Mindy Gibbs has been in Salem for over 40 years, attending Salem High School, and taking in the beautiful scenery our piece of the Ozarks offers.

She began painting in elementary school, quickly discovering it was a passion. Her father was in the mining industry, so the family moved often. While in elementary school, in Oregon, she was featured for her talent on a local news station.

Honored for her work several times in her school days, she earned a scholarship to Julliard but pursued marriage and a family in lieu of attending the famed school.

As oftentimes it does, one thing led to another, and art took a backseat to her family and work.

Fast forward a few years and Gibbs faced health issues and a grim diagnosis for her future.

“I worked hard all of my life. I wasn’t ready for an expiration date, so I fought back. Painting became a part of that fight. Painting is life, and it gave me the will to keep going,” she shared.

In June of 2017 Gibbs began sketching in a notebook, as she pursued her passion once more, gaining confidence with every sketch and paint stroke.

As a self-proclaimed shy person, she was nervous about sharing her work.

Completing over 300 pieces in the past two years, with most being sold as of today, is a testament to the talent of Gibbs.

“Several friends and people from Salem have been wonderful patrons of my work. People have been so supportive,” said Gibbs.

Typically painting in early morning hours until around 11 a.m., Gibbs has anywhere from one to four paintings being created at once.

“I have brushes between my fingers, maybe one in my mouth ready, and a cup of coffee and music playing,” she laughed.

Working mostly from photos or scenes she comes across; her paintings take anywhere from a few hours to a few days. Gibbs mostly works on canvas, but has completed murals, and does some work on barn tin, as well. She has been commissioned multiple times to paint favorite landscapes and scenes for patrons.

Gibbs’ work has been seen in the Art Through the Ages exhibit, booths at various businesses, Echo Bluff, and she plans to feature several at HippieFest in 2019, held near the Current River.

Currently working on a studio in her home, she also plans to start plein air (French for outdoor painting) after she purchases a special easel for the work.

Gibbs has donated pieces to projects locally, including cancer patient benefits, American Legion/VFW, and others. She recently completed a field of sunflowers for a children’s cancer benefit in St. Louis.

As she continues in her journey and passion, she does watercolor, acrylic painting, coffee staining, pen and ink, as well as colored pencil.

Impressionism is her favorite style and she often leans towards a Van Gogh-style with lots of color being featured on the canvas.

“As I get more confident, I get bolder about displaying my work,” Gibbs said with a smile.

Gibbs and husband, Jim, share five children, and several grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Pieces are available for purchase through Mindy’s Art page on Facebook, as well as prints from Fine Arts American online, https://fineartamerica.com/artists/mindy+gibbs.

Several pieces hang in local businesses including P’Zaz Salon, Fifth Street Pub, and Red Moose Winery.