An interview with our artist Lynn Gibson

We talk to artist Lynn Gibson from Glasgow.

Please describe your artwork style

I’m an abstract artist who paints using coloured molten wax, my style…. it’s all about the contrast for me, the wax creates these colourful almost organic looking shapes which seem to pop off the paper, the contrast between that and the stark white background is an expression of how I see life really, how it can go from calm to chaos in a second and you have no choice in that, you just have to go along for the ride and see where you end up.

Please describe your artwork style

I’m an abstract artist who paints using coloured molten wax, my style…. it’s all about the contrast for me, the wax creates these colourful almost organic looking shapes which seem to pop off the paper, the contrast between that and the stark white background is an expression of how I see life really, how it can go from calm to chaos in a second and you have no choice in that, you just have to go along for the ride and see where you end up.

How long have you been an artist?

I have drawn and painted since I can remember and have been working with hot wax techniques for nearly 20 years now and I still love it. In 2012 I started out doing the markets and art fairs of Glasgow, and now I exhibit regularly in the city and occasionally abroad.

Who or what are your biggest influences?

I’d say I’m mainly influenced by the world of science – particularly quantum mechanics and cosmology, which are at either end of the spectrum in regard to scale but are both equally at the edge of our understanding of the universe, it makes you feel really insignificant but at the same time feel amazingly lucky to be here. I suppose it’s all about that idea of one extreme to another, middle ground is so boring. Architecture is another huge influence, particularly Zaha, Gaudi and Gehry, going into one of their buildings is like walking into a piece of art.

How have you developed your career?

About 7 years ago I set up profiles on social media specifically for my art, while at the same time taking my work out onto the streets by doing art fairs and markets. At the end of that year I got an opportunity to do my first exhibition, which was kind of a dream come true, from that I got some other exhibiting opportunities in the city and eventually that lead to exhibitions abroad. I also found once I had a decent online presence, people started to approach me to ask to promote and exhibit my work, but I’m never complacent and I still put myself out there and take any opportunity that comes my way.

Where do you create your work? 

Luckily I have my own studio in my house, I’ll typically paint in the afternoon or evening, but before I start painting, I like to read a book or watch a documentary, just now I’m all over quantum mechanics and M-theory, I find it all absolutely fascinating and it really helps me to get inspired.

What do you feel is the role of the artist in society? 

To amaze and annoy! It’s a very love/hate relationship that society seems to have with art and artists, but we’re just trying to stay sane by painting.

What project are you working on now?

I’ve got something coming up with Artpromotivate, which actually includes another artist interview, I think that’ll be around the end of the year. The Scottish board for the Imago Mundi Global Art Project will be getting launched this year too (see below) and for people closer to home, I’ve got some work down at Art Pistol (a Glasgow gallery that I’ve worked with for years). Apart from that the idea is to just keep painting and see what happens, when I started out my goal was to just get my work in a gallery or exhibition just once, I thought that would have taken me years so everything that’s happened after that has been a bonus.

 Any current or up-coming exhibitions?

The Imago Mundi Global Art Project, it was started by Luciano Benetton of Benetton fashion house and just now there’s around 80 countries involved, the idea is that each country has their own stand-alone board, each of these boards are made up of 140 individual artworks created by artists handpicked from that country, they are all then displayed alongside each other in one exhibition that travels the globe. The best thing about it though is that it will be carried down the generations, and the end goal of this project is to preserve this moment in the art world, like a time capsule of what was happening with art at the start of the 21st century, and one day will become a part of art history. So, it’s quite cool to be involved in that.

Where do you find your ideas for your work?

My own mental health, really it’s all just therapy for me. I’ve lived with anxiety for a long time, ever since I was a teenager maybe even younger. Now, I can say I’m in a good place and I’m the happiest I’ve ever been, but that’s not always been the case, and I can still have moments, but now I know how to deal with it in a healthy way, and that way is to keep creative.

 Is there an artwork you are most proud of?Why? 

There’s one that always comes to mind, I was asked to create some artwork as part of an exhibition supporting marriage equality in Scotland, it was at The Mackintosh Lighthouse, which was nice as it gave a wee nod to my Architecture side. I was just so excited to be involved because it’s such an amazing place and the message behind it was so important. The painting’s called ‘Stand’, it was one of 6 pieces I exhibited there but that one’s my favourite, I will never sell it.

 How do you know when a work is finished?

I don’t, I just know I don’t want to mess up what’s there already. Sometimes after painting all day you look at what you’ve done and just think YES or NO. Though I can hate a piece and go back a week later and love it. It’s all very arbitrary.

To see more of Lynn’s work visit: www.lynngibsonart.co.uk

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