Rebecca Livermore / Biography
I come from a long line of artists: A great-great grandfather who painted the decorative details on coaches in Germany, a grandmother who took me on painting trips when I was a child, an interior designer grandfather, an architect father. As a child, I was constantly creative. As a teenager, I designed t-shirts and posters for my high school. But when I went to college, I decided to be “more practical” – by casting aside art – and instead pursuing my interest in life sciences.
During my junior year in college, my microbiology professor remarked that my laboratory notebooks were the most artistic and visually organized he had ever seen. Although I enjoyed and excelled in my science courses, he counseled me to recognize my creative abilities and consider a different path. He recognized a truth I had been denying – that I am primarily a visual person. I do find my greatest sense of fulfillment through visual activities, and though interested in the sciences, I faced the fact that I probably wouldn’t be fulfilled for long in a laboratory or hospital career.
So, I explored other possibilities: architecture, photography, fine art... at the time, graphic design suited me best. I attended graduate school at the Rhode Island School of Design, earning a Master of Fine Arts in Design in 1983. Returning to my hometown of San Francisco, I enjoyed rewarding design positions there for 6 years before marrying and moving to Salt Lake City, where I started a graphic design business in 1989. From 1989 to 2002 my firm, Livermore Design, specialized in the creation of logos, stationery, brochures and books.
With the birth of our daughter came the opportunity to reduce my workload and gain a mother’s perspective on life. I began to understand that my work as a designer wasn’t satisfying all my creative inclinations. But with a small child and a business to run, it wasn’t easy to act on that feeling. In 1995, I met Willamarie Huelskamp, an inspiring artist and educator. I made time to take her painting classes, which inspired and contributed to my development as an artist. Since then, through joining the Utah Watercolor Society, earning Signature Membership in the Society, attending numerous lectures and workshops, taking painting expeditions with fellow artists, traveling extensively, visiting museums and galleries as often as possible and showing my paintings in many juried shows, I have developed my own unique style and continued to grow as an artist.
In 2000, my husband and I remodeled our home – in part to accommodate a large, well-lit studio space for my creative endeavors. In 2002, I completed the transition from designer to artist by ending my graphic design practice and focusing on my art. Through gallery representation and juried shows, my paintings are now included in private, corporate and museum collections across the country, have been juried into national shows, and have received a number of awards. Life as an artist has proved to be very satisfying.
Now, I’m always looking. I’m observing local color, light and shadow, line, value, texture and composition. I’m thinking about my next painting or something new to try. I’m continually challenged and sustained by the boundless world of artistic expression.
Additional biographical information included in this article: Rebecca Livermore: Merging Art and Design. Zions Bank Community Magazine, Salt Lake City, Utah, March 2018. https://www.zionsbank.com/community/community-magazine/2018/March/rebecca-livermore