Gretchen Kaye was born in 1944 in Melbourne.
Mystery, narrative and movement are the main themes of her work. Her style is described as abstract realism.
Kaye’s early influences included her teacher, Stewart Devlin AO CMG, artist and designer of Australia’s coins, during studies at Caulfield Technical School (now Monash University).
She undertook a Diploma of Visual Arts at CAE with Prudence Flint (oil painting) and Richard Stringer (sculpture).
Kaye studied oil painting in Berlin (Schule für Bildende Kunst und Gestaltung) and in Hamburg (International Summer Academy for Art and Design, Pentiment) with Laurentz Thurn.
In 2018, celebrity interior designer and TV host, Shaynna Blaze, selected Kaye’s oil painting, ‘The Secret’ to form part of her design for Channel Nine’s real estate reality show, Buying Blind.
With two fellow artists, Kaye exhibited works exploring the colour palette of night at Cato Gallery, East Melbourne, in 2015. She has exhibited regularly in group exhibitions and sold various works both locally and internationally.
Following a commission for scenic artwork for the stage show, Tango’s Violin, (directed by Alan Becher, Former Artistic Director of Perth Theatre Company), Kaye designed and painted the 11 x 6 m backdrop, used for performances at major venues in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.
Other commissions include animation artwork (individually hand-drawn frames), promotional material, company and television show logos.
In her first solo exhibition, titled The Portable Park, in March 2023 at fortyfivedownstairs Flinders Lane Melbourne, Kaye, who lives inner city, focusses on the far reaching effect of tranquility, which the local park offers to the community. She believes that everything we see is viewed through our personal layers of memory and what the artist creates reminds us of what we already know.