The Kanata Civic Art Gallery will be featuring work by Brian Gallup in its next exhibit, which runs from Nov. 14 to Jan. 4.
The longtime Gallery member uses bright colours in acrylics to create pieces of artwork that immediately draw the eye to the page.
“I think his work adds a vibrancy we don’t always see here (at the Gallery),” said member Judi Miller.
Gallup wasn’t always a painter; he studied sociology in university before taking a job in biomechanical engineering. He was involved in the world’s first motorcycle accident study, and is the co-inventor of both the gas mask and bomb suits used by the military.
He picked up a paintbrush for the first time since high school in 1992 – after he lost his job. The burned out engineer was told to pack up and leave by his boss, who was also Gallup’s personal friend.
“I was pretty well toast,” said Gallup after years of witnessing and documenting motorcycle accidents.
“I picked up a paintbrush…and I thought, ‘That was kind of neat.’”
Gallup, who was born in Quebec City, describes himself as a “colourist” for his use of bright paints, and calls his work “naive” and “simplistic.”
“The canvas is nothing more than a vehicle for colour,” said the Beaverbrook resident, who joined the art gallery in 2001.
Gallup said many of his paintings are from memory – he prefers to work with what he’s seen instead of from a photograph.
“I’d just use my eyeballs and see what the hell was there” instead of always looking through a camera lens. He added he sometimes finds inspiration from other paintings.
“I interpret it,” he said. “I just see something and I go ‘That’s neat.’”
Many of his landscapes, seascapes and village-scapes are inspired from areas he’s visited.
Two paintings, one titled Laurentian Village and the other The Narrows, are both inspired by Newfoundland.
“They remind me of a much happier time, a much simpler time…going all over the place,” he said of his paintings. “Getting there was half the fun.”
The gallery’s newest exhibit, titled “Little Treasures,” will also feature 20 by 20 centimetre canvases by a number of artists.
“It’s a real honour and a privilege,” said Gallup about being the feature artist. “It’s fun.”
The Kanata Civic Art Gallery is located at 2500 Campeau Dr., in the Mlacak Centre. For more information and hours of operation, visit kanatagallery.ca.