What an exciting and wonderful month this has been to be an artist! It started with a trip out to Santa Barbara Island to paint the wildflowers onboard a 48 foot yacht, thanks to the continued support of my sponsors at Sail Channel Islands. Santa Barbara Island (SBI) is my favorite of the Channel Islands and I couldn’t resist the offer to get out there for one last wildflower bloom before my show is completed. On the way out, we encountered a super-pod of dolphins, a thousand or so, all rushing around us and leaping high in the air in all directions. As many times as I’ve seen it, it never fails to thrill. We also saw three sharks, two humpback whales and a sunfish, and that was just on the trip out. After a boat ride like that, there’s always the fear that the island visit might not live up to the journey. In this case, our fears were unfounded. We arrived on SBI just as the bloom was peaking. While my main reason for going on this trip was to do some diving and get some underwater video the time I spent on the island was unforgettable. Not only were the flowers outstanding, but I had the rare pleasure of witnessing a spectacular aerial battle between two peregrine falcons.
Shortly after my return from the island, I packed up again and headed to Valencia, where the Sequoia Riverlands Trust had invited members of the California Art Club out to privately held lands to paint the wildflowers and sycamore groves. The landscape was literally exploding with color… poppies, fennel, lupine, fiddle-head and snowdrop covered nearly every hillside and meadow. Quiet streams meandered amidst grazing cattle and air thick with birds of all kinds. Of special interest to me were the red-winged blackbirds, which I’ve wanted to paint for a few years now. I finally got my chance at Norris Ranch, where I painted this piece, “A Song of Spring”.
Before returning from Visalia, I couldn’t resist the chance to take advantage of the gorgeous weather and head up to nearby Sequoia National Park, home of the largest tree in the world. The park was blanketed in fresh snow, and after walking the well- trodden paths to the world’s largest tree and other top tourist destinations I got off the beaten track and did a four-hour snowshoe trail through the deep forest. Just as my hike was ending, a dense fog rolled through the woods creating powerful shafts of light and enhancing the already profound feeling of stillness and serenity. I’ve had more encounters with deeply inspiring natural beauty this month than I could manage to paint, and that’s pretty unusual. I won’t even get into the other amazing moments, save to say I had a great encounter with a bobcat, and I got to see Placido Domingo perform and met him after the show. It was almost too much beauty for one month, if there could be such a thing.
It is with high expectations, therefore, that I head out to Baton Rouge, Louisiana next week for a five day plein-air workshop. I had a great time painting there last summer, and I look forward to seeing all of my returning students as well as meeting many new ones. I have no doubt there will be inspiring landscape, great food, and wonderful music shared among great people.
Shortly after my return, the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Exhibition will open at the Pasadena Museum of California Art. Once again I’m serving as the Gold Medal Artist’s Chairman, so I can tell you with certainty that this year’s collection of works will be outstanding. As the size of the group and the ability of it’s members increases each year, it gets easier and easier to put a great show together from the work submitted. You can attend either of two high- profile preview evenings; Friday, April 24th for the Collector’s Circle Preview or Saturday, April 25th for the Artist’s Reception and Awards Evening. The show opens for general admission on Sunday, April 25th. I’ll be there all three days, and I’m looking forward to seeing so many of you there- it’s always a pleasure spending time at that show, surrounded by so much beauty shared among so many art lovers.
Lastly, I’ve updated the “New Works” section of my website with some of my wildflower paintings including the one from Santa Barbara Island, and more will be uploaded as they are finished this week. I look forward to inspiring encounters with all of you as we meet in nature, or at cultural events on our mutual quest to collect moments of beauty.
David C. Gallup
P.S. If you’d like to see what it’s like to go with me on a trip to SBI, check out Captain Dan’s video of our trip at http://www.viddler.com/explore/captdan/videos/19/
Also, if you never saw the video of composer Carter Larsen improvising to my nocturne paintings it’s now on youtube.com – just type my name into the search or follow this link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EUWW2QLqU2c
phone: (805) 241-4084
Visit dgallup.com for all the painted works of David C. Gallup along with events, news, workshops & much more.