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Libby Shearon | Brick by Brick
08/07/2016 - 10/07/2016
In memory of long term ASC Artist Libby Shearon
I was born on 18th December and given the middle name Elizabeth in honour of a close fami ly fr iend, whose birthday I now shared: Libby
Shearon. Immediately adopt ing me as her “Twinnie”, Libby fulfilled that role with the loving ser iousness, with which she would dedicate herself
to many a cause. Effectively part of the family, she would share New Year’s Eve at our home, celebrating our joint birthday with exquisitely
wrapped gifts and handmade cards: sketchbooks, pencils, paints…Aged five, I wanted to be an ar ist . That didn’ t happen, but, after some
deviations, I now write about art , spending my days meeting with, talking to and being motivated by artists. Libby was the first “real ” artist I knew.
Seeing her give up her lucrat ive career in f i lm to study fine art in her late fifties, going on to support herself with odd jobs here and there, so
that she could maintain her studio and paint, both to commission and out of sheer love, was an inspirat ion to us all to follow our dreams. And
throughout my life, Libby was there – often in the background, a silent presence – asking her gentle questions, in her self -effacing manner, but,
in the process, imparting more wisdom than she could know. Whenever I went with her to see exhibitions, attend art fairs and talks, she would
take a step back, asking me what I , with my “knowledge” of the subject , thought, when, in actual fact, it was I who was learning from her quiet
assessments and careful contemplations. My family home is like a miniature Libby Shearon gallery – in fact, even the walls themselves were painted by her hand. Some works, my parents bought; others were gifts, painted especially for birthdays or anniversaries. Each has Libby’s recognisable touch: that close observation, f iltered through cautious consideration, with the result a colourful, affectionate and benevolent painting that carries special meaning for its recipient . Be it person or place, Libby knew how to embody the essence and bring the canvas to life with familial
conviviality or solitary isolation, creating, in each case, equally endearing and enduring images.
Libby’s silent presence remains and her voice speaks on through her body of work. Thank you, Twinnie, for guiding me – and doubt less many
others – to where I (and they) want to be.
Anna McNay, June 2016