Sybil Gibson was born Sybil Aaron on February 18, 1908 in Dora,
Alabama, the daughter of a successful coal mine operator who owned
was filled with money and prosperity however most of her adult
life was spent in dire poverty. Sybil was college educated and
became an elementary school teacher. She married
Hugh Gibson after graduation and they had a daughter. In 1963 on Thanksgiving
Day at 55 years of age she discovered art. She had not touched
art since her artistic soul was crushed when
as a girl she was told by an art class instructor that she had
no talent. She began making own wrapping paper from brown
and tempura paint. By soaking a heavy cardboard box she discovered
when she pealed off the outside thick paper layer it made a sturdy painting surface.
Although this was a very painstaking and time-consuming procedure she chose to
canvases in brown paper and cardboard.
For the next thirty years painting became her passion and her
escape from daily realities and hardship. Her compositions were
always dreamlike and joyous and
done in soft pastel shades.
This eccentric artist would disappear for long periods of time
only to be discovered in Florida only to disappear again. Each
time she would leave her paintings
around her houses, mobile homes, and yards. Most of her work was destroyed
by the elements
but there are believed to be about 300 works in existence. Sybil Gibson died
in 1995. Her work is in the American Folk Art Museum in New York.
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