Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Studio Visit with Pat Lipsky

The sun was out and the temperature was as pleasant as the first days of spring. Hurrying to the train so that I could make it in time to my appointment with Pat Lipsky I could not help but to enjoy the the calm touch of the New York fall breeze. This was an important day for me, partly because the artist I was going to see had been a mentor in school and I admired her affinity and sensibility to color. It was also my first studio visit as a young painter to another painter's domain, and I could already foretell that it was going to be a rewarding night.

Am I supposed to bring something or not? That was all I could think about, especially when the person being visited payed attention to small details. Was I going to look like a fool for not bringing something like a basket of fruit or wine? Unfortunately I didn't have much time to shop, so empty handed I hopped onto the subway train on my way to Chelsea.

I arrived and knocked on the door, and her voice invited me to "come in." There it was, the studio I've been interested in seeing for quite some time. Nothing to it but a humble painter's space with paintings in progress on the walls and two tables with paint tubes and containers of mediums and other tools. To the normal social visitor making the rounds to their friends' and family's they would hope to find so much more than just too lonely chairs. But that was all the studio had to hint at some kind of human comfort. The two old chairs, painted with a matte white resembling gesso, drew me into the heart of the room. To me their simplicity was very inviting, they testify to their functional purpose in a working artist's space.
The air was full of the smell of paint as it welcomed me. We sat down side by side facing a large canvas in progress and talked about different things. It was all about catching up, but there is always something to be learned. Even though she may not have been teaching I was pulling as much as I could from her in hopes of learning how to be a successful painter. It was a great experience sitting next to an artist with a long career in New York, an artist who overtime rubbed elbows with the biggest and finest in the art world. As we talked I couldn't help looking at her new large painting, not yet finished but revealing her signature use of color. A Renaissance inspired abstraction standing tall in the room overlooking our conversation as a quiet guard to the wonderful gates of Lipsky's studio.
Wide eyed I looked around the space as we conversed. Beautiful works on paper on the walls gave way to her thinking process, the seeds of her large paintings. Couldn't help getting lost for a few moments at a time staring at a simple vertical painting using black, red, blue and grey; color combinations she explored in her series of nine paintings tittled "Red River Valley." Hanging on the wall next to her large painting it glowed in the warm light of the afternoon. It was a study centered on a large bone white piece of paper with notes and smudges. "That's what I need to be doing!" I told myself. "More paintings on paper."
The stimuli of our conversation and the presence of her work had me on a high. As our meeting drew to a close as we walked out of the studio into the streets of Manhattan, I could not help but to feel rejuvenated. It can be done. Reaching that high level of creativity and success needed only hard work and commitment.

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ParisBreakfasts said...
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