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Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
January 13, 2010     Feather River Bulletin
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January 13, 2010

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14B Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2010 This painting, hanging in Phil Gallagher's Meadow Valley studio, depicts the family, which is central to the Polynesian people of the Hawaiian Islands. Note the juxtaposition of the human element with rock-like blocks of color. This painting, like others in Gallagher's studio, is hung in a way that contrasts and balances with the walls and windows. Photo by Linda Satchwetl JOHN DEERE 00oyd Boyd Co, With Loader & Rear Snowblower 4X4 33 HP On ALL Compact Utility FULL LINE OF With Loader & Rear Snowblowe, John Deere 4x4 24,p Implements Box Scraper FREE NEXT DAY DELIVERY MOST LOCATIONS! I  4.1: ;,''J- " " 2347 S. Hwy 97 5759 Crater Lake Hwy 21600 H 39 - SW Quarry II Madras, OR Central Point, OR Merdl!, OR Redmond, OR II I! 541-475-6116 541-826-2422 541-798-5660 4545 541-633-7671 = I .... Offer ends 1/30/2010. Some restrictions apply; other special rates and terms may be available, so see your dealer !or I i details and other financing options. 23Subject to approved credit on John Deem Credit Installment Plan. John De ere s i i green and yellow color scheme, the leaping deer symbol and JOHN DEERE are trademarks of Deere & Company. ..... ii  I IIlll IIIIII I IIIIIII IIIfl ARTIST, from page IB value the same elemental things: "We all want to honor our family, we all wonder if we're going to be here forever, and we all wonder, 'What's after this?'" In today's world, these questions get buried under material desires and contem- porary complications. "That's why I love petroglyphs," he continued, "because they really speak this elemental language that we a]] really have.., inside of us, each one of us, there's that same part that speaks." Gallagher said this work has been his focus now for a long time, but he does do other types of art. As an example, he showed a painting he did for the Plumas Ski Club, of which he is a member. Posters of that painting are for sale now at the Main Street Artists Gallery, with the proceeds going to the Plumas Ski Club. This is the "one piece in the show that'll be real local." Most of his work is "bor- dering abstract," he said. For some people, an introduction is helpful. Understanding how his work evolved and the ideas behind it facilitates this. To demonstrate, Gallagher pointed to a painting on the wall of his studio that is the "rendition of a wall panel of petroglyphs that's in the CoRe Range, which is really close to Death Valley ... the panel itself is basalt rock, so it has none of the colors you see here. I wanted really Bulletin, Progressive, Record, Reporter dramatic color ... to juxtapose this incredible surface rock with contemporary color (to) bring these images into the present." Gallagher pointed out a seg- ment filled with dogs, a man with an aura around his head and a bighorn sheep leaping. He wanted to engage viewers, to get them wondering what the Indians who first carved these images into stone were thinking. Ifa piece truly en- gages the viewer's attention, he will see it again and again, and he will see new things farther on. "What's really important in art," said Gallagher, "is not to give away all its Secrets in the beginning. Art needs mystery. And a piece of work needs this mystery so it'll continu- ally work on you ... and it's in color, it's in com-position, and it's in subject matter--all those three combined--be- cause you're not going to get it all in one viewing of two minutes, guaranteed. You're going to keep going." Gallagher demonstrated how he creates the surface of rock and the petroglyph images, how he adds brilliant color and how all of it com- bines in his deceptively simple technique. He said he was very influ- enced by the "drippers and throwers," especially Sam Francis, who was a,"really messy dripper and thrower" like Jackson Pollock. Gallagher adds something very unique, however, when he first covers the paper with finely ground "screen," made up of organic matter, including sawdust, twigs and rock. Then, he draws a simple image--in this case Koko- pelli, the flute player depicted by Native American tribes in the southwest--with his finger into the screen. Next, comes a bit of magic. Gallagher adds some water to a plastic tray that has bright blue watercolor dried onto it. He picks up a brush-- the type you might use to scrub the sink, and he scrubs it onto the colored surface of the tray. It picks up color and he runs his fingers over the bristles so that it shoots pinpricks of color onto the paper. "See those tiny fractals of color?" he asked. "They're very miniscule. We're just going to load that up." After that, he holds the piece of paper up so that the screen falls away, and a brilliant blue Kokopelli appears, look- ing like it's painted on a rock surface. The technique is simple. The ideas behind it are utterly unique. The layering of paint and image, the juxta- position of color, composition and subject--that is where mystery comes into play, at once keeping Gallagher's work alive and inviting the viewer. Main Street Artists Gallery will host an artist's reception for Phil Gallagher on Jan. 21, from 5-7p.m. For more information, contact Lara Eichenberger at eichen88@flmtmaiLcom, or Carla DeBoer at the Eagle's Nest Gallery, 283-9374. 00ANVlLLEi00UTO CENTER ...... ..... ....... Rated 35 mpg hicway - RAM! Air, tilt, CD player, 60/40 split Factory Rebate.., ............. $2,500 fold rear seaL Front & side airbag curtains. 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