David Gilsvik was initiated into an art career at a young age. He discovered drawing in his early teens, copying magazine covers and comic books. When his father pursued a career in writing for outdoor magazines that specialized in hunting and fishing stories, David tagged along enjoying the rugged outdoor scene. He continued to refine his drawing skills and, eventually, illustrated three of his father’s books.
During his high school years, David was encouraged to draw and paint by Nora Stevens, a devoted teacher who helped found the Midwest Watercolor Society. Through Stevens, David had the opportunity to study under several guest artists who taught him about layout and design, value and color. David studied at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design and the University of New Mexico. He attended Yale University’s prestigious summer art program in Norfolk, Connecticut. David took courses at the Grand Marais Art Colony for seven summers, studying with Birney Quick, his painting professor at Minneapolis College of Art and Design.
Although David’s academic road led him to painting as a fine art, the practical subject of making a living was never addressed. He was quite easily swayed into the commercial side of art and began working as a painter for a billboard company. Seven years later, he started his own business, Gilsvik Signs and Murals, based in Two Harbors.
Now, almost 20 years after returning to the North Shore, David has resumed the fine art of painting and provides the viewer with his own glimpse into nature.
The world of nature has always been my world of choice. My method is to simply observe nature and pay attention, both to the nature in front of me and the nature inside of me. I guess I have some faith that if an idea or image is interesting to me, it is probably interesting to someone else as well.