California Art Club, Artist Member
Oil Painters of America, Signature Member
National Watercolor Society, Signature Member
Jean Stern, Executive Director, The Irvine Museum of Art
"To me, Libby Tolley's work succeeds on two levels: First, there is the outward beauty of the land, sky, and ocean, presented in clean and direct area of glorious color. This is the level that appeals immediately to anyone who views her work. Secondly, there is the deeper, softly spiritual level, the one that comes to the viewer very soon after the initial look. This meaning is manifested through her adept handling of color. Color is the messenger, and in Libby's case, the narrative is merely foreground. Libby's work is a treat to the eye and the spirit."
Bakersfield Museum of Art. Emily Falke, Curator
I was struck by the fact that I kept having to return to Libby's work while jurying the Plein Air Festival at SLO. I always believe that when you can't stop looking at a painting that it means that it carries a depth beyond the surface. There is no doubt that Libby is a fine artists with a great sense of composition, color, texture, style. Where she goes beyond many artists is in her sense of light and mood. In the first place winning painting titled "Daybreak" she has captured the fragility of morning in a most ethereal and delicate way. Her sky is the palest pinkish yellow, transparent and soft and new. Her work looks realistic from afar yet abstract close up. This is another act of genius. Up close her trees appear to be "scraped back" with a pallete knife appearing old in juxtaposition to the newness of the morning sky. The "content' of her works goes so much further beyond the simple landscape they appear. There is a spirituality about the works, even in her quick draw piece created Saturday morning in less than two hours, where she describes the trees as revealing the coming of fall. Something seems to be "pending", about to happen, everchanging. She appeared to have studied with the masters or at least with a highly academic art institute or university or mentor artists(s) the latter which is true. She is impressive as an overall artist in her technique, spirit and depth of content....probably the best Plein Air painter I have seen in my time as curator at the Bakersfield Museum of Art. Emily Falke, Curator
Visit Libby's web site at www.LibbyTolley.com