Main Menu
Random photo
The Ritz with Signposts

The Ritz with Signposts

I Give It A Year
Image of two mismatched silver rings on a year calendar

The Hobbit - Review
Ink drawing on parchment of the Lonely Mountain with a compass on the top left.

Hope Springs Review
Photo of a fountain.

More Sunsets
Sunset over the Thames and Canary Wharf. Click to go to Sunsets and Dawns Gallery for new pictures

The Sapphires Review
Photo of a green toy army truck on a boomerange resting on the strings of a guitar.

Review: The Wedding Video
Image of Image of three empty wine glasses on a white table cloth with place fanme with purpe bow, all in pinkish light.

Olympic Torch in Finchley
Danuta Ryland carrying the Olympic Torch through Finchley, London 2012.

blog header logo

SmartSection is developed by The SmartFactory (http://www.smartfactory.ca), a division of INBOX Solutions (http://inboxinternational.com)
Articles > Reviews > Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher

Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
by Chartreuse 16/8/2012 12.43

Exhibition poster for Once Upon a Time by Peter Gallagher Peter's paintings are not so much character studies as character stories. They are marked not just by glowing colours but also by a remarkable tenderness and spirituality. They have been called inspired, subtle, evocative, original, beautiful, moving. Not surprisingly, canvases have been bought hot off the easel and acquired for collections as far afield as Beijing. Most collectors have 3 - 5 pieces, the largest includes 30.

Born in Ireland and growing up in Leeds, Peter's first artistic experience came at the age 13 in a school art class where he began drawing intuitively with felt pens. It was an 'electrical optical effect' and the process made the young Peter happy. Unfortunately the art teacher was less so with a student who had departed from instructions and punished rather than spotted an emerging talent.

Image of a painting with two figures linking arms. In oranges and yellows. Title: A Country DanceNevertheless some ten years on, Peter was moved to experiment with some acrylics brought home by art student brother Michael, and produced a green head that even his sibling thought was quite good. Later Peter bought some oils and spent two years 'making a mess', investigating blending colours. After years of experimentation and discovery, his sought-after paintings are now a source of pleasure to exhibition viewers and collectors.

Inspired and influenced by the Expressionists, Picasso, Velazquez, Munch, Matisse and Chagall, Peter Gallagher is a natural, intuitive painter with instinctive draftsmanship. Peter explained how his paintings emerge.

Image of a painting of two lighthouses each with a red pipe. Title: Two Lighthouses Having a Smoke'I never know what is going to be the painting until it's finished. I start with abstract shapes and a few colours. The painting might get turned around, a dress might turn into a mountain Every brush-stroke becomes something else' until he sees the characters take shape until he is, 'looking at someone who looks back and me and saying, "I'm here" and when I've found them I know that they're real. I've discovered them. When I look at them I believe in them, like they have life in a parallel universe. They have a life within the canvas caught in the act of something. Composition is important to me. It's got an essence like characters that have soul.'

Image of a painting of a lady with red hair. Title: Golden Lady.As often with novelists and playwrights, the characters in the stories of Peter's paintings allow themselves to be revealed, and then are caught in a single frame of a film of the narrative of their lives.

'In terms of story telling, there are many ways to tell it.' Peter expresses his process also as archaeology, which is reminiscent of Michelangelo's finding the form of his sculptures in the stone. 'It's a process of brushing away, getting rid of stuff, but when I find it it's like it's been there forever, like an antiquity.' Finally the title of the piece suggests itself, and is sometimes comical. Ironically the softness, the effect of oil seeping subtly into the canvas like watercolors on cartridge paper, is created by an almost savage rubbing in of layer on layer of paint.

Image of a painting with two figures in a boat on a lake. They are dressed in long hooded robes, one in red, the other in blue with hands held as if in supplication. Title: Journey to the Afterlife‘Journey to the Afterlife’ with its tender depiction of gently curved figures in jewel-like red and deep blue is the painting the drew me in the most because of its sense of compassion, reassurance and intimacy combined with the feeling of the swell of the water rippling to the shore of light.

'I want the viewer to forget you are looking at a painting, and you forget everything technical, about expertise. It's about passion and heart, like electrical bolts across the divide' between canvas and viewer.

'It's not a technical ability, it is something with passion and fire that you have to be able to find' and in canvas after canvas, Peter Gallagher has found it.

Although the exhibition at Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill, London N6 5HG, finishes on 20th August its other half continues at Sable d'Or Patisserie in Muswell Hill, London N10 1DE, until 6th September and you can see more of Peter's art on his website http://www.gallagherpeter.co.uk

More articles

  View this article in PDF format Print article Send article

Other articles in this category Hits
Now You See Me - And You Should
Red 2: Lively Nightshade
I Give It A Year - and Two Thumbs Up
Django Unchained - Bountiful Entertainment
The Hobbit - Through a Children's Book to an Adult Epic
Life of Pi - Do You Believe in Miracles?
Skyfall - The Rise of Bond and the Day of the Old Guard
Great Expectations - of Critical and Box Office Success
The Sapphires - Outshining Dreamgirls
Frankenweenie: Disney Does Horror
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
Hope Springs
Bells: Kathak and Aerial Ballet Fusion in Olympic Torch Day Celebrations
The Wedding Video: Wait for the DVD
Once Upon a Time: Stories in Paint by Peter Gallagher
Brave: A Tale of Bears, Conflict and Needlework
Ice Age 4: Continental Drift Warms Cinema Seats
Midnight in Paris - time-travel celebrating the present
Royal Academy - Summer Exhibition 2011: a private view
Harry Potter 8: The Last Battle
The 39 Steps - Ups and Downs at the Criterion
Camera Obscura - The Focal Point of Edinburgh
The World Cafe
Exuberance at Giuseppe's
Tax Disc Renewal Online - in Just 3 Days!
Wagamama for Gluten-free, Dairy-free Dining
The King's Speech
Blade Runner on Blu-ray
Apocalyse No!
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince - Hogwarts: The Soap
Bruno - Fantastische Funkyzeit or OTT und Offensive
London Eye - Fast Track
Gum Check Up
Ice Age 3: Cool but Slow to Warm Up
Star Trek 2009 Movie
Armed and Dangerous
The comments are owned by the poster. We aren't responsible for their content.

Feel Better Films
Red petunia in rising sunlight

The Virgin Articles
Image of two small green plants in snow

Red 2 Review
Image of the digit 2 in red on a smokey black background

Django Review
Image of the letter D embossed on tan leather spattered with blood across the lower half

Life of Pi Review
Image of the symbol pi in a circle drawn in white sand on blue water.

Frankenweenie Review
Image of the word 'Frankenweenie' in a horror font in white on a black background.

Great Expectations Review
Image of water next to a muddy gritty shore with the words in white italic script: Great Expectations.

Bells and Kathak
Image of three dancers in red costumes holding a large bunch of white balloons

New Cranes Gallery
Three white cranes on the Shard

Ice Age 4 Review
Chalk drawing of Scrat with a nut.

Review of Brave
Image of Vue cinema internal glass door with red-haired triplet appearing to peep around it, an a poster of Brave in the background showing Merida.