Last month my mom sent me an email asking if I had heard of Dahlov Ipcar. I had not!
My mother wrote: "She's a Maine artist. 94 years old and still painting. There's going to be an exhibition of her circle paintings at UNH Sept. 10 to Oct. 19." And she attached these images:
So much of what I love in art, in the work of one artist. Big colors, animals who are just slightly stylized but still so instantly recognizable, flat backgrounds, pattern and texture.
She was born in Vermont to renowned artist parents, grew up in New York City and never enrolled in any art school. She eventually settled in Maine in 1936 with her husband where she has been painting, illustrating and showing her work ever since.
Her leaping ungulates have a very special magic to them. Her command of the animal form is spot-on. A love of animals and the natural world radiates so loudly from her work.
And the patterns! The layers! The landscape backgrounds that are more flat geometric shapes than literal images. Be still my fluttering heart.
What an inspiration!
I wish I could find more photos of her at work in the studio. What a long, beautiful, exciting life in art!
"I find it hard to explain my art, but then it doesn't really need explanation. It may seem mysterious or challenging, but all you need to do is to open your heart to the joy and excitement of a new visual experience, to accept a new vision of a world full of the unusual, a world of the creative imagination." - Dahlov Ipcar
We ended up missing the show at UNH. I'm so so sad we didn't get to see her work in person. I think I will treat myself to a few of her books to sooth my sorrow.
You can see more of Dahlov's work and read more about her amazing career here.