first job after graduating (1967) from the University of California
at Davis was teaching a watercolor class at California
State University at San Jose. He spent the summer before he was to teach
making what Gilhooly calls his three-dimensional watercolors.
"I didn't have a
kiln at that time, but still wanted to do large animals. They
had the advantage of being really light, easy to repair and I found
that I could make animals that stood up on their own legs. The pieces
were made of chicken wire wrapped in newspaper that had been soaked
in wheatpaste. This was then covered with a quilted packing
paper called Kimpak which looked just like fur when dipped in wheatpaste."
papier-mâché piece was a Nile crocodile Gilhooly made over a mud crocodile
that he made in his backyard. This was hung on the outside of the Rainbow
House in San Francisco. The Rainbow House was a house owned by Maija
Peeples, a painter, and her then husband David
Zack. The wheat paste on the outside of the piece eventually got moldy
because of the foggy nights and the crocodile fell apart. Undaunted,
the artist made another more sturdy crocodile. This time he
used an armature of wood and chicken wire covered with the papier-mâché.
After watercoloring the piece, several coats of varnish completed it's
weather proofing. The piece held up well and was borrowed by some artist
friends of Gilhooly's for a show while the artist was in Canada. The
crocodile was transported on the roof of a van to and from the show.
On the way back, tragedy struck. The wind caught the piece and folded
it in half (see gray border for images).
papier-mâché pieces were based on a plain chicken wire
armature. The pieces were painted with poster paints in a non-traditional,
Fall watercolor students participated in his class by emulating their
teacher. Instead of working on the flat surface of paper, they too,
made three-dimensional objects out of papier-mâché which were then
method of teaching
watercolor so outraged the watercolorists on the faculty that they banded
together to get Gilhooly fired but could do nothing as he was on probation
for two years because he was newly hired. He was finally ousted because
he was considered rude during faculty and teacher's union meetings.
would get another teaching job in Regina, Canada and continue
the controversy with his three dimensional watercolors and ceramic sculpture.