Libby Manchester Gilpatric
My first painting was a self-portrait at age five in pastel. In Ohio in 1945, I was playing in the sandbox or up an apple tree near my mother’s flower and vegetable garden. Cornfields surrounded our place. An old barn’s cupola peeked through the trees. A groaning tractor drowned out caws and tweets. Orange, soot-laden evening skies of local steel mills stained our rural landscape. These early memories creep into my work.
I studied art, literature and teaching, at Wilson College and the University of Pennsylvania, earning the AB and MSEd degrees, before settling into married life in New York. Museums and galleries fed my art craving. Besides teaching at The Spence School, I took classes in botanical drawing at the Brooklyn Art Museum, life drawing at the Art Students’ League, graphic design at the School of Visual Arts. A stay-at-home Mom with two sons, I practiced a thriving calligraphy business. Watercolor painting became a new sideline, and I learned how to gild and paint faux-finishes on old trays and furniture at a well-known Upper East Side decorative painting studio. Summers on islands in Maine showed harbors and hills, trees, beaches, ponds to paint, as well as the sea, boats, rocks, shacks and the content of tide pools. Sailing adventures provided time to study wave action and the physics that keep boats afloat and small boys on all fours.
Just before my husband retired, we moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island. Here I began my fascination with the lay of this land - local marine views, historic architecture and rural coastal scenes. I painted - plein air painting classes through the Newport Art Museum and more formally at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. I loved painting figures, interiors, flowers and vegetables. Hooked on the journey, I work in various mediums seeking new paths for creativity, yet oil paint remains my primary medium.
Juried regularly into local, regional and national shows, my work has won prizes – Honorable Mention to Best in Show. My collectors live all over the United States and Europe. One of my Biker paintings appeared on a Rhode Island Health magazine cover. A dozen works were used in the Richard Gere film, Hachi. Two pieces have hung in Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s Washington and Providence offices. January through May 1, 2017, seven oil paintings were exhibited at GreenSpace Gallery in Providence's Theodore Francis Green Airport, a gallery sponsored by the Rhode Island Council on the Arts (RISCA).
Professional associations include: (Juried*)