Just a year ago, son-of-the-soil Greg Lipton was nudged into taking up painting in earnest, and in that short time his artistic inclination has blossomed into a creative talent that has been showcased in several exhibitions.
This week the 33-year-old artist donated to the Cayman Islands National Museum his poignant painting of two men teaching a boy to fish.
The painting will become part of the collection of cultural treasures that will be preserved at the Museum for the enjoyment of present and future generations of residents and visitors.
Entirely untrained, Greg was encouraged by his wife, Amy, about a year ago to express his creative talent through painting and since then it has become his driving passion.
Born and raised in Canada, the young artist is the grandson of Babs Malone, nee Watler, of the Creek, Cayman Brac. He was first initiated into island life in 1983 when he spent his first summer with his grandmother. Thereafter, he returned annually, spending his time between Grand Cayman and Cayman Brac, where he formed fast, lifelong friendships. He returned to live in the Islands in 1994 for a while, taking up residence in 1997.
Though he had dabbled in the field of painting as a young child, and has developed hobbies in creative fields such as graphic arts and in photo- and videography, the scale and quality of works of art produced in the year he has devoted himself to painting have been remarkable. In that short time, he has already had two showings of his works, the first at an exhibition organised by the Visual Arts Society, where he displayed four paintings, all later selling at the Kennedy Gallery. More recently, he exhibited an impressive 17 pieces at the Full of Beans restaurant’s June showing. Full of Beans has been staging a series of monthly exhibits, each featuring the works of an emerging local artist.
The unsold pieces from that exhibition will again go to the Kennedy Gallery as well as to his Brac grandmother for her enjoyment or sale on that island.
He is now hoping to organise a three-man exhibit and is slated to again display at Full of Beans.
‘I dream of painting,’ he says. ‘I am always thinking of painting.’ And it is always inspired by water, he says, regardless of the genre, which ranges from realism to abstract.
Greg fits painting around a demanding day job, but still finds time for his hobbies of skateboarding and fishing on Cayman Brac. He and his wife Amy, whom he met when she briefly visited Cayman Brac from her native Canada, love spending time with their Brac family.
Commenting on the new acquisition, Acting Director of the Museum Mrs. Debra Tabora-Barnes, said, ‘We are delighted that Greg choose to donate this artwork to the National Museum. It will greatly enhance the National collection.’
The Museum has slated a soft opening in November when the building will open for tours; its formal opening is slated for early 2009.