Swamp Mist- Phil Galatas, artist
Born and reared on Bayou Liberty in Slidell, artist Phil Galatas began painting in high school, and his subject matter was always Louisiana inspired. He was influenced tremendously by the water, marsh, trees and culture of the state’s beautiful scenery.
After earning a degree in Commercial Art, Phil served four years in the Air Force, 57 Combat Support Group military.
When returning to his home and his artwork, Phil discovered a love of sculpting birds, and his carving expertise subsequently earned him three World Championships, three Gulf South Championships and numerous other accolades. His work has been exhibited in New Orleans, Dallas, New York and Japan. He also has taught many seminars throughout the United States.
As was the case with many artists, Phil Galatas felt the wrath of Hurricane Katrina through the devastation it left behind. The storm surge flooded the artists’ works, including ‘Swamp Mist,’ which sustained both water damage and torn canvas.
It would be months before he was inspired to paint again, and, he says that initially, he refused to succumb to the wave of Fleur de Lis art emerging as a sign of resilience.
That changed months later, when he was inspired to create his own vision of the iconic symbol, which he titled Resurrection. The artwork, printed in a limited edition of 800, sold out almost immediately. Shortly thereafter, a local distributor picked up the artwork for use as a label on its Resurrection brand wine.
He has returned his focus primarily to painting, both on canvas and in murals. He also is now producing handmade, one-of-a-kind, carved lamps that represent Louisiana culture.
In the artist’s words:
Following Katrina, the loss of habitat and landmarks had a huge impact on me. Houses and things can be replaced, but once destroyed, habitat usually is gone forever.
This inspired me to paint some of the lost areas and landmarks. Some were dark, moody pieces and some resonated hope and beauty while creating a record of this area.
Katrina was a reminder that life can change overnight, and I hope in the future we can understand even more our need for this lush, semitropical spot on the earth that we call “home.”
Swamp Mist artwork is available for purchase. $300.
For additional information, please email Kim@RightBrainDiaries.com.
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