Category Archives: Painting

March Madness

March seems to be a month where I GO ALL OUT!

Five years ago, in 2014 I had a month-long art sale. I called it March Madness. Nearly 100 pieces of my work went all over the USA—including Alaska and the east coast. This was the year post-graduate school and I have tons of art needing homes. Gratefully, many people where excited to own the work.

Encaustic, string, buttons, men’s shirt pieces, medallion on panel, 6.5 x 7.5 SOLD

Four years ago, in 2015 I made postcards for 30 people in 30 days in March.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2015, Fixie Bike, watercolor on postcard, Card shipped to Boston.

Three years ago, in 2016 I did the postcards gig a second time, and generated many more takers than the first year. 45 original art cards made and mailed.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2016, Spring Peeper, watercolor on postcard, Card shipped to Hopewell, NJ

Two years ago, in 2017 I was working for another artist making huge sculptures out of marine debris in an artists residency that lasted a year instead of a month.

Working with garbage necessitated a mask! Behind me is a huge whale tail in process.

Last year, in 2018 I published my second book at the end of February and shipped all the copies I printed in March.

Image of the cover of My Year of Separation, I have a few copies left for sale.

What will March 2019 bring? I am totally unsure! There will be a March Madness game to watch on TV, and as always, I will be making more art.

Why Walking While Musing

…and why has the series been ended already?

Image of ferns on trail to lake.

My Walking While Musing videos have temporarily or forever ended, because they served their purpose. Now it is time for me to move on. I made them while I was in a state of transition. My studio space at the time was a 2 x 4 foot table that was also where I ate, wrote, and did anything else that required a table. I lived in a space of 11 x 12 feet with a bathroom.

The musings were a form of artistic expression, but also a form of redirecting my visual voice.

I’ve had viewers, fans, and readers asking me: What’s up with these musings?

I’d rather entice you to watch, but, well… instead, now is the time to explain.

I made my Walking While Musing video episodes for three reasons.

  1. My weekly hikes feed my body, mind, and spirit giving me the energy and stamina to create art. I do not exactly get “inspired” by my nature walks, but the time spent outdoors makes me feel better both physically and emotionally.
  2. While I am in nature, I pay close attention to detail. In nature I see all her flaws and imperfections as absolutely right and perfect. A broken tree is flawless. A cloudy sky will not last forever. Soggy ground is muddled. This translates into my work. I am not a precise painter. Spontaneity, mishaps, and even mistakes make me happy.
  3. The musings in nature also serve a bigger purpose, my studio time often follows the walks. Going forward, instead of taking you outside on my walks, am excited to figure out a way to invite you into my studio world and process.

Stay turned, for a look inside the world of my imagination inside my new tiny studio.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, #9, Mixed Media, varied sizes, NFS

Accepting commissions for personalized watercolor grid paintings. Let’s get the conversation started here.

Reason To Draw

Do you need a reason to draw?

Have you set in motion a resolution to draw more, make more art, write more, get better at painting or some other creative journey?

We are in the time of year for resolutions.

For some the resolution is loose weight, or make more money, or find a new job. In the circles I travel in, many people want to up their art practice, they want to draw better, or build on a skill that could make a difference in the art they make. This is all great. But I am also noticing that some people feel like there is a noose around their neck forcing them to think that they must draw and create or else they are not an artist. Or worse, not a worthy human being.

The best reason to draw is because you want to. You have something to say that is best expressed in ink and paint.

Still, you’re stuck. I can relate. Even if I used all my art supplies all year long, I might still have some supplies left over in 2020. Except sketchbooks!

Suzanne Gibbs ©2018, Face Detail, sketchbook page.

Last year when this happened to me—feeling stuck, blue, wanting to give up my creative practice—I simply decided to fill one sketchbook as messy as possible in one month. An anything goes mess. Some days I did nothing. Other days I furiously filled many pages. Then, at some point I began to draw over and even paint over previous days work. Essentially censoring myself or obliterating whatever it was I had to say.

Interestingly when I shared the work on-line the comments I got were that I am not at all messy! This was not what I expected, at all.

What I learned from the experience (I did several months in a row like this) was that I had some pent up emotions that needed a place to land. I used a lot of Stabilo woody crayons (child-like), collage (cutting up and putting things back together), and black or blue paint (moody).

The point is: I showed up as me to fill the pages.

I did not get all hung up in my head about who I think I should be as an artist. I did not project the idea of perfection in my voice. That monkey brain tried to tell me that I was wasting my time. I was simply keeping a promise to myself: fill a sketchbook as messy as possible in one month.

Of course some days I felt like I was wasting my time, I did the work anyway.

Now my sketchbooks are getting more “pretty” again. More focused and more drawing practice. Fine, this is good for now. And I will be OK with that time when I need to get moody and messy on the page again.

Give yourself permission to scribble like a child would, it is ok!

And if I haven’t sparked your desire to draw, maybe this article will!

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

Thanks for reading, and please share your work with me! Anytime, anywhere.

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


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!
Suzanne

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!

Prioritizing

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.