Libby Manchester Gilpatric
Art Career Entering Third Decade - 1998-Present
Growing Up in Youngstown, Ohio
Orange, soot-laden skies stained our rural evenings. A sulphurous aroma belching from the coke furnaces Grandpop called “the smell of money.” Trucks ground gears speeding up the grade to make the left turn signal at the intersection of routes 7 and 224. Just five miles south of the local steel-making industry in Youngstown, Ohio, my mother could find me playing in the sandbox or up an apple tree near her flowers and vegetables. In the Forties we grew much of our own food – beans, corn, tomatoes, zinnias - Mom’s favorite and a feast for the eyes of the seven of us. Little sheds for chickens and ducks nestled along the fence of Gram’s backyard adjoining ours. Through the pigs’ pen tucked in the back corner, we would sneak off through rows of corn to the old barn peeking through the hedgerow of locust trees thick enough to call it woods. Caught in the farmer’s line of sight, we shrieked as the groaning tractor drowned the birds’ chirps and tweets. The boy next door dared me to leap from the roof of his granddad’s chicken coop. I would get a nickel for sweeping the crumbs from the old man’s school bus. Turning five, I painted my self-portrait in pastel with my mom’s artist friend. These early memories often creep into my work.
College and Then Some
I earned a liberal arts degree from Wilson College. A minor in Art History began my formal Fine Arts study while a major in English Literature propelled me into the University of Pennsylvania for an M.S. Ed. to become an English teacher.
Career a Year Syndrome for a Young Mommy with Artistic Ambition
Through twenty years in New York City, I taught middle school English and learned to type, file, crop photos, do paste-ups for marketing and public relations jobs. I sold ad space for a popular financial magazine. Good on the phone, I interviewed financial professionals and wrote reports on “dog-an-pony-shows” popular with clients. Classes in botanical drawing at the Brooklyn Museum, life drawing at the Art Students’ League, design study at the School of Visual Arts, along with weekly tours in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and MoMA sustained my love of art. Until our two boys went to school, I worked part-time to be stay-at-home Mom. My blossoming calligraphy practice filled in the gaps.
From Schools for Boys to Public Junior High and High School & More Careers for Mom
We took to the suburbs for our sons’ junior high through college years. Quite by surprise, my calligraphy business prospered. Watercolor painting became a new sideline, and I learned to gild and paint faux-finishes on furniture and old trays at a fancy upper east-side painting school.
Feasting on Contemporary Coastal & Rural New England Landscape Painting
Beginning our family sailing adventures with awe and respect for the sea, we spent summer vacations on an island in Maine. I paint portraits of the sea, of people and enjoy painting still subjects – rocks, trees, fields, skies, beaches, boats, shacks and freshly cut flowers - the shapes in the landscape become abstract elements in recent work.
Sailing into Retirement & Art School at Last
In 1998 we moved to Portsmouth, Rhode Island in Newport County. I painted. Oil painting classes at the the Newport Art Museum led to formal study at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts. My husband retired. We explored the entire New England coast by sail, adding marine views both up close and distant to my painting inventory.
Awards and Published Works
Juried into many local, regional and national shows, my work has won many awards - Honorable Mention to Best in Show. A biker painting appeared on a RI Health Magazine cover. A half-dozen works were selected for the set of Richard Gere's film Hachi. (2009) Two pieces showed several years at Senator Sheldon Whitehouse’s offices in Newport and Washington. For four months in 2017, Rhode Island air travelers saw seven of my oil paintings at the GreenSpace Gallery at TF Greene Airport, following a previous foray into public art The Art League of Rhode Island showed six of my paintings on the walls of the Providence RI Mayor's Office in City Hall.
Exhibiting at Professional Art Organizations, Studios & Galleries Past & Present
Argosy Gallery Bar Harbor (past)· Arnold Art Gallery Newport · Art League of Rhode Island Elected Exhibiting Member (since 2007)· Beach Studios & Brimstone Studio in Middletown · Conanicut Island Art Association · Connecticut Academy of Fine Artists Elected Exhibiting Member · East Main Studios Portsmouth · Fuller Gallery in Jamestown RI · Gilpatric Contemporary Fine Art Studio in Tiverton Four Corners RI (Current Studio) · Jamestown Art Association · Little Compton Community Center Summer Art Show (since 2008)· Mystic Museum of Art · Newport Art Museum Annual Exhibit (most years since 2002)· Norton Gallery & Framing in South Dartmouth MA (currently)· Portsmouth Arts & Culture Committee · Portsmouth Arts Guild · Providence Art Club Juried Exhibiting Artist (past) · SouthCoastArtists (download the comprehensive FREE app for SCA Open Studio Tours) · Wickford Art Association ·
Gilpatric Contemporary Painting Studio is now located at 31 East Road · Tiverton, Rhode Island
Libby Manchester Gilpatric welcomes additional gallery representation and manages a growing Internet presence with DailyPaintWorks, Facebook, Google's Blogspot.com, Instagram, Pinterest, and soon we hope Artfare.com and/or Saatchi.