Art Chat interview with Director/Writer/Producer George Gallo
by Linda R. Fisler
In my time studying art, art history, and continuing on my art journey, there come many opportunities to finding inspiration in many places as long as you keep your eyes, heart, and self-open. In keeping yourself open, one needs to see many instruments to spark intrigue and exploration. These times can introduce us to muses or mentors who will lead us to bigger and better things. This interview with George Gallo was one of those times. Little did I know that this was the beginning of a wonderful friendship we share today.
From the discussion of representational art to the information shared about his movie “Local Color,” to his coaching about getting yourself (your ego) out of the way so that the creation “comes from something bigger than you,” George shares his most personal feelings with us. Unfortunately, summarizing George’s views would not do him as much justice as just sitting down and listening to this very entertaining interview (which you can do at the bottom of this article). In this clip, George talks about why he made “Local Color.”
George discusses how to see as an artist. According to George, the design of the painting is the most important step in the process. He talks about how we should see in shapes instead of objects (like a tree, bridge, cloud). He coaches us to understand that abstracting the scene into shapes differentiates between a great painting and a failure. He provides insight on seeing and thinking while you are painting. His life experiences provide an interesting perspective not only into his journey but also his artist life.
George shares that he has been lucky to paint what he wants to paint because his livelihood is his writing. However, he paints for the love of painting. Yet, there is some great insight in this conversation. Paint what you love to paint. Your love and emotions will shine through in your artwork.
George has participated in all four years of Weekend With the Master Conferences and Workshops (Sadly, this event is no longer with us. We recorded this Art Chat in the beginning year of the podcast.) Each year his participation has increased: a great testament to his knowledge, experience, and willingness to give it his all. George pours his heart and soul into his art. His joy is evident and, thankfully, infectious!
If George could instill one thing in his students, it would be to plan what you want to paint before you lay down the first color note. Remember, you are the director of your painting, and you place all the actors(elements) on the stage (canvas) and “The brushstrokes are the words of the artists.”
From that point, he takes us through the steps of painting what you see and not paint an object; in this interview, it happens to be mountains and oranges.
I hope that you take time to listen to this interview because George’s enthusiasm can inspire you and reinforce many elements that we may be taking for granted. Blanche McAlister Harris (my co-interviewer at the time) and I were very fortunate and thankful to have conducted this interview with this very busy, highly sought-after writer, director, and artist. Please feel free to share this interview with your fellow friends and artist. You won’t regret it!
Editor’s note: Since this interview aired, we interviewed George many more times throughout our ten years. George is currently busy directing and producing many films, including the highly acclaimed “The Comeback Trail” (starring Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Tommy Lee Jones). Still, he passionately paints and explores art using the opportunity to recharge.
You can listen to the whole Art Chat here: