Debra Jan Bibel

An Exploration, An Evolution

Studio Lone Mountain
Oakland, CA 


Paintings are my unique voice changing and developing with
time, in art and in philosophic expression.



[top left]  Fleeting Rain, 36 × 24 in., 2005 
[center] Night in the Tropics, 30 × 24 in, 2013
[right]  Thelonious in Chau-Tal , 36 × 36 in., 2008



Since her youth, Bibel's art has had a proclivity toward bright solids and geometric morphologies.  What is distinct about her art is the crisp precision, the definite form, the scientific execution. With only a few exceptions, the works have no nebulous shapes, no washes or blurs.  They appeal to the intellect and are of ideals.  As art consists of different voices, hers is of quiet elegant order, the architectural shape of Modernism and also of the Japanese and Korean monastery.  They provide clarity of mind and tranquility even within a large array of shape and hue.
The intent is to provide the viewer a direct opening to psychological and philosophical introspection, a mystical approach through scientific and metaphysical foundations. The elegance and peace of geometric order and the coolness of line are combined with the emotional power of strong solids and the warmth of color. It beguiles.

The foundation of Bibel's art is her questioning of our common perception of reality. Just as color juxtapositions and line patterns can be visually perceived as both illusional depth fields and linear or regional distortions, so too our perception of the world, while real, is yet illusional from our restrictive perspective, which is governed and limited by our origins not into but rather from the universe. Thus rooted in the material aspects of biological survival, our senses shape our existence in terms of linear time and familiar three-dimensional space, despite the more expansive evidence of modern physics describing the underpinnings of the cosmos, with strange, nonlinear interconnectiveness and perhaps 11 dimensions. We need to view our essentially nonobjective world obliquely or askance to recognize its plasticity and potentials. Bibel's bold and bright geometric abstract acrylic paintings manifest her motto as if and signal this state of ambiguity and fundamental existential doubt, the mystery of deeper order, and the longing, the quest, for resolution. In her City Synthesis Series, for instance, the intensity of color and strength of line resemble the perspective of meditative consciousness.

In her latest paintings, the joyous interactions of line and space are key, for geometric harmony and the clarity of simplicity can also beget the smile of play.  Serious philosophy now steps into the background to allow whimsy and an adventure of sportive engineering.

Bibel uses acrylics and ink on canvas and occasionally plywood. Calligraphy pieces are sumi ink on Japanese paper.

Heart Sutra (2006) 

24 × 48 in. / 30 × 60 in. complete


Piano Jazz (2003),  18 × 36 in., complete

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Debra Jan Bibel
has been painting for 50 years. Although bold colors and solids have often figured in her approach to art, since 1990 her works have been directly influenced by her experience in science (she has a Ph.D. in medical microbiology and immunology) and in her Zen Buddhist practices.  Her canvases have increasingly became abstract and, conversely, more realistic.  Klee and Mondrian (a Theosophist) are her philosophical and compositional models, but retrospectively she also finds some concordance with Ralston Crawford and Helen Lundeberg's simplified architectural solids and Bridget Riley and Ellsworth Kelly, challengers of perspective and illusion with the use of geometric solids.

Bibel is in the tradition of her family, as her uncle is noted WPA artist of the Great Depression, Leon Bibel, and she is the daughter of furniture designer and artist Philip Bibel.  She also studied Chinese calligraphy under Kaz Tanahashi.

In addition to art, Bibel has a wide background in laboratory research, history of medicine, philosophy of science, ethnomusicology, and poetry. She has authored five books and numerous professional articles.

Résumé / Publications List / Haiku
Why Studio “Lone Mountain”? 
Why Geometrics?
Views of the Studio
Exhibit Photos
Exhibit Reviews

Bibel in Andalusia, Spain
Bibel in Turkey
Bibel in Brazil
Bibel in Rajasthan, India
Bibel in Armenia & Georgia
Bibel in Ireland
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[Click text or picture to enter each gallery; 3 tiers]

Timeline Chart

City Synthesis: Resonance

[2019 – present ]

City Synthesis: I – 5

[2008 – present ]

Circle & Line

[2005 – 2017]



Square & Rectangle


Swirl & Curve








Miscellaneous/East Asian





Title-Price Index

Brush & Ink/Calligraphy Black & White Photography

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Most paintings shown on this site (and similar paintings at the studio) are for sale direct from the artist,  $50 to $3,000; see Title/Price Index above.

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 Last Page Revision: April 1, 2022
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