New Jersey artist Joan Gallagher presents her portfolio of work and explains her fascinating process.
ABI: What is your technique in creating a painting?
JG: I take my camera with me everywhere. I take photos of old buildings, shadows, flowers, etc. – everything and anything. Next I download them into the computer and use Corel Photo-Paint to manipulate them. Then I do paintings based on my new images. This gives me fresh new colors, highlights and shadows. It blends my love of photography with my need to paint.
ABI: What project are you currently working on?
JG: I am currently working on what I call my daily challenge. Every morning when I wake up (most day’s it’s 5:15 am!) I paint a 3″ x 3″ watercolor based on whatever the national day calendar theme is. It starts my off my painting and thinking outside my comfort zone. I try to do it in ten minutes.
I post it on my Instagram account whether it’s good or bad, because it’s about the process more than anything. And it’s fun. It starts my day off not taking life so seriously. It makes me happy to know I’ve painted even for a few minutes. It started me on a line of paintings that will fit into a 5″ x 7″ frame. I have groups of flowers, food, beverages, fashion, holiday and miscellaneous. I figure I can try to reach more people who have a few dollars with them and get them interested in art and then maybe one day, they will be willing to purchase a larger painting.
ABI: Tell us about your experiences in promoting your art on social media. What outcome did you have?
JG: My daughters encouraged me to start an Instagram account, which I did last summer. To my delight, I woke up one morning and saw so many likes on one of my paintings that I was really surprised.
I opened my email and found that the Jersey Shore Hurricane News account (which started on Facebook during Superstorm Sandy) wanted to feature me as their artist of the month in February for a new project they were working on that features one shore town a month. I was able to do an account takeover for a whole weekend, and subsequently found many new Instagram followers.
I also met a group of people in Asbury Park who have a gallery that was opened through meeting on social media. My world is getting bigger. I am meeting new artists and photographers and joined an artist community in my hometown.