My professional history includes an MFA from the University of Minnesota and an extensive exhibition record with 150 national and regional shows. The distinguished Hackett Freedman Gallery in San Francisco handled my work from 1986 until the gallery closed in 2007. A show that included my work that has special meaning for me was entitled the “Virginia Landscape” presented by the Virginia Historical Society in Richmond, Virginia. A book titled The Virginia Landscape accompanied the show and an illustration of my work was included. In 2000 I received the notable Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Award, and in 1995 with support from the Cabell Foundation I worked at the American Academy in Rome, Italy. In the past I have had my landscapes of Southwest Virginia included in shows in Maryland, Connecticut, Washington DC, Ohio, Wisconsin, Louisiana, and within Virginia at the Art Museum of Western Virginia (Taubman Museum), the Danville Museum of Fine Art, William King Art Center, and galleries at Ferrum College, Roanoke College, University of Richmond, Hollins University, Radford University, Lynchburg College, among others. Jurors of particular prominence that have selected my work for exhibition include; Rackstraw Downs, a well known New York artist and author of numerous articles for Art News and Art in America; John Arthur, author of Realists at Work, Spirit of Place, Contemporary Landscape Painting, and Realist Drawings and Watercolors; Ruth Fine, the curator of Modern Prints and Drawings, National Gallery of Art; and Paul Cummings author of American Drawings and 20th Century Drawings from the Whitney Museum of Art.
When I first became interested in art it was the landscape that excited me the most and from which I continue to work in the “plein air” today. Recently I have been particularly interested in the way the Virginia landscape reveals the bond between humanity and the environment. This interest in the unvarnished quality of our contemporary landscape has drawn me to motifs in the cityscapes of Pulaski, Radford, and Roanoke.
Trying to capture the magic and mystery of perception has guided me toward seeing the momentary conditions of light as a metaphor for the spirit. I am enthralled with the complexity of geometric forms and space, always looking for an unusual viewpoint. For me capturing a sense of place involves returning to the same motif many times. During the process of the drawing I find myself balancing what my eye sees in a studied gaze, what my mind dictates in building a pictorial structure, and what the picture itself reveals as it unfolds. Changes that occur during the lengthy process of observation, such as light dissolving or revealing forms, or human intervention, these serve to enhance my attachment to a motif and build a latticework between memory and perception.
John Goodrich in a catalog essay on her work published by the Eleanor D. Wilson Museum writes, One senses that her heart lies in the mysteries of atmospheric tones, but she is keenly mindful of the way that distinct shapes emerge from them. Arguably, this merging of abstract and perceived impressions forms the basis of all rigorous representation, and in Knipe’s vivid work, observation and invention proceed hand in hand, creating the kinds of truths available only in drawing.