An Artist Whose Work Will Endure
Interview by Renee Phillips, The Artrepreneur Coach
"I affirm life with a hint of the solitary."
I have had the pleasure of knowing Eleanor Gilpatrick, a New York artist, for several years. She was juried into the Manhattan Arts International online gallery and won several awards in our juried competitions. Her work is authentic, has meaning, does not follow any trends, and will certainly endure the test of time.
I was delighted that she recently acquiesced to doing this interview.
RP: How long have you been an artist?
EG: I started in High School with a 30 year hiatus; so you can say 12 years or 42 years.
RP: What was the first art piece you ever created and your age?
EG. I was about ten making clothes for my cut-out dolls; I was in high school when I painted my first landscape; a view of the house across the street from the living room of my parent’s home. Since I returned to art, when I was near retirement age, it was a plein air drawing with ball point pen, set in a field in Spain.
RP: When did you first know art was your life-long passion?
EG: In High School, and again near retirement age.
RP: How do you describe your art?
EG: I am a contemporary realist, painting landscapes, figural works, still lifes and abstracts. I capture moments in time that arrest the viewer in terms of composition and content. A modern colorist, I affirm life with a hint of the solitary. Recent work includes an anti-war series, a nebula series, and landscapes.
RP: Are you a full time artist? If not, what do you do professionally?
EG: I am a part-time artist subsidized by my retirement income. Lucky me.
RP: You earned it and I’m happy for you. If art was not your career what profession would you pursue?
EG: I was a research economist and professor at Hunter College before I went back to art.
RP: What do you consider to be the most difficult challenge being an artist?
RP: Is there something creative that you hope to do in 2011?
EG: I have two commissioned pieces to do of New York City; I plan some landscapes including people, set in Montauk beaches, and I want to capture the excitement of the recent Egyptian struggle for freedom.
RP: You certainly choose challenging creative goals. I look forward to seeing those paintings! I love that your work is always evolving and so versatile in subject matter. As you look back at 2010, what do you consider to be your greatest career accomplishment during that year?
EG: I sold three of my paintings of New York City to a business man in Oklahoma who put them in his conference room; and he tells me they add to peoples’ lives.
RP: What impact do you want your art to make on viewers?
EG: To open people to beauty; to raise social issues to the level of fine art; and to show the grand shape of nature and emotion. I also offer some serenity as well.
RP: You accomplish all of that and more. What is your favorite comment someone has made about your art?
EG: Someone once said that she thinks my work BOLDS images of reality.
RP: If you were to appear on the cover of a leading art magazine, what would you want the headline to say?
EG: An artist whose work will live over time, after the fads pass by.
RP: What famous artists, if any, have influenced you the most either by their artistic expression, their life or career? Why?
EG: I feel connected with Monet for his use of color and composition, The Hudson River School, for its joy in nature; Turner for his courageous sweep and scope of vision, and Goya’s The Forge, which, when I copied it as a student, affected my brush work. I credit Bob Swain with teaching me color theory.
RP: You are so skilled as a painter. What is your favorite medium and why?
EG: Acrylic, for its flexibility, forgiveness, and layer on layer versatility.
RP: What art piece or art project are you currently working on?
EG: I am completing a still life of flowers in an unusual dimension: 24 inches high by 12 inches wide. And starting a piece on the Chrysler Building, seen from my apartment, beyond the terrace railing, its plants, and a bird that perched there.
RP: The City offers so many spectacular views, doesn't it? What is your favorite music to listen to when creating art?
EG: I do not ever listen to anything when I paint. I focus on the process, which absorbs me totally.
RP: What was the most important lesson you learned in art school?
EG: Not one lesson; but the lessons of color theory. Critical for the way I paint.
RP: Is there a special teacher you want to credit for having a positive influence?
EG: Thanks to Bob Swain.
RP: What advice do you have to a young person who is considering becoming an artist?
EG: Don’t give up your day job. And work on getting exposure for your art. Online sites are part of the future...
RP: If you could change one thing about the art world what would it be?
EG: I would want the galleries to worship less the transient fad and look harder at skill and depth.
RP: What do you consider to be your highest professional achievement as an artist?
EG: That I move people.
RP: What is your greatest wish as an artist for 2011?
EG: To find my natural market in greater depth and breadth. And to go on painting.
RP: Do you have an upcoming exhibition? If so, please provide details!
EG: Red Dot NYC, March 3rd through March 6th. 2011. The Red Dot Art Fair specializes in emerging, mid-career and established artists presenting works of lasting value and beyond current trends. It will be held at 82 Mercer Street between Spring and Broome Streets in the SoHo District of Manhattan.
RP: Where online can we view your art?