by Xiaomeng Li
The Wilson College Bogigian Gallery welcomes two alumnae to showcase their paintings at their alma mater.
The two alumnae, Libby Manchester Gilpatric ’62 and Linda Sargent Beach ’71, attended the reception on Fri, Oct. 29 and each gave an artist’s talk.
Oil Painting With a Contemporary Style
Gilpatric’s oil paintings are in a contemporary American realistic style. Her subjects include landscapes, figure, some marine themed paintings and still life. “I like to work with wet paint. I let it run and drip. Then I’ll do the shading, add dark and light, and then concentrate on the forms and patterns,” she explained.
Gilpatric said that she only uses three colors at a time, namely, red, yellow and white. “People are always surprised when I say that,” stated Gilpatric.
Fun, but Challenging: Painting on Location
Beach works primarily with pastel because she loves the contrast offered by pastel and the fact that there are many colors to choose from. Furthermore, by using this medium, “I don’t need to wait for it to dry,” she noted.
Beach focuses on painting landscapes. What is different is that she likes to paint on location, “75 to 80 percent of the time, I’m working outside on location. Painting outside feels healthier,” said she. “It is challenging but really fun.” She also mentioned that sometimes when it rained, she used an umbrella to protect her painting while still working outside.
Bringing Peace and Excitement At Once
When asked what she enjoys the most when creating her painting, Beach answered, “I really get a sense of peace. I forget what time of the day it is and lose myself in the creative process.” Gilpatric answered the same question, “I just love paint. There is an excitement in paint because there are different ways to apply it. Sometimes I work more on the less important subjects and I hide the important parts because I want the viewers to work harder, to search. I search, too. I always have a dialogue with my painting, not the subject, but how the painting emerges.”
Returning to Their Alma Mater
Both of the artists said that they are excited to come back: “Before I left for Chambersburg this time, I saw a sign in Oakland, where I live now, that says, ‘Going away, going home.’ I think this is how I feel: I’m leaving my home but come back to Wilson, which is also my home because I spent four years here,” said Beach.
“I love to come back!” said Gilpatric, “I even want to come back and take or teach courses. I want to continue the experience with students.”
About the “Alumnae Artist Showcase” Series
This is the second exhibit of this semester’s “Alumnae Artist Showcase” series. Philip Lindsey, Assoc. Prof. of Fine Arts, said that the two back-to-back alumnae art exhibits aim to identify and exhibit a few alumnae as a way to celebrate the scholarship and creativity of Wilson graduates, inspire our current student body and share the work of some really talented artists with the community.
“Both artists are very good at what they do; their work is technically sound. Both respond to the natural world and invite the viewer to journey into an atmosphere of light and space,” said Lindsey.
Come View the Gallery
The exhibit featuring Libby Manchester Gilpatric and Linda Sargent Beach’s recent paintings will be on view through Dec. 3 in the Bogigian Gallery on the second floor of Lortz Hall.