Artist Fernande Lipton graduated from Pratt University and went on to receive the St. Gaudens Medal for Fine Draughtsmanship. She was also awarded an Alexander Medal for Merit from the School Art League of New York and first-prize at the 31st Beaux Arts Finals, Westchester County Federation of Women’s Clubs. In fact, over the course of her career Fernande has won numerous first prizes awards at juried shows and selected outstanding artist awards. Her work is exhibited all over the world including Europe and South America. Fernande works in both painting and sculpture and is partial to bronze and ceramics as mediums. She has also designed clothing. Recently, she discussed her experiences living and working as an artist:
Meagan Meehan (MM) of Entertainment Vine: How and when did you decide to become an artist?
Fernande Lipton (FL): Ever since I’ve been a young girl, art has been the center of my life. As I grew up and realized that ballet, the viola and geometry were not my forte, I explored the world of art. I also believe that art was a medium that could help me adapt to the stresses of traveling the world with my twin brother. I was born in Shanghai, China, of French and Russian parents. I’ve lived in France, Cuba, San Francisco and New York. We left China when I was seven. Delving into the world of art was easier than learning to speak English, French, Russian and Spanish.
MM: Growing up, which artists/types of art interested you?
FL: The artists that fascinated me most were Braque and Matisse. Both worked with different shapes and used color and design to create movement and dimension.
FL: I love to use geometric shapes to create movement, (lines, circles, arcs), and the subtle use of color help me create a feeling of three dimension.
MM: How did you go about getting into galleries and/or public showcases?
FL: Getting into galleries and shows is a constant endeavor. I’ve won numerous honors and was awarded the 31st Annual Beaux Arts Prize for best painting in Westchester, NY. Each award propels one to the next stage and attracts the attention of other galleries and curators. In Montgomery, Alabama, where I spent several years with my husband in the Air Force, I was fortunate to have a one-woman show at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, where I displayed my paintings, ceramic ware, carpets, stained glass and sculpture.
MM: Do you have a favorite piece? If so, which one and why?
FL: It’s difficult to have a favorite painting when I’ve painted hundreds of works of art, but the most notable was when I was commissioned to do a painting of the Gulf War. It was a 5’ by 7’ foot- painting called Defending Freedom. It was made into prints that sold worldwide and was chosen by President George Bush I for his Presidential Library; a photo of the painting was chosen by the West Point Military Academy for their permanent collection, and the original painting was sought after by the Smithsonian Institute.
MM: To date, what has been the most rewarding experience involving your artwork and/or being an artist?
FL: Bringing the print of the above noted painting to Washington, DC; presenting it to my Congressman on the steps of the nation’s Capital, and giving him a copy for the president was probably my most rewarding experience.
MM: What advice would you give to someone who is aspiring to become an artist?
FL: The best advice I could give young artists is to not expect to make a living doing art work. Some very lucky ones do, however. Also, be flexible and always ready to change a style, or form of art work if it inspires you. I was interested in fashion, package design and advertising, but painting and sculpture have always been my true loves.
FL: I will be showing next in the holiday show at the Piermont Flywheel Gallery in Piermont, NY.