Author Archives: Suzanne Gibbs

Keep Making Art

Most of my followers know by now that I closed the doors to Silly Girl Factory. The question I keep getting is why? Aren’t you going to keep making art?

The answer is yes, yes I am and I will keep making art.

I will keep making art under my own name: Suzanne Gibbs.

My art will now only be sold through me or my website.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, OPEN, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches, $480

Basically, these are the only changes. All other changes are hair splitting categories and arbitrary divisions.

I will keep making art, because I love sharing the work I do!

Here is a video of a happy customer. She is an Art Coach, Business Owner, advocate for the arts, and patron of the arts! Whew! Thanks Alyson B. Stanfield for all of the work you do!

 

24 Hours Left

In just over one full day, a short 24 hours, Silly Girl Factory is closing.

At midnight tomorrow July 2, 2018, I will be closing production and sales as Silly Girl Factory. She’s served me well as I inched my way back into making my own art, again… life is a process of learning and re-learning.

I opened Silly Girl Factory for business 24 days before my son’s horrific accident in October of 2016. I closed factory while I lived in Boulder Colorado to help him heal and navigate hospitals. Silly Girl Factory stayed closed while I worked for another artist in 2017. This was the year I began to heal from the trauma of being with an adult child 24/7 that needed to learn everything from scratch, including learning how to breathe.

I search for strength and resilience.

Illustration Detail by Suzanne Gibbs for Silly Girl Factory, Breathe, watercolor and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches, NFS.

Then I felt compelled to re-open my Silly Girl Factory production in January of 2018.

I reopened my Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop and launched a Zazzle shop—PLUS I operated an actual bricks and mortar shop too! Three months in, and I began to wonder why I was making the work I was doing. I was finding that I was unable to finish projects that initially felt so exciting and intriguing.

It hurts when this happens. When the list of projects is long and compelling, but not juicy enough for my creative energy to follow though. I doubted myself, I doubted my artistic abilities. Studio time was getting ugly, still I persisted.

I called friends, mostly artists.

I wrote in my journal regularly.

I sketched in my sketchbook everyday.

I kept making art—it was admittedly all over the place, in style and in content. I even wrote and finished a book!

During my time of confusion, I did not neglect my feelings or my business. I kept posting to social media, but now I had 2 locations! Both Silly Girl Factory and Suzanne Gibbs Art. This quickly got tiresome and confusing. I kept asking myself: What is my identity as an artist?

I took time alone in odd places to reevaluate. A solo trip to a dive diner was one of the places I sought refuge!

Salt Shaker at Stars Diner

A juicy commission came along during this time. The client requested 5 dog portrait paintings!

All of a sudden I was awake nearly 24 hours a day. Working day and night, then working through the day again. I was excited to make really good work for her. Painting on wood cradled panels and using Flashe paint for the first time, I was smitten!

My confidence soared.

My confusion did too!

Silly Girl Factory as a brand was feeling restrictive rather than expansive. I began to wonder if I was hiding behind silly, when much of the time I am actually quite serious, albeit also often very naive. Even as I write this I wonder, why am I letting go? I am letting go because I am hoping my voice as an artist will come through, without Silly Girl as the face and branding of the work.

Illustraion Detail, ©2018 Suzanne Gibbs for Silly Girl Factory, Hope, water color and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches, NFS

Please join me as I move into this next journey. One of owning up to and living and painting as me—Suzanne Gibbs—my art.

Illustration Detail by Suzanne Gibbs for Silly Girl Factory, Let Loose, watercolor and ink on paper, 12 x 9 inches, NFS.

In 24 Hours I will close the doors to Silly Girl Factory and put this chapter behind me.

On July 4th I leave for a trip to go fly fishing with my father in Canada. I will be back in the studio and in production on new work on July 16, 2018.

While I recharge I urge you to live my fortune cookie: Be brave enough to live creatively.

Excellent Fortune Cookie! Cracked open be Suzanne Gibbs in 2018.

The sky is the limit! For all of us, if we let our heart speak. Namaste.

Image of sky

Everything in my Etsy shop is 33% off. Last day, last chance, then the work goes into my archives. Use SHOPCLOSING to get your discount.

Link

I am so excited to announce that my first ever digital Sketchbook Project sketchbook is ready to be viewed!

A link to the little book. Whoot! Whoot!

Celebrate with me!!!! Happy Dance!

Some of you might recognize her:

One page in sketchbook of Dorky Doodle Darlings

I filled this little book with tons of silliness. I was pretending that my doodle characters were talking about their first ever trip to NYC—only to realize that once they left my studio they would need to stay and live in NYC—forever.

100% silly. 100% personal.

I have moved so many times in my life that I have lost count of the number of places I have called home. In fact, I moved again last week and I am still getting used to my new “digs.”

You know what else? I LOVE NYC! LOVE LOVE LOVE! I often joke that if I had an unlimited budget I’d move to NYC and gobble up all that I could for two years. Like a kid in a candy store going to every single art museum, gallery, and paper goods or art store that I could find!

Suzanne Gibbs ©2015-18, Dorky Doodle People, Ruffle Clown, ink on paper, 7 x 5 inches, $45

If the book looks exciting to you and you’d like a paper copy of your own, let me know! I have plenty in stock!

Here is a link to the purchase page.

Silly Girl Factory is CLOSING

On July 2, 2018 I will be closing the doors of Silly Girl Factory forever.

Until then, please visit my Etsy store with a generous Store Closing discount and help me bid farewell to Silly Girl Factory.

I am going to focus ALL my efforts on my Fine Art paintings.

Grids From Within is a series of multi colored checkerboard paintings that are personal portraits made as an invitation for viewers to move into contemplation and curiosity. Several pieces are already for sale.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Lost Voice, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 10 x 10 inches, $300

I am super excited about the new direction of my work and business, I hope you’ll join me in my nervous and excited journey!

New Art. New Style. New way to reach me!

You can now reach me at my new email address: artist@suzannegibbs.com. Please take a moment to update your address book.

Thank you

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, OPEN, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches, $480

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