Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - February 5, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
12 LETHBRIDQE iiMSday, February Children and animals dominate artist Gibbs rural portraits "Where GOOD SERVICE Is AUTOMATIC" AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION "LTD. PIMM 327-0910 1520 3rd Ail. S. Guaranteed Servicing Rebuilding and Exchange you have problem water HARDNESS IRON TASTE SEDIMENT ACIDITY ODOR You need Culligan Water The most complete line of water conditioning for rental or purchase! CALL 327-7867 AMD SAY. 120d N. Mayor Magrath Drive By BERNIE GOEOHART EDMONTON (CP) People once questioned Len Gibbs' style of painting and suggested photography was the more logical medium for his brand of realism. Gibbs took the criticism to heart, got himself a palette knife instead of a brush and went to work on a new method. But "it just wasn't he said. "After a while, I found myself trying to paint detail with this great hunk of steel. "I got so depressed, I packed it in for five years." When he finally picked up a brush again he return- ed to the realism which makes a Gibbs piece easily recognizable. He paints Western Canada often rural scenes placed on canvas in such a way that they seem familiar to even the most urban individual. Children and animals are featured predominantly. Detail is the key and the 44-year-old artist devotes a lot of time to it. He researches his paintings thoroughly, explaining that people notice mistakes in subject matter and "if one thing is wrong, the whole painting is wrong." Folding Saturday's Paper, a recent work, il- lustrates how seriously Gibbs takes detail. It shows a lad leaning against ransportatlon Ltd. General Bulk Commodity Hauling DECK TRAILERS 814-4th Streets. Lethbridge "SERVICE ISN'T OUR OUR BUSINESS Phone 328-8782 Phone 327-0591 CANADIAN GENETICS CANADIAN GENETICS (LETH.) LTD. Now Open for Business Temperature controlled barns for increased production and comfort for your Bulls. Latest lab equipment and facilities to maximize quality and yield of semen. Full line of A.I. Equipment Nitrogen at special introductory prices Phone a low stone wall, his new- spaper bag beside him and part of his bicycle shown to the side. The boy is taking time out from folding the papers to read the comics. The bag bears the name Brandon Sun. While working on the painting, which was com- missioned by the publisher of the Manitoba new- spaper, Gibbs was sent a Sun bag a "spanking new bag" which "no self- respecting newsboy would be seen carrying So the artist, a resident of Victoria, went to Victoria Colonist and obtained "the scruffiest bag I could find" to use as model. He also visited a bicycle shop to learn exactly how to paint the bicycle wheel and spokes. And he researched the matter of folding papers by talking to the paperboys. "It cost me a couple of soft drinks but they showed said Gibbs. "They fold them oblong because the papers are thicker now." He even went so far as to buy a copy of Brandon Sun to ensure authentic subject matter. Sailor Gibbs was born in Cranbrook, B.C., and rais- ed in Brandon, where he began drawing. At 16, he moved to Ed- monton and at 17 joined the navy. He served for five years before obtaining a job as layout artist with Edmonton Bulletin. "Two weeks after I started, the firm folded." Next came a job with an advertising firm in Ed- monton and, when he was about 28, Gibbs moved to Calgary as art director for a large advertising agency. Six years later he returned to Edmonton as the agen- cy's creative director. He quit (he job in 1967 and decided to paint full- time. "I was pretty disillusion- ed with the advertising business at that Gibbs said. "I was getting further away from my art. "When I left, everybody figured I would fall flat on my face." Amazed About a year later a gallery in Vancouver gave him a one-man show, which sold out opening night. Gibbs was flabbergasted. Even now, an established artist, he said he still worries about each painting and is surprised that his work sells as well as it does. Gibbs returns to Ed- monton !ieven or ei ht Back to realism Edmonton artist Len Gibbs. times a year to do most of his sketching. A local art gallery handles all his work pricing it and dis- tributing it. "I dont even have to con- cern myself with anything but painting." Gibbs prints now sell for about his watercolors acrylics on water base range from about to and his oils from about to The artist said he owns two of his own "one which was damaged in shipment and I refused to sell it." The other is a painting of his son which his wife Betty refused to part with. Gibbs takes art critics with a grain cf salt. "Generality, the more arty they are, the cruder I become. You know, very prairie-ish; talk in monosyllables yep, nope." Asked if he has ever tried to analyse his work, he said, "I'm terrified to." "My wife tried and noticed thai in a lot of my paintings I had a lot of peo- ple walking away from me." She interpreted this to mean he felt rejected. If he heeded such analysis "I would spend my whole time trying to make them come towards me." Rooting fir trees Agriculture Canada researchers are trying to find a way to make tree cuttings, particularly those of Douglas fir trees, produce their own roots. The discovery would ensure the propagation of Douglas fir plus trees, characterized by their uniform shape, straight- ness, growth vigor and lack of spiral grain. Plus trees .won't grow true from seed. If tree cuttings could produce their own roots, they could be planted like seedlings but retain the qualities of the parent plus trees. [mil SELLING FOR LESS! I STERN'S CUT-RATE FORHTURE PfeMi 327-3024 314 3ri amis.