Category Archives: Painting

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 2

While I was at SketchKon I drew often and made illustrated notes of the presentations, panels, and workshops that I took.

SketchKon 2018 was an Unconventional convention with artists and teachers from Sketchbook Skool as well as sketchbook artists from around the world.

©2018, Suzanne Gibbs Art, Page from SketchKon 2018 Sketchbook.

I ran out of paper in my first sketchbook, so I started a second one during the conference. Upon returning from this trip I sat down to add color to a few pages in this second sketch book. Then I made a video flip through. I hope that if you have any questions or comments that you feel free to contact me.


Thanks for viewing! If you like my work hit like in YouTube or Subscribe for new content added regularly.

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs Art, SketchKon 2018 Sketchbook Page, Airline delay doodle pattern.

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs, SketchKon 2018 Illustrated Notes Sketchbook Page, Art Talk

Navigating Art Business Coaching

I recently received this email from an artist whom I met on line:

Hi Suzanne,

I’m writing to ask you about the Inner Circle art business coaching program that Alyson B. Stanfield runs.

I’ve been going back and forth about it since last year. What’s been stopping me is that it’s a lot of money for me at the moment. I think what we get out of these courses and the coaching depends on what we put into it, and also where we are in our businesses. You’re the only one I speak to who’s in the program, so I figured I’d get your perspective. Can you tell me if, from your point of view, you got any financial return from it?

Thanks for your time!

With gratitude, An Artist (name withheld for privacy)

Hi Dear Artist Friend!

You caught me online this morning! I am excited to respond.

In answer to your question, yes!

As you stated already—you must take responsibility for your own career and do the work!

The support of coaching and peer feedback is great. Please note you initiate all your own work—no one will tell you what to do. Alyson teaches a business framework from which you can support your career as an artist. I believe most artists in her programs do increase sales potential. In her program you will receive suggestions and regular feedback. You will be asked questions that you may not have thought to ask yourself. These questions will lead to new insight when you take the time to write and reflect + try new things.

You’ll need to be open to doing stuff even when your first reaction is… ah, NO!

Artists become more successful when they tightly focus their work and visual voice. This is work I love to do, and I am currently exploring ways to make this my business focus.

You’ll get much more out of the program if you show up to the monthly group meetings with Alyson and your peers in the group. Make sure to prepare ahead and ask questions. Then also listen to other artists questions in the live format of video conferencing. In the IC, you may possibly learn more from each other than from the actual coaching. These group meetings are terrific! However, if you do need to miss them, for whatever reason, there are taped versions of the meetings. The taped versions are perfect for the times when you really do have a conflict and the other work is priority. I might add, if you have a regular day job, the live meetings might be harder to incorporate into your schedule. You’ll need to decide if you will feel comfortable watching or listening to group meetings after they have been recorded or will you possibly feel as though you’ve missed out.

If you have never worked with a coach before, then you should know that there will be times when you feel like a shredded Bansky painting or a wilting flower in need of love, water and sunshine.

This is normal! When this happens, remember to reach out for help. The coaching team and your peers will be there to lend support and encouragement. If you are always needy and reaching out for help, then it is time to ask yourself two things: do I really want to be a visual artist and am I taking full responsibility for my own future as an art business owner and entrepreneur?

I am not sure how many of Alyson’s classes or workshops you have taken. Take a look back at them. The classes or ideas within classes that you may have resisted, might be the stuff you need to focus on. The Inner Circle (IC) can be a good place to get support for these sticky issues. I suggest this research as a starting place for your exploration about deciding whether to join the Inner Circle or not.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2015, Dorky Doodle Femme Fatal. Paper, Ink. 14 x 11 inches. $195

A few final notes.

  1. Alyson’s website has a huge library that Inner Circle members may access at anytime during the program. The information in the library is vast. I think Alyson could sell membership programs to her library because there is so much good juicy stuff!
  2. If the program creates a financial hardship, then I’d say, wait and save your money. Jpoin when you’ve saved the funds. You will be learning things that will require further financial outlay during the program. Being frustrated about money will not lead to excellent results.
  3. Alyson’s programs are best suited to fine artists, not illustrators or other types of creative work.
  4. Creating fine art for sale and teaching art are two different businesses. Many artists run both types of businesses as a means to self support and as a passion for what they do. When embarking on the path of joining the Inner Circle, it may be helpful to focus on one side of an art business. Not both in the same year. It is too much work to grow both an art business and a teaching business at the same time and do the work well.
  5. Many artists repeat the Inner Circle program for more than one year. The first year being the foundational year of building sustainable art business systems. The second or third years as business and income growth years. I am not suggesting that you will not see increased sales in your first year, but many see better results in repeat years (as told to me by other artists, I have only completed one year).

When, and if, you decide to join the IC, I recommend that you spend a massive amount of time on the intake paperwork and goal setting part in December and early January. The prep work you do will become your map for the year (the IC year is January–October). You are the guide to your own growth, the IC community is the support structure.

I hope this helps!

This post is my personal response and opinion about the Inner Circle program created by Art Biz Success and is not endorsed or affiliated to Alyson B. Stanfield’s work.

October 2018 Sketchbook

Suzanne Gibbs Art October 2018 Sketchbook is ready!

Each month I fill a sketchbook and share it here on my blog via video. Below you can find my October 2018 sketchbook. Comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions are always welcome!

My sketchbooks are made for ME, and generously shared with you!

This month I found I barely had any drawing in me and only a little bit of painting. Instead writing filled my pages. The important thing was that I showed up for myself. By doing this my creative spirit knows it can trust me. I believe soon, my drawing and painting will come back. I am patient with my creativity. Are you?

I invite you to make your sketchbook pages 100% personal!


Prioritize and do less, better.

First, take a sheet of paper and write down at least 10 things you really want to do or make.

Go ahead, leave this post. Come back when you have your list. Or stare at the beautiful plan doing what it does best. Growing and showing off in fall with reads!

©2018 Suzanne Gibbs, fall bush, iPhone photography.

Hi! Do you have your list? Now we do the prioritizing!

I am sharing a nifty chart with you that does the work for you! What? Yes! Really!

Check it out!

Here is the link to the chart. Don’t worry, it will open in a new tab so that you can come back over here when you’re finished. Fill the chart in with your ten items. Have fun. Use the instructions on the page. Then come back and comment: how was this experience for you?

A few things I have learned from using this tool.

You get out of it what you put into it. If you put information in the chart that you really never wanted in the first place you are wasting your time. If you use the chart with stuff you really love and want to do or make this chart can help you prioritize. Once you prioritize you can know what to start with first!

Why prioritize?

  1. Doing everything means doing nothing at all.
  2. Doing less means more success.
  3. Doing what you love, people will feel your energy and enthusiasm and gravitate towards you.

I could write more, but I like you will prioritize today. Less is more. Doing what matters, matters most.

If I have helped one artist to know without a doubt what project is best to work on next, I am 100% satisfied with this blog post.

Artists “See” Naturally

I recently saw a social media post about wood. In particular the patterns of wood at the cellular level magnified a gazillion times. The images instantly made me think of the work of other artists and even my own work.

As artists, and the way we painstakingly pay attention to detail, do we “see” naturally, what scientist study through a microscope?

Below is the link and images to the study of wood at the cellular structure.

The Mesmerizing Microscopy of Trees: Otherworldly Images Revealing the Cellular Structure of Wood Specimens

The work that I have made that “feels” similar in visual content to the tree cellular structure pictured above is pictured below.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, A Big Event. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Black Ops Zero. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Line and Dot. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Stadium Arousal 2. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, City Blocks. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Heap O’. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Heap O’. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Stadium Arousal 5. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $175

These works are all available, please email to inquire about purchasing. Thank you.

Feminism + Art

I believe in feminism for these reasons. Equality. Equal chance. Equal notoriety. The vote. The possibilities. We are all people.

The conversation about women’s rights started a long time ago, and has yet to find resolution.

I am a feminist, but I do not wear the label on my sleeve. Labels in general are divisive. I believe in understanding and listening + honoring other peoples choices. So long as what others are doing are not oppressive or dismissive of the rights of others.

Obviously, my utopian world is a long way off.

This month I had the pleasure of listening to a podcast of one of art history’s feminist greats. I am happy to share it with you.

Linda Nochlin Explores the Role of Women in the Arts in a Previously Unaired Interview

Women have participated in making art since the beginning of time. Yet, their participation in the art world has been blocked. Linda Nochlin has some wonderful thoughts on this topic.

When this podcast come in my email I set myself up to make art and listened intently. I invite you to get yourself set up to make art, then hit play and listen while making. Enjoy! If you have thoughts or ideas, please comment or write me a message.

Since sharing is what I do, please enjoy viewing my art below.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2015, Dorky Doodle Wind-Me-Up. Paper, Ink. 14 x 11 inches. $195

As a female artist, am not a pawn in a game. I am human. You cannot wind me up, because I make my own life. Plus, I can draw how I feel.

I’d also love to share a painting I made 8 years ago. At the time I was exploring the idea of the female form in grids and behind “bars” or structures. In my mind, the grids both hold us up and hold us back.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2010, Girl in Garden, oil, 48 x 24. SOLD

Walking While Musing, Episode 5

In this episode of walking while musing the wind almost got the better of me.

I am sharing the content anyway because the message is poignant.

Please turn down the sound on your device. I published this video at 18% of the volume of sound that I captured, but it is still very loud! Try to imagine wind at 100% volume and speed—that is what I was experiencing while balanced on top of a fallen log at the top of a sand dune and rotating 360° while talking and filming.

Like me, I invite you to use the wind to let go of past pain and hurt, and/or allow the difficulty of change to blow through you.

Please enjoy the following painting with curiosity and contemplation calmly after the storm of the video.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Double Meaning, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 14 x 11 inches, $375

May you go into nature to heal. Breathe. Namaste.

Walking While Musing, Episode 4

This walking (sitting) while musing video focuses on the search for a path.

The constant search for a path in life, art, relationships, and more is explored while I sit on a log in this video. For many years now my exploration for a best path as an artist has been relentless. Thankfully, nature gives me pause and room to breathe.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Terrible, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 14 x 11 inches, $375

Through these walking musings I will eventually learn to explain what the words unrestrained containment mean to me as the underlying concept in my work. You’ll see and hear in this video that discussing the meaning of unrestrained containment is currently very difficult for me. In time, I suspect more words will be available to explain my ideas, for now I will allow my art to do the communication of ideas.

Instead of walking, I am sitting in this video. Nature is my muse. Enjoy the video.


Continue to give yourself the space for contemplation and curiosity. Breathe. Namaste.

Art-O-Mat Doodle Character—Second Set of 100

I make 100 pieces of art for Art-O-Mat about twice per year.

This blog post is dedicated to showing you my process of making Art-O-Mat Art, my second Set of 100 doodle characters for 2018.

As soon as the blocks arrive, I open the box, dump them out and line them up for paint on 5 sides. This initial step is the groundwork for the fun part of the project.

The fun process starts with paper and watercolor or gouache, I paint the bodies on heavy paper. Working intuitively and trusting that I will be able to fit “bodies” onto the limbs in the form of clothing that I collage over the stick figures. I always make about 20% more than I need so that I have room for error and do not have to come back to this step.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Dorky Doodle Darling for Art-O-Mat. 100 drawings on wood blocks made with flashe paint, ink, watercolor, PVA adhesive, and paper.

Collecting and ripping up tons of security envelopes that I have saved to be repurposed in this project is a job I can do while talking to my husband. These small pieces of patterned paper will become clothing.

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

Gluing the “outfits” onto the limbs is so much fun because at this stage the character that they will become begins to be obvious to me.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Dorky Doodle Darling for Art-O-Mat. 100 drawings on wood blocks made with flashe paint, ink, watercolor, PVA adhesive, and paper.

Once they all have clothes on, I cut the heavy paper in half and stack them up for the next step.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Dorky Doodle Darling for Art-O-Mat. 100 drawings on wood blocks made with flashe paint, ink, watercolor, PVA adhesive, and paper.

The faces! The mouths are the most fun, so I started with them. I forgot to take process pictures of the rest of the embellishments I do. I think this is mostly because I have to concentrate to add precisely the right details to keep the characters fun, but to also give them a story of depth beyond the stick figure they started out as.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Dorky Doodle Darling for Art-O-Mat. 100 drawings on wood blocks made with flashe paint, ink, watercolor, PVA adhesive, and paper.

Once I am happy with all of the further drawing and details, then each card is glued to a block with PVA adhesive (a type of archival adhesive used in book binding). I stacked them with additional paper between each one while they dried to make sure the front images stayed clean and unmarred.

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

After I cut around the edges and clean them up, each block gets a word on the bottom side of the block. Often the word matched the character, or at least in my mind and imagination the word makes sense!

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

Once they are dry and checked for quality, I ship them off, back to Art-O-Mat for distribution.

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

This little character stayed home with me, I simply could not part with the adorable expression.

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

From my previous batch of doodle characters, 10 were sold at The Smithsonian in Washington DC! The rest were sold in different places in batches of 10 or 20. I find it very exciting that my art gets to go all over the world!

Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Image of SOLD location of a Doodle block.

Art-O-Mat Doodle Character Art, Second Set of 100 is finished!