Cibyl Kavan is a Portland, Oregon based artist, poet, storyteller, and educator. Born in France, she spent her childhood on a remote rural farm on the Isle of Wight in England, and on a sailboat in the Mediterranean ports of Malta and Greece before moving to the United States in 1977.
With a BA in Literature, an M.Ed in early childhood education, Cibyl has followed an apprenticeship model of visual arts training. She first worked in museums in the Washington DC area, while studying drawing at the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria, Virginia. In Portland she has studied drawing, painting, and monotype printmaking with Portland artists Phil Sylvester, William Park, and others. Once a year she studies with and assists Kaz Tanahashi at his brush calligraphy workshops in the Portland area.
A student of Zen and Qigong, Cibyl’s work is influenced by her spiritual investigations into the unbounded dimensions of life. Curiosity, vitality, and playfulness are hallmarks of her visual art, poetry, and storytelling. Using a variety of media in drawing, painting, poetry, photography, and textiles, Cibyl works in a playful and exploratory way pushing and opening the boundaries of color, composition, texture, and form.
Her mark-making process usually begins in a fairly unconscious way. Responding to what is front of her, grappling with the limitations of material, space, and her own skill, Cibyl relishes the sense of being lost as she starts new work, of having to begin again. Gradually discovering the techniques that make sense for a particular subject or a concept she’s exploring, the work begins to take shape. Cibyl's artwork becomes the visible expression of her spiritual and artistic journey of discovery. There is always something new to learn, a new way to see, a new way to enter into a relationship with a subject or a tradition.
In 2014 Cibyl and her husband converted her stand-alone studio in the garden into an AirB&B. You are welcome to come visit.