Category Archives: Building Community

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.

Raw Unedited Unscripted Studio Visit Via Video

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!

©2019, Detail from one of the paintings in the Say Nothing series.

Sketch With Me!

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!

Curiously Creative Life

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.

  • Family
  • Friends
  • Business Owners
  • Contractors
  • Artists
  • Real Estate Professionals
  • Doctors and Dentists
  • Landlords
  • 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.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Doodle Art Blocks for Art-O-Mat, series of 100, process image

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.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Tea Cup Face, flashe paint and posca pen on cradled wooden panel, 14 x 11 inches, $450

Mini-Art Book

The following video is made for you. Contemplate whether you have room in your life for your creativity and visual voice.

In February, a friend sent me a handmade mini-book. In return, I made one for him. Then I filmed the pages before I sent the work.

I believe that sharing and gratitude creates joy!

Sharing a Suzanne Gibbs original Mini-Book here, brings me joy. I believe that we can live our best life when we open up to our creativity no matter how small the project, no matter how trivial that work might seem.

In my studio practice, I hope to always have room for even the tiniest of projects, because little sparks of joy make room for larger good work.

To share your gratitude, click on over to YouTube and hit like!

February 2019, Art-O-Mat Project

Every few months I create art for Art-O-Mat. Why? Because the art is sold for a mere $5! This allows people who would normally not purchase original art a chance to own an original Suzanne Gibbs piece. And for those that do often purchase original art, a bargain piece for their collection.

Here is a look into my process for making 50 art blocks.

An insiders look at the process I use to create art blocks for the Art-O-Mat project.

This project is also known as Artists In Cellophane. This time I created 50 blocks with drawings on both sides.

For more on this project view these previous posts here and here.

Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project

This video is a page by page view and reading of my January 2019 Sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, New York City.

Using found materials and collage I tell a story of creating love.

The Brooklyn Art Library hosts thousands of sketchbook made by artists from around the world. This sketchbook is my third and possibly final submission to the project.

Walking While Musing, Episode 9

Continuation of my series of video while walking. Enjoy Episode 9!

Thoughts on art and life while I am out and about. Enjoy Episode 9 of Walking While Musing by Suzanne. This musing explains the thoughts behind this musings series. Please enjoy and feel free to comment.

I would be really excited for some (I need 100) subscribers! I’d love to name my own channel, and these are YouTube’s rules! Thank you in advance for your support!

Walking While Musing, Episode 8

I wanted to quiet down, live slower in this episode.

My videos focus on thoughts on art and life while I am out and about. Enjoy Episode 8 of Musings While Walking by Suzanne. This musing focuses on being quiet and sitting to rest. I filmed it in October of 2018. Releasing the video in December seems even more appropriate with short days and the busy holiday season.

I never did slow down after I filmed this, and as a result I am writing this blog post bundled in blankets with a large box of Kleenex next to me. Nursing a cold in the cold of Montana.