Skip to content

Experiments Continue.

2015 January 28


I have spent a lot of years working with an absence of color.  Black & white photography has and continues to be the cornerstone of my work.  In 2014, I opened Do I Know You with every piece featuring hand-drawn background patterns to that same b&w photography.  But, as I continue to move toward a new series, Better Than Figs, I can seem unable to avoid color. (continues below)

Transfer experiments from Artist R.L. Gibson!

I’ve been experimenting with both color and b&w photography on both white and colored gesso (examples above).  I’ve also been testing out other transfer mediums.  In the end, colored gesso will likely find a place in my work.

Stay tuned!

How to Price your Artwork

2015 January 4
Cut Throat by Artist R.L. Gibson

Cut Throat by Artist R.L. Gibson

What’s YOUR price?

The Arts & Culture Alliance is pleased to present a professional development seminar for artists and other creative people on Wednesday, February 18, from 12:00-1:00 PM at the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville. Join us as we welcome R. L. Gibson, artist and Editor of, a quirky, art-themed blog offering FREE resources to artists.  She will talk about how beginning artists can learn to price their work competitively while helping the more experienced artist avoid the most common pitfalls of emotional pricing. 

Having a hard time selling your work?
Let’s figure out why – together. 

The presentation is free for members of the Arts & Culture Alliance and $5 for non-members. Please register in advance via PayPal at, by phone at 865-523-7543, or by e-mail to


Lessons continue.

2014 December 22

"Do I Know You?" by R.L. Gibson


On December 14, 2014, she finally got some peace.  Emma Gibson had just 15 days to go until her 93rd birthday, but she just couldn’t go there.  My intimate journey with her began 2 years ago today with a phone call.

When I answered that call that told me my father was in the ICU grappling with what would eventually be revealed as fatal injuries, my first thoughts were not for him but for my grandmother.  She had been in nursing care with end-stage dementia for a couple of years at that point.  And, while she could still recognize me, she was fading fast.

My journey with her through guardianship, conservatorship, and every imaginable health issue possible inspired me to share my passage from fear to resolution.  It all ended in a fairly confident summation in artist-statement-format for my July 4th opening of “Do I Know You?” that ended with “The best we can hope for is a few good photos and a really good story about how we got to the end.  Smile.  Everyone dies.”  I meant it at the moment, but…

Emma, inspiration for Artist R.L. Gibson's "Do I Know You?" series.Sometimes I am a pompous ass.


She’s dead.

She’s not smiling.

I’m not smiling.

She loved me.

I loved her.

I love her still.

I can’t believe she’s gone.


How shocking that I could be still shocked that her loss hurts this badly. It was expected; I thought I was prepared.  I was not.   Her lessons for me will continue–despite her absence.

Smile.  At least you’re not dead.



2014 December 5
Cohesion Collision featuring Artist R.L. Gibson sponsored by RicRok Tattoos and The Haggus Society!

Graphic Design by Terri Lloyd of The Haggus Society

attention span

I edited my artist resume this week.  Yes, I shortened it.  My resume was so long, that even I was too bored to get to the end of it.  My solution?  Chop it off.  I took out at least HALF of the shows. I improved documentation & details (dates, websites, jurors, etc.) for the remaining shows & arts admin work.

When I read resumes from artists as a part of juried shows or the Featured Artist contest at AAAD, I find they usually contain every instance that their work has been anywhere.  It always screams at me: “I don’t think my resume is good enough, so I am going to overwhelm you with volume.”  It doesn’t work.  So, I finally took the bold step.

My work is good enough.  My experience is good enough.  So is yours.  We are all where we are based on the work we’ve done.  There is no reason to be ashamed of where you are if you’ve worked for it.  So quit apologizing, people.

Chop that resume down to size.



Bringing Art to the Cloud: Collectrium

2014 November 26

Learn more about Collectrium!Bringing Art to the Cloud:

A few months back, we had a conversation about inventory tracking from the artist’s perspective.  Here’s a little conversation about Collectrium–tracking from the collector’s experience…

Some people collect art as a way to showcase their social and financial dominance — to show that they have enough resources to buy items that they didn’t really need to be able to survive.  This is what Sir Mark Jones FSA, former director of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, says, when asked the quintessential question: “Why do we collect art?” Dr. Ian Wardropper, director of the Frick Collection, however, says that he began collecting items without even realizing it. “I was just buying what I could afford to,” he says.  So when does something become a collection? In the end it, when you start calling yourself a collector.

Whatever their reasons for collecting art, it’s becoming increasingly apparent that curators need to find better ways to keep track of their collections. For some, mobile has presented the answer. Gaming Realms, owners and operators of Pocket Fruity, have noted that “The market for virtual goods was worth US$7.3bn in 2010 and is expected to double by 2014″ and more people are consuming products via the mobile sphere.  This has led to the creation of many inventory-tracking apps, but none of them come close to the features provided by Collectrium.

Learn more about the Collectrium app on iTunes!Collectrium gives collectors the unique ability to keep track of their inventory with complete details, uploading everything to the Cloud for easy access between devices. Installing the software on your computer, you can begin tracking your new acquisitions, including adding unlimited high-resolution photos, details of how you acquired the item, and where it is being kept, among other important details. You can then access all of this information straight from your mobile phone, so when you go to meet buyers and fellow collectors, giving them access to your gallery is easy. With everything stored on the Cloud, your inventory doesn’t take up any space on your mobile–it’s all in the Cloud, ready to be downloaded.

The software itself costs $39 per month, but it’s a bargain for those serious about running their collections, or looking to transition into a full-blown gallery in the future.  The companion app for the iPhone is completely free, meaning you can download it on your phone, iPad, or what-have-you, and simply log in with your Collectrium account for easy access anytime, anywhere.

As always, I’d love to hear from you!


Heart Breaker.

2014 September 24
Heart Breaker, 11"x14" Xerography on Canvas by Artist R.L. Gibson

Heart Breaker, 11″x14″ Xerography on Canvas by Artist R.L. Gibson — a part of the “Do I Know You?” series

in season

I’ve been busy testing a change in process–the addition of color and paint.  I am closing in on a new direction for the next series of work that I’m calling “Better than Figs” at the moment.

The new series
examines what it means
to really live.


The series title, Better than Figs, is from Shakespeare’s Anthony & Cleopatra:“O excellent! I love long life better than figs.”  Before diving headfirst into production, I sat down to edit the “Do I Know You?” exhibit.  It seems that Heart Breaker (pictured left) might be the best way to say goodbye to #DIKY.  Is it okay to mourn the loss of mourning?  No longer mourning puts closure or finality to the loss of my father.  I have guilt about that.  My mourning for the loss of the personality I knew as my grandmother has become acceptance.  I am grateful to at least have my memories of who she was–even if her memories don’t include me anymore.  I finally learned to just “Smile.  Because everyone dies.”

If you didn’t get a chance to visit the #DIKY opening in July,
you can see the series by visiting the Do I Know You? page.

♦ ♦ ♦




2014 July 27

Pass the Bottle by Artist R.L. GibsonWhere is EVERYTHING?

I’ve been giving lots of thought to inventory lately.  I am experimenting with changes in my media; more specifically, I am incorporating paint into what has been a solely xerography output from me for many, many years.  And, as my production increases, I find myself with the challenge of keeping track of all of it.  They are kind of my babies, and I want to know where they are going before I send them out into the world.

There are so many art inventory software systems from which to choose.  A few of them seem to have all the same flaws–they track work for shows but aren’t set up for artists that deal primarily with galleries OR they track shows/fairs and NOT galleries.

So I am curious, are any of you out there dealing with inventory issues?  Do you have room, in-studio, to store all of you work prior to shipping it to galleries?  And, once you ship, how are you tracking the work?  Do you have recommendations?  Have any of you tried eArtist, Art Tracker or GYST?  What about cloud-based Artwork Archive?

I would like to hear your thoughts.
Leave a comment on this post,
my Facebook wall
or email me.


2014 July 14


I told you about my paper indulgences–art books.  I received a book in the mail that is, well, sort of priceless.  It is kind of a color by numbers without the numbers or paint kits. Abstracts in Acrylics [With Tracings] By Dani Humberstone ( 2011 ).  It comes with tracings of the artist/author’s abstract work along with step by step instructions on how to recreate her work.  This is a perfect example of my magpie ways.  I am attracted to the colorful and shiny and vibrant.  And, I don’t always pay attention to the details.  In this case, I fell in love with the color in the sample pages and had no idea what I was getting.  This will be a FANTASTIC way to to ease myself out of a future art rut.  Fun.  I have a funny feeling about this one.

Find a happy place. Go there.  And, go often.

Be sure to Follow Artist R.L. Gibson on Facebook!

  ⊕    ⊕    ⊕

PAINTING: Abstraction

2014 July 13

Inspiration for Artist R.L. Gibson!the why & the what

I’ve been getting a lot of inquiries that all say something a little like: “Why add paint?” to xerography.  Why now? What is that going to look like?

It is an evolution.  I’ve been working in black & white for SO LONG.  I love it.  I do.  I’ve always considered my work sort light-handed Pop Art, often with a dollop of Surrealism from my own photography.  But, when I appropriated family portraiture for the #DIKY series, it all began to unravel.  I have thousands of family photographs.  My family was prolific, but bizarrely enough, a lot of them don’t feel personal.  Honestly, they feel like my family posed as studies for the lifestyle advertising mock ups of the 1930s through the 1970s.  They are real people living glamorous lives without the benefit of money or extraordinary wealth.

They are just people truly LIVING.
They make me happy…


Loads of saturated color will help me share a portrait of what life can be if you are paying attention.  Color will help me express what it feels like TO LIVE.  So in the meantime, I study color theory & the techniques of abstract expressionists.  Today’s happy place–LIVING.

Find your happy place. Go there.  And, go often.

Be sure to Follow Artist R.L. Gibson on Facebook!

  ⊕    ⊕    ⊕

PAPER indulgences…

2014 July 12

to the books

As I prepare for my upcoming journey of adding color to my work–possibly on a semi-permanent basis, I have become excited by delving into color theory once again.  My eyes know the theory, but my brain has taken all for granted. So, I am allowing myself the ultimate indulgence of someone living a purposefully pared-down existence…art books–yum!

Deciding what NOT to purchase and/or borrow has been the hardest part. I’ll keep you updated on the books I love!  Today’s choice Confident Color: An Artist’s Guide To Harmony, Contrast And Unity by Nita Leland.  Today’s recovered art-i-fact from Confident Color: “Once in a while, you may want to go a little darker in value without overpowering that light feeling. [sic] Burnt Sienna turns any saturated paint color into an earth hue.”  Thanks, Nita! Burnt Sienna–today’s happy place.

Find your happy place. Go there.  And, go often.

Be sure to Follow Artist R.L. Gibson on Facebook!

  ⊕    ⊕    ⊕