Gail Niebrugge, originally from California, ended up in Alaska after a family vacation in 1976- the family fell in love with Alaska and never returned home. In 1977 she obtained her private pilot's license and flew her own Cessna 170B throughout Alaska’s isolated interior. Traveling by mail plane, ski plane, helicopter, boat, raft, ATV, truck, and camper, enables her to gain firsthand knowledge of Alaska’s wilderness, landscape, and history. When she returns home to work in the studio, she translates her love of these subjects into colorful paintings.
While confined to bed recovering from neck and back injuries in 1986, she began using the technique of pointillism. Using small dot like strokes the paintings are made from thousands of spots of color. Up close the dots dominate, but when viewed from a distance the image is sharply realistic.
In 2012 she received Alaska’s highest honor of a Governor’s Award for the Arts as an Individual Artist. In 2006 she was commissioned for the Alaska Governor’s inaugural poster. She has completed 16 major public commissions in Alaska and numerous other commissions in other parts of the country.