Join Me on Patreon!

©2019, Never Ladder, painting on wood panel with collage, 24 x 24 inches. $4,200

What’s coming in 2020?

  1. Art shows, and open studio events.
  2. Postcards.
  3. Stickers.
  4. A new book!
  5. Video—studio visits, insights, process, and thinking behind the work.
  6. A post a week about my progress in the studio.

 

©2019, Detail of Purple Lipped Confusion with a sticker, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches.

Only a handful of this edition of stickers is available. Request yours below.

2 Stickers for $6!

Includes shipping and handling. Very limited quantities.

A Blog of 10 Years

Hello! If you have reached this page, I welcome you with open arms and a heart full of love!

Art collectors and creative souls help the world to be a better place.

I kept a blog for 10 years from 2009-2019. All the writing can be found here along with links to older blogs I wrote and edited. Some of the older posts are missing images. Some (or many) posts have misspellings and older ideas. Everything is my work. My ideas. My thoughts. Whatever I felt I needed to share—I did. It’s all here, unedited.

©2019, Empty Waiting, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 16 x 16 inches. $3,600

To find old posts please use the search tool (up and to the left if you are on a laptop)—try any words or numbers you like! For example: interview, encaustic, painting, philosophy, sketchbook, 2015, museum, MFA, exhibit, and others… you never know what might pop up! 🙂 Sort of like a random search in a used book store, but this is all one author!

I have moved on. I am waiting for you…

To follow my artists journey and current studio updates, please join me on Patreon. Thank you for your patronage.

Ever Wonder…

Have you ever wondered what goes on inside an artists studio or better yet, have you wondered where artists get their thoughts and ideas, how the research is conducted, and what decisions are made for the subsequent output?

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Never Ladder, painting on wood panel with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches. $4,200

Wonder no longer…

I have decided to share as much of what I do and how I do it as possible. In fact, I have already been sharing my story on this blog for years. I have been giving away my time, ideas, and research energy in blog posts for 10 years now!

Ten years is a long time and a lot of blog posts (and videos). Over 550 posts on this website.

I am forever grateful to all of my devoted readers. Some of you are so devoted, that I could hug you! Do you feel my love? 😉

The time for change has come! I have found a platform online that allows me to cater to my audience (you) and also supports the work I do to make sharing my journey possible.

  1. Maybe you are one of those people who gets really inspired creatively when you hear about the art I am making, sharing, selling, and exhibiting—and how I go about doing this. I am so glad!
  2. Maybe I have taught you a thing or two. Cool! 😉
  3. Maybe I have made you smile or think about something that without me dropping into your in-box, you would not have veered down that thought path…yippee!

I am sure you can tell (especially those of you who read every post) that I love to share what’s going on in my life and creative journey.

The thing is… blogging these days is not like years past. Having a steady and consistent presence on the internet is not free (it never was, but it has gotten more expensive). I am ready to go out on a limb. I need your help. I am searching for a two-way street. One where you get the information you have come to enjoy and trust, and one where I get paid to do the work I love. Are you with me?

There is a way for me to share blog posts, images, stories, video, have chat rooms, and more…

The place I am taking about is: Patreon.

Patreon is a site where art lovers like you can support the work of creators you admire and artists who make work that matters—to you.

Let’s stop for a little video break! Just because! 🙂

OK, back to regular programming and the Ever Wonder… theme of today’s post. For many years now, especially when sales were slow or non-existent, I self-financed my art career (many artists do this). Did you ever wonder how I did and do the work I do? Of course, I am prepared to keep financing my own work if I have to, however the power of patrons, supporters, and fans—whatever you’d like to call YOU—would make a tremendous difference in what I could create and share.

Being a financial fan goes way beyond a dollar amount… way way beyond. You see, a single dollar or five thousand dollars a month tells me:

Suzanne, your work matters to me, you’ve touched my life, I have loved watching your career, I am excited for you, I want to be a part of your success, watching you has been an inspiration to me, and I can’t wait to see what you’ll do next!

I am an artist. I share my vision of the world and what the world could be like with the ideas we imagine and discuss, together. Patreon can help us.

Two things happened that led me to the path of choosing to ask for patronage via Patreon.

Thing One—In 2011, my father asked me a question about my blogging. At the time I was writing 2 or more articles per week; including artist interviews with photographed, curated studio visits and researched essays. He asked me: “How do you get paid for all the work and hours you put into these articles? It is clear to me that you are not rushing through the writing, the research, and your ideas. What is your plan for income.” I could chalk this up to a “Dad comment,” but he had and has a good point. How DO creatives get paid?

Allow me to continue.

Thing Two—In 2016, a friend and collector told me that it was hard to follow and understand my work on social media and my blog because she wasn’t sure what I was focusing on (we met in 2012). She felt like even though she loved my work and cared about my success, she wondered why my projects were all over the place. Ouch! She, like my father, had really good insight for me!

When my Dad and a collector friend send me clear love and support, I listen.

It was really hard to hear this feedback and harder yet to change. You’ll notice the 8 and 3 year gaps until today in 2019! I’ll be honest, when I dug deep (the problem was hidden) I realized that I was scrambling to find and make that “thing” that would sell. I thought that shear hard work and constant blog and social media posting would be enough to get “found” and my work would fly out of my studio and off my gallery walls. I had some growing up to do.

I had to face facts. I was chasing the elusive carrot and the brass ring on the merry-go-round. Hoping for easy sales and growth of my fan base.

The chase is over… because I expect more integrity from myself and the work I make.

If I were to continue on the path I had created, not only would my work never improve, neither would my income or my reach. My passion for making visual statements through painting insisted that I find an alternative.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Black & Blue Double Smile, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 36 x 36 inches. $7200 Available directly from my studio.

Ever Wonder… how I came to the conclusion that my integrity as an artist matters? I started with the idea of doing less. I had only one goal for 2019. Make better art.

If you have followed me this year, you have watched me make better art. I wish you could see the work in person, because I have made really solid work. Visually exciting from far away and even more interesting from up close! Plus a whole lot of research and craft going into the work.

Also, I still write blog articles and make video of my work. This can be shared via Patreon just as easily as it has been here on my website and in your email box.

Thankfully.

Now back to Thing One and Thing Two.

Thing One, My Dad still reads my blog, and comments, and reminds me (along with my Mom) that I have been making and sharing the artists path since I was 6 years old. When he thinks I have forgotten my way he’ll say: “remember when…” and he’ll share yet another story of a time when I led our immediate and extended family through art projects that were my own, and I included them in the process. Wow, we sure have had fun throughout the years! And about my friend, Thing Two, hopefully the next time I see her, she will have a different nugget of savvy business feedback for me. And she will not be telling me that, “you are all over the place.”

So, dear reader, this blog post has been long and heartfelt. I have written to say:

Wonder no more, I am an artist, and I wish to share this journey with you.

This is my last blog post from my website (unless things change, as we all know they always do). To follow my journey, and to get inspired on yours—join me on Patreon.

Look for this button (it will be smaller). Click it to support this artist. Thanks!

PS. There will continue to be a tiny bit of free content on Patreon, to get your free content follow the link to Patreon and use the follow button instead of the green become a Patron button.

PSS. Did this post make you interested in my past forays of blogging? See how far I have come: Blogger 1, Blogger 2, Blogger 3. No comments! Haha, practice makes perfect!

Foundwork, a new online community

This is a super short blog post. Perfect for people looking to connect directly with artists around the globe.

Foundwork is a new community online that showcases artists work. This is NOT a place to buy art. This is not a place for looking at random feeds of art and scrolling along. Foundwork IS a place to go for original art—searchable by artist Suzanne Gibbs), format (painting, collage, mixed media), attributes (abstract, figurative), location, and schools.

Find me on Foundwork here. Or you can stay here on my website.

And of course, eye candy from me to you.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Boa Constrictor, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 48 x 36 inches. $4200

PS. Wish me luck! I applied for a $10,000 grant from Foundwork. If I am chosen, this would be a game changer! What would I do? Rent a space and show my work! Make a catalog and solicit galleries and art agents! I will still do all of this, but of course money can make things happen faster.

 

Venturing Out

For those of you following my journey, you’ll know that in late June I embarked on a personally created artist residency (typically artist residencies are about going somewhere else to make art in a new community, I reversed the idea and focused in from home-base).

I am pleased to report that I have nearly 20 paintings finished. I found so much joy while working 8 to 16 hour days painting, thinking about painting, preparing and finishing paintings, imagining the next painting, mixing colors, and having a photographer come to my studio to take professional images.

My world has swirled with flurried activity—then crashing into deep sleep late at night or even occasional mid-afternoon naps.

Now the time has come to venture out of my studio and bring the work to my community—you and others!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Tea Cup Face, painting on wood with mixed media, 14 x 11 inches. $1000

This new series began to take root last summer. I was re-purposing envelopes. Specifically, the inside patterns from security envelops to create art for Art-O-Mat. The more envelopes that I cut open and tore apart the more I began to think about the use and meaning of a product as banal as an envelope.

Security envelopes are taken for granted. They do their job of hiding critical information. The envelopes gave me entry to a question I have had locked inside of me for years. Are social norms that we all, and especially myself, take for granted working like security envelopes?

I questioned the function of the product—and by extension, my role in social norms. For me, my new series: “Shhh, Say Nothing” is about stories hidden inside ourselves.

The curiosity and confusion I feel is expressed through abstract portraits.

Below, is an image of one of the first collage pieces I made when I was in the development stage of this new body of work.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Shhh, Say Nothing Series study, Flashe paint mixed media collage.

I don’t hold anger

…but many women do. Anger at being treated unfairly. Anger at being asked to do the unthinkable. Anger for hurts that have gone unresolved. And more.

I don’t hold anger, but I do wish for systemic change.

I wish for our voices to be heard. I dream about—well, you know—a utopian world were all people are treated with equal respect, kindness, and compassion. Where we all feel hope, love, and a chance for joy.

A world without fear.

I know I am not alone. I know that while I work towards change with a quiet creative heart and personal mindfulness others are using anger as motivation and voice. There is a place for this anger. The shit is real. I allow for others to have that voice, the pain, the anger too. I urge you to read the article link above should you need to understand why women are mad and frustrated.

For each story I read I can think of a story of my own.

I have stories I have never shared and stories I have shared with only a precious few. Somehow, the gift of my creative voice has tempered my anger. My voice is quietly visual. Working my way through anger to joy—and from there I hold hope for change. At the very least, I hope for each of us to have a chance to share our stories.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Double Bind Bubble Up, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 36 x 36 inches. $3600

While in graduate school I learned of the idea of “bearing witness.” Meaning, that by sharing our experiences and knowing that someone else knows of an injustice, a pain, a failing of our social systems, or any other traumatic experience—there is then a chance for healing and lessening of anger and hurt.

At the time, I was learning and listening as a student and the theoretical angles of what bearing witness means. Today, I am stepping towards the concept of being a person that does actually bear witness to other people’s stories as I connect the words of others to the images of my work.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” —Maya Angelou

My hope is to create a book of art with collected essays (stories) as told to me, or written for me.

Please, if you are interested in sharing your story, no matter how angry you feel, I am here. I will gladly welcome what you have to say with an open heart and my listening soul. Each of the paintings in my “Shhh, Say Nothing” Series requires a personal story. We can use full names, or first names only. Either way, we are bearing witness to your agony. Thus creating room for healing—which is truly a gift. Systemic change is a dream, the people along the way that share and affect other human lives, this is the utopian wish.

I talk through art making.

I have had the luxury of remaining open to my naiveté and curiosity throughout my life. I have been fortunate to receive an education that allows me to systematically ask questions and wonder about current  social norms that seem not quite right to me. And, like so many women before me and so many women still today, I have felt the need to say nothing  about the marginalization of what is typically seen as women’s work in order to keep things as they are…

For Too long

Too many

Have been

Too too quiet

Holding our voices

Too much of saying nothing

To keeping the status quo as is

Too constricted by societal norms.

I no longer wish to shut my mouth. I know what I think and feel is not nothing. I wish to silence the voice inside me that says, “Keep quiet!”

Because I held my tongue for most of my life—my strongest voice became visual. I talk through my art. I gather data, research, learn, think, reflect, and feel—then I express myself visually in paintings and drawings. Once I see what I have made, I can begin to voice the ideas both verbally and in writing.

 

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Boa Constrictor, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 48 x 36 inches. $4200

 
My paintings attempt to expose the tedious labor that  must be done (often by women) or the scaffolding of society as we know it will fall apart.
 
To continue to see more posts like this one, please be sure to join me on Patreon.

Toni Morrison, an inspiration even in death.

First, let me say and send my deepest condolences to the family, friends, and devoted readers of Toni Morrison.

Now I’d like to say what inspired me to write about Toni Morrison today.

I found a quote about her from her family on Lit Hub Daily that touched and rocked me to the core.

Here is the quote:

“It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our adored mother and grandmother, Toni Morrison, passed away peacefully last night surrounded by family and friends. She was an extremely devoted mother, grandmother, and aunt who reveled in being with her family and friends. The consummate writer who treasured the written word, whether her own, her students or others, she read voraciously and was most at home when writing. Although her passing represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long, well lived life.”

My whole life—short life at 54—I have wrestled with art vs. family priorities and passions. This quote serves as an example to me to no longer struggle, but to instead embrace the two parts of my passions and deep love as being equally valid and important.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Empty Waiting, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 16 x 16 inches. $1600. Available directly from the artist.

I’ll take a step forward and publicly feel what it would be like if an obituary had been written about me. However, before I do, I’d like to let you know that I have a goal of living to be 100! My grandmother was in her 90’s when she passed away, my goal is 100% humanly possible! So, I am in no way saying: Off I go!

Now for the rewrite, as if I had died:

It is with profound sadness we share that, following a short illness, our cherished Suzanne Gibbs, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends. She was an extremely devoted, sensitive, and tender person who reveled in spending time with her family and dearest friends. The inimitable artist who treasured the creative force within all of us was most at home while painting. She filled her soul when playing in nature—on hikes, especially among trees and on water or in water. Although her death represents a tremendous loss, we are grateful she had a long and well lived life.

Again, Toni Morrison, you will be missed and you will always be loved for the creative work you brought into this world. May you rest in peace.

Dear readers, I invite you to consider today what is most important to you—and go for it! There is so much sadness in the world and in our country, I send you love. When we are together, we will hug. Namasté

For inquiry about purchasing art on this post click here.

Art Show on the Boardwalk

A look at work I made for the Wings—Wind—Waves Port of Bandon Boardwalk Art Show. Show ends on September 18, 2019.

I decided to paint a kite boarder on the waves pretending to have wings (the kite in the wind)!

Full image! The holes are there to hang the work on the boardwalk fence.

 

Detail of wind.

 

Detail of water (waves) and sand.

 

Yes! I did paint a tiny person in the water.

Yes! It really IS this windy in Bandon Oregon! I am sitting on the boardwalk to take the picture. Come see the work!

Personal Artist Residency Program

Beginning on July 1, 2019 and continuing through either end of September or end of October I will be doing an “at home” self-directed artist residency.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Purple Lipped Confusion, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches.

The painting above represents the 5th painting in a new series. In order to approach galleries and art representation I need a series of at least 20 pieces.

A full and fully realized body of work is what it takes to “go pro.”

My goal is 30 paintings by October 31st.

During June I nearly finished 3 more in the series that have not been publicly shown, yet on social media or the internet. Here is the math:

30 paintings – 8 complete = 22
22 paintings / 3 months = 7+ per month
22 paintings / 4 months = 5.5 paintings per month

Each painting takes me from 40 to 80 hours to complete.

Possibly 3 to 4 months will not be enough time. Possibly I can step up production. As in any business or undertaking there is always a point at which one must fully commit to the endeavor and see what happens. See what is possible.

I am excited…
…and also a bit panicky.

I have the supplies ready to go for 27 paintings. Most are larger than 14 x 11 inches (the smallest size so far in this series).

A hint hint reminder: I have stickers available for sale—2 for $6 includes shipping. These will help offset a small portion of the supplies costs of this project. If these successfully sellout I will print a new batch from a new painting for August.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Detail of Purple Lipped Confusion with a sticker, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches. $2400