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MONROVIA, CALIF. — It had been more than 30 years since Roz Newson last saw Chris Galligan. He was just a kid learning to paint. She was giving lessons. Then one day when he was all grown up, he looked her up on the Internet and the two started their friendship all over again.

"I was so shocked to see him again," Newson said."He is such a sweet guy."
Galligan is one of dozens of Students Newson learn to paint. She flips through photo albums of her students, from their first finished painting to their last with her.
"I never taught kids to paint baby stuff," she said. "They all learned to really paint."
Many have gone on in life to become accomplished artists, she said, including Galligan.
"I've thought of her for many years and always wondered if she was still around," Galligan said. "She's truly been my mentor."

Galligan carved out a niche painting portraits of people's pets. He began painting pet portraits seven years ago and his work is showcased in galleries and pet boutiques coast to coast. He studied under Newson for about two years, starting when he was 10. She had a knack for teaching technique without hampering personal expression, he said.The environment she provided was safe because she can always get an artist out of a painting jam.

He remembers wearing his school uniform and changing into his smock when he entered her class."I remember the smell of her studio—the oil paint," Galligan said. Newson still teaches art out of her garage in Monrovia. Both Newson and Galligan showed their work together at the opening of the Monrovia Arts Festival Association gallery at Paint 'N Play in March. "We have this connection," Galligan said. "Like no time has gone by."

You can contact Chris Galligan at galiguy@att.net or call (310) 838-7738.


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