Artists Statement

I am concerned with how a viewer  may understand a painting through association, narrative, categorization, or emotional evocation. Much of my imagery is charged with humour and resonates with inverted associations surrounding ideas of wealth, status, beauty and leisure. Many of my paintings are also wry musings on the relationship between culture and nature.

Typically, I employ a variety of styles to lock various pieces of landscape, still-life and figure painting together into fanciful fabrications. Through a calibrated lack of cohesiveness, personal painting style is superseded by the notion of selection so that the images are meandering and allusive; full of cross connections, incongruities and anachronisms. I like to think of each painting as a rich concoction of thought provoking imagery which the viewer is invited to imbibe in.

I create paintings in series, with each body of work exploring a particular set of themes. It may take a couple of years or as little as a few weeks before I am ready to move on to a different constellation of ideas.  One major set of work usually provides the stimulus for the next body of paintings. Occasionally, I may follow a whim and produce a group of paintings that seem to bear no immediate relation to preceding work. Yet my preoccupations with the human form, history and landscape link all of my work together into a recognizable if varied oeuvre.


Gary McMillan attended the University of Calgary in 1978 to 1980, studying science and fine-art. He exhibited  paintings of Alberta landscape throughout the 1980’s, and then attended Alberta College of Art and Design from 1989 to 1991. Holding a double major in painting and printmaking, he received a Diploma with Distinction in 1991. He returned to exhibiting landscape paintings until 2003. Employing the use of the human figure and landscape, he currently produces themed series of paintings infused with the absurd.

Curriculum Vitae


1978-1980 – University of Calgary, studying geology and fine arts

1988-1991 – Fine Arts Diploma with Distinction, Alberta College of Art, major painting, minor printmaking




“Walking Phoenix” group show, Avalanche Institute, Calgary

“Wonderland” solo exhibit at Leighton Arts Center, Alberta

“Connections” group show, Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary


“Wonder Years” group show – Ruberto –Ostberg Gallery, Calgary


“Holiday Show” group show – Alissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver

“Connections” group show – Ruberto –Ostberg Gallery, Calgary

“Landscaped” solo show – Ruberto –Ostberg Gallery, Calgary

“Oh Canada” group show – Ruberto-Ostberg Gallery, Calgary


“Fun and Games” solo show – Stride Gallery, Calgary

“Soleil” group show – Alissa Cristall Gallery, Vancouver

“Connections” group show – Ruberto Ostberg Gallery, Calgary

“Uncovered” figure group show – Cityscape Community Artspace, N. Vancouver


2012- Solo exhibit of drawings – Sugar Cube Gallery, Calgary

2011- Hero Portrait Project  Exhibition – Glenbow Museum, Calgary

2003- Landscape group show at Ferntree Gallery, Cochrane

2001-2004 Represented by Ferntree Gallery, Cochrane

1996-1998 Represented by Marion Scott Gallery, Edmonton

1992- Alberta  Foundation for the Arts acquisition

1991- purchase by Calgary Parking  Authority

1990-1996 Represented by Kathleen Laverty Gallery, Edmonton

1990- Exchange group show of prints, Tokyo University / ACA Gallery, Calgary

1989-1991 Represented by Kirk-Agar Gallery, Calgary

1987- Figure drawing group show, Muttart Gallery, Calgary

1986- Figure drawing group show, Muttart Gallery, Calgary

1984- Commissioned excursion to Poland followed by one person exhibit of landscape paintings of Poland at the Polish Cultural Centre, Calgary

1983-1985 Represented by Gainsborough Gallery, Calgary

1982- Solo show, Aghazzy Gallery

1981- Solo show, Aghazzy Gallery

1980- Solo show, landscape paintings, Aghazzy Gallery, Calgary