Thursday, February 28, 2008


Sunday night I swung into the Dogpatch Saloon with a couple of friends to check out the much anticipated live jazz scene the old saloon is famous for. It being my first time, we arrived early to what appeared to be a typical cozy Sunday afternoon locals scene in the neighborhood known as the "Dogpatch" (not just the name of the bar). After getting ourselves set up with a couple of cold brews and some small talk the musicians took to the small stage and started to play led by the legendary Vince Lateano. They eased into the set and led up to a few nice numbers with a real steady beat. Candice (a regular singer at Shanghai1930) warmed the audience with a sultry set of numbers that loosened everybody up and put smiles on faces.

An hour later and knee deep into both the Dogpatch Saloon and the music, the whole scene came alive! Many of the areas local jazz musicians were pouring in through the doors and lookin' to sit in on the excitement.

Everybody would take turns rotating in on the set adding feeling and passion to the music.

The legendary Babatunde (a fantastic percussionist) was added to the second set and things really started jumpin'. His congo-like drums shook the floor and my chest and brought us all together. I grabbed my journal in the excitement and started drawing to the beat of the room that was being thwarted by Tomoko Funaki on bass. The place had come alive!

Greer took a nice romantice visionary solo during this set. Later I would have a nice chat with him after the gig. A possessed man dedicated to his passion. Spanish Caravan was one of the hottest numbers for the night with an extended solo by the great Babatunde... I was lucky enough to have him share a little introductory percussions lesson and technique with me during sets.

Musicians changed yet again between the second and third sets, this time featuring the Three Sax Players, and a nice vocal messaging by Linda for two numbers. The night would see a healthy third set and a wonderful closing drum-off between Vince and Babatunde calling out to each other with a dramatic and powerful peak.

A wonderful night was had by all and I definitely will be returning to see this rare and special weekly event. A jazz family reunion where sooooo much talent is packed into an affordable locals joint that yields a wonderfully intimate setting, solid drinks with housemade chilly and a wonderful musical experience that takes one back to the days of Jack Kerouac's beat generation jazz joints where the musicians came to play after hours, after their gigs, with respected friends and family.

Images: ©Copyright Trey Gallaher

Monday, February 25, 2008


This weekend's Wondercon was a wet one but was a good chance to get out of the studio and see some eye candy, buy some great rare art books, see some great artists and their work up close, catch up with some old friends I ran into and reflect on my childhood while staring at old Battlestar Gallactica actors, a Jawa, and the Hulk....

Nothing like a comic book convention to make you feel old and young at heart at the same time. My mind raced and I felt like a kid running wild and free in a candy store again... and this time with more pocket change to get in trouble with...

I arrived to Moscone Center about noon on a soggy Saturday and was looking forward to hearing an artist speak who's work I have watched develop over the last eight to ten years. Being a collector since I was a kid (go...Teen Titans), I first became aware of David Mack's Kabuki series sometime in the late nineties. I had always liked the way he used mixed medium techniques to achieve a fantastic visual storytelling approach. He developed his own character and storyline for Kabuki (while in college) and combined it with a sensitive use of watercolors, drawing, and visual composition to produced one of the most visually stunning graphic novels I've seen in the genre.

His list of accomplishments is long as he has covered many different storylines and characters including Dare Devil, the Avengers and Alias among others. In his speech he was quick to point out that most of his readers "say" they are not comic readers or collectors, which everyone had a chuckle about. But on some level I knew what that meant. For many of us who were budding artists out there in the early nineties, graphic novels became another promising avenue to making great pictures and illustrating stories with more impressive art. Technology and efficiency were getting better by the day it seemed and the early artists were taking bigger leaps in self-publishing and allowing the graphic novel medium to take it's own shape and spread it's wings with a much more painterly artistic vision.

Thanks to artists like Bill Sienkiewicz, Dave McKean, George Pratt, Kent Williams and David Mack among many others, who have stuck by their guns, stayed true to their artistic vision, originality and haven't settled for a lesser product... the medium has grown tremendously and transcended it's predecessor... and in return they have gained many faithful readers and inspired many to enter this under-appreciated genre with a whole new vision for it's future...

It was great to talk to an innovator like David Mack in person, a great guy who is very open to sharing his thoughts, ideas and methods, and to ask him a few questions of my own. This is the purest, most wonderful and un-pretentious thing about events like Wondercon and Comiccon! A place where ideas are shared and discussed and the creators can meet face to face the people that they serve. Budding artists can have their portfolios looked at, they can meet their inspirations up close and walk away filled with hope and a few pointers that they can achieve their dreams. Both the young and the old, geeks of all age, race, creed and color (green too) can come together and truly "geek-out" about being a kid again. I know I did...

(I grew up watching this guy every friday night 7:30pm as the orginal Incredible Hulk (no C.G.) followed by the Dukes of Hazzard, and "CHIPS".... life is strange)

(when I'm angry version)

Wondercon Website --> HERE

David Mack --> HERE

David Mack Guide (fan site) --> HERE

Lou Ferrigno --> HERE
All imagery is ©Copyright Protected by their respective names and titles.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


One of the hardest things I have had to learn to do as a painter (not illustrator), is to work in lengthy series. Being trained in the art of illustration never left me with much attention span for working at any great length on any one subject.

In-fact usually the objective is to summarize uniquely, sweetly and with vigor and to not draw your message out over forty plus paintings (books excluded). Always being afraid that the the ever decreasing attention span of the everyday audience would most likely NOT stick around to figure out what was being said. Hit-em' hard and fast... eye candy with a powerful message. The sophistication comes in the method of delivery.

Many great illustrators and teachers like Robert Weaver would remind us of the ever more importance of CONTENT and to report on our experiences and feelings directly. Weaver did work in series as a reportage artist, but as an illustrator was not allotted the time to have any ONE series of illustrations that could run the length of his career. From what I can tell, it seems just not be in the job description or lucrative for an illustrator in his or her professional career to stay with one subject for THAT long. Styles can carry over oviously, but the message changes...

Many in the arts might consider this a negative aspect to picture making, and would cower to the looming deadlines that hang overhead. To be able to research and immerse yourself in the message immediately and tell the story in a few short images is for the brave and fearless who are quick on their toes.

But most illustrators and designers I know, accept this as an even greater challenge and for this I have always held a tremendous respect for the discipline it takes. Yes it's more constricting, YES there is less time, but YES it requires more skill and intelligence to summarize it better with less.

I once interviewed Jane Eisenstat for my thesis. Being a professor of illustration, historian and collector of the artform and lifetime artist herself, she told me this... "there are no amateur illustrators".

Though I am now much more at ease thinking as a painter these days, it took me several years to get the rhythm right to working in series with a slower softer more calculated voice. Now that I am painting as much as I'm illustrating (or all the same depending on who you ask) I have finally grown more comfortable with the idea of speaking in these terms... For those of you who know my personality this has been quite an accomplishment that I am proud of...

I have been working on my Chinatown series off and on for several years and have now added a new figurative series that will be unveiled later this year... I also have running, several smaller series I am toying with, such as my Hats and Koen series (not out yet).... There are many other ideas on the horizon as well that fall victim to time like everybody else... So much to say, so little time... and all the while, with all the other seemingly more important shit going on in the world, one is left wondering if what he does is really worth any value at all... and to whom....

ahhhh, the life of an artist....

...but alas, it's back at it, cause it's what I do...

For the smaller works and illustrations I use my trusty drafting table I have had for years and work at a much closer range.... for the larger stuff, it's upright and on my easle or the wall....

Seen here are some newer smaller Chinatown pieces I'm preparing for a show... again smaller and in-series...

Images: ©Copyright Trey Gallaher

Friday, February 8, 2008


Here is Rich playing another original of his called THE EL RAY THEATER...

Wayne Jiang has a been a long time friend of mine since San Jose State when we were both illustration majors... Wayne is a hell of a painter and not a half bad ukulele player, but that is only one of the many string instruments in his arsenal...
If you ever see him play with Swingin' Left or by himself, you will most likely see some really unique traditional early American instrumentation as well...

Here is Wayne bustin' out the Woody Guthrie classic TRAIN 45

I have some footage of myself solo-ing on a few originals of my own, but haven't gotten the files uploaded yet... so check back...

Here is a photo taken by my friend Barbara Allie of me jammin' on my friend Wayne Jiang's (tenor)bajo-lele at her their open studios...

Wayne Jiang's website --> HERE

Richard Marchetta's website --> HERE

Barbara Allie's website --> HERE

Image and Performance: ©Copyright Wayne Jiang
Image and Performance: ©Copyright Richard Marchetta
Image and Performance: ©Copyright Trey Gallaher
Image: ©Copyright Barbara Allie

The Blue Line ©Copyright Richard Marchetta
The El Ray Theater ©Copyright Richard Marchetta
Train 45 ©Copyright Woody Guthrie

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Some amazing skies over the last month...

...lookin' forward to some brighter, warmer days ahead!

I took this shot outside of my studio.

Image: ©Copyright 2008 Trey Gallaher