Gilly Gordon Hay was born and raised in London, England, but emigrated to the US in the early 70's. Traveling extensively with her military husband, her art education began at Cameron University, Lawton, Oklahoma while her husband was stationed at Fort Sill. However, another move and a growing family, demanded a postponement of her schooling.
Ten years later, now a resident of Connecticut, she returned to college, attending classes at Eastern Connecticut State University and University of Connecticut, earning a BA from ECSU in Fine Arts with a Music minor.
A new home in Pomfret, CT, and a functioning studio allowed Gilly to work on developing her own style, with a particular interest in reflective surfaces. Meanwhile, friends and acquaintances started requesting classes for their children, and later for the adults themselves, and so a private teaching career began, with as many as 6 classes a week, and full time in summer with kids camps.
Desiring to move to the next level, in 2001 Gilly applied and was accepted into the Master’s program at Maine College of Art, Portland, Maine and received her Masters in Fine Art (MFA) in Studio Arts (Painting) in 2003. A dream of creating a residency program for artists was put on hold when a few months later, her husband died following a short illness.
The next year she was given the opportunity to travel to Italy for six weeks as a guest artist, joining a group of students from US Christian colleges. Armed with two new cameras, she took hundreds of photos of the travels and upon returning to the States, started to paint from these photos, attempting to capture the essence of European life. Family still in Britain meant annual trips to visit and added to the inventory of images to work from.
In time, Gilly met and married Don Hay and they decided to purchase a new home together, selling their previous properties. The town of Brooklyn was very accommodating with the changes necessary to turn a large barn/workshop into a functioning art studio, and after a two year lapse, permits and zoning having been approved, classes were back up and running.