“A Painter’s View: Jerusalem, London and Tuscany,” featuring watercolors and oil paintings by Virginia native Michael F. Shipley, opened at the Goldman Art Gallery at the Bender JCC of Greater Washington last month. If you haven’t visited yet, you should definitely catch it this weekend before it closes during open hours at the JCC in Rockville, Maryland.
This visual tour emanates from several weeks spent in Jerusalem, where Shipley’s son is studying to become a rabbi, and in London and Tuscany, where he went to explore the beauty of the land, architecture, and people. Shipley’s realistic scenes display a technique particular to the artist, the materials he uses, and his unique approach to color and composition.
Shipley grew up in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and graduated from the architecture program at Virginia Tech University. Employing a watercolor wash over his architectural drawings, he grew to enjoy the medium and continued to create watercolor paintings during his 30 years working for the National Association of Home Builders. When he retired nine years ago, he began to travel with his wife, always bringing his watercolors, brushes, and boards in a portable box, allowing him to paint wherever he was. Besides the pieces representing his trips to Jerusalem, London and Tuscany which are part of this show, he also captured the vistas outside the window of his plane using a specially constructed bag for supplies that hung over his seat. (He cut a confounding figure for his seatmates.)