Gay grew up in a military family. She spent her childhood looking out the back window of the family station wagon watching her familiar surroundings vanish into the distance by moving from place to place. She always had an interest in drawing, but it wasn’t art for her, it was a way to capture her happy memories. It was the yearning for some way to grab those images and keep them safe. Thankfully, she had the opportunity to learn to paint later in her life. Her paintings are visual records of experiences, animals and people that have touched her heart.
At the age of 16, she was awarded a book Scholarship from the Academy of Arts, Easton MD for her first oil painting. She went on to study Intaglio at the University of Frostburg, MD and for a year at La Escuela de Bellas Artes, Seville, Spain. Many years later, on the brink of retirement, she took a few workshops with notable artists where she lived in the southwest. In 2015, five years later, she was invited to participate in painting the notable women of Arizona with a group of women portrait artists. Five of her portraits and self-portrait were juried in to the “Women Making Faces” exhibit at the Chandler Center for the Arts, Chandler, AZ. Learning about color and light awakened in her a passion for painting people, animals and beautiful surroundings.