One thing which hasn't changed is that it is my love for the ocean which continues to inspire most of my work. Increasingly, however, this work is inspired by my experiences from underwater adventures, and this year I've had many incredible encounters beneath the sea which are only now finding their way to the canvas. "Coral Head at West Caicos" (above) is a piece which exemplifies the direction of my latest work, finding it's way delicately between abstraction and naturalism, swirling with color and motion and utilizing a bolder design element than most of my earlier work. In this painting, paint becomes fish, and fish disappear into abstract areas of paint as I explore the ideas of depth of field and motion beneath the surface. For all of us who call ourselves artists, growth in our work comes from personal growth in our lives. Too often, it requires many solitary hours in the studio to translate our personal growth into something which helps us evolve in our work. This year, for me, the sting of that isolation has been soothed by the opportunity to collaborate on some undersea and studio pieces with another artist, Nansi Johnson Bielanski. Nansi and I have had the pleasure of painting and traveling together for a few years now, mainly in classes and workshops, and recently we have begun to weave our shared dive experiences into collaborative paintings in which we each contribute our memory of the scene, our interpretation of the experience, and our own artistic aesthetics and abilities to the work. Our most recent collaboration has produced a painting which pleases me more than any I've ever done alone, and maybe that should not be a surprise. After all, there seems to be little to risk in inviting in another trained eye, another broad mind, another set of talents and skills to add to the work. In"Jubilation", we have done exactly that, accomplishing (I believe) more together than either of us might have done alone.
Between diving and painting trips, I continue to spend time with my two beautiful sons, and with a wonderful group of students, many of whom have become like family to me.
I also am slowly beginning to schedule some workshops again, beginning locally with:
"Color Theory 2.0: Brushwork and Palette"
This workshop will be limited to ten students (four spots remaining), and will be held in my studio in Camarillo each Wednesday in September from 11-4. In this class, we will examine the making of a great brushstroke, and define the elements which make some marks more successful or sophisticated than others, and students will learn to replicate some of the greatest brushstrokes in history (as defined by me, and by you) and apply those techniques to original paintings. Of course, brushwork is intimately connected to palette work, so we will be examining both. This workshop will be a great opportunity to study color with me if you have not done it before, and also will make a nice follow-up course for those of you who have attended the infamous Color Theory Workshop in the past. Cost is $600.
I will try to get back into the habit of writing a monthly Moment of Beauty, and to write some supplemental thoughts on art on my Blog Page, at the newly re-designed DGallup.com. As always, I love to hear from you as we journey through life together seeking out Moments of Beauty.
David C. Gallup
P.S. If you live anywhere near southern California, DO NOT MISS the Joaquin Sorolla exhibition running at the San Diego Museum of Art through August 26!!! It is the largest collection of his work in the U.S. since 1911, and demonstrates the strength of this artist who is still one of the most influential painters today, nearly a century after his death. If you live in Spain, just hold off for a bit, it's coming to you soon.