Gillian's Fine Art Gillian's Fine Art

About Gillian Theunissen Horsley

Gillian Theunissen Horsley is an artist based in Hilton Head Island SC and Atlanta GA. She has both national and international collectors. She travels extensively internationally and uses her photographs as prompts for her acrylic paintings, which she executes in her studios. Her unique approach to painting wildlife, as well as sea and landscapes has placed her work in galleries in the USA and abroad. Her husband Ted Heintz, is an avid sailor and she is now enthusiastically painting sailboats! She has just started a new line of “Usable Art” where her images are transferred to plates, napkins, coasters mugs etc.

Gillian was born in South Africa, surrounded by plentiful sunshine and abundant wildlife. At university she majored in Drama and English and took two semesters of Art History. Her work as a global educator has taken her to all five continents. Wherever she goes, her camera goes with her, and it was a natural progression for her to move from photography into painting. She started painting in an adult class at the Woodruff Arts Center in Atlanta in 2005 and since then has taken classes at the Savannah College of Art and Design, Chastain Park and the Spruill Center. In 2006 she was invited to show her work in a local gallery, and since then has increasingly gained an ever-widening circle of collectors. As her work depicts scenes across the globe, it was a natural segue that her work would be collected internationally.Her piece “Sunset Over the Marsh” was selected in a national competition to be featured in the American Association of University Women’s 2011 calendar.

Although she is now proudly a citizen of the United States, Gillian’s South African roots are evident in her work through her strong use of color, texture and love of “big skies.”  Her “impressionist” approach to painting African wildlife was born from the ubiquitous dust of the game preserves. She enjoys the challenges of the creative process and is recognized for her unusual triptychs featuring different sized canvasses in the same work. Through her art, Horsley strives to have her audience partner with her in experiencing the exuberance of creation.


Gillian loves to paint on commission working from photographs to the specifications of her clients. Her work includes landscapes, house and pet portraits. During the ordering process, Gillian loves to talk to the people for whom she paints in order to best understand the subject and its importance in their lives. She also creates charcoal portraits of children working only from photos.

Gillian and her husband Ted Heintz live partly in Ansley Park in midtown Atlanta, Georgia and partly in their house “No Rush”, on the marsh near Harbour Town Hilton head Island SC Both properties express her appreciation of and concern for the environment resulting in certifiecations as an Audubon Backyard Habitat and National Wildlife Federation Preserve and Monarch Waystation.


  • BA from Rhodes University, Grahamstown, South Africa
  • University Education Diploma from the University of Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa
  • BA Honours from the University of South Africa, Pretoria, South Africa
  • MBA from the University of Lincoln, England, United Kingdom

Art Classes

Gillian has taken classes with JZ Torre, Dolores Kennedy, Kathy Reynolds Forbes and painted in an open studio with Dawn Kinney Martin.

Currently Exhibiting Artwork

  • The Calhoun Street Gallery, Bluffton SC
  • Sea Pines Gallery, Hilton Head Island SC
  • Harbour Town Lighthouse Museum and Gift Store, Hilton Head Island SC
  • Gifted Wexford Village, Hilton Head Island SC
  • Pyraminds Sea Pines Center, Hilton Head Island SC
  • The Coastal Discovery Museum, Hilton Head Island SC
  • Art League, Hilton Head Island SC
  • Grayco on Palmetto Road, Hilton Head Island SC