Category Archives: Building Community

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

 

 

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!

Passionate

Do you ever think about your passions? I do.

I mean, do you really hone in and decide what is most important to you? It seems, since we have just this one life, that this question of passion is worth pondering. The more I ponder it, the more that I realize that:

All my work is about passion. The search for meaning. Yep, it’s true! Always.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Line and Dot. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches, $75

For me, I find passion even as I draw line after line after line after line, because my mind is quieting, living in the moment, yet still thinking…

I am passionate about these things:

  • Communication—visually and through stories.
  • Painting, drawing, collage, and writing.
  • Expanding community through sharing my art and art experiences.
  • Good health. Mind. Body. Spirit. (Yoga helps this mix.)
  • Reading. Reading. And more, reading.

I am also passionate about being generous.

To extend my generosity to you, this year for my birthday, which is tomorrow on February 22, I am doing a birthday in reverse sale. I am giving my readers a gift of 20% off on my original art in my ETSY shop. A 2 day flash birthday sale of 20% OFF. The funny thing is… I wanted to give you 22% off—to match my birthday date—but ETSY did not allow for that silly number, so I settled on 20% off. Sure, it’s enough, right? I hope so! It is my gift to you!

Currently my shop has 24 items for sale. All original art. No prints.

I know, I know… it is a WILD IDEA to give you the birthday gift! But that’s me! Silly and passionate too! Passionate about getting my work to you! I ship fast, same day usually!

Clicking on any image will send you to the Silly Girl ETSY shop, so easy!

Then there is more art… In a Perfect Life, this image would not have bullet holes in the diamond sign post. But we all know, life is made up of good and bad. The good and the bad when woven together is what creates perfection, the Perfect Life. To find joy, we only need to focus on the moment. For example, that a huge fresh lemon can exist on the same painting as a bullet hole. How cool is that! With this image you can imagine the possibility of walking the path of passion. There are blue shoes on the painting to help you imagine a Perfect Life.

OK, you asked… no you didn’t but here you go, one more example of the art that is available on the flash 2 day only Birthday Sale. Remember there are 24 pieces in this series! Actually there was 25, one sold recently.

Please, allow me to tell you a little about this painting. Wouldn’t you love a pair of purple boots! I would! That’s why I painted them. Yep! Boots remind me of winter storms. Let’s send this winter into oblivion! Right?!?! Why not!

Today as I write this blog post there is wind, rain, and hail ripping their way through the sky and seeping into the cracks below the doors and rattling the windows. Making for a very exciting studio experience because there is so much energy in the air!

Energy is the bright half of life!


Speaking of energy!

Are you curious about the release of my next book? Ha ha, how is that for a switcheroo of going from art to books? Ha ha. You do know I write books as well as make art, right?

My second book, My Year of Separation is hitting the press this month! The first shipment is already on it’s way to my factory here!

I can’t wait to start shipping orders!

My Year of Separation will sell for $15 plus shipping. However, pre-orders from now until February 28, 2018 are $12 each, plus shipping. What a deal! An extension of the Birthday deal, 20% off! Preferred Method: Simply go to my Factory Store and hit Buy Me, this will take you to a PayPal payment page. If you like personalized service, you may email me before February 28, 2018 and I will send you an invoice. These will be signed editions.

Clicking on the image brings you to the Factory Store as well, easy peasy.


Oh my gosh! This has been a fun post to write and send! If you do not need art right now, or a book, that’s ok! As a birthday gift to me, could you simply share this post with a friend or a few friends who like art and read books! Just use that handy FORWARD button that e-mail allows you to do…

Or, buy art for a friend that needs a little cheer and Touch someone’s life.

 


That’s about enough for now!

Oh, wait! There is a new project on my studio table! The factory is bringing you even more goodness!

I made a sketchbook for The Sketchbook Project for the Brooklyn Art Library. Yep! It has been a busy factory, Silly Girl Factory has been running full tilt! Here is a sample of one page of the sketchbook.

Sketchbook of Dorky Doodle Darlings, single page image.

This little sketchbook is 36 pages and full of silly dorky doodle characters getting ready for their trip out of Silly Girl Factory. A silly nonsense book, made with the love of working spontaneously. The images are raw and real and fun because they are made in an actual sketchbook, not on fancy art paper.

In march copies of this sketchbook will be available for sale here at Silly Girl Factory.

Never a dull moment!

Please e-mail me if you’d like to be placed on the pre-order list for this little gem. I am not even sure of the price yet, or how many I will print. The project is fresh and raw and just now wanting to come to life outside my studio walls.


Today I shared my passion, a Birthday Blast Sale, Separation in book format, and a NEW project! Oh , so much! So much!

With so much news coming from Silly Girl Factory, are you overwhelmed? Do you have a specific question for me? Please use the contact page for your inquiries. I check my in-box daily!

I Goofed, Sorry :(

Hello! Suzanne here—artist, author and instructor at Silly Girl Factory

Image of the door of Silly Girl Factory in Langlois, Oregon

For the past few weeks I have been attempting to figure out how to “revive” and “grow” my email list in order to tell more people about the new stuff I am making and selling. In the process, I accidentally added personal contacts to my current blog subscriber list—you may not have asked to be here!

What I really wanted to do was make a separate list to invite new readers to join my blog list. But I am a bit of a newbie doing the technical work in Mail Chimp… and…

I goofed, and I am really sorry.

Now you are on my blog subscriber list. This is how I initially got your email address: Once upon a time we have met in person, worked together, or I have admired your work via social media links (yes, I am a website snoop). We may or may not remember each other or where we first met! But here I am, in your inbox!

Because of my goof, I decided to just go ahead and tell my whole new list what I am up to!

I love to stay in touch.

I invite you to view the new work going on at Silly Girl Factory via my website. My factory makes art, writes and publishes books, and teaches both yoga and creative art workshops. Silly Girl Factory may be a new brand—however making art, writing books, and teaching are not new to me, and you may know me as Suzanne Gibbs or Suzanne Gibbs Studio.

Suzanne Gibbs and new puppy Zoie.

When I paint or draw my art is idealistic, plural, and impractical. I make the work in a spontaneous and direct manner. I call upon a viewer’s understanding of daily production and repetitive work. The strength lies in my art’s elegance and confidence. I paint reassembled patterns as seen on quotidian objects, spaces, places, and people. Culling ideas and inspiration from my own painting and drawing as well as popular media and a plethora of other inspiration. I flatten the hierarchy of all that I see. Making meaning out of meaninglessness.

Yep, basically I draw and paint while staying silly and having fun doing the serious business of making art.

Suzanne Gibbs ©2016, Alive! LOOK, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75 x 4.75 inches, $65

When I write, I dive into my own life and I record, represent, distort, fragment, distill, celebrate, challenge and evaluate all that I know—blurring the boundaries between what I think I understand and what I wish to understand. Then sharing what I write via books and blogs.

In a few short weeks I will have my second book, My Year of Separation: A collection of essays examining the impossible task of separation from self, complete and ready for an audience—the first published shipment is already on it’s way to my factory. I am hoping that you might be one of the people interested in this project.

My Year of Separation, book cover, written and illustrated by Suzanne Gibbs is my newest creation.

Now, back to my mistake. I Goofed

  • If you do nothing. You’ll stay on my e-mail list and receive regular notifications.
  • Additionally, you may decide to go over to Instagram or Facebook and follow me I post images of the projects I am working on, almost daily.
  • Lastly, there IS an unsubscribe button, and you are free to use this option at any time, no hard feelings, after all you may not have elected to be here, but you are now due to my mistake!

Except, you might miss out…

I want you to hear about when my second book is being shipped!

Also, I am currently working on my next project—another book— this one is being done almost entirely by hand, I will go digital when I scan the sketchbook, but the creation of this new work is paper, pen, ink, watercolor, crayons,colored pencils, and glue in a sketchbook. I am creating drawings, writing, and doodles—oodles of doodles. I am creating this project for The Sketchbook Project in NYC. The working title of this little gem is:

Dorky Doodle Darlings ^prepare to Visit NYC

I am over the top thrilled to have found a way to have my art on display and available for viewing in NYC! This is a dream come true! Many many years ago (1982) I wanted to attend art school in NYC, but I didn’t. Now my art can go to NYC to live in The Sketchbook Project library, and I can go visit the work andy time I want. Seriously, very hugely exciting!

Let’s do the Happy Dance!

Well, I will happy dance once I finish this next project! And… of course… since Silly Girl Factory IS a factory and in high production mode, there will be other projects announced later this year. You want to know about these, right? Sure you do!

I may or may not have your permission to email you in this way, and because of this I appreciate that it is a privilege to write to you today. Thanks for reading!

I adore my FANS! Hugs and Kisses and Happy Dances!

Happy Valentine’s Day too!

Toodle-loo! Until another time!

Suzanne at Silly Girl Factory

Others Tell Me What They See

Recently I spoiled myself by asking for feedback of my art through Facebook and Instagram. I wanted others to tell me what they see when they view my work. See, I told you I spoiled myself! Who asks for direct feedback? Ha ha, I do! and did!

First: Thank you to everyone who commented! I love my followers so very much!! You’re my awesome tribe and my community.

Schedule Wild Idea, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75” $65 Available on ETSY.

Here is a partial list of people that told me what the see in my work:

Lynn Goldstein I have so enjoyed your posts on Instagram! Your work is fresh, interesting, and thought provoking to view.

Mickey Baxter Spade Hi Suzanne, your work is so fun! Looking forward to seeing/reading more.

Josie Zappia-Hotz Definitely whimsical!

Libby Contreraz Avant Garde!

Susan C. Lindberg I enjoy your whimsical drawings – they highlight your playful side. 😁 Susan

Kim Henigman Bruce Imagination.

That’s it! Others tell me what they see. Thank you!


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! To support the work I do, buy a book or my art!

Not in a buying mood today? OK! I’d love more followers on Instagram or Facebook…tee hee…

Happy New Year, 2017

I have not written for my blog in over two months.

I have not known what to say, or how to say it. “It” being a story too big to tell.

On October 29, 2016, I had a phone call no mother ever wants to get:

Your son is in ICU, he had ___________ surgery, he is stable, etc. etc. etc.

I almost lost my eldest son to a bicycle accident. He was riding home from work on a Saturday afternoon. He was zipping down a hill. He was going too fast. He was preoccupied. He had the coming evening’s events on his mind. He had coffee in one hand. He had an earbud in one ear listening to music. He ran a stop sign. He rode at an estimated 30 miles per hour into the passenger side rear window of an SUV.

My life has been anything but normal since that fated day.

I flew to and lived in Boulder Colorado for two months. I became a nurse, cook, wound care specialist, chauffeur, coach, and more…

I did what any mother would do. I tried my best to do whatever needed to be done to help my son heal.

After a long hospital stay and countless appointments we were grateful to get the “all clear” to travel home for the Holiday’s.

Once home, we hibernated as a family. Ate nutritious meals. Played games. Slept often and late. Enjoyed nature. Laughed. Talked and told stories. Worked on puzzles.

The event created waves of change in our family, in life, and in my fledgling newly hatched business.

You might have noticed, I closed my Silly Girl Factory Etsy Shop. The shop I had opened for business in October 2016 was and is now closed. I stopped making new projects. I stopped writing. I stopped drawing. I stopped painting. I stopped regular life. Instead, I focused on him.

I did whatever I could to bring him to health and healing. Our hours, days, and schedules became completely intertwined. All for him.

As he gained some independence, I tried to move forward in my life as well.

After a while, I began going to few yoga classes. This was not an easy step forward. I was still to afraid to go into public because talking to strangers was too hard. How could I contain the hurt? How could I express the hurt? How could I act normal or be normal? Nothing was or is normal.

Not now. Not ever.

Slowly, I began to draw or create collages or write again, a little, each day. Allowing my work to feed me and ground me. I have so much hope for myself and my little business: Silly Girl Factory.

Self-Care Free, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I have so much hope for his future and his “regular” life coming back to him.

His healing will take a year, maybe more, not less.

My healing might take longer than his. My spirit took a deep hit. I never wanted to see my child suffer, especially not so much.

I will continue to dive into making my art, my writing, my unique ways of expressing, and creating. I long to share.

Joy. Life. Love. Peace. Hope. Health. Silliness and fun!

I also know that my art will be a container for the hurt, the pain, and the expression of all I have inside that is too big to express.

Thank you for being a trusted reader. May your 2017 be filled with hope, love, peace, health, and everything else you desire. Now you know why the silence came so soon after the excitement of opening my Silly Girl Factory Etsy shop. I plan to re-open. When the time is right.

Happy New Year

Feeling Lonely

I never feel lonely, unless I spend too much time on social media.

So instead I’ll spend time here creating content that will end up on social media. Is this all a waste of time? Who am I to judge. I have stuff to say, art to make, books to write, and classes to teach.

To get customers interested that means I post in the loneliest place on the planet – social media.

Fixie Bike

It’s not all bad though, we need it – did I just say that?!?!? Do we need social media? No, and yes, and no. But yes. Oops, endless loop here. If I wasn’t on social media, I’d be missing out on connections I have made – wait no, connections have almost always been through face to face encounters and then with social media the relationships can actually get more, interesting? Yea, I’ll give it that. I have collaborated over social media, I have a network over social media, bla bla.

Yep, still feeling lonely. Time to sell some art or teach a class! That’s right. Do some stuff with people, not just a keyboard.

Would you like to connect with me? I make art for people for free! Yep! Free. Check this out: Free Art.

One Not So Simple Question

I have a question for you. But first a boring bit about me.

I work daily to:

  1. write
  2. draw
  3. workout or walk or both
  4. do some yoga
  5. eat well
  6. sleep enough
  7. take care of family matters
  8. launch Silly Girl (more on that in the coming weeks)
  9. and so on…

Not necessarily in that order each day…

Small space has big rewards. LOVE, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Small space has big rewards. LOVE, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Basically while working on doing the right thing for the right reasons, I began to wonder:

How can I serve you? I want to get a sense from people what they need from art and how I could meet that need.

Is it?

  1. Greeting cards
  2. Gift wrap
  3. Fabric with silly designs
  4. Wall hanging art
  5. Small art that can be given as gifts
  6. A new book
  7. Coloring books or postcards
  8. Illustrated cookbooks
  9. Other – you name it (as long as I am not asked to do commissions)

Maybe the need is not an actual art piece, but classes and information, tell me what you want to know. I’ll listen!

Once upon a time I had a friend who would ask me questions based on her own research into the art she was studying (we were both docents at Long Beach Museum of Art), we would both benefit from the exchange of information. You can ask me questions, I’d love to help – anything about art or creativity is fair game! Oh, and yoga too!

Luna

What if you want philosophy, well, I have shared my share of Suzanne-ism’s. I can do more of that! You’ll get that anyway from me!

I can do book reviews or suggestions too – I have read over 50 books this year alone. Yes, call me nerd, silly me! I love to read and write! and draw, and do yoga, and take walks on the beach… la la la

As a reminder:

How can I serve you? I want to get a sense from each of you what do you need from art, from me in particular, and how I could meet your needs.

Three Sources for Creative Courage

Three sources of Creative Courage. The never give up attitude!

One: Ira Glass

Two: Elizabeth Gilbert

Three: Danny Gregory and his blog too!

Bonus: Julia Cameron

Obviously, there are many many more sources and ways to keep nourishing your creative spirit. But today’s post serves to remind you to: Go Make Art. Any kind of art. Any kind of creative output. Go!

I don’t want you dwelling on reading my blog. Go! Have creative courage!

Yep, showing you that my images are drawn by hand in a 5.5 x 8.5 Canson Sketchbook for Mixed Media. Using Uniball pen and Peerless Watercolors.

Yep, showing you that my images are drawn by hand in a 5.5 x 8.5 Canson Sketchbook for Mixed Media. Using Uniball pen and Peerless Watercolors.