Warm and Tender Oil Paintings of Family and Friends by American Artist Jerrell Gibbs

Whether it’s barbecues, family reunions or evenings with friends, there is a tenderness in every oil or acrylic on canvas. “I choose to highlight people who are important to me; ordinary, hard-working, loving people,” Gibbs told Artsy. “These are real moments. I think it’s important in the age of social media, where everyone posts about their ‘best’, that all aspects of life are meaningful, not just the extravagant ones.”

You might think the figures in Gibbs’ paintings are posing, but they always seem carefree. They don’t care about their bodies, and their features are Photoshop-free. They position themselves in a way that doesn’t feel forced but could underline the natural awkwardness of being human.

In his painting, Uncle Donald, Gibb’s uncle is seen with a glass in his hand, leaning on a nearby cupboard, and dressed in his most elegant attire. He could be a quiet man, taking a moment for himself during a busy family gathering. Otherwise, he looks relaxed and happy. When watching It’s You, a woman poses as if for the camera, turns her head to the side, looks down, and deliberately sticks her leg out of the thigh-high slit in her yellow and black polka dot dress.

Throughout Gibbs’ paintings you will notice a distinctive use of loose lines, giving his entire series a relaxed and playful vibe. “What draws me to an illustrative style are my childhood memories of playing and drawing,” Gibbs said. “Those were my freest moments, and when I paint, I like to come back to this mental space of play and leisure.”



Uncle Donald, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim

Tea, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim



Tea, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim

We Out, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim



We Out, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim

Elamen, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim



Elamen, 2020 © Jerrell Gibbs, courtesy of Mariane Ibrahim

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