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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Barbara Gallagher

Barbara Gallagher
(August 7, 1933 - July 27, 2006)

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''Uniquely traditional subjects transformed by a personal vision and a strong sense of color and design distinguish the unusual work of Barbara Gallagher. Her paintings reveal groups of figures that exist in a palette of widely varying settings and moods. She continued to create works of art that were full of mysterious surroundings, of beautiful color; color that is at the same time both vibrant and subtly peaceful. They were carefully composed so that the theme is developed by the viewer's sense of reality and fantasy.

What began for Barbara as a search for a different way to paint figures, in an abstract arrangement of shapes and colors, had evolved into a full commitment to discovering people and their fantasy world within the picture format. The effect is joyful to the soul, moves straight from the eye to the heart, and leaves the admirer wanting to return and enjoy, time and time again.

A dominant figure in the Arts Community for decades, Barbara's work is recognized throughout the United States. A stroke victim in 1995, Barbara had done what people say was impossible; she used her opposite hand to create her paintings. Although the mechanics had changed, the philosophy of the art had not. These mechanics, as once stated by Barbara..."My paintings begin with paint of differing colors randomly applied to the canvas or paper until it is covered. These colors have no direction at this stage. My mind is deliberately open to the suggestions of shapes that appear as the juxtaposition of colors develop. By constanly turning the canvas or paper, and continuing to add glazes and shapes, I work until a shoulder, attitude of head or body appears; then I know what is trying to appear. I continue painting the extraneous shapes, composition, complications, and message of the figures and/or flowers. Pattern intrigues me. So many of my works have elaborate shapes complicating the surface. I work for the pleasure of creating these images, seeing what will appear magically from very random choices of color, and amounts of paint that are applied with as much freedom as possible."

In 2005, Barbara suffered another stroke and it was determined by her family that she should close her gallery (Green Garden Gallery) after 30 years in business. Although her health continued to dwindle, Barbara continued to fight, and paint, up to the time of her death. Barbara was a lover-of-people, understanding of their love for life, and this quality is exposed in every work of art her hands mastered. She is missed terribly by her family, close friends, fans of her work, and all of those that came to know her.''

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