Author Archives: Suzanne

Must Be Done—GDPR

This must be done… You may have heard about the new General Data Protection Regulation (“GDPR”), that comes into effect May 25, 2018. Today!

If you’d like to continue hearing from me, no need to do anything! I have already updated my site, and cookies and all that is needed are working per new regulations.

If you are no longer interested in receiving my art blog scroll down to unsubscribe.

I take great care with your information and do not share it with anyone, for any reason. Your trust is important to me and I work with the highest quality vendors to assure our safety online. Thank you for your continued trust. It’s an honor to be part of your creative life, through sharing mine.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2015, Dorky Doodle Flower Head. Paper, Ink. 7 x 5 inches. Original Art $48 (buy button below). Also available as a .pdf coloring book page.

Thank you for your continued support of my journey as an artist and author. Namaste!

Books For Sale

Now, for my shortest blog post ever. I have books for sale.

It has been 4 years since I published my first book, 3 months since I published my second book, and 2 months since I published a printed sketchbook. Life continues, and I still have signed copies available here.

Get your copies TODAY, while supplies last. These are signed editions.

The likelihood of further editions of these books is unknown.

Fun Friday Eye Candy

Would you like to flood your social media feeds with eye catching art? With Fun Friday Eye Candy you can do just that!

 

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, 222 Faces Series, Watermelon Face, watercolor on Italian paper, 5 x 5 inches, $50

As a service to artists whom I admire and as a service to my loyal readers today I brig you, drum roll please…

A list of wonderful Instagram links you can browse and follow to see amazing art online in your Instagram feed. Enjoy!

(…and no, making this list was NOT as hard as picking up that tiny watermelon!)

To access these links, click on each link to visit galleries of art. These links are in no particular order, and are NOT all the same kind of art, so what you’ll get is a treasure hunt! Happy viewing and Happy Friday!

@brookeharker

@lynngoldstein_art

@doraficherart

@pamelalordiart

@karen_phillips_art

@margaretdukeman

@melfergieart

@bybeasley

@joanmarieart

@cydrust

@marciruleart

@romadonovan

@janineibbotson

 

And not to be left out… here are my Instagram Fun Friday Eye Candy feeds:

@sillygirlfactory — a little silly

@suzannegibbsart — a little more serious

 

 

Three Pronged Approach

Sharing a new series that includes ladders, from a three pronged approach.

I recently completed a series of work that simply needed to snap on out onto  paper using ink and gouache paint. In my past work, a common theme has been the use of repeated motif’s. Most commonly, of dots, squares, and lines. This little series is no exception. What I added, is the element of ladders.

For the past few years, the idea of ladders has been resurfacing again and again in my daily writing and sketchbook doodles. This series represents the first full use of my previous motif’s with the addition of the ladder as a symbol.

In my research, ladders are chalk full of symbology. Here is a small snapshot of my findings:

  • used for going up
  • used for going down
  • a connection of earth to the heavens
  • a connection to the underworld
  • used as a metaphor as in, climbing the corporate ladder
  • ladder as a way to the glass ceiling
  • Jacob’s ladder
  • DNA resembles a ladder
  • used for escape
  • ladders as a symbol of blue collar work
  • ladders to reach the unreachable

The list of uses for ladders is seemingly endless! I will be continuing my research and my fascination of ladders later this year, possibly for the next few years. I will continue to share more ideas about ladder through what I draw and paint. This blog represents and insiders look and a first time peek at the process I use to take ideas from that initial spark to the realization of a series of works following a theme or idea.

Ladders as a theme and idea can be endless.

What is not endless is the three pronged approach I use to connect viewers to my art: Instagram, Facebook and my blog are the steps to reaching my audience.

Below are sample images from Instagram of my recent series utilizing a ladder as a symbol in the creation of the work. These images are of “in progress work.” Scroll to the end to see the finished series as it hangs on my studio-factory wall.

Instagram

After quite a few days of working silly dorky doodle darlings last night I felt compelled to work on a more serious series. These 12 pieces are not yet finished-I want to add one more layer of color-but they will be available for sale as a set very very soon. If I have an interested buyer before I load it into My Etsy shop we can privately discuss special pricing. Please feel free to contact me in the comments or from my profile. Typically my small work sells for $65 each. I am excited to have these move to the right person’s home or business. In the next few hours or possibly tomorrow I will post a video of work in progress and some close up images. These are created on Italian watercolor paper with ink and gouache. #smallart #artforsale #sillygirlfactiry #gouache #inkonpaoer #worksonpaper #art #illustration #drawing #abstractseries #abstractart #ladder #laddertheme #dots #circles #line #lineart #happytoshare #fabrianopaper

A post shared by Suzanne Gibbs (@sillygirlfactory) on

More painting.

A post shared by Suzanne Gibbs (@sillygirlfactory) on

The past month I have completed the commission project I spoke about in the image below and I have moved into a new series that I will be working on for at least the next 3-4 months. More information will be available about my next series next week!

Facebook.

Here is how I would hang the work. Either framed individually or as a whole. Please ignore the little magnets. Thank you…

Posted by Silly Girl Factory on Tuesday, April 3, 2018

 

However, before I put this little gem of a series away into storage or on Etsy, I’d like to offer it here to my blog readers first. $600 buys all twelve pieces of work, including domestic shipping or buy one at a time for $65 each. Simply email me and say YES I want the work! I will send you an invoice and the work will be on it’s way to you!

Do ladders have special significance to you? If so, grab these while you can! Or tell me why I should make more ladder work, I’m very interested in feedback.

 

Dart Tossing

I believe in giving things a try. Dart tossing means that I have been operating under a personal motto: ”Give stuff a try, toss a dart, you never know what will work without trying.” When I have a new idea, or something interesting  repeatedly calls for my attention, I will usually pick up the idea and give it a go. I liken my style of creating to tossing darts, I have needed to toss many to hit the ever elusive sweet spot.

Dart tossing is no longer working for me.

To perfect my craft and my voice though art, I’ll need to stop picking up every fun and interesting idea and begin to work towards one direction, at least for a little while. From May—October of this year I plan to do one body of work with one singular focus! No more darts! Hard work ahead!

You heard it here first!

To test the waters of Silly Girl Factory vs Fine Art by Suzanne Gibbs, I have opened a new and second Instagram account that will focus on my Fine Art. The plan is to make work that matters, work with my heart and soul poured into it. Two Instagram accounts means I am having an art identity crisis in public on social media.

What kind of work can you expect from my fine art focus?

Below are images of work from 2014 from a Solo Show (the work is currently hanging in my living room, and can still be purchased) I had shortly after my MFA in 2014. I called the show Blemish, finding beauty and peace in upset and discomfort, this link takes you to a blog post about the work.

The work from my Blemish show included abstract works made in layers. The idea for this body of work was to have my viewers question what I covered up vs what I left visible. I made the work using acrylic, oil paint and encaustic. In my current studio I cannot use encaustic , and I no longer own a full set of oil paint, but I can continue to make work.

My new body of work will be drawing and painting abstractions from the abstractions I see in the world. Simply complex, sometimes repetitive. I cannot fully visualize the work yet, as I begin to put pen to paper or paint to wood I will allow my intuition to be my guide. I am excited to share this journey with you, and I hope that I have (actually I KNOW that I have) a team of supporters that will keep me on my path for the next 6 months.

Please nudge me away from my days of dart tossing!

Call me, email me, scream at me through social media… any way you can get my attention, please do! I welcome the support and the nudge to focus! In the past, I have always been a go it alone type of person. I now realize that I need a team, support, and a community to build this thing called an art career. Dear reader, I count you as a part of this team and community! Love my followers!


In the meantime, I am finishing up a project for Art-O-Mat! An example of a possible location can be found on this blog post (click on link). This Art-O-Mat project is one example of dart tossing! I sent in my work for review and I was accepted. I am drawing and painting 100 small works of art that will be sold through re-purposed cigarette vending machines! Below are images of work in progress, to see more work in progress join my Silly Girl Factory Instagram here.

That’s all I have for you today. The adventure called life continues. I continue to create and share the journey, even as I am floundering (a little) and re-evaluating (a lot). To support the work I do, buy a book, some art, or share this post with a friend. Thank you!

Pet Portraits

I am hesitant to share this, and also quite excited! I was recently commissioned (I don’t usually take commissions, more on this later) to do a series of paintings depicting dogs! Not just any dogs, but much loved family pets. So here I am, in April, writing a contract to create: Pet Portraits! PS the client approached me for a year before I finally acquiesced! A year, umm maybe longer… anyway…

Painting pet portraits was something I never thought I’d find myself doing, ever.

Then I did. The series of pet portraits is finished and I love how they turned out! I love how the idea of creating “colorful art” (the clients wishes for the work) with black and white dogs as the subject pushed my imagination! Below are two images from this new series of work.

Silly Girl Factory, Suzanne Gibbs, Artist ©2018. Puppy Play, 10 x 10 inches, Flashe, gouache, watercolor, ink, paper, PVA adhesive on wood cradled panel. One in a series of dog portraits in everyday activities.

Silly Girl Factory, Suzanne Gibbs, Artist ©2018. Dog with Ball, 14 x 11 inches, Flashe, gouache, watercolor, ink, paper, PVA adhesive on wood cradled panel. One in a series of dog portraits in everyday activities.

I am happy that I was able to hold onto my more recent style of working in ink and watercolor, see the Reassemble Series for more of this type of work, but that I was also able to move myself into a new-ish direction—using my many years of abstract painting (see my blog from 2012) combined with drawing,  painting, and collage elements to create super fun and expressive pet portraits.

I am hoping you want to see more of this series!

Silly Girl Factory, Suzanne Gibbs, Artist ©2018. Dog on Red Chair, 14 x 11 inches, Flashe, gouache, watercolor, ink, paper, PVA adhesive on wood cradled panel. One in a series of dog portraits in everyday activities.

More Pet Portraits?! Sure, why not? Here you are:

Silly Girl Factory, Suzanne Gibbs, Artist ©2018. Cone of Shame, 10 x 10 inches, Flashe, gouache, watercolor, ink, paper, PVA adhesive on wood cradled panel.One in a series of dog portraits in everyday activities.

He really wants that ball… and the cone of shame prevents access!

Then there is the “playground” or the dog park!

Silly Girl Factory, Suzanne Gibbs, Artist ©2018. Three Dogs One Ball, 16 x 16 inches, Flashe, gouache, watercolor, ink, paper, PVA adhesive on wood cradled panel. One in a series of dog portraits in everyday activities.

You know that feeling when you are the new kid on the playground? Oh, it is so so hard! So much work goes into being accepted into the play!

I often feel like the little dog in the corner.

Sob sob, sniff… Why? Because I make art and write books, but I have yet to figure out my “niche market” or my “one best style.”

Will I be making more pet portraits? I am not sure! The process of working with a client was and is wonderful for me, I love the collaboration that goes into a project such as this one! It reminds me a lot of my days, many moons ago, as a graphic designer. I was good at that work, and I actually loved it… not sure how I veered off path, but I did!

I have since taken many art classes, taught art, made more art than I ever imagined I’d have time or ideas for, and I even finished my MFA! Getting a master of fine art was, at the time, the coup d’état of my career! My final thesis show was 5 years ago last week! Five years and still searching…

Searching for an elusive audience that wishes to purchase my work and live with it in their homes and offices. If you’re reading this, you are already likely one of my “tribe” that has purchased either my art or my books. I hope you know how grateful I am to every customer and client.

Do you have a pet?

I do pet portraits! Ha ha, only kidding! I do work. Work that calls to me, work that others request, and most of all I work on being the best artist that I know how to be. I am not too proud to take on pet portraits or any kind of work that makes my heart sing along with the people I serve.

I continue to search in order to make this life of creating sustainable. Whether my work is self-directed or in collaboration such as these pet portraits, I will continue. I will make work.

Can I interest you in some Art?

My Etsy store is having a Free Shipping promotion that ends on Friday the 13th!

Testimonials

This blog post is dedicated to the people who have shared their 100% kind words with me about my newest book: My Year of Separation. Testimonials are so sweet to receive as a creative! I cannot even tell you how happy they make me.

If you wrote a testimonial or a comment on social media and I did not include it here, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I did not go searching far and wide for the kind words, they are already in my heart. They matter. You count, even if your words aren’t shared here!

Thank You!

After I share testimonials below, there are images from my Instagram feed, giving my blog readers a chance to see what I wrote about the book after publishing the work.

I have copies left for sale in my Factory Store here.

So, without further comment, here are some testimonials on My Year of Separation.

Testimonials


Today I finished the book My Year of Separation by Suzanne Gibbs. I’ve been slowly reading it since it arrived because it’s a book to be savored. I’m so touched by Suzanne’s continuing journey of self discovery, some of which I’m doing personally but without moving, injury or pain. She is not only brave in her writing but also in her deeds. My hat is off to her. Do yourself a favor & order a copy for yourself! —Mary Ahern


I loved your raw honesty and the fact that you put into words what a lot of Mom’s feel but wouldn’t say. There is a lot about what a Mom does that feels very thankless and wears you out. It helped by putting into words that feeling that people have. I can’t however imagine everything you had to deal with with your son’s accident.

I go to Ireland each Fall and stay for 6 weeks. It started out being more for work and I still do all that but I have to say I love being alone and relying on myself for this period. I totally understood you wanting to be alone. Nice job! I plan to pass my copy along to someone else and request that they do the same. Hopefully they will read it and love it as I did and then recommend others to buy it. —Margaret Fischer Dukeman


A bold, impressive journey—the journey being the point.
Gibbs’ longtime craving, a hiatus from others’ needs and her own expectations, proved to be bumpy, courageous and raw. Deliberately exposing herself by her determination to journal through it, with candid honesty she revealed her extreme vulnerability, the strength to accept her own imperfections, and, perhaps the most difficult—to allow love in—of strangers, loved ones, and particularly of herself. She bravely stepped through her own looking glass. There’s a saying floating around, nowadays: What others think about you is none of your business. This was a gift of one person’s emergence. Kudos.
  —N. McBride


An small book, deceptively appearing to be a quick read, but instead drawing you in to really thinking about what is being told to you.
As you follow Suzanne through her honest and gutsy pursuit of who she is, and who she needs to be, you search for parallels, and find an echo, while admiring her courage to face the quest so head on. It has not been an easy journey. Circumstances made her face pain and fear, with no chance of avoidance, no choices but to find the coping skills to “get through to the other side”.

Suzanne clearly brings out that no matter where we are now, or where we are headed, the answers are within us, but we have to have the courage to look, and accept the uncertainty and the trepidation that comes with giving space to your inner chatter. Her art and need to write have become her survival skills, but at the same time have become her support and joy while she uses them as tools to clear the path she needs to follow. Insightful.


Take the time to read this. —A reader in Napa, CA


 

Book Bundle Available in Etsy Shop.

Tomorrow at 9AM PST I will read a chapter from the book on Facebook. Be there to hear the author read her words.

Tomorrow morning I will read a chapter from My Year of Separation live on Facebook!

Posted by Silly Girl Factory on Thursday, April 5, 2018

Memories

Step into my world, for just a moment, into memories.

Certain thoughts can still bring up pain. Moments later my thoughts bring overwhelming joy. The image below was drawn in the hospital ICU 2 days after my son’s accident.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2016, Sketchbook image, Boulder Community Health Hospital

When I think back I am amazed that I thought to bring a sketchbook and pen, but not a change of pants!

I remember that while in the ICU, I sat with him for hours coaching him to breathe using the knowledge I had learned during yoga teacher training. We did not know if he could hear us, but I could see that he was breathing with me. Using the squeeze of my hand in his to indicate inhales and exhales we breathed together. He was with me, and yet he has zero memory of these hours. At one point the nurse came in and was amazed that he was still breathing on his own without oxygen less than 24 hours from having his breathing tube removed. She walked away, happy for him and for me.

I also recall simply sitting. The hospital room had a window seat. So I sat. I breathed. I relied on every moment of meditation practice that I could summon. Being frantic, upset, crying uncontrollably was not going to help him heal. Being  there was all that mattered, for him and for myself.

These are the happy-sad memories.

The sounds of an ambulance made my heart rush for many months post-accident, even though I was no were near his ambulance and there was no way I could have a real memory of the sound of his ambulance. What I had was empathy for the other families about to go though what inevitably happens along with the sound of an ambulance.

Sometimes I still jump when the phone rings. The phone brought me the information about his accident.

Now there are new moments replacing these older memories and thoughts.

When I walk, breathe deeply, and spend time outside I can easily find myself overflowing with gratitude for the beauty in my life.

When I looked at the calendar today and realized that he is almost 21 years old! How exciting! He will get to celebrate this birthday! He lived.

In my book, My Year of Separation, I did not share the image above. I did not share these tougher memories. I spent the year writing and looking for hope and healing.

If these thoughts and details stir something in you, consider buying my book. Or share this email, story, blog post with someone that you think could be helped by what I’ve shared.

Soon, I will have moved past these memories. In their place will be new adventures and most likely further pain. The yucky moments are a part of a life lived fully. How we deal with our emotions is what creates either more pain or opens us up for further joy than we ever thought possible.

I choose joy. When I hit send/publish on this post I will go outside. Breathe deeply and know that I can share moments of meaning. Ideas that helped me, and that might help another fellow human.

I would love to sell you a book, but more than that I’d love to share the idea that even in pain we can look for and notice moments of joy. I believe it IS OK to be silly even at inappropriate times, but also to be reverent. A constant balance of good and bad. Happy and sad.

Memories are in the past, the now matters.

 

Where did the name Silly Girl Factory come from?

I’d like to explain where the name Silly Girl Factory came from. Even though you may not have wondered!

The idea for the name simply popped into my head one day. I liked it because Silly has the same initial as Suzanne and Girl has the same initial as Gibbs. SG! Ta da! + Factory

I am a factory worker rather than an artist in a studio or atelier because this just “feels right.” I tend to work often and diligently. Like any good factory there is a fair amount of output.

Sure sometimes I produce duds, but I think even the finest company factories in the world have a failed project from time to time.

OK and let’s get to the nitty gritty here: I am silly—I love to laugh, I tend to interrupt, dance, skip, and color with crayons! At Silly Girl Factory not all art needs to be fuddy-duddy and precious. Some art work is done to process feelings and emotions or to practice new techniques and styles (this stuff stays in the factory, usually). A lot of work is me dumping onto the page ways in which I see the world or ways in which I wish to combine stuff that intrigues me.

And here goes…the elephant in the room! I am a girl! You know, I live life with curiosity and I question everything, similar to how young children approach life. Here is a book I wrote about being consciously curious (click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page)!

One more fact: I create, draw, write, and make stuff every single day! Every-single-day, for real! I am my own silly girl factory, literally!


Me imitating my illustration which was drawn from an old picture of myself. How is that for a mouthful of words and ideas?

Below is a list of the projects that have come to life in 2018 and are currently available for purchase. All you need to do is click on the links and you’ll be shuttled all over the internet—like COSTCO shopping but in cyber stores!

  1. The Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop opened for business in January of this year
  2. My year of Separation, a second book (zero copies left, more are on order—I am taking early requests please email me Suzanne@sillygirlfactory.com)
  3. Business Cards with a funny illustration (see image above this list)
  4. New Yoga Classes that I instruct—we laugh, have fun, and do asanas with pranayama! (Sanskrit words for poses and breath work.)
  5. Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC a Sketchbook mailed to NYC for The Sketchbook Project and I turned it into a silly booklet for sale
  6. Reassemble Series of small paintings added to Etsy Shop
  7. Number 5 above added to Etsy Shop once the printing was finished
  8. Doodle Coloring Pages added to Etsy Shop (see Ruffle Clown below) more will be added as I create them!
  9. 222 Faces Series (but not all 222) has been added to my website and tomy  Etsy Shop—special pricing when you purchase multiples!
  10. Silly Girl Factory Zazzle Store is now open for business (I have been meaing to do this for about 8 years!) Sheesh… not factory speed!

Suzanne Gibbs ©2015-18, Dorky Doodle People, Ruffle Clown, ink on paper

Last week I promised more information on the Doodle + Ladder + Word Project.

The news is: I am continuing to work on it! I spent a full studio day last week making patterned paper. I have no new art to show, but the factory IS in gear. Obviously, the factory has been busy! See list above. 🙂


Hey! You know what? Thanks for reading my blog! If you have continued to enjoy the information I present, feel free to forward this post or any of my ideas to a friend or many friends! To support the work I do, please buy a book or my art!

Maybe you are not in a spending mood? Follow me on Instagram, tee hee… I do monthly giveaways—but you’ll only know about them if you follow me on Instagram!

What Wakes You Up?

An alarm wakes me up!

A few days ago it rained here so much that the septic system alarm for the building I live in roared to life in the middle of the night. Sometime between 1AM and 2AM the alarm began to blare and never shut off. As I understand it, the ground was so saturated that the system was on overdrive. The alarm is a precaution for users to, well, not flush…  This alarm woke me up!

The alarm kept ringing all night, the rain kept coming down, there was no respite from the noise. While it was still dark out, I put my headphones on and went into the factory studio to work. Only one building away. I could still hear the alarm, even through the headphones and music. At least now I was using my time productively instead of lying in bed in anger!

What wakes you up?

For some, this question might provoke worry, for the kids, finances, a lousy boss, health issues, and all sorts of other normal life moments. For others, the question, what wakes you up, might stir up wonderful passions and ideas!

Lately, I have been waking up excited to greet my day. I have a deep desire to get all sorts of ideas and projects out of my head and soul and onto the paper and into the world.

Sketchbook of Dorky Doodle Darlings, inside cover, on Etsy for $13

Last month I awoke eagerly each day to fill a small sketchbook for the Sketchbook Project in Brooklyn New York.

Awaking early each day to greet my studio practice. This time with my iPhone alarm, not the septic system, I enthusiastically created work as a factory worker would—unafraid of repetition and productive labor. My factory studio is a laboratory of labor and love. While a painting a day, a sketch a day, or a journal page a day may get finished, my work is never done.

Capturing fleeting moments in paint, ink, crayon, marker, or whatever tool sparks ideas is the joy in the business of putting the moments that capture my attention into place. Lately, my work has landed on sketchbook pages and watercolor paper. Simple squares, circles, dots, and lines nod to rivets, parts, and pieces of repetition and the building blocks of something bigger. Weaving these basic motifs into patterns and texture I invoke the viewer to look and wonder. Creating curiosity.

With the sketchbook project I added these motifs onto dorky doodle darlings—characters, if you will—creatures of my imagination.

This booklet is now available for sale in my Etsy shop. The end product is a bit wonky, rough around the edges, and not as polished as my usual work. Somehow, this seems right for this project.

However, the raw unfiltered nature of the end result kept me up at night! The evening after I hit “order now” I was already in the zone of, ugh…it is not good enough! No one will want it.

The order arrived and the booklet is ready for an audience.

I ought to allow the audience to decide if it is “good enough.”

What wakes me up at night?

Knowing I may now have inventory that will never reach the consumer. Yet, I have already begun my next project! While hoping there is an audience for the last one…

Along with the Dorky Doodle Darling Booklet I have also added coloring pages to my Etsy site! Be sure to check them out!

Here is Hipster Hiker! Just one of many!

©Suzanne Gibbs, 2018, Dorky Doodle People, Hipster Hiker, for sale as Original Art for $48 or as a coloring book page download file for $2.50 on Etsy.


Tune in next week for more information on the Doodle + Word + Ladder Project.

My last project was a book. My Year of Separation is the title. I mailed copies of it to customers all over the world this past week! Super exciting! If you are interested in the book: My Year of Separation, please order soon! Go to the Factory Store to order. I only have 2 copies left in the factory and I am not sure when I will order another print run.