The best thing about social media and in particular Facebook, is the ability we all have now to make friends online with people that we might never have had the opportunity to meet in person. I can honestly say that I have at least a couple dozen Facebook friends whom I’ve never met in person who have made a significant difference in my life for having befriended me. They share with me their life’s passions, dreams, goals, friendship, love, compassion and understanding. They listen when I need to talk and make me feel that I’m not alone when I might otherwise have been feeling lonely. Their thoughtfulness, light and loving spirits have illuminated me through many moments of darkness.
One such magnificent human being, and an extremely talented one at that, is Scottish artist, John Gallagher. John and I were introduced on Facebook by a mutual friend and bonded over our shared love for and appreciation of Irish singer-songwriter Jack Lukeman over two years ago. He’s a year younger than me and is quiet, easygoing, interested in film and art, books and creative media as well as music. John (nickname “Magpie”) often shares the fantastic videos he creates for Jack L with me because he knows how I adore his voice. You can watch them and witness John’s talent for yourself at Magpie’s Haven on YouTube.
The first thing you notice about John is how artistic he is and I (among others, I’m sure) have encouraged him to market his art and make it available to the public. And he has! His brand new website John Gallagher Graphix showcases his considerable gallery of fantastic digital graphic portraits of musicians, actors and popular and cult television & movie icons. He’s the kind of guy who enjoys Star Trek and Dr. Who, but I don’t hold that against him (*smile*) because he’s created some brilliant prints that I will be gifting myself with this holiday season, including this iconic rendition of another of my favourite male vocalists of all time, Peter Murphy.
Using a variety of techniques John can produce some extremely striking and often emotive images. He’s created digital and pen art and is probably the No. 1 source for The Rory Gallagher Art Collection on the Internet!
I asked him how he does it and this is what he said:
“I create all my images working from several different photographs most of the time; sometimes video stills for a more unique and challenging image. I use my knowledge gained from creating videos over the past few years to then restructure the photograph and give it a ‘pop art’ effect which also gives me a clearer image of the subject to work from.
I am then ready to begin creating the piece and I work directly from the image facing me on the computer screen, which is first drawn out in pencil, as well as all the areas I wish to tone and shade.
I use pen and ink mostly and these days, my artwork is mainly created by using alcohol markers which I discovered some time back. I found them ideal to my needs. With these markers, I am able to give more depth and substance to my work and whilst my own preference is for black and white or tones of grey and blues, I have created many colour pieces over this past year where colour suits the theme of the picture.
I enjoy my work immensely and relish the challenge the combination of different styles I have learned over the years brings!
I urge you to take some time to peruse the galleries on John Gallagher’s website and to let him know what you think. For art enquiries, he can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact him directly at at email@example.com
I guarantee you that it will be hard for to choose just one favourite image (I love this one of Joe Strummer too)!