Saturday, January 9, 2016

Gary A. Lippincott – The Art of Making Magic in the Natural World

Gary A. Lippincott
Gary A. Lippincott – The Art of Making Magic in the Natural World

By Genevieve Fraser

Gary A. Lippincott’s talents were obvious from the time he was a small child.  He first began to draw at the age of 4.  A few years later he began playing piano and donning the red bulbous nose of a clown with a bag of magic tricks.  But what he really wanted to be when he grew up was a wizard with magical powers, exploring wee folk hidden in among the grass, brambles and woods.  By the age of 17, Gary was performing on keyboard with a rock n' roll band and had finally fixated on a future as an artist.  After graduating from high school, he enrolled in the Maryland Institute - College of Art. 
Tangle by Gary A. Lippincott

The world first knew Gary as an illustrator of children’s books.  His exquisitely detailed artwork graces book covers from A Tolkien Miscellany to On the Frontier with Mr. Audubon (with Barbara Brenner) as well as children's book covers and illustrations in The Prince and the Pauper (with Marianna Mayer), The Bookstore Mouse (with Peggy Christian), Jeremy Thatcher, Dragon Hatcher (with Bruce Colville), and the critically acclaimed and much loved, Come to the Fairies' Ball (with Jane Yolen).  Today, Gary still plays keyboard and also teaches art at Workshop 13 in Ware, Massachusetts, but he is best known for his exploration into the world of fairie, or the wee folk that fascinated him in his youth.  

From the Victorian Fairy Tarot
According to the renowned writer, J.R.R. Tolkien, “Faërie contains many things besides elves and fays, and besides dwarfs, witches, trolls, giants, or dragons; it holds the seas, the sun, the moon, the sky; and the earth, and all things that are in it: tree and bird, water and stone, wine and bread, and ourselves, mortal men, when we are enchanted.” 

In many ways, Gary’s work exemplifies the world that the master story writer, Tolkien describes. A wonderful example of this can be found in a pack of 78 cards he illustrated for the “Victorian Fairy Tarot.”  Published by Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD., the deck comes with the gracefully written, The Victorian Fairy Companion by Lunaea Weatherstone which serves as a guide, sharing fairy lore and interpreting each card. Though the Victorian Fairy Tarot is at heart whimsical, it offers vivid caricatures and situation that are at times breathtaking in their intrinsic beauty and scope.

Trollbridge by Gary A. Lippincott
Lippincott’s accolades include three Chesley awards presented by the Association of Science Fiction and Fantasy Artists (which nominated him for a lifetime achievement award in 2013).  He has also been nominated for a Hugo and a World Fantasy award.  His artwork has appeared in many editions of Spectrum Annual and been shown twice at their “Best Of” show at the Society of Illustrators Museum in New York.  And soon, there will be another treasure available for Lippincott fans, his book “Making Magic: The Art of Gary Lippincott” should be available in the not 
too distant future. 
Cover art for the soon-to-be released book by Gary Lippincott, "The Art of Making Magic

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