Thursday, August 19, 2010

Renown Realist Artist Len Gibbs Dies

Len Gibbs fought the big fight against cancer for almost 10 years and died last week. He earned his place in this artist's mind not just for his paintings but the way in which he played out his life. He was the personification of an Albertan Individualist, he spoke with a drawl and he could come up with some great quotes.
Len was one of those artists who was well known in Western Canada, and arguably should have had a greater national appeal than he had. He didn't paint a lot, but what he painted he did well. And, it is said that because he was a realist, his works didn't gain the kind of notice they deserved. Nonetheless, there are those who love realism and those who were strongly attracted to his love of painting, character defined faces.

Len was a self taught artist who painted in acrylics on masonite and in watercolours.

Len, on donating his paintings to charity:

"It always intrigues why artists, who 'live on a bottle of Chianti and a piece of cheese in an attic' are expected to dip into their meagre livelihood and hand over art." 'You might as well ask a panhandler to donate,'

On dying:

"I figure everyone is going to die. The rest is curiosity. I know how. I just don't know when." Or, as he drawled on: "I tell you one thing -- no more cheap scotch, it's Glenlivet from now on."

To read his obtituary, written by Jim Gibson, in the Victoria Times Colonist.please click here


  1. I got caught in a moment of sweet thoughts of you today.. Being so far away from home, and knowing I'll return shortly has filled my soul with excitement! I get to see grandma soon, I've been told she is doing well, I let you know :) I love and miss you with all my heart grandpa.. don't be too cheeky up there..

    Love Leanna Christina Matthews


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