For the first time I sat down in front of my work—as yet unfinished—and I talked about the work. Unscripted. Unplanned. Raw and real words about the series of work I am calling: Say Nothing. I present my work here as a prelude to a hatching Patreon page later in 2019.
I am a little worried as I share this that I am not the right person to start the conversation, but I feel compelled to do so. In a few weeks time I will keep sharing stories of why I am doing this, and I also hope to bring you the stories of other women.
Would you like to share your story of unpaid labor and the difference it made to the people you care about? Contact me, I’d love to chat!
I have been a part of the sketchbook skool community since 2014! What an honor to be interviewed for a student spotlight recently! Thank you SBS for ALL you do to help others to nurture their creativity. (more…)
Lichen is a warm mossy green in our area! 😉 One of the ways lichens directly benefit humans is through their ability to absorb everything in their atmosphere, especially pollutants. This alone is reason enough for me to use the beautiful color of warm mossy green.
Initially this color was available in a premixed form from my paint supplier, Lefranc & Bourgeois, Flashe Vinyl Paint—they called the color lime green. Then the unthinkable happened! They discontinued the color!
Not one to give up on a favorite color. I had decided I must mix the color and make small batches of paint on my own.
A bit of further research on Lichen and I find that another term for it is: witch’s hair. Now I am even more intrigued and excited to use this color in my work! Witch’s Hair has long been used by Northwest Natives as a source of fiber, for example as diapers and bandages. It was used on dance masks as false hair, and ponchos too! And of course I’d like to conjure up witches and pollutant eating lichen in my work!
So I get to mixing, and mixing. Four hours of work in all! And I get oh, so close! But not exact enough for me! The color I got was cooler and I wanted the warm undertones! See below. 🙁
I tried adding red for “warmth” but this led to a muddy green and not what I wanted. Drats! See below.
…and some more trivia for you… Did you know that lichen is a complex life form that is a symbiotic partnership of two separate organisms, a fungus and an alga. The dominant partner is the fungus! Whoot!
Such a fun color! Yea, for lichen!
Starting over with a warm yellow and a warmer blue I try again. And this time I am able to reach the beautiful color I am so enamored with!
And finally, below is one of many paintings I will be creating using this fabulous color! I know that Living Coral 16-1546 is the color of the year for 2019! But, Warm Mossy Green has won my heart.
This video is a page turner video of the May 2019 Sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs. This month I focused on drawing people in public places.
I wonder who will comment or see the fly that flew by to take a look while I was filming! 🙂
A shout out to Sketchbook Skool for developing an online course called People Drawing People. The class was great and filmed in ways I have not seen anywhere else online. I was 100% inspired by the lessons in this course.
Please note: I do not get any kickbacks or money for giving a great company a shout out! I am simply sharing gratitude.
Since January of this year I have been working on a new body of work. The working title for this series is: Nothing To Say.
The work is challenging me in new ways. Instead of painting spontaneously and with great emotion, I am slowing down. Creating tons of drawings in my sketchbook leads to many more ideas than I could ever execute. Spending at least a half hour early every morning morning—before coffee, before the sun wakes up—writing in a notebook I sift out and capture what I wish to say visually.
I began the year thinking I had nothing to say. A day at a time my thinking has changed.
Below is a video of one of many full sketchbook of faces and character studies.
Each larger painting begins with a fully realized smaller study. Using collage, I cut up security envelopes and assemble them into abstract faces. This satisfies my fascination of how we use pattern to obliterate information.
After sizing up the study to fit the new format on a cradled wood panel of 14 x 11 inches, I begin to lay down the paint on the new larger size.
Seeing the work larger has me thinking of so many new ideas. I now have more visual problems to solve, based on what I want the painting to communicate.
I am finding that I do have something to say!
Somehow the idea of a zipped mouth came to me. Maybe during a brisk cold morning walk? Anyways, once the idea came I knew that the execution needed to be flawless. The paint I use and the message I want to communicate has no room for “do overs” or layering of paint to make it right. I want the work to BE just so and correct on my first try. This required drawing studies of zippers, over and over again.
When the pieces are fully complete, I include a great deal of detail on every piece. With that comes the need for just the right sized brush!
I add details over the flat surfaces of paint. I have skipped discussing my color choices in this blog post for brevity sake.
The final work made me feel really excited about this new direction. I have since completed 4 more pieces that I will unveil soon. And this morning I began a sixth in the series.
In Nothing To Say, I have combined faces or characters, household objects, and flat areas of color juxtaposed with painted patterns. The deliberate creation of detailed patterns represent repetitive labor that goes under-appreciated and often unpaid.
My inspiration came from the insides of security envelopes—a product made as protection for the contents within. However, in actuality they obliterate the message, and usually the contents are related to financial affairs.
The zipped mouth alludes to the unheard voices of the unnoticed many. And, once again, I am finding I do have something to say.