Preview The Book
Jan Keith Lipes... The Artist/Physician Behind the Cover

by Doris Brandes

Jan Keith Lipes is a visionary Bucks County painter who appears to be a reincarnation of the renowned artists who lived in and around New Hope a hundred years ago. He does not replicate the style of any artists who preceded him, but he was emotionally drawn into the impressionism when he began his painting career in 1991. That is an important part of the story. Although flirting with the arts in his youth, and later as a serious college student, it wasn’t until long after medical school when he was well established as an emergency physician at Doylestown Hospital that his life took on a whole new direction. He had been diagnosed eight years earlier with multiple sclerosis and now it had become apparent that this was the time he had to seriously re-prioritize his life.

The fact that he had minored in art history and majored in literature while he did his pre-med work at the City College of New York is testimony to the capacity for learning this talented man possesses. He even found the time—or made the time—to do a summer workshop at the Art Students League in Woodstock while he was a med student at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. The affinity and love for art was in his make up. So was his desire to be engaged in meaningful work. “It is important for me to be involved. To have something inside of me interacting with something outside,” Jan Keith Lipes says thoughtfully. “Artists are looking for a way of getting a relationship going with the outside world. The process of creation helps one forge that union. I consider myself lucky. Art is central to my existence.” It turns out that Dr. Lipes has become an important contributing member of the ‘river art’ community…and beyond.

As Jan Keith Lipes turned his life from medical science to becoming a painter, his own philosophy fueled his mission to develop the needed skills. He worked with a passion to become one with his subjects. Because of the disease, his life went through a dramatic change, even learning to use his non-dominant hand to hold a brush and mix the paints. He studied color, and brush techniques then plunged wholeheartedly into his work using his rich knowledge of art. He literally trained himself to paint upon the canvas the way he saw the world before him. Going out on location in Bucks County, he selected places that had special appeal to him where he set up an easel to paint on location. There were some difficult moments dealing with the terrain and soon he began to paint from the comfort of his van and take photos for reference. Working now in his ‘state of the art’ studio he produces his award winning work with fervor and satisfaction.

Today he occupies a unique place among painters in the river region. A recent award, from the historic Phillips’ Mill 72nd annual Juried Exhibition, was given to Jan Keith Lipes for “First Place In the Style of the New Hope School.” Juries have frequently chosen his work for the Phillips’ Mill Annual exhibits. This past April (2002) his work was selected by the venerable Newman Gallery in Philadelphia to be the featured artist in a special exhibit. A few months earlier he was the recipient of the First Place Award at the Fox Chase Cancer Center Art Exhibit. To repeat that oft used phrase, Jan Lipes awards are literally too numerous to mention. They do testify as to the innate ability of a very special person who, working from the depths of his soul, uses his talent to create precious works of art.

On the local scene he is featured at the Gratz Gallery and Conservation Studio, which is located right in the heart of New Hope, on Bridge Street, adjacent to the New Hope Railroad Station. It was there that a very special painting by Jan Keith Lipes was auctioned as a fundraiser for the 2002 Lambertville-New Hope Winter Festival. His painting, “Free Bridge Lambertville/New Hope,” was used as a theme for the entire event and brought in top dollar for the cause.

As you travel around the river region many galleries , including  Village Artworks Gallery in Peddler’s Village, Michelyn Galleries, Ltd. in New Britain, and Canal Frame Crafts in Washington Crossing, will now have Jan Keith Lipes prints for sale. It is quite an innovation for this artist to have used the talents of a fine-art printer to offer his most desirable images, signed and numbered, on conservation quality paper, for sale at affordable prices. He is also represented on the website, and in the newly published book, Artists of the River Towns..

(“The Doctor is In…The Arts”)

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