Please enjoy this very brief introduction to a new series of work I am diligently pursuing these days.
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.
Every month I meet with other artists and creative types to draw and sketch together in sketchbooks. Sometimes I do this in a neighboring town, my home town, and even while traveling!
Join me at 2:30 on Monday, May 13 in Langlois Oregon at the Langlois Public Library!
Bring paper, a drawing tool and a desire to sketch for fun in community!
Bonus: I had out coupons for discounts at Sketchbok Skool at these live events!
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.
I have been thinking about how I can best share with you about how I live a curiously creative life—most especially in respect to visual voice.
My entire life has been about creating connection with others, typically through my creative pursuits. I use my unique visual voice to create, inform, delight, teach, and coax curiosity in others. I share of myself generously with all kinds of people because this really matters to me.
- Business Owners
- Real Estate Professionals
- Doctors and Dentists
- Cafe and Shop Owners
- Market staff (I did a lot of grocery shopping while raising two boys)
- Post Office Service Clerk(s)
- …and so on.
Each of the people most dear to me in my life seem to choose to live outside of a ho hum ordinary existence. The thread that I see is creativity and curiosity. Not the “draw a straight line” creatives! No, what I mean is the people that do what they love, and find meaning in menial or even repetitive work.
People that do their jobs with joy are endlessly curious about how to do things differently and more collaboratively.
I live my curiously creative life by constantly asking questions. I add play into every week—usually outside or in my sketchbooks. Laughing and crying become fodder for innovation in my work. On a good day, I know that what I feel and think matters.
I want my art to help others to see the world differently— I whimsically initiate curiosity.
I start with a million questions.
Every single day I write in my journal to capture barely awake before coffee musings. I ask myself questions over and over again. What is it I wish the world to know? What matters to me so much but I am afraid to tell anyone?
How do I want to brighten the existence of other humans through my creative voice?
When did I first realize I have a unique vision of the world? Have I realized my unique vision and voice yet?
How can I best help myself to express my most prized and dearly held ideas, innovations, love and angst?
I pursued a graduate degree in both communication and fine art, that’s how much the idea of sharing my gifts with the world matters to me—4 years in classrooms and library study + studio time beyond college.
Visual voice matters to me.
In my lifetime, my dream is that I can bring about positive change through my and our collective voices. The world is full of too much information these days (and not all of it is positive or helpful). I can post on social media like crazy and reach no one at all or millions of people!
It makes sense to me to know my deepest core values and artistic voice so that I am getting heard for what matters most. The rest is useless extra noise.
A curiously creative life takes daily effort.
My new work is challenging me to dig deeper into my artistic visual voice. Below is the first of a new series of work.
I took a slightly different approach this month with my Art-O-Mat art blocks project. Typically, I begin with drawing and then add paint. Sometimes I use collage and drawing + paint. This time I began with paint—used expressively. Once it dried I added drawing on top of the paint.
I never know where my work will go or how fast it will sell when I ship the work to Art-O-Mat.
What’s important to me is that people can get a pocket sized piece of my art for $5! This is really a hoot! Be sure to watch the video at the bottom of this post from the owner of Art-O-Mat talking about how he began this project of art for all budgets!
Trivia: Did you know that at any given time Art-O-Mat is distributing the work of 300 artists!
So many times I have shown my work to you as a carefully cropped images with no context of how the work might look in a space.
Today I want to change that.
This work is available for sale. Although, I must add, my husband would say, “Hey! what happened to that art I like?” if you actually purchased the work!
Ummm, what pieces?!? I’d say…
As you can imagine, this is a regular conversation! 😉
Questions? Comments? Desire for unframed art? Please use this form to get in touch with me, thank you.
Recently I had to move out of my studio. While doing so I found two sketchbooks that I had started, but never finished. Determined to not let the pages go to waste, I began filling the back half of the sketchbook(s). Shared here is one of the two books.
In the beginning I found that a few pages were not as complete as I wished so I went ahead and drew on top of what I had created in 2017 and then also moved forward and filled the book.
Filling an older book is not nearly as much fun as taking out a new book to fill and imagine the rules and possibilities for the pages. However, I did find that by following through on the idea of filling what had not been filled I was forced to look back at my work. With that came some self evaluation. A good step in a solid studio practice.
The pages did get filled, but the more important part was the lesson I taught myself.
Primarily, I kept a promise to myself—I filled the pages.
Keeping promises can be tough when there is no boss, no one clamoring for the work, and what I promised to myself felt dull once I started. Still, I did the work. So, without further explanation I bring to you my March 2019 plus previous work from 2017, sketchbook page turner!
As always, if you like the work and even if you don’t feel free to comment. Let’s have a dialogue about keeping studio promises!
Yesterday, on April 4, 2019 I dropped off 3 pieces of art for a local hospital art show.
“Dogs, Cats, and Other Pets With Their People or Without.”
I thought this was a cleaver show theme. I thought I had zero work to enter this show. Then I took a look through my inventory and interpreted the theme my way!
The art I submitted is shown below.
Honestly! Who says grasshoppers can’t be pets! I used to catch them when I was young. I also used to catch snails and spiders! For the snails I’d set up races and see who would win on an imaginary race track.
I am free to sell these works, and they can be shipped as soon as the show closes. Please contact me here if you are interested. I am willing to consider a bundle price for all three!
Opening is Sunday, April 6, 2019 from 1:00 – 3:00 at the Southern Coos Hospital in Bandon, Oregon.
Final show date is Saturday June 29, 2019.