and Leola and Croft in Hampstead. Mainly Gina relies on social media, interior designers, and word of mouth to find her new clients.
A “laid back, simple” girl, Gina says her love for both art and graphic design allow her to create a wide array of abstract pieces. She develops rich textural designs mostly inspired by nature and her urban surroundings of Montgomery and Birmingham. Water is also a constant source of inspiration. “My growing up around Lake Martin has somewhat molded what my art is today. Water is a huge influence in my pieces. They quite literally use so much water to make, and can be such a rewarding mess,” she details. In the end, the canvases as big as 8 ft. wide by 4 ft. tall are worth it. For a self-described simple and laid back girl, these masterpieces are anything but.
www.ginabudny.com Instagram: gb.studio_ Facebook: gb.studiol