On Sept. 21, Rachel Galvin had the honor to introduce the top three winners of NE Focal Point’s essay contest. Galvin was one of three judges of the competition, which included almost 20 essayists writing about “What NE Focal Point Means to Me.” Galvin was surprised to be acknowledged by NE Focal Point with a certificate and a few other things to take home for her participation as a judge. The winning essays will be published by Galvin in The Observer Newspaper, of which she is editor.
On Sept. 18, Rachel Galvin attended the Women in the Arts Miami event held at the Aperion Grill & Bar in Bay Harbor Islands to be honored with an award for Best Freelance Writer. Galvin was just one of many women honored in the field not only of media, but also film, art, philanthropy, beauty, health and more.
The kosher restaurant, which also won an award for Best Kosher Restaurant, served up hors d’ oeuvres and everyone received a free drink. Before and after the event, people posed on the red carpet.
The event was created by actress and model Diana Noris, was produced by Jessica Saiontz and hosted by Gianina Acevedo. For more information, including list of honorees, visit www.womenintheartsmiami.com.
After seven years as Assistant Editor, Rachel Galvin was promoted to Editor of the Observer Newspaper in Deerfield Beach. Her first issue was Sept. 3, 2015. The weekly newspaper covers local news and events, as well as business, nautical schools, society and more. The paper is distributed in Deerfield Beach, Pompano Beach, Lighthouse Point and Hillsboro Beach.
Rachel will continue to write for several other publications, including her own — Independent Streak Magazine.
By Rachel Galvin (as seen in “Cultural Quarterly”)
Artist Victoria Gitman puts pointillism on its head, adding a new sheen to the style although she doesn’t label her work as such. While most pointillism can best be understood from afar, Gitman’s work is best appreciated up close, very close.
Her collection On Display showcases paintings of beaded vintage purses from the 1920s to 1940s primarily, although lately, she has bought some that are more recent. She finds these muses on eBay or at flea markets. The ones that she finds most interesting have intricate shapes or patterns within them, abstract and defined qualities. Their vaguely squared-off form becomes a canvas in and of itself; the design is an art form within an art form and she interprets them both, re-creating their essence.
The paintings take three months at least, a painstaking process put together bead by bead using tiny brushes to make each individual stroke. The purses with beads are easier to map out than the new fur purses she is painting now.
“I know how long it will take depending on the type of bead. I can say, ‘today I will do 35 beads,’ since [the beaded purse] is composed of a rational, structured grid. But painting fur is like relearning how to paint. In order for the fur to be soft and supple and have an organic quality, I need to handle paint differently. Each type of fur requires a different type of paint handling,” she explained.
She pulled out of a small box a painting of a red and white purse with long fur, each strand individually painted on a pink background. “It reminded me of a Rothko painting,” she said, “[The color blocks] become abstract.”
In her home studio overlooking the ocean on Hallandale Beach, she has a closet with purses that she may or may not use in paintings. “A lot of times, I buy things that I might want to paint and I end up not painting them,” she said.
Nearby stands her simple wooden easel, disposable palettes rolled up on top of boxes on the floor. “I keep the palettes so I see what colors I used. I used to throw everything out. Now, I can remember what colors I used for each painting,” she said.
When starting a painting, even the placement of the purse on the Masonite hardboard becomes a ritual.
“I place the actual purse on the board to determine how much space it needs. I think a lot about where to place it. If I give it two extra inches of space, it is a totally different painting. Balance is part of the design itself. Sometimes, I place it centrally, sometimes lower or higher,” Gitman said. “Then, I let it sit for a day or two to make sure the composition works. Then I cut, sand and gesso the board (four to five coats) and stain it with a thin wash with a color that’s keyed to the purse.”
She also glazes most paintings afterward. “You can paint something and it has a rich quality when it’s wet and then, the next day, it looks dull. [That is why I glaze it.] I don’t have to glaze whites, except maybe the shadows,” she said. “Some old masters used to paint in grisaille and [use glaze for colors].”
She tries not to think about her next work until the one she is working on is complete.
Her process is regimented. She paints six days a week. She is painting by 8 a.m. She may paint for a few hours, grab lunch and go for a walk on the beach before continuing. Her stopping time is dictated by the light that streams through her window blinds. During winter, she may work until 5 p.m., during summer, maybe until 6 or 6:30 p.m.
Next to her easel is a small bookcase filled with art books about those who have inspired her, such as Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Édouard Manet and Jean-Baptiste-Simeon Chardin.
“I saw a show at the Met in 2000 of Chardin and I was totally enamored. His still lifes are not just descriptive. The peaches feel like a peach. He captures peachness, the essence. You can feel the weight of his dead birds, the feathers,” she said, adding that she hopes to capture the same quality, to capture the essence of the pieces she paints.
Her work has always been about intimate connection and desire. “It is a lot about the kind of tactile response one has to painting. What produces that pictorial desire? The surface of the paint or the image portrayed? An optical take of an abstract work still produces tactile desire – a melding desire for surface and image,” she said.
Another one of her series, her Beauties collection, portrays postcard reproductions of masters’ paintings of women in miniature. By making her work small, she hopes the viewer will have to look very close at every detail. Another group of her Beauties portrays Ingres drawings, portraits in which the faces are very finely rendered and the rest of the image is sketchy.
“I try to reproduce every single line. It is a slow remaking of the mark and it makes every mark so important. The process of reproduction creates a fetish of the mark. There’s a kind of seduction enacted by paper and pencil marks. [People] want to come close. There is a confusion between optical and tactile – the material reality of paper and mark and the image they delineate. [The Ingres pieces that I draw on Mylar are] very precise but also very light … almost like they float. They seem hard to grasp. You want to hold onto the image, but they are not quite there. They are always removed, you cannot quite possess them,” she said.
An early piece was a self-portrait with a remix of an Erasmus quote. His version – “Men are not born, but fashioned” meant they have potential to be anything. Her version “Women are not born, but fashioned” indicates how women are fashioned by the outside world, rather than will; it is a shifting connotation that indicates a profound societal truth.
In 2001, Gitman decided to move from painting women wearing dresses and jewelry to just painting the jewelry itself. Again, she focused on simple shapes and patterns. “I would arrange a necklace in a circle or a bracelet in a straight line. I started thinking in terms of geometry,” she said.
She discovered she needed to paint the actual object in order to capture its individuality.
“Looking at an object closely and carefully, I understand how it feels,” she said. “They have objecthood about them, a sculptural quality. Photographs are a flat image. There is a kind of connection that happens when one works from life … There’s a subtlety and a directness. Something happens when I look at an object. There’s a tactile response and I hope that tactile feeling gets translated.”
Her quest for the mark began at an early age.
“When I was very young, I would always draw in class. My grandmother was an amateur artist. She painted every day. She had a studio in her house. Both my parents were architects. My parents let my sister and I draw on the walls freely. Making marks was totally a part of our daily life. It was not a radical idea to think of making marks of my own someday,” she observed.
Gitman, the recipient of a South Florida Cultural Consortium Visual and Media Artists Fellowship in 1999 and 2011, graduated with a bachelor of arts in humanities with a minor in art history and a bachelor of fine art in painting at Florida International University, summa cum laude. She was also a fellow at the Yale Summer School of Art in Norfolk, Conn.
Gitman learned much by going to museums in locations like New York, Paris, London and Washington D.C. Often, she travels with her sister, but she likes to look at the paintings in solitude.
“When my sister and I get into the museum, we split up and meet up later,” she explained. “I can’t focus on the paintings when someone is there. I learned a lot from going to museums and looking at paintings. I realized painters take time to connect. It is an investment of the whole being. You need to slow down and give the process attention.”
Painting has become her life. She goes to bed early, doesn’t drink, eats a macrobiotic diet and practices Yoga. Her space is open and orderly with pockets of playful chaos, plants in the corner, books on a table, chairs in pairs, pottery on a shelf. But she does break out of the box once in a while to hear classical music at the New World Symphony and to travel, including hiking the Alps, where she was able to get up close and personal with the mountains and discover the pure blueness of the sky.
When Gitman first came to the U. S. from Buenos Aires, Argentina, she had never been on a plane. She moved here in 1987 when she was 14.
“I didn’t speak English. For the first two months, I had no idea of anything. And then, from one day to the next, I suddenly understood. I got straight As, but I never lost my accent … As a child, I used to think it would be the greatest thing in the world to live near the ocean year-round. [Now, I live right on the beach],” she said.
Gitman’s artwork has been seen in galleries around the country and locally at the Bass Museum, the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, the Art & Culture Center of Hollywood and elsewhere. Her next exhibition will be at the David Nolan Gallery in New York next winter.
She said she prefers to show a few pieces at a time rather than a huge collection, in hopes of leading visitors to better appreciate the pieces before them.
To find out more about Victoria Gitman, visit www.davidnolangallery.com/artists/victoria-gitman/biography.
By Rachel Galvin
On Oct. 16, two members of the popular HBO series “True Blood” arrived to greet a long line of fans at the Seminole Casino in Coconut Creek to celebrate the approach of Halloween. Joe Manganiello plays Alcide, the werewolf who has been hired to protect the leading lady, Sookie Stackhouse (Anna Paquin). Lindsay Pulsipher is Jason Stackhouse’s (Ryan Kwanten) girlfriend, Crystal Norris. The pair answered a few questions about their blossoming careers and their characters.
Manganiello sees himself in Alcide.
“The character is similar to me in a lot of ways,” mused Manganiello, “He eats a lot of meat … he likes growling, sniffing people … As soon as I read [the script], I knew who this guy was.”
Manganiello underwent extensive preparation for the role, including dialect work and physical training.
“I am a huge fan of Robert DeNiro. I looked at what he did in ‘Raging Bull,’ ‘The Untouchables’…” he said, in regard to trying to bulk up for the role. In order to achieve that goal, he worked with Hugh Jackman’s physical trainer, Ron Matthews, in what they called “The Werewolf Workout” – two workouts per day for days a week for 8 weeks before and then kept up the intensity during filming.
This role, he said, has been the most challenging he has experienced, other than playing Stanley Kowalksi in “A Streetcar Named Desire” at Virginia Public Theater, when asked to perform by an ex-professor.
Being in this role as Alcide also has meant huge media attention.
“Nothing could have prepared me …” he said, regarding attention from the paparazzi. “They were at Starbucks this morning, at the airport …”
But he feels his blue collar foundation has helped him stay level-headed and able to deal with the media pressures. He talked about his father working for 40 years at a power plant and how he, himself, knew the value of hard work, getting his hands dirty shoveling sand and gravel.
“Once you do that kind of work, you appreciate it more,” he said, adding, “I couldn’t be happier with the level of fan support.”
It is quite a stretch from that kind of life to a life of fame, but Manganiello knew that he wanted to pursue it, but not unless he could obtain a classical theater degree. Eventually, he did at Carnegie Mellon University.
“They taught me to be a historian, a philosopher, a psychologist, and my athletics before taught me to be an athlete.”
Combining everything he has learned, Manganiello has been able to give his role as Alcide 100 percent. As for Season 4, he said, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it,” meaning he plans on keeping his role consistent.
Besides “True Blood,” he has been offered other roles, some of which he has turned down because he did not feel they were right, including a play in Europe. Although, he does love theater.
“There are some characters in theater that you are not going to find in film. I love it because there is no ‘net.’”
But, he did do a film shoot in Greece, which will be released next year, but for now remains top secret.
He also will be reading (doing voice over narration) the second installment of the “Dragon Bones” series by Patricia Briggs, the audio book. It is called “Dragon Blood.” He also did narration on the first book.
He has played a diverse range of characters in the past, including “Flash” Thompson in “Spiderman” and “Spiderman 3” and was in TV shows like “One Tree Hill” and “How I Met Your Mother.” He hopes to eventually get back into doing comedy at some point. For now, he will continue howling at the moon and reaching for the stars.
His co-star, Pulsipher, plays a were panther, an interesting character in what she calls “an explosive” relationship with Stackhouse. Being in this type of darker drama seems right up her alley.
“I love horror films,” she said. “My favorite is ‘Texas Chainsaw Massacre.’”
Besides “True Blood,” she has continued to do other TV roles, including a CSI episode and was recently in Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Chase.” She sees TV as being a great outlet for actors right now.
“Right now, it is a great place… it is being shot more like a film,” she said, adding that she hopes to do as many roles as possible. “I want to do as many characters as I can. I want each to be better than the last,” she said. “I want to continue to grow.” In recent years, she has been on shows like “NCIS,” “Eleventh Hour,” “The Beast,” and “Flash Forward.”
She approaches her roles more like being a spectator than being the person, looking from the outside in.
“I read the script like a novel … what the person looks like, how much they interact…” she said.
Pulsipher has been in the business since she was young. Although coming from Salt Lake City and into this frenzied business was a bit of a culture shock, she said, “It is a wonderful experience.”
Look for some of my work at:**ObserverNewspaper**DUO Magazine**Cultural Quarterly**Aristocats Magazine**Atlantic Avenue Magazine
ALSO previously seen in: CitySmart Magazine (most mags 2001-2008), Cravings Magazine, Palm Beach Illustrated, BocaRaton Observer, Neighborhood News, New Times, Sun-Sentinel, The Forum (various publications), BocaRaton.com, Into Combat Magazine, Our Town News, Art of the Times Magazine and many more. See my Wikipedia site for more samples/ info.
I have done publicity for various companies and individuals from stock brokers to filmmakers, working on blogs, press releases, coming up with catchy content and branding, showing how to target the correct audience. I have worked on SEO, how to network, how to be seen, etc.
When I read Rachel’s book, it was like I was sitting in her living room, curled up in my “make yourself at home” position, with a glass of smoky, woodsy red listening to someone who has “been there” just simply tell me how to do it… Refreshing. Honest. Inspiring. Not only does Rachel grab you by the shoulders, look you in the eyes and say, “get out there!” she shares the steps, helpful hints and “secrets” that many actors might keep to themselves. I even learned how to align my chakras!
After sharing the compelling story of her own journey, Rachel outlines in a quick and witty read the basic ins and outs of the business of being an actor. From which classes to take to the latest networking techniques. However, since she is multi-talented and “fluent” in many genres, she adds a section at the end – After you have “made it”, try this and this and this. How optimistic! How encouraging! How positive! Buy this book today; curl up in your favorite chair, with your favorite liquid enjoyment and… your new best friend in the Biz!
Basics of the Biz:: A Holistic Approach to Becoming an Actor (Volume 1)
“Basics of the Biz…” is available on Amazon.com.
Also, visit her Wikipedia site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Galvin. A new website for the actress/author/filmmaker is currently in development. Visit her on IndependentStreak.Ning.Com in the meantime.
“Basics of the Biz” available on Amazon.com
Rachel Galvin has learned the film industry inside and out working as an actor, producer, screenwriter, casting director, talent manager, director and more for 14 years. Her 184-page guidebook talks about her experiences in Los Angeles and South Florida. In addition, it takes a would-be actor step by step through the process of getting into the biz!