Where you live: Tucson, AZ
Media you work in: Metal, Acrylic and Mixed Media on Canvas
Favorite work you've done: My colorful metal pieces - favorite is 15 little squares installation - color and fun!
Your favorite artist: Mark Rothko, Cy Twombly
It is difficult to describe the how, what and why of my art in a couple of paragraphs. Not because it is so incredibly special but because I work in metal (aluminum), acrylic on canvas, and then there are my colorful Wall of Color wall sculptures, which are multi-panel installations.
For my metal art I have been able to create my own original processes to create surfaces you rarely (never?) see on aluminum. For example, one process gives the aluminum a “patina”, which aluminum typically does not develop. Another process creates areas where layers of paint are exposed. Working with the metal is very physical. It takes days to complete the many steps to create a finished piece.
My Wall of Color installations consist of several mini monochromatic abstract landscapes. I created this line to be completely customizable in the number of panels, color, overall shape of the design, even the size of the individual panels. I kept the individual panel design simple as not to detract from the interest of colorful three-dimensional presence of the installation.
Finally, my canvas painting, it is the source of my inner struggle. I have created several paintings, yet still have not found that style I can all my own. It is frustrating me to no end. I want to be able to work on canvas as a break from the rigid and physical side of metal. I keep pushing forward expecting to reach my goal of my own individual style.
It took a near-death experience in 2012 to turn me into an artist. It was my first day home after winning a battle with advanced stage pneumonia, one which most people lose. That day I had what I suppose was an epiphany. Suddenly art had to be in my life.
It is quite odd because not for one second had I ever considered being an artist. Why would I? Art was something for people with creative talent and the ability to bring ideas into the physical world. That certainly did not describe me.
Having no art education, my recovery was spent researching. Later on, I experimented with many mediums. For the last few years, I settled on working with metal, aluminum actually. I created my own unique style of lightly distressing sheet metal, painting it and then mounting to wood panels.
Currently, in an effort to work on a medium that is “softer” (and without edges as sharp as razor blades) and less physical, I have turned my attention to acrylic and mixed media on canvas where I will again create my own unique colorful style.
Interview with Paula Gibbs