The Story of Gila Girl Art

Gila Girl Art is the home of contemporary surrealist artist Leigh Ann Willar McDonagh. It’s the place where she can open a window and offer you a view of her imaginative inner world. Much of her work is inspired by her deeply felt connections to the natural world and the spiritual realms. These connections are interpreted using an innate, intuitive process that results in a sort of ‘visual music’ – full of colour, small surprises and intertwined forms, spirits and beings.

Disappearing Footsteps on a Winding Trail

Art That Connects

Gila Girl Art’s work springs from an undefinable place, from a spiritual dimension, from a soul connection with nature. It puts you in touch with your own connection to the world around you. Her art speaks to you in a voice that is unique to your response to the work.

It's Not About a Process

It’s said that many artists have a particular process they call on to create their work. That’s not the case for Gila Girl Art. For her, it’s a surprise, a mystery unfolding, an adventure to a place unknown. Inspiration can be a feeling, a sound, a scent. Art is never a thing. Art has a life of its own.


Leigh Ann Willar McDonagh

Founder It's just me - strange artist

Leigh Ann was born and raised in a small town in rural Pennsylvania, USA and spent time living in Texas, Colorado and Australia. She settled in the UK in 2001, where she works from her log cabin studio in her wild and peaceful garden, listening to the birdsong, hearing the owl screech in the wee hours and watching the seasons change under the protective gaze of towering trees.

Exhibitions and Events


Art in the Park, Jephson Gardens, Royal Leamington Spa, U.K.


Tableau Vivant , paintings featured in concert by composer/ pianist Margin Alexander, livestreamed from the Manhattan Concert Hall in New York City. Alexander composed on original piece of music inspired by the Light Through Leaves and Branches series of paintings.


Welcome to The Row, The Row Gallery, Coventry Artspace Partnerships, Coventry, U.K.


Older Women (A Response to the Photography of Shirley Baker), curated by Anna Douglas, Arcadia Gallery, Coventry Artspace Partnerships, Coventry, U.K.


The Other Side of June, Inaugural BA (Hons) Fine Art and Contemporary Cultures Degree Show, Warwichshire College, Royal Leamington Spa, U.K.


Warwickshire School of Art Annual Show at Warwickshire College, Royal Leamington Spa, U.K.


Warwickshire School of Art Annual Show at Warwickshire College, Royal Leamington Spa, U.K.


A Tribute to Kate Bush, Ten Two Gallery, Hinckley, Leicestershire U.K.

Live Your Life in Colour and Make Your Space a Happy Place