Category Archives: Painting

Venturing Out

For those of you following my journey, you’ll know that in late June I embarked on a personally created artist residency (typically artist residencies are about going somewhere else to make art in a new community, I reversed the idea and focused in from home-base).

I am pleased to report that I have nearly 20 paintings finished. I found so much joy while working 8 to 16 hour days painting, thinking about painting, preparing and finishing paintings, imagining the next painting, mixing colors, and having a photographer come to my studio to take professional images.

My world has swirled with flurried activity—then crashing into deep sleep late at night or even occasional mid-afternoon naps.

Now the time has come to venture out of my studio and bring the work to my community—you and others!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Tea Cup Face, painting on wood with mixed media, 14 x 11 inches. $1000

This new series began to take root last summer. I was re-purposing envelopes. Specifically, the inside patterns from security envelops to create art for Art-O-Mat. The more envelopes that I cut open and tore apart the more I began to think about the use and meaning of a product as banal as an envelope.

Security envelopes are taken for granted. They do their job of hiding critical information. The envelopes gave me entry to a question I have had locked inside of me for years. Are social norms that we all, and especially myself, take for granted working like security envelopes?

I questioned the function of the product—and by extension, my role in social norms. For me, my new series: “Shhh, Say Nothing” is about stories hidden inside ourselves.

The curiosity and confusion I feel is expressed through abstract portraits.

Below, is an image of one of the first collage pieces I made when I was in the development stage of this new body of work.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Shhh, Say Nothing Series study, Flashe paint mixed media collage.

I talk through art making.

I have had the luxury of remaining open to my naiveté and curiosity throughout my life. I have been fortunate to receive an education that allows me to systematically ask questions and wonder about current  social norms that seem not quite right to me. And, like so many women before me and so many women still today, I have felt the need to say nothing  about the marginalization of what is typically seen as women’s work in order to keep things as they are…

For Too long

Too many

Have been

Too too quiet

Holding our voices

Too much of saying nothing

To keeping the status quo as is

Too constricted by societal norms.

I no longer wish to shut my mouth. I know what I think and feel is not nothing. I wish to silence the voice inside me that says, “Keep quiet!”

Because I held my tongue for most of my life—my strongest voice became visual. I talk through my art. I gather data, research, learn, think, reflect, and feel—then I express myself visually in paintings and drawings. Once I see what I have made, I can begin to voice the ideas both verbally and in writing.

 

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Boa Constrictor, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 48 x 36 inches. $4200

 
My paintings attempt to expose the tedious labor that  must be done (often by women) or the scaffolding of society as we know it will fall apart.
 
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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.

Art Show on the Boardwalk

A look at work I made for the Wings—Wind—Waves Port of Bandon Boardwalk Art Show. Show ends on September 18, 2019.

I decided to paint a kite boarder on the waves pretending to have wings (the kite in the wind)!

Full image! The holes are there to hang the work on the boardwalk fence.

 

Detail of wind.

 

Detail of water (waves) and sand.

 

Yes! I did paint a tiny person in the water.

Yes! It really IS this windy in Bandon Oregon! I am sitting on the boardwalk to take the picture. Come see the work!

Personal Artist Residency Program

Beginning on July 1, 2019 and continuing through either end of September or end of October I will be doing an “at home” self-directed artist residency.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Purple Lipped Confusion, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches.

The painting above represents the 5th painting in a new series. In order to approach galleries and art representation I need a series of at least 20 pieces.

A full and fully realized body of work is what it takes to “go pro.”

My goal is 30 paintings by October 31st.

During June I nearly finished 3 more in the series that have not been publicly shown, yet on social media or the internet. Here is the math:

30 paintings – 8 complete = 22
22 paintings / 3 months = 7+ per month
22 paintings / 4 months = 5.5 paintings per month

Each painting takes me from 40 to 80 hours to complete.

Possibly 3 to 4 months will not be enough time. Possibly I can step up production. As in any business or undertaking there is always a point at which one must fully commit to the endeavor and see what happens. See what is possible.

I am excited…
…and also a bit panicky.

I have the supplies ready to go for 27 paintings. Most are larger than 14 x 11 inches (the smallest size so far in this series).

A hint hint reminder: I have stickers available for sale—2 for $6 includes shipping. These will help offset a small portion of the supplies costs of this project. If these successfully sellout I will print a new batch from a new painting for August.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Detail of Purple Lipped Confusion with a sticker, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches. $2400

Stickers!

For the first time ever! My art on stickers!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Detail of Purple Lipped Confusion with a sticker, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 24 x 24 inches. Original Painting $2400. 2 stickers for $6!

2 Stickers for $6!

Includes shipping and handling. Limited to the first 45 customers (because I only printed 100 stickers).

Sorry this batch is SOLD OUT.

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