About Marlene Lipinski

Marlene Lipinski is an artist living in New York State. She is currently known for her paintings of trees and natural subjects rendered in extreme detail. These have earned her commissions, and awarded her placement in several shows and monographs. She most recently was included in the Manifest Gallery’s highly competitive Aboreal show, Cincinnati Ohio, (2017), and a dedicated single artist showing at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia (2016). Marlene also shows regularly in Newbugh, NY, where she is part of a thriving arts community. 

Marlene’s focus on natural subjects emerged in the early 2000s through a series of drawings of endangered butterflies. The series was based on a presentation of the Herman Strecker Collection at the Field Museum in Chicago, IL, specifically the combined beauty, scientific study, and symbolic loss of its specimen. Marlene began allowing science to influence her art, especially in matters related to environmental impact. She soon began pairing other endangered species with representations of air, water and vegetation, and in 2007 she turned her attention to trees with her first series, the Burr Oaks.

In these paintings, process is as important to Marlene as product. She begins with photographs, which she then projects to trace the lines and shapes with as much accuracy as possible. Next, Marlene works in layers, from undercoat to final details, mimicking Photoshop to translate the original photograph into a new, more palpable medium, without losing its exactness. Each painting – or portrait, as she thinks of them – is created over two or more panels, which are then brought together as a whole. The effect raises questions about our objectification of nature, and our relationship with it in general.

Marlene’s interest in Photoshop, and other design programs and tools, come from her work as a 2D designer and an Associate Professor of Art and Design at Columbia College, in Chicago, IL. Marlene served at Columbia in an administrative capacity for twenty-five years. She developed a program there to lead students in developing limited edition books. Two of these are in the Rare Books Collection at the Newberry Library, and one in the Yale Library Rare Book Collection.