Ann Marie Gilmore (1948-2006) was a Canadian watercolour artist who spent her formative years in Alloway and Edinburgh in Scotland, studying at the Edinburgh College of Art in the late 60s and early 70s before embarking on several nomadic years when she travelled extensively in Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean.
In the Catalan village of Cadaques she became acquainted with Salvador Dali and collaborated for a time with the Spanish artist Jesus Carlos de Villalonga, maintaining contact with him for many years thereafter. During her time in the Caribbean she teamed up with an elderly Barbadian joiner called Mr Parris, decorating perhaps as much as thirty of his hand-crafted mahogany jewellery boxes.
During this early period of her life she experimented with different styles, subjects and media. She also supplemented her income with pen and ink illustrations for newspapers and magazines in North America and drew animations for the 1989 Canadian Film Board production 'Nail Soup' based on Scandinavian fairytales.
In the late 1970s she returned to her native Canada where she taught Fine Art at Concordia University for a period and devoted herself fully to painting and drawing. From this point on she worked almost exclusively in watercolours and on a much larger scale than previously, inspired by native American mythology and symbolism, as well as by astrology and the natural environment.
It was during this period that she produced the flower paintings for which she is perhaps best known domestically and internationally. As her friend and mentor Richard Demarco observes, these demonstrate "a particular gift of expressing her delight in nature through a joyous use of colour".
From the mid-1990s until her death her work became increasingly abstract and symbolic, although her love of colour remained. Ann Marie Gilmore died from a brain tumour at a tragically young age and is buried in a small rural cemetery in the Eastern Townships of Quebec, Canada overlooking Lake Memphremagog - one of her favourite places and sources of inspiration for her art. Appropriately, it is a sea of colour in the autumn when the leaves change.