Dear Collectors and Art Enthusiasts~
I hope this message finds you all well. As many of you will know by now, I generally like to start the new year with a sunrise, as a symbol of the embarkment of a new journey. “First Light at Yellow Banks” was done on my November trip to the Channel Islands as I progress toward the anticipated opening of my major museum tour of paintings on the subject this fall, which I’m fully expecting to be the highlight of an extraordinary year for me as an artist and as an adventurer and passionate lover of life.
It was project sponsor Captain Dan Ryder of Sail Channel Islands who suggested a trip to Yellow Banks to paint the sunrise. The unique location of this anchorage puts one due West of Anacapa Island (seen here) and just off the vibrant yellow cliffs on the East coast of Santa Cruz Island, which positively glow at first light. So, with dolphins on the bow we headed out to East Santa Cruz Island and explored the coast by kayak at sunset before dinner and drinks on deck and a well- deserved early bed. Dawn came cold and grey, but with no wind and a hot cup of tea the chill was tolerable. Suddenly, the dazzling golden light of morning was upon me, setting me to scurry after the fleeting colors before they were gone, and in a few short minutes it was over. I’ve come to accept the fact that a painting carries the mood of the artist at the moment it was created. It is a great challenge, therefore, to rapidly work to catch a fleeting effect while keeping one’s mind unhurried and introspective, completely at peace. I am fortunate that diving after rapidly changing colors is the very thing that makes me feel the most at peace, the most self-assured, and the most satisfied. It is the fulfillment of that uncommon combination of personal attributes which makes my sunrise paintings, at least in my mind, some of my strongest and spiritually charged work, and I always try to keep one on the wall in my studio for personal inspiration.
As I lay out my calendar for 2010, I’ve tried to fill it (as I do every year) with as many opportunities to see new things and meet new people as possible. The first step on that journey for me is getting my SCUBA certification (thanks to my new project sponsors at Scubahaus in Santa Monica!) so I can more fully investigate the mysteries of the Marine Sanctuary. Also along those lines, I’ve got trips planned to explore sea life via submarine as part of the ongoing HD Documentary Film being made about my work on the islands. Director/Producer Susan Sember of EISF (www.eisf.org) has come through not only with funding for the film, but with access to a submarine. It is also through Susan Sember that I’ll be given access to a science boat this fall with a crew which will be tagging great white sharks from Mexico to Oregon, passing through the Channel Islands Marine Sanctuary on the way. Susan’s film crew and I will be joining them on their quest, while I paint the experience from above and below the surface with the cameras rolling! I have no idea what paintings these trips will inspire, but I thrill at the chance to even have such amazing opportunities, and I don’t doubt they will provoke new ideas about life and art which I’ll want to explore more fully in the studio upon our return to land.
On February 2, just a few weeks from now, I’ll be giving a talk and multimedia presentation at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum from 6:30-7:00pm. I’ll start with a half hour discussion in front of my painting “Twice Humbled ~ Orcas off Anacapa, Noon Light” (preview the painting Here) which is on loan to the museum through this summer, and then we’ll move to the media room for about an hour of paintings and stories from the show as it currently stands. The museum has been very kind in supporting this evening program at no cost to the public, and we have lots of room to welcome even a sizable crowd. This is a great chance to have a fun, free night out full of art and laughter. If we’re lucky, Producer/Director Susan Sember may even join us with a teaser clip or two of her forthcoming film about my project, “The Painted Islands”. It’s being filmed in glorious all-digital HD, and promises to be spectacular (at least the scenes where I’m not blocking the landscape). I’ll have more details as the date approaches, let me know if you’re interested.
In addition to painting for the show and scheduling new museum venues for the subsequent tour, I’ll be working on co-writing the companion book which should get published in time for the tour’s grand opening late this year. While I know this all will keep me very busy, I’m trying to make time for some travels to teach workshops at some new locations and some favorites as well. I’ll be teaching a color theory/studio techniques workshop for the Thousand Oaks Art Association Feb 22-26th, then a Rural Louisiana Workshop April 19-23 painting the little fishing villages along the southeastern part of the state, a plein-air painting workshop on Quadra Island in British Colombia July 5-9 and another in Santa Barbara from July 14- 18. I don’t have anything on the calendar yet for Tennessee, but I’d like to get back there this fall if I can schedule it. I also want to take two students on the luxury sailing yacht, Sancerre, for a cruising and painting trip to the Channel Islands in June or August- upscale food and wine included. If that sounds like your cup of tea, let me know now. We can dive, too, if you’re up for it. This will be a perfect trip for a husband and wife artist team, or any two artists who love spending time together learning. For more information on any of these workshops, you may visit my workshops page at dgallup.com by clicking Here .
It was great seeing so many of you at my home studio tour for our annual Holiday Salon. We had record attendance, my apologies to those of you who could not secure a reservation but we’ve only got so much room. If you were lucky enough to come on the second day, I actually got to spend some time with you- word to the wise for next year! Meanwhile, keep in mind that the studio is open year round by appointment, and I’d love to make time to show you your favorite paintings in person any time. If there’s a piece in particular you’re interested in, please let me know at the time you make your appointment and I’ll make sure it’s on the wall when you come. Group tours are also available by special arrangement, so if you have a sailing club or other group that might like to come by, please let me know and I’ll be happy to accommodate you.
I sincerely hope our paths will cross this year, and that you all have a wonderful, healthy, and prosperous 2010 filled to the brim with unexpected and delightful Moments of Beauty!
Special thanks to all of my sponsors for this project- I couldn’t do it without you!The Bill and Marilyn Field Trust
The National Park Service
The Nature Conservancy
Essential Image Source Foundation
Sail Channel Islands
and, of course, all of my Collectors who have purchased work from the upcoming exhibition, and who will be loaning it back for the museum tour.
I look forward to working with you all again this year as our project nears completion!