On Tuesday, August 18, at 6 p.m., the Camden Public Library will host its August Artist-of-the-Month, Peggy Clark Lumpkins, for an online presentation about her art. Lumpkins has a passion for what she calls a “slow art” style of oil painting, with vibrant layers of transparent color.
The program will be held via the Zoom platform. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to request a link to attend.
Lumpkins has been painting for fifty years. As a teenager in New York City, she enjoyed “four magical years” at the High School of Art and Design, according to the Library, in a news release. This was followed by a year of college at the San Francisco Academy of Art and a year back in New York at Pratt Institute.
“At this point, I knew what I wanted to paint,” said Lumpkins, in the release. “I needed to paint what I loved and not what my teachers desired, so I took a leave of absence and never looked back.”
Lumpkins ultimately moved to Brownsville in 1987 and established her home and studio on the edge of a large garden. The aim was to grow food and flowers as subjects for painting, and home-school her two sons in the embrace of art.
“I go on walks a lot, and that’s when paintings fall into my head,” says Lumpkins. “A certain group of shapes grabs hold, and I keep that inside me until I get it to canvas. I shoot photos, take notes, sketch out shapes, and file them in my sketch books. When it is time to fit a new piece into the cycle of working canvases, I go through this book and grab the one that needs to come out most. The photos, words, and sketches are tools to jog the memory back to the front of my mind.”
It’s common for Lumpkins to be working on ten to twenty pieces at the same time. Her painting technique involves thinning down a classic oil medium and then building up a multitude of transparent layers.
“The layering of colors is a great way to bring dimensionality and depth to paint because I can use pure colors, on top of pure colors, where they are mixed by the eye,” explains Lumpkins. “If I mix them together when they are wet, they lose their particular vibrancy and individuality.”
Some of her paintings have up to fifty layers and can require as many as three weeks to dry in between applications. The extraordinary beauty of the final product reveals the love that Lumpkins pours into creating them, said the Library.
In lieu of a physical display at the library, a virtual exhibit of Lumpkins’s intricate land and coast “scapes” and flower paintings can be viewed on the library’s website.