With the days growing shorter and the heat of summer behind us, I couldn’t help throwing in a Malibu sunset to mark the end of the summer. For me, it seemed it was over before it had begun… a blurry memory of two growing kids zipping in and out of the studio as I worked and the lingering smell of baby sunblock seem to be all I have left of the whole season. I even find I’m missing the small paintings which tend to pile up around me during the summer, as I spent most of the season working on a few major works instead of nearly daily excursions to the islands or beaches in search of new subjects and inspirations as I’ve done in years past.
It would be easy to see sunset paintings as merely an analogy to an end, or as looking back at memories, and there was a time I saw them that way myself. But with my decades of experiences mounting I now see that there is a power to that moment which isn’t so much signaling an end as it is celebrating the power of the elusive present. That power can be found in the special quality to the light which falls between day and night, not unlike the moment between past and future. The power of the present, of course, is that no matter how much we may reinterpret an event in the past or plan for our future, the present is the only time we can act to better the world. And though the twilight is fleeting, we are reminded that sunsets were here long before us, and will continue long after we’re gone. I always find comfort in the power of that continuity, as I suppose all souls do.
You may recall my painting from last month’s Moment of Beauty, “Twice Humbled”. It’s now hanging at the Santa Barbara Maritime Museum. I went there a couple of weeks ago to supervise the installation, and was thrilled when the museum’s director showed me an original drawing by Whistler of Anacapa Island which is part of their permanent collection. It’s gorgeous, and if you’re there to see my painting you don’t want to leave without checking out this beautiful example of the greatness the islands have inspired. I’m told Whistler was commissioned to do this work by the US Geological Service, who fired him for including seagulls. Wow. I’m so fortunate that my sponsors at the National Park Service have never ventured an opinion on how my subjects should be presented!
As I start looking forward to events where I might see you this fall, I’ve got a few dates you may want to mark on your calendars. First, I’ll be the featured artist at the California Art Club’s Collectors Circle Dinner on October 22. It has been rescheduled from September 10th as our hostess had an injury and needed time to recoup. Call the California Art Club if you’re interested in attending, at (626) 583-9009. I’ll also be teaching a workshop in Baton Rouge, Louisiana from October 28 – November 1. We always have a great time down there, and I look forward to seeing so many of you again. On October 24th I’ll be joining the Autry Museum at David Murdoch’s ranch to paint as part of the Masters of the American West & CAC Collector’s Circle paint-out. Though I live very near the ranch, this will be my first visit and I’m sure it will be a real treat to paint there. I’ll also be teaching my annual Malibu workshop from November 6th-8th (Friday thru Sunday). On Sunday, November 15th, I’ll be giving a talk on my Channel Islands paintings at the historic Blinn House in Pasadena from 1-3pm. I’ll be giving a power point presentation, and showing nearly all of the paintings which are completed so far for the upcoming museum tour. My annual Holiday Salon and Open Studio will be held on December 6th. As always, space will be limited to fifty guests so book your party early to ensure your plans.
It’s going to be a busy fall, and I’m so pleased to know that I’ll be seeing so many of you at a rich variety of events- it’s always nice to abandon the solitary painter’s life for a day here and there to join with friends for a day of art appreciation, discussion, or creation.
David C. Gallup
phone: (805) 241-4084
Visit dgallup.com for all the painted works of David C. Gallup along with events, news, workshops & much more.