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David Gallup is a luminist in the classical definition of the word, with an ability to capture light in the landscape in a manner unmatched by most contemporary artists. In his paintings, something far greater than scenery is being recorded--it is a sense of place, the spirit of nature, and an impression of light that speaks directly to the soul of the viewer.”

~ Allison Malafronte,

Staff Writer for American Artist Magazine and Workshop Magazine 

The Otis Art Institute of Parsons School of Design- 1990

David C. Gallup       Oil paintings


At seven years old, I saw the ocean for the first time on a boogie boarding trip to Pacifica, CA. It was love at first sight. Over the years, I explored many more ways to enjoy the sea, and my relationship with her deepened as I learned to surf, sail, spearfish, and, of course, paint.  


Coastal scenes of crashing waves, tidal estuaries, and secluded beaches filled my canvases for twenty years before I finally took the plunge and learned to SCUBA dive.  I was instantly and permanently transformed.  Life beneath the surface filled my mind, and I longed to find a way to put these images to canvas.  But how?  


I looked for examples of ocean work that would give me a clue, but found nothing that spoke to me.  As Dan McCaw has done with his abstracted figures, or George Carlson and Daniel Pinkham have done with abstracted landscape,   I sought to find a way to bring a contemporary fine art aesthetic to undersea subjects.  I am just beginning this journey, and as I struggle and grow as an artist, as a diver, and as a person, I find a source of challenges and inspiration here as deep as the sea itself.




David Gallup is an explorer. Not just of nature but of the introspective and spiritual connection man has with his environment. His life’s passion has become a quest for new interpretations of the natural world without leaving his roots in Plein-Air Observation-Based painting.


Working in the style of the impressionist masters, many of David’s works are created on location in some of the world’s most beautiful and fascinating places-California and the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary, Hawaii, Alaska, Belize, Turks and Caicos, Yellowstone National Park and anywhere under the seas.  


They often depict moments when natural elements, such as fog, rain, water, glare, or darkness obscure solid forms. These elements are used in Gallup’s work to visually represent the sense of awe and mystery he feels for the natural world.


The media have also taken notice of Gallup. Since 2001 his name has been seen regularly in such magazines as Southwest Art Magazine, Art of the West Magazine and The Fine Arts Magazine, with in-depth coverage of his career and paintings in The Fine Arts Magazine (2003) and Art of the West (2006). He was featured in Workshop magazine in 2007,  American Artist Magazine in Summer of 2010 and Spring of 2011 and Outdoor Painter (2013). A one-hour documentary film is being produced in HD by the Essential Image Source Foundation, with funding and support from Sony, exploring the artist's thoughts, methods, and works. It is scheduled for release in 2014 for an international cable T.V. audience, Blue Ray distribution, and limited local release

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