A Celebration of Female Artists
Her personal story is very sad, but it shows how she coped. I hope you click and read more about her. And the 32-minute video link. Fascinating. It’s why she draws the way she does. A survivor!
On (2009) by American artist, Laurie Lipton, born in 1953 – every woman’s dream: flip a switch and it’s all done.
Charcoal and pencil on paper, 2.4 x 1.83 m, 8 x 6 foot approx
Laurie Lipton began drawing at the age of four. She was the first person to graduate from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pennsylvania with a Fine Arts Degree in Drawing, with honours.
Lipton was inspired by the religious paintings of the Flemish School. She tried to teach herself how to paint in the style of the 16th century Dutch Masters and failed. When traveling around Europe as a student, she began developing her very own peculiar drawing technique building up tone with thousands of fine cross-hatching lines like an egg tempera painting. “It’s an insane way to draw,” she says, “but the resulting detail and luminosity is worth the amount of effort. My drawings take longer to create than a painting of equal size and detail.
“It was all abstract and conceptual art when I attended university. My teachers told me that figurative art went ‘out’ in the Middle Ages and that I should express myself using form and shapes but splashes on canvas and rocks on the floor bored me. I knew what I wanted: I wanted to create something I had never seen before, something that was brewing in the back of my brain. I used to sit for hours in the library copying Durer, Memling, Van Eyck, Goya, and Rembrandt. The photographer, Diane Arbus, was another of my inspirations. Her use of black and white hit me at the core of my Being. Black and white is the colour of ancient photographs and old TV shows … it is the colour of ghosts, longing, time passing, memory, and madness. Black and white ached. I realised that it was perfect for the imagery in my work.”
I am fortunate to know many talented artists, women and men. Some have painted their entire lives. Some took it up as a retirement bucket list project and found a new calling. Some discovered their talents after a life-altering event. In all cases, it brings joy to them and to those they share it with.
To be among these creative forces is inspiring. With art there are so many mediums to choose from, as there are in musical instruments and what resonates. In both cases, I have found my own “monkey brain” too cluttered to lean in for long. Art for me was/is anything I felt like creating at any given time. Even painting my house, inside and out!
I never mastered a specific medium but tried many out of curiosity and need. From stained glass to macrame, to tiling a kitchen, I learned much and had fun. Music is the same. I hear all the sounds in concert and want to conduct it as it weaves through my head. It takes me away.
So, this post is for all the women artists who inspire by their talents. We need to see it to be it, it is the prompting for what we can be. And we do not need to master anything. Just lean into what feels good and let it flow. If it flows, it is good!