Category Archives: Painting

The Other Art Fair!

Recently I received fantastic news in my in box about a recent sketchbook project I completed! I am excited to share the news here with you today.

My sketchbook went to The Other Art Fair!

Yea! Scream! Do the Happy Dance!!! read below to learn more.

Inside cover of Come Along With Me, ©2019, A sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, NY

The content of the email:

Just a quick note to let you know that your book was one of only a few hundred books that went to a special exhibition at The Other Art Fair in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Your book was in our Bookmobile at the Brooklyn Expo Center for thousands of artists and visitors to enjoy! Thanks for helping us inspire a creative community!

Please note, this tour stop used our Analog Search system. This is your notification that your book was part of this special program.

Sketch ya later,
The Sketchbook Project Crew

I feel so incredibly honored to have had work in such a respected art fair!

The Other Art Fair is a large format venue for emerging artists to sell their work. I never dreamed my work would go there without me! But it did!

A page from Come Along With Me, ©2019, A sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, NY

Then, the more I though about this wonderful news I realized: Serendipity! My eldest son graduated from high school and I had work in the largest show I have ever been a part of—all in the same week!

I know I already said this and I’m thrilled, my sketchbook went to The Other Art Fair!

Back inside cover from Come Along With Me, ©2019, A sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn, NY

Warm Mossy Green

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.

Sample of Lichen and the paint color “from the jar.”

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. 🙁

Ever so close…

I tried adding red for “warmth” but this led to a muddy green and not what I wanted. Drats! See below.

Muddy warm green.

…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!

Mixed batch of warm mossy green.

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!

I did it!!!

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.

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

Nothing To Say

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.

My morning view

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.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2019, Nothing To Say Series, Tea Cup Brow, flashe paint, ink, gouache, collage on paper, 5 x 7, $200

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.

Work in progress.

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.

Zipper study.

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!

Sampling of brushes. The smallest ones are 0 size, the largest are a 6 flat.

I add details over the flat surfaces of paint. I have skipped discussing my color choices in this blog post for brevity sake.

Zipper detail.
Eye and nose detail.

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.

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

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.

Security envelope detritus.

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.

Art-O-Mat Blocks, Set 3 2019

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!

Brief video of my latest set of art blocks.

Trivia: Did you know that at any given time Art-O-Mat is distributing the work of 300 artists!

©2019, Suzanne Gibbs, Face Block, art for Art-O-Mat. For sale only in select Art-O-Mat machines around the world.

Retired cigarette vending machines are refurbished to vend original art, creating the unusual and clever Art-o-mat® – Don't Go 'Round Artless!

Posted by UNC-TV on Monday, April 22, 2019

Art In Context

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.

A sample of three of my pieces in our home on a shelf above our couch.

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! 😉

©2016, Health School Tales, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, 12 x 12 inches framed, $185
©2016, NEW, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, 12 x 12 inches framed, $185.
©2016, Touch, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, 12 x 12 inches framed, $185.
Art Title

Questions? Comments? Desire for unframed art? Please use this form to get in touch with me, thank you.

Art for the local hospital.

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.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Development Perfect, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $185
Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Self-Care Free, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $185
Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Alive! LOOK, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $185

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.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Alive! LOOK, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $185 Framed.

Final show date is Saturday June 29, 2019.

March 2019, Art-O-Mat Project

Typically I would wait a few months before I make a second set of art for Art-O-Mat but this time I worked on two sets of 50 small art pieces back to back. One set was completed in February and a second set, shown here, in March.

Often, Art-O-Mat is on back-order for sending new blocks to artists. Like myself, they are a small company making a difference nationwide in their own special way. Our common denominator is that we wish to reach a wide audience of people wanting original art. Said another way, not all art needs to be sold expensively and expressly for people with large amounts of disposable income.

With these blocks selling at $5 each in vending machines across the United States, they genuinely are art for all.

To view previous posts about Art-O-Mat look here, here and here.