Category Archives: Art Practice

Gramps or a Parrot and a Pirate

At first I saw a grandpa-like figure. Today, I see a parrot on the shoulder of a pirate!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Grid Face Gramps, mixed media, 4 x 6 inches.

As an artist I work hard to make sure I understand the work I am making. That I am being true to my aesthetics and visual voice.

On days like today when my own work surprises me, I am reminded why I love the use of visual communication. The variations on interpretation are endless and enchanting.

If you’re an artist, do you think about how other people perceive and react to your work or do you just go along making work and more work… never considering the audience?

Maybe the only audience is YOU!

I believe that all of our decisions as visual communicators matter. To make work that matters, the details matter. Work is executed from the very first light bulb of an idea and fleshed out, often in series. The completion of the project is a series of important decisions. All of what happens in the studio matters. What we have to say as artists, at any level, matters.

Do’no

I do’no much about many things, but I do know a thing or two about art!

  1. I love being in my studio making.
  2. I love viewing art, especially the tough stuff that makes me think beyond my current visual thinking strategies.
  3. I love being in community with other artists.
Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Grid Face Do’no, mixed media, 4 x 6 inches.

Naturally, to keep the love flowing, I keep making art, I view art regularly as a part of my studio habits, and I make a huge effort to hang out with other artists in person.

Yep, my life in a nutshell!

Happy Monkey

Friday’s are a great day to think about how we can add creativity to our weekend. Bonus: in the USA we are heading into a 3-day weekend!

More chances for doing fun stuff with art supplies.

Or maybe, making art is your job and on weekends the creative well-spring gets filled with:

  • nature hikes
  • extra rest
  • a movie
  • a good book
  • a fire
  • tea and cookies
  • time spent with friends and loved ones
Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Grid Face Happy Monkey, mixed media, 4 x 6 inches.

Whatever you do, make your life count. Create the life you live. Nurture yourself. (I know I need to strengthen this muscle.) Making art to make a happy you. The monkey might be happy too!

Search for possibilities and potencial.

Smile at the silly happy monkey you see here—we’re smiling back! Sending you joy via art.

Enough reading now, go be a happy monkey!

Walking While Musing, Episode 11

Thoughts on art and life while I am out and about.

Enjoy Episode 11 of Walking While Musing by Suzanne. This episode may be my last ever Walking While Musing video blog. I have decided that 2019 is a year for me to get On Track with clearer business ventures. I also plan to learn to do less of trying to “do it all.”

I am very grateful to everyone who viewed these musings, posted comments, and commented privately. Thank you for letting me know that what I was doing mattered.

Luna and Zoie stand, umm sit… at attention waiting to see what I will do next in 2019!

I send you love, peace, and joy as you too focus on what matters most to you in 2019. May you create the creative life you wish to live. Should you desire some support in your creative work, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help.

Hugs. Enjoy and feel free to comment.

Walking While Musing Episode 10

Join me for a very short musing from just before the Holidays.

This was a time when the pressure of the end of the year approaching had me thinking about change. I was also beginning to feel a deep weariness settle into my body, but I was choosing to ignore my bodies messages.

My hope for others viewing this is that I become a reminder to listen and learn from yourself.

My musing videos include thoughts on art and life while I am out and about—usually on trails.

Episode 10 of Walking While Musing is very short as I begin to explore and figure out a way to explain a change in focus for my life and business. I am constantly looking for clarification on my journey as a creative and as someone who wishes to serve other creative individuals.

Please enjoy and feel free to comment. Also feel free to contact me if you wish to have a personalized one-on-one call with me to talk about changes you wish to make in your creative life.

More Sketchbook Sharing…

In 2018 I worked my butt off learning business aspects of being an entrepreneur. One such thing was creating work in my sketchbooks to share.

Being consistent and showing up with finished work (including process) is an excellent step towards professionalizing my artistic output.

Below please find 2 sketchbook videos I created in 2018. However, I neglected to add the work to my blog during the year. The sketchbook process work is integral to continued exploration of my personal themes and ideas.

With no further drum roll I bring you 2 sketchbooks where I share my process behind the work I make.

July 2018

August 2018


Visiting the Brooklyn Art Library

Late November 2018 I visited my own work in The Brooklyn Art Library.

In this video, I read a few pages from my illustrated journal: Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC.

I encourage anyone visiting NYC to visit The Brooklyn Art Library. This is a place to sit down, get quiet and fall into the hearts and creative beings that shared their small slice of humanity in a shared sketchbook.

I visited the library with a childhood friend.

We sat at the tables, reading book after book. We found ourselves in awe of the stories on the pages of the sketchbooks. The act of holding the art, reading and viewing page after page, felt like an act of intimacy with strangers. I thought to myself, where else could I sit and be this close to the stories of others? People sharing the most lovely stories or giving us a glimpse of their daily activity. As I turned the pages of different books, the work of young and old alike touched my heart.

I found work of artists that went beyond the given sketchbook. Many made new books with stronger watercolor paper or used cloth and stitching. Every book giving away details of the life of the human that created the work.

The Brooklyn Art Library is the perfect place to fall in love with the creative work of others.

I give The Brooklyn Art Library my full endorsement!

PS. The printed version of my sketchbook sold out. To view the digital version click here. Stay tuned in 2019 for more illustrated journals. I love making them—and sharing my work!

Too Much Travel

At some point in 2018 I signed up for Google Tracker. I don’t remember doing this, but I’m sure it was me. Then I get an e-mail telling me where I have been in the past month. My deep weariness (and also satisfaction and joy), that I couldn’t fully understand, became obvious with my alert from Google Tracker! Yes, my life has been full with a little too much travel!

Expanding my reach and deepening meaningful connections was a 2018 goal.

To reach the goal, I have traveled too much…let’s look at just one month.

In November I lived in and visited: Langlois, OR, Arcata, CA, Los Angeles Down Town Area (Broad Museum, LA Zoo, and LAX), Pasadena, CA, Lincoln City, OR, San Fransisco (airport only), New Jersey (airport, Trenton, Princeton, and my sister and parents house), New York (Museum of Natural History, Uptown, Downtown, and Brooklyn). I also travel to Coos Bay, OR, Bandon, OR, and Port Orford OR on a regular basis for meetings and errands—this is the price I pay to live in a remote area. Services are all more than 15 miles away.

And… drum roll…

I also moved! For nearly two years I lived in a temporary housing situation (moved 5 times) while my husband and I built a small house on a small lot on a lake in Oregon. So if you have wondered if I have made any new art or started writing my next book… you might think no never! Not possible!

My Year of Separation is Suzanne’s second book, published in 2018.

Even with moving and too much travel, I have been doing the work.

As much and as little as possible, while still getting much needed rest.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, No Words, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 10 x 10 inches, $300

As an entrepreneur and a creative worker I can never stop working. If I do, the income dries up instantly. I will say though, I would like to either not move, or travel less or both next year. Or not, because…there are already 5 trips on the books!

Travel = Fun + Adventure + Growth.

Travel also equals = Art and Book Sales plus Art Services for my business are all online!

Therefore, if you are interested in my work, then please by all means visit my art or books online and make a purchase. I can ship work immediately following the New Year! Not this week, not in time for Christmas…later!

Why later?

Travel! Of course! I will be in Montana with my immediate family (husband plus 2 adult boy children) through the holidays!

Enjoy the season and your family! And go ahead and keep me busy after the holidays with shipping art and books.

Also coming in 2019. Art services by Suzanne. If your creative journey is stuck in a rut, you can hire me for one-on-one video conferencing art practice services. More details to come! I honestly, cannot wait to help and be of service to artists around the globe!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Lost Voice, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 10 x 10 inches, $300

SketchKon 2018 Sketchbook

A video of my travel journal and illustrated notes from SketchKon 2018—An unconventional convention with artists and teachers from Sketchbook Skool.

© Suzanne Gibbs Art, SketchKon 2018 Sketchbook Page, Yellow T-shirt Boy + Travel Notes

Towards the beginning there are 2 pages that were created before the trip in preparation for the presentation I gave during the conference.

Video created and produced by Suzanne of Suzanne Gibbs Art ©2018. Follow Suzanne on YouTube here.

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs Art, SketchKon 2018 Illustrated Notes Sketchbook Page, Panel discussion on travel sketchbooks.

Art Mastermind Workshop

In early October 2018, I traveled to Golden Colorado to go to an Art Mastermind Workshop.

The reason for the trip was to gain clarity on the future of my work as an artist. The focus of the art mastermind workshop was primarily on business practices artists can use to sell more art. A lucky few walked away with 6 month master-plans for their business. This did not happen for me. Something bigger happened.

Pluses from the art mastermind sessions.

  1. A room full of motivated artists learning from one another and sharing business success practices.
  2. Alyson B. Stanfield and Cynthia Morris—2 dynamic coaches that really want the best for their clients.
  3. Learning how much I had to share with others + how passionate I am about the success of other artists’ careers.
  4. The evening events were fun! See picture below from a boutique shopping party.

© Suzanne Gibbs trying on a pink viking knit hat.

Minuses from the overall experience.

  1. Two days of art mastermind workshop material felt really short for the amount of travel time I took to be there (2 flights plus 2, 4-hour car rides). I might have liked another 1/2 day morning session.
  2. I felt uncomfortable emotions while listening to other artists. Particularly when hearing how other artists sabotage themselves.
  3. My workshop takeaway came to me a few days after the event.

As I was preparing for the art workshop my intent was to listen, observe, and gather as much information from as many people as possible. Thinking I’d be the silent one, with little to add to the discussion, I was wrong.

The art mastermind workshop was a magic room. I learned how passionate I am about helping others to succeed in their art practices and business.

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs, notebooks of daily writing from January – October 2018.

I would have thought that my passion would be obvious to myself after 30+ years of teaching art to people of all ages. Instead, I had to learn this through how stuck I felt attempting to focus on things I thought I was supposed to do. Things like approaching galleries and other venues to show my work, or planning open studios or art and craft festival participation in 2019. Ugh, no! Sure, I want to show and share my work. I am generous! I do not make my work for my eyes alone. But I have never ever been excited about hustling to get my work in public. Not ever! I have had shows, oh yes! The best ones were when I was approached to show my work, not when I did the approaching.

I am getting off track here.

I enthusiastically endorse the Art Mastermind Workshop retreats with Alyson. You may walk away with a new 6 month focus, or like me, you may walk away with a new business plan all together. Either way, do the work and you will see results when you put yourself in a room to study art business practices with 20+ motivated and ambitious artists.

Thank you Alyson B. Stanfield!