Denise Gray’s original and often whimsical creations manage to capture the observer’s imagination, evoking emotions and breathing life into a “heart of stone.” Denise, of Pebble Art by Denise, retired in 2013 after dedicating 28 years to her career working as a Manager with the Manitoba Public Insurance Corporation. Once she was retired Denise found that she finally had the time to devote to exploring her creative side.
Denise professes to be a “self-taught” artist, and when asked how she decided to focus on working with her medium of choice she promptly responded “You can say it found me.” While spending time at their cottage at Lakeshore Heights south of Grand Marais on Lake Winnipeg, Denise and her husband Brian walk along the shore, hand-picking interestingly shaped pebbles, stones, pieces of driftwood and ‘beach”glass. These bits of nature were destined to become Denise’s medium of choice. As seen through the artist’s eyes, however, these simple shapes and forms metamorphose into the heads, bodies and limbs of various characters or took the shapes of animals, birds and bodies.
Denise creates endearing 3D pictures of people, life events, nature and more. The bulk of her sandstone and granite pieces originate from the shores from the East side of Lake Winnipeg. Referring to searching for pieces that speak to her as ‘spelunking’, Denise enthusiastically describes the thrill of finding these treasures and then putting them aside until they are ready to tell their story.
Denise frames all her own work in shadow boxes or wood frames. Denise currently sells her work in the Pulse Gallery at the Johnson Terminal at the Forks, Cree-Ations Artist Showcase, Manitoba Museum gift shop and BREWTeas tea & gift shop. Denise also creates custom designs.