Read Corinne Galla's bio here, first published by VoyageAtlanta, 2018
Today we’d like to introduce you to Corinne Galla.
Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
One of my best friends in grade school signed up for oil painting lessons and hearing her talk about it piqued my interest in trying it out. My new art teacher was a free-spirited sort, and I loved the classes she held in the studio over her little log cabin. I took a few lessons, but budgets were tight for my family, and I had to drop out after a couple of months. Little did I know, forty years later I’d start painting again, this time with an eye toward selling my work in person and online.
Let’s fast-forward to 2005. I practiced with intensity, attending a figure drawing studio nearly every week for two years. What a great beginning – drawing turned out to be the best practice I could’ve had. At the same time, I was working in my home studio, too, creating works in watercolor and oil paint and going out on plein air junkets whenever I could fit them into my schedule around my day job.
I set up an online shop in 2009, and although oil painting’s my first love, I wanted a market for the tiny watercolor portraits I’d been creating alongside my work in oil. My shop did well: today I’ve had over 1500 sales, and I rank in the top four percent in that online market.
Lately, much of my work centers around female portraiture and figurative pieces, both impressionistic and abstract. I’ve recently discovered a great part of my inspiration stems from childhood memories of the women in my family from earlier generations. They were stalwart, sturdy figures, no-nonsense women who were farm wives and full-time moms.
Here are a few snippets about me:
I don’t have a formal fine art education. My BA is in apparel design, and my favorite thing in college was pattern drafting. All those straight lines, special cuts and very sharp, sharp scissors; I still have my ruler collection.
I grew up in a Quaker village in South Jersey where many of our closest neighbors were chickens and cows, was around when hula hoops came out, skipped over the second grade and despised, despised chemistry class in high school.
My backyard is the size of a couple of football fields, and I live where I am surrounded by beautiful Georgia pines and hardwoods. The nearest cellphone tower is miles away. My current project? I’m renovating my old red barn and plan to move into my new studio there this year. I can’t wait!
Please tell us about your art.
I love to experiment with all different kinds of mediums. I suppose that stems from the fact that I started painting so late in life – I want to hurry up and learn it all. And though oil paint is my favorite medium in the recent past I’ve done works in encaustic, mixed media collage, acrylic inks and a watercolor and pastel combination.
Standing in front of a blank canvas is an exhilarating experience. There’s nothing in the world like that fresh beginning, all open possibilities. And the first marks I make on that field are always the most rewarding. I have to confess there are times when I would like to stop after the first several marks are made and leave the raw idea on the canvas to speak for itself.
I paint not to please the market; I really do paint to please myself. That’s a very freeing process. For me, there’s nothing which will make the Muse pack up and leave town faster than being asked to paint a commission.
I believe collectors should have an appreciation for all forms of art, but when it comes to acquiring art for one’s personal collection, there’s only one rule: the impact of viewing the art should hit you like a thunderbolt. Your feelings about it should be instant and visceral. That’s the sign of the true connection between art and the observer.
We often hear from artists that being an artist can be lonely. Any advice for those looking to connect with other artists?
I have lots and lots of online artist friends who are supportive and simply stellar! For in-person connections, though, nothing beats meeting new artists at gallery openings and art festivals. Recently I attended an art festival a couple of towns away and met some new friends who live nearby! I didn’t know about their work, and it was so exciting to meet new folks and learn about their work!
How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
Currently, I am represented by these galleries:
Art Alley, Birmingham (Homewood) AL
The Print Shop Gallery, Greenville GA
Wild Oats and Billy Goats, Decatur GA