Category Archives: Philosphy of Suzanne

I don’t hold anger

…but many women do. Anger at being treated unfairly. Anger at being asked to do the unthinkable. Anger for hurts that have gone unresolved. And more.

I don’t hold anger, but I do wish for systemic change.

I wish for our voices to be heard. I dream about—well, you know—a utopian world were all people are treated with equal respect, kindness, and compassion. Where we all feel hope, love, and a chance for joy.

A world without fear.

I know I am not alone. I know that while I work towards change with a quiet creative heart and personal mindfulness others are using anger as motivation and voice. There is a place for this anger. The shit is real. I allow for others to have that voice, the pain, the anger too. I urge you to read the article link above should you need to understand why women are mad and frustrated.

For each story I read I can think of a story of my own.

I have stories I have never shared and stories I have shared with only a precious few. Somehow, the gift of my creative voice has tempered my anger. My voice is quietly visual. Working my way through anger to joy—and from there I hold hope for change. At the very least, I hope for each of us to have a chance to share our stories.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2019, Double Bind Bubble Up, painting on wood with mixed media collage, 36 x 36 inches. $3600

While in graduate school I learned of the idea of “bearing witness.” Meaning, that by sharing our experiences and knowing that someone else knows of an injustice, a pain, a failing of our social systems, or any other traumatic experience—there is then a chance for healing and lessening of anger and hurt.

At the time, I was learning and listening as a student and the theoretical angles of what bearing witness means. Today, I am stepping towards the concept of being a person that does actually bear witness to other people’s stories as I connect the words of others to the images of my work.

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside of you.” —Maya Angelou

My hope is to create a book of art with collected essays (stories) as told to me, or written for me.

Please, if you are interested in sharing your story, no matter how angry you feel, I am here. I will gladly welcome what you have to say with an open heart and my listening soul. Each of the paintings in my “Shhh, Say Nothing” Series requires a personal story. We can use full names, or first names only. Either way, we are bearing witness to your agony. Thus creating room for healing—which is truly a gift. Systemic change is a dream, the people along the way that share and affect other human lives, this is the utopian wish.

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.

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.

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!

Walking While Musing, Episode 11

Thoughts on art and life while I am out and about.

Enjoy Episode 11 of Walking While Musing by Suzanne. This episode may be my last ever Walking While Musing video blog. I have decided that 2019 is a year for me to get On Track with clearer business ventures. I also plan to learn to do less of trying to “do it all.”

I am very grateful to everyone who viewed these musings, posted comments, and commented privately. Thank you for letting me know that what I was doing mattered.

Luna and Zoie stand, umm sit… at attention waiting to see what I will do next in 2019!

I send you love, peace, and joy as you too focus on what matters most to you in 2019. May you create the creative life you wish to live. Should you desire some support in your creative work, please feel free to contact me. I’d love to help.

Hugs. Enjoy and feel free to comment.

Walking While Musing Episode 10

Join me for a very short musing from just before the Holidays.

This was a time when the pressure of the end of the year approaching had me thinking about change. I was also beginning to feel a deep weariness settle into my body, but I was choosing to ignore my bodies messages.

My hope for others viewing this is that I become a reminder to listen and learn from yourself.

My musing videos include thoughts on art and life while I am out and about—usually on trails.

Episode 10 of Walking While Musing is very short as I begin to explore and figure out a way to explain a change in focus for my life and business. I am constantly looking for clarification on my journey as a creative and as someone who wishes to serve other creative individuals.

Please enjoy and feel free to comment. Also feel free to contact me if you wish to have a personalized one-on-one call with me to talk about changes you wish to make in your creative life.

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 7

Thoughts on art and life while I am out and about in Denver Colorado.

Enjoy Episode 7 of Walking While Musing by Suzanne. This musing has no focus! I tried, I honestly did! Three times! You’ll have to watch to see what I mean.

I honestly found it nearly impossible to focus on musing while walking in a city. I realize my tiny small town life really is a part of who I am now. Langlois Oregon is only 177 people big! There are more cows and sheep in our little part of the world than people.

However, what I can say is that I know that in building a creative life it is important to get out of our comfort zone from time to time. I did this by creating this video!

Create adventure in your own life by doing something alone that seems just a little bit out of reach. Record what you have accomplished and reflect on what can be learned from the experience.

I know that if I were to record a musing again while in a city I would maybe feel just a tiny bit less uncomfortable than I did on this first time adventure.

My hope for others is that even while living in a city that you may find a bit of respite and beauty in your own surroundings (or watch my videos for nature breaks).

Includes a full deep breath at the end. Please enjoy and feel free to comment.

I will have a chance to try to musing in a big city again soon! I will be in Los Angeles in November and I will record another city video while I am at SketchKon. PS. I am a presenter at SketchKon this year, the first ever SketchKon Convention!

Then in December I will be in NYC and will dare to create a third walking while musing video. I plan to visit my sketchbook that lives in Brooklyn in The Sketchbook Project Library.

Please join me on these adventures! You do not want to miss out!

I would love it if you could go on over to YouTube and subscribe to my channel!

100 Subscribers would mean I can make a custom channel brand name! Only 97 to go! 🙂

Art Break!

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