Experience Cortland will be featuring a Cortland County artist at the Visitors Center throughout the year. The program was developed to showcase local artwork and photography to travelers and locals in hopes that they might bring a piece of Cortland County home. Feel free to stop by during regular business hours to view the work or at her website Art By Emily Gibbons.
Emily Gibbons' great-great-grandfather declared Cortland home upon immigrating from Ireland. So, when the Rochester-born artist returned to her roots here in Cortland after college, it felt like a homecoming. Emily carefully divides her time between creating stunning watercolors, painting vivid murals, framing artworks, and caring for her young son. Inspired by both the local landscape and Ireland's dramatic vistas, she creates and teaches both here and abroad, exploring their tentative connections. We asked Emily to share a little about her creative process to help you better connect with December's Artist of the Month.
Where do you take your inspiration from?
Landscapes of Cortland and Ireland, my family and friends, the figure. Lately, I’ve been inspired by painting with my 4-year-old son.
Where do you create your art?
I create in my studio at the Cortland Corset Building. I also do lots of quick painting at home, and I love to paint in plein air.
Who is your greatest influence?
Fellow artist David Beale, who taught me so much about being an artist. Artists/mothers I follow on Instagram. I also love reading and studying women in art history, folks like Emily Carr and Helen Frankenthaler.
What is your favorite tool/material? What can you just not live without, in your creative space?
Currently, transparent yupo paper. In my creative space, I need music or a tv show I’ve seen a hundred times, like The Office!
What is your favorite color?
My son says yellow since I tend to pick yellow things a lot. I love to paint in cool colors.
What are your current/future projects?
I am working on a figure series using layering and abstraction. I also created my first mural this summer and am looking forward to painting larger more - I’ve spent years painting small!
If your art was a food, what would it be?
Tea and a warm scone with cream.
What is your favorite winter activity in Cortland County?
Cross country skiing and hiking at Lime Hollow.
What do you feel is Cortland County’s best-kept secret?
Describe Cortland County in three words.
Taken for granted!
Share your favorite Cortland County art with us for a chance to be featured!
Tag @experiencecortland and use hashtag #experiencecortland.