art

HOW 100 VULVAS CHANGED ME

I did a crazy thing this year. I painted 100 Vulva artworks. Wrapped up in this little thing called the 100-day project, I took a leap into a place that changed my trajectory for 2018.  It started with some traps.  The short story is that I had been seeing some creatives on Instagram murmuring about a mysterious 100-day project. They were brainstorming their projects. As I let my imagination take over and fit me into this project I came up with my own ideas. My gut and brain—in simpatico—jumped to “vaginas, I should make vagina art for 100 days.” Of course, as I tried to weigh my options and brainstorm other ideas, I didn’t feel that spark. So as if it were fate, that’s how this began.   However, it wasn’t fate.   The long story is that about a year before I started this project I wa...

TAKING CARE OF MYSELF IS NOT SELFISH

For most of my life, I’ve felt guilty when I can’t give people everything they’ve asked of me. Consequently, I’ve said yes to a lot of requests that I didn’t actually have time for, or that made me feel uncomfortable or resentful. Sometimes I’ve given much more than I had to give, hurting myself and my relationship with the person I thought I was helping. The first step to overcoming this guilt was accepting that taking care of myself is not selfish.  But what do I need to take care of? Everyone has common basic needs—healthy food, sleep, and social connections, to name a few. We also need to tend to what we value. For example, I highly value art, so taking time to tend to that area is important for me to feel that I am living a meaningful life.  Defining what I need to care for also helpe...

NEO-DYSTOPIAN REVOLUTION: A WITNESS OF BEAUTY

Neo-dystopian philosophy comes from the idea that there is beauty in everything, even in the aftermath or in the midst of disaster. Color is an eternal gift from the Creator, as is beauty. Neo-dystopian revolution for me embodies discovering truth out of destruction, through the search for the presence of color and beauty in the collapse. A dystopian environment is one that is characterized by tyranny and oppression. Dystopia in Greek literally means “bad place.” We could be swimming in a dystopian mindset, or we could be survivors of dehumanization and desolation. Neo means “new” or “a revived form of.” Whatever form of dystopia we find ourselves in, there is still grace and life to be discovered. There is healing through being a witness of beauty.            ...

PAINTING WITH FIBERS

I studied fashion design, so I’ve been obsessed with textiles and textures for a long time, touching everything wherever I go. As a fashion designer, I always felt limited in my designs and not free enough to try different forms. With fiber art, I have the best of both worlds because the fiber enables me to explore with multiple textures and movements. I usually get inspired and start imagining concepts at night. Strangely enough, I tend to be more creative in the evening when I’m tired. I feel night time is when my mind is more relaxed, flexible and open for innovation. The next morning is really when I start the creative process. I get my inspiration from all things natural and organic, often influenced by the movement and shapes nature creates. I use mostly natural fibers as they have a...

WOMEN WHO INSPIRE ME

I have been especially inspired by the women in my life lately, so I decided to incorporate them into my artwork, as if they aren’t walking art already! Here are some of my latest pieces of both my friends and icons. Ellie of The Last of Us Drypoint on plexiglass printed with intaglio ink on paper My friend, Mia. Quote from Paramore’s “Anklebiters” India Ink and Pen on watercolor paper Audrey Hepburn Watercolor and pen scanned and retouched digitally. My friend, Sentilla. White acrylic paint on black canvas. My friend, Karry. Pen on paper.     Author: Victoria Gibson Email: tori.gibsonn@gmail.com Author Bio: Victoria Gibson is a Graphic Design student in Portland, Oregon. Upon realizing her artistic potential at the age of 18, she began illustrating images of women who inspire he...

SWEET BEAZIE

In Chattanooga, there was a café near the pedestrian bridge I used to frequent. Over the counter hung a tasteful painting of several women sitting on the grass in the nude engaged in conversation. Seemingly staring back at anyone looking at the painting was a small blue dog with yellow eyes that didn’t quite belong in the scene. Every time I went into the café, I was mesmerized by the painting and the dog. Finally, one day, I asked to speak to the owner. I was told the owner was seldom there and the lady asked if there was any way she could help me. I told her that I was interested in buying the painting. She smiled kindly into my then very young face and gave me an art lesson on the first George Rodrigue original Blue Dog that I had seen to date. Needless to say, I don’t own one. Many yea...

SHE DRIP

She had been dripping down the looking glass for years. While people watched the Drip. Drip. Drip. into the bowl underneath where breathing souls finally fell into themselves. But she was less concerned about when she would fall into the water bowl than how she looked to the people standing around watching. And this tortured her, knowing how foolish her preoccupations. Once, another drop gained her path and they became one piece of wet slipping down faster to the water bowl. surrendered to each other’s weight. She liked it. Their drops one piece of wet magnifying. obscuring. the people watching their drip. But someone screamed outside the looking glass on a no reference afternoon and the glass shook. She looked up, then down. saw the eyes again of the people watching her drip. now with mor...

LITTLE WRITINGS FROM THE LILAC WRITER: PART TWO

Fight for yourself to be your own risk taker. Fight for yourself because sulking in glooming blue is a NO! NO! Fight for yourself because YOU WANT TO NOT BECAUSE ONE SAYS YOU HAVE TO. Fight for yourself because the clock is ticking and the dam that you’ve created that leads to Sadland – nowhere has overflown. Fight for yourself because these battle pillars that you have planted internally and externally for yourself are ready to collapse without your knowledge. Tell me are you going to fight for yourself or refuse to use your growing armour?     —     This is a sad poem about dream stealers who are willing to unseal jars of dreams that do not belong to them. This is a sad poem about a few going over the horizon in search of a rainbow but they only come...

#KEYTOO

Tarana Burke started something over 10 years ago. It reached me for the first time last fall: #metoo. A feeling had been growing in me for quite some time and this felt like such a release! People starting to flood social media with stories about their lives. I, myself, went all in. I shared sh*t from my past that only a few friends know about. I read as many stories as I possibly could for a few days. It seemed like all the people who had been carrying scars from being sexually and/or assaulted in Sweden were on a path to heal themselves and let go of the shame that comes with it. My way of expressing myself is through textiles, mainly embroidery. Following the #metoo hashtag, I saw the raised fist symbol in a lot of places: Instagram, Facebook, TV and online media. The Black Power fist a...

FOLLOW YOUR PASSION

I am a 22 year-old woman and I’m still learning to love myself, and that’s okay. Although I’ve always expressed myself through art, it isn’t something that I always took seriously. I didn’t ever think that anyone would be able to connect with my silly little drawings, and I certainly didn’t consider it a career. In a world full of opportunity, I’ve always felt lost. That being said, my passion for art has always remained constant. My art is a bright light in this often dimly lit world. I recently have been working on my art harder than I’ve ever worked before. I find myself constantly creating more, and trying my best to put it out there. I’m a self-taught artist and my mission is to bring my art to life. My drawings are a direct reflection of what’s going on inside my head. My work explor...

A BURST OF BUTTERFLIES

The veil of ignorance can prevent us from knowing who we are. But we owe it to ourselves to explore our potential and seize our power. Though introspection can be difficult, it’s necessary. This is not simply a call to action for reflecting on our errors. Of course we must recognize our mistakes and grow, but we must monitor our negative self-talk, too. We must reflect on our strengths and our ability to solve problems. It is not productive to blame ourselves for things that are not our fault. It also isn’t productive to harp on past mistakes when we’ve apologized, rectified the situation, and learned to do better. I created “A Burst of Butterflies” to inspire viewers to consider the beauty of possibility. Sometimes darkness is all we can see, but that doesn’t mean it is the only thing tha...

PAINTING AN UNSEEN DISEASE

My work changed drastically one day in 2010 when I found myself creating surreal organic environments. I decided I didn’t feel like painting portraits anymore. Although I started from a place of abstraction, the new paintings became filled with strange hybrids of flowers, cells and symbols that appeared like organisms from another planet. It was only later that I found out I had cancer crawling through my body at an alarming rate. When my doctor showed me the scans of the tumor, it looked almost identical to what I had been painting, tentacles and all. I was told I had a rare 1% of all cancers and I was in serious trouble. My tumor felt like it was a part of me, it had its own set of nerves and feelings separate from the rest of my body. I wondered what those heads of the tentacles w...

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