Solana Beach man finds artistic process ‘magical’
By Diane Y. Welch
Gregory Balogh is a sensitive artist whose use of color in his paintings is as much about seeing as it is about feeling. His color drenched canvasses evoke a mood and a realism that pull the viewer in.
While he can’t explain where his talent originates — Balogh is a self-taught painter —his work is prolific, is held in several private and corporate collections, and covers a wide range of genres.
A recent engagement finds Balogh working with the concept of Eigenfrequencies, energy vibrations innate in all things. Balogh explained that the seven colors of the rainbow resonate like music and give off characteristic frequencies that harmonize with each other. He paints by sensing these vibrations. “I see color, obviously, but I can also feel color,” he said. The resulting painting has a harmony about it, like creating a pleasant chord on a musical instrument when each note is played together.
As a younger man, Balogh visited museums and gazed upon some of the Old World canvasses from 16th and 17th century Europe.
“About 80 percent of these old works had no energy, they were flat. And then there were ones that literally knocked me back, they had so much energy,” he recalled. As a child he would draw and paint by numbers for fun. Then after high school he attended Palomar College and studied illustration and graphic design, although he had no formal fine art training. “But I truly just wanted to be a painter. It must be a past life thing,” he said.
Balogh, born in Tonawanda, New York, in 1966, grew up in Encinitas. The family moved there in 1978, when his father, a nuclear physicist was hired as an electrical engineer by General Dynamics. He attended Oakcrest Middle School and graduated from San Dieguito Union High School in 1984.
Encinitas was an uncrowded idyllic coastal enclave back then. “We used to take canoes and paddle through the estuaries of San Elijo Lagoon, which you can’t do anymore,” he recalled
Now Balogh paints those estuaries. “I still love them. It’s another world. I go down there and sketch small studies and then create bigger paintings in the studio. I try to get a feeling of the quiet memory of the place rather than a physical study.”
Cathy Taylor was introduced to Balogh’s work by her husband who had commissioned several of his canvasses for a Los Angeles hotel project. They were both struck with Balogh’s “free spirit” that allows him his unique expression.
“I purchased many pieces from Greg, both from his collection of landscapes to large commissioned pieces of wild animals, ranging from apes to stampeding horses. He’s able to capture these animals’ rich personalities within their environments,” said Taylor. “Greg is also able to work much like a interior designer, creating one-of-a-kind unique images for his clients based on input for theme, colors, and size,” Taylor explained. “Every painting has been beyond our expectation”
A major engagement for Balogh was his series of koi paintings. “They are a great subject to paint as the fish are so colorful and move gracefully through water which is a challenge to capture,” he said. The koi paintings are very popular with collectors and koi enthusiasts and will be featured at the Koi Show this March at the Del Mar Fairgrounds.
Some of Balogh’s figure work has taken on an inventive approach. Partial nudes painted in oils are covered with sheer fabric which softens and diffuses the image. Balogh paints plein air—out in the open—and creates hyper-realistic fruit still-lifes.
“To me painting comes so easily, and I do love to make people go, ‘Wow look at that!’ But the process is still like magic,” he said. “You just mix up a color and put it in a certain place and create a work of art.”
To find out more about Balogh’s work visit his website at www.gregbalogh.com.
He also gives private painting classes and welcomes commissions. Currently two of his pieces are exhibited at the Solana Beach City Hall Gallery.
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