Patti Gibbons: “Inspiration is never far”

When did you first know you were an artist?
From my earliest memories, I was in love with drawing and painting. I swooned over my boxes of crayons and colored pencils, and still get that giddy feeling when I am in my studio, surrounded by my art supplies.

In elementary school I was an entrepreneur designing bookmarks and pins, recruiting my friend to sell them door-to-door in my Long Island neighborhood. My father did not approve of my desire to be an artist, and my high school failed me in its guidance. It has taken me a lifetime to finally realize my dream of being an artist full time.

Favorite medium(s) you use to make art…
I joke that I have three muses; sometimes they take turns, sometimes they fight, but I am most happy when they work well together. I love to draw/paint/collage. Watercolor/oil, antique paper, pastel and ink, are my main materials whether I am designing cards, or creating fine art. Thus, I have several bodies of work, and sometimes I make art that incorporates all materials!

What are the most interesting new trends in your field? Is your work changing as a result?
What amazes and inspires me is the abundance and availability of art supplies on the market, and seeing how artists are using them to redefine art and push the creative envelope.

Talk about your creative process – where/when do you get most of your ideas and how do you know a piece is ‘finished’?
My ideas come from dreams, memory, nature and current events; inspiration is never far. At this point in my career, I have learned to listen to the art. It tells me where IT wants to go, and when it is finished. If nothing else, that is where age and experience pay off.

Do you also teach or are you strictly a creative artist? Who was your most influential mentor and why? How do you see the role of being a mentor? And why?
I was an art teacher at Ulster County BOCES for 21 years, working with at-risk teens and special needs students. Though I Ieft my career early to reinvent myself as a full time artist, I learned that you can take me out of the classroom, but you can’t take the teacher out of me. I have worked with Raising Hope in Kingston, and I teach workshops and private lessons in galleries, libraries, and in my home studio. I have had many amazing mentors in my life—my cooperating teachers and artists whom I have studied with. It truly has been a village that has helped me on my journey. Naming only one would be slighting the others.

What are you working on now?
Because I am diversified, I am always working on a few projects at a time. As a stationery designer, I am periodically designing for clients or shows. I have a solo art show upcoming and am finishing up some of my recent abstract work. The future vision is to create a body of work based upon a lifetime of dreams that I have written down for years in my journals.

How has being in Kingston enhanced/inspired your work? What do you like best about living in Kingston/being involved with MAD? How long have you been here?
I have lived in Kingston for the past 28 years. I find the community to be very supportive of artists. Over the years I have been involved in the Arts Society of Kingston, and have shown my work in many Kingston galleries. I love the camaraderie and small town feel to this city, the beauty of the architecture, and the availability of good art, music, performance and food! I hope to be part of this community as long as life keeps me on this planet!

Artist Statement

I joke that I have several muses who visit me in the studio; sometimes they take turns nicely; other times they fight. I am most happy when they work together. Working in several mediums and on a few bodies of work at a time satisfies my need for variety and choice to create unique narratives based upon nature, emotion, and the human condition.

My passion for narrative collage started with an obsession with the 1960’s toy Colorforms, a graduate study on women’s contribution to American art and craft, and my love for antique images. Using paper, paint, ink, printmaking and other materials, narratives are created in a unique style that meshes the old with the new, while up-cycling old material.

Photography and painting allow me to capture the ever-changing mood of the Hudson Valley and are deeply personal depictions of places that inspire and move me.

Many of my abstract drawings start with automatic or blind drawings that take me where they want to go. Organic forms are the basis of the “mindscapes,” which explode with mark making, delight in the play of color, and interpret both seen and unseen worlds.

“The studio is a dream world. Once the door is closed the outside world shut out, it is an escape to a place of wonder, exploration, magic, and resolution; a place where one feels most peaceful and complete.”

Patti Gibbons
Patti Gibbons Art
17 Mountain View Avenue

Hours of Operation
Always open and working except when I am not