When the days are short, wet, windy and cold I naturally tend to spend more and more time in my studio. It was mainly during these reclusive winter months over the past decade that I slowly began to develop a theory about color harmony and how I could use “color chords” to bring harmony to my paintings just as a musician would use chord structures to bring beauty to sounds. About two years ago I was introduced to the legendary composer Carter Larsen at the home of a mutual patron (thank you Ashley Wells!). Carter was fascinated to learn about my use of music theory in my paintings, and we began collaborating on an experimental project, which came to fruition just three weeks ago.
We gathered 120 art and music connoisseurs at the home of arts patron Kara Fox, and presented Carter with six of my nocturne paintings which he had never seen before. He was then given a moment to study the painting before performing improvised compositions as a response to, or interpretations of my paintings. The music was truly beautiful and by all accounts the evening was a smash. We’re planning future events at LACMA’s Bing Theater and at the home of artist and patron Cathey Cadieux in Malibu, where we’ll have enough room for me to invite all of you (so long as you don’t ALL come!). There is a short video of the night’s event on my facebook page, … Have a look, I think you’ll see that the evening was a genuine celebration of a very special collaboration, and having such beautiful music be inspired by my work will remain one of the highlights of my life. If you’re not already linked up with me as a friend on Facebook, please take a moment to add me to your friends list. You’ll see the video link on my Facebook Home Page.
As we leave winter behind and head into the Art Season, I hope you’ll all get out to see the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Exhibition at the Pasadena Museum of California art, slated to open on April 22 and run thru May 17. Once again, I’ll be serving as the Gold Medal Artist’s Chairman, and I’ll give you a behind the scenes tip right now- this show will be Beautiful!! Just a week after the show closes, “On Location in Malibu” will open at the Weissman Museum in Malibu, where I will be exhibiting this painting, “The Glistening Playground”. At 30″ x 40″, it’s not a plein-air painting so it’s production was perfectly suited to the numerous cold, windy, and rainy days we’ve had here during the past month.
I learned to surf in Malibu over twenty years ago, and I know the wonder and pleasure of being out on the perfect day as dolphins glide past. Doing justice to that feeling was a tremendous challenge, and I only hope I’ve lived up to it.
Now that this painting is done, I’m looking forward to getting out to paint the fruits of our winter rains. I’ll be taking a few days to paint wildflowers on Santa Barbara island with Cap’n Dan of Sail Channel Islands as he continues to support my work painting the Channel Islands and Marine Sanctuary. We’ll be sailing in prime whale season, and the weather is typically great in March so I’m anticipating a fantastic trip. Then I’m off to paint on private land held by Sequoia Riverlands Trust before teaching a workshop in the green rolling hills of the Santa Ynez Valley, hosted by the Wildling Museum. Starting on the last day of March I’ll be teaching a workshop in Napa Valley wherein I’ll take students up in a hot air balloon to paint the arial views in the early morning light. It’s going to be a very busy month for me, but it promises to be lots of fun and I know I’ll get to see quite a few of you at these events. I always look forward to that.
Lastly, I’ve updated the “New Works” section of my website as well as the “Workshops” page where you’ll see that I’ve been busy planning to travel and paint with as many of you as possible this year. If I’m not painting near you but you think I should, let me know! I’m always open to suggestions as to what new places I should visit in my quest for more moments of beauty.
David C. Gallup
Upcoming Workshop Opportunities
March 23- March 27
Plein-Air Painting Workshop in Santa Ynez Valley
Sponsored by the Wildling Museum
Come spend five days painting with me in some of the most beautiful country California has to offer. Santa Ynez Valley is a largely undeveloped area of vast farmlands and rolling green hills dotted with oak trees. Valleys of wildflowers and pastures await us as we explore the visual poetry of this magical place. Workshop fee is $500. Inquiries and registration should be made through the Wildling Museum’s Manager of Visitor Services, Amy Mutza. She can be reached at 688-1082.
March 31 – April 3
Plein-Air Painting Workshop in Napa Valley, Includes Painting from a Hot Air Balloon
Four days of intensive personalized instruction in a small class. Highlights include painting one morning from a hot air balloon. Seven Students in a ten-passenger basket will assure we all have room to work. Workshop fee is $700, including Hot Air Balloon and one champagne brunch picnic at the end of the ride.
Swamp Boogie Plein-Air Workshop in Baton- Rouge, Louisiana
Look out, Louisiana- I’m comin’ back!! This workshop will explore the possibilities of the color theory workshop as applied to plein-air work. While my color theory workshop is not a prerequisite, this workshop will be a perfect follow-up for those of you who survived my color theory and want to take it outside. We’ll paint swamps, woods, pastures and the banks of the mighty Mississippi. Workshop fee is $500.