Guy Lipscomb, American Watercolor Society
Guy Lipscomb’s paintbrushes are still wet, still saturated with color. In his ninth decade, Columbia’s painting patriarch works daily. As often as possible he picks up his palette in the studio where much his vast output has been created.
His impact on the national and international art scenes sometimes has meant patrons and students in other states, even other countries are as familiar with his vibrant abstract style as local patrons. For instance, he was part of the Western Colorado Watercolor Society national show earlier this year. Last year, both the Rhode Island and the New England watercolor societies included his work in their national shows.
To level the viewing field, Lipscomb’s recent works, as well as pieces representing various stages of his artistic development, will hang together in a new show in the feature foyer at 300 Senate. The restaurant gallery, part of the Canal at Senate event complex,vistaeventsonline.com is emerging as a serious arts venue in The Vista.
Lipscomb’s latest exhibition surpasses 40 one-man shows mounted across the southeast since he began painting ardently in 1967.Still Falling for Art opens Monday, Sept. 14, and will remain on view through Friday, October 9. According to Trish O’Neal, his studio manager, Lipscomb plans an invitational and open studio sale later in October.
Art galleries at both the Columbia Museum of Art columbiamuseum.org and the South Carolina State Museum bear his name, symbolizing his on and behind-the-scenes initiatives to elevate art in the community. He co-founded the South Carolina Watercolor Society (now the S.C. Watermedia Society).
His book, Watercolor: Go with the Flow, published in 1993 by Watson-Guptill, continues as an artists’ and students’ instructional tool. Although he has taught at numerous workshops and helped establish the South Carolina Governor’s School for the Arts, he simultaneously sees himself as a student.
Since studying at the Art Students League in New York City in 1975, he has learned, over the last quarter century, with more than 50 significant art instructors. He still “tries hard to excite the viewer to want to linger simply to enjoy the relationships between shapes, colors, values, rhythms and textures.”
A juror for countless national and local competitions, he continues to subject his own work to critique. An abstract piece juried into the 2008 South Carolina Watermedia Society’s Traveling Show SCWS.org is due back in Columbia soon following a series of month-long exhibitions at local venues around the state.
The artist credits a “long incubation of experiences, a lifetime of being captivated by the work of visual artists” for his work today. The timeline of his work shifts noticeably from realistic to abstract. “It has changed from recognizable predictable forms to much more improvisational efforts.” From watercolors, his medium of choice for much of his artistic career, he now enjoys working in acrylics.
With all the recognitions and honors he has received over these years of painting, he Lipscomb still finds that “the unpredictable outcome of each effort provides the emotional energy to continue in this approach to painting.”