Category Archives: In The Studio

October 2018 Sketchbook

Suzanne Gibbs Art October 2018 Sketchbook is ready!

Each month I fill a sketchbook and share it here on my blog via video. Below you can find my October 2018 sketchbook. Comments, suggestions, ideas, and questions are always welcome!

My sketchbooks are made for ME, and generously shared with you!

This month I found I barely had any drawing in me and only a little bit of painting. Instead writing filled my pages. The important thing was that I showed up for myself. By doing this my creative spirit knows it can trust me. I believe soon, my drawing and painting will come back. I am patient with my creativity. Are you?

I invite you to make your sketchbook pages 100% personal!

100 Postcards Project

In September 2018 my goal was to make 100 painted art postcards.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, Mixed Media, varied sizes.

100 Postcards Project required that I paint every single day. Painting smaller did not take take less time to accomplish and finish than my larger grid paintings (see below). I thought they would, I was mistaken. I found I was more concerned with details in these smaller sized art postcards. Also, necessarily I had to work with a much smaller paint brush.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, Don’t Know, Flashe paint and other media on wood cradled panel, 16 x 16 inches, $480

Unfortunately, I must be honest here and report that I did not reach my goal of 100 finished postcards in September. However, I did get paint on 100 postcards in September. Through shear tenacity, late nights, and early mornings I almost reached my goal. I have 10 to finish as of this writing. How did I do it?

I kept making 100 postcards!

Even when the project seemed endless I continued to paint. When I was questioning my own sanity, I changed things up a bit. Below is an image of a card I did when I challenged myself to paint with watercolor in 1/8 inch squares! Yes, you read that right! Very tiny squares.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, #9, Mixed Media, varied sizes, $9

I hope to do a large painting in 2019 using this method of 1/8 inch squares + watercolor. Can you imagine how exquisite watercolor squares would be to view from far away and from close-up in tiny 1/8 inch increments of paint?

As I made more and more work, and as I was sharing the project on social media, I began noticing more fans and likes on Instagram. As a spoof on my own excitement at the momentum I was generating I began taking images of my 100 postcards in batches of 3-10—in fan shapes!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, Mixed Media, varied sizes, $9.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, Mixed Media, varied sizes, $9

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, Mixed Media, varied sizes, $9

Were you wondering if I use a ruler to draw straight lines?

A few people asked me this question during my month of creating 100 Postcards. I do not use rulers. Everything I painted and drew freehand. However, I do work on a cutting board that has a grid and this gives me visual reference of a grid and straight lines.

I mix paint in batches of 6 colors, with lots of water!

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, sample of mixing paint tray.

My singular focus on grids veered into a new direction when I had leftover paint and not enough time. I grabbed a larger brush and made organic shapes with the left-over paint on Fabriano postcard paper. I set these aside to dry. A few days later I saw faces in the paint. Faces! If you have followed my work at all, you already know I love painting faces almost as much as I love painting grids.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, Mixed Media, varied sizes, $9.

Even the faces I painted were treated to grid treatment!

Suzanne Gibbs Art postcards were mailed around the world throughout September. The art that did not find owners are still available for sale.

Suzanne Gibbs, ©2018, 100 Postcard Series, Mixed Media, varied sizes, being shipped out to lucky people.

For the time being my 100 Postcards Project has come to an end! Stay tunes for my next adventure in art and books!

My Friend, The Sketchbook

One of my favorite things these days is my friend, the sketchbook.

My sketchbook gladly accepts scribbling.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

The handwritten word lands on each page.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

From other artists art I find inspiration and draw to my hearts content.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

Getting glue all over the place, I make collage.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

I make nothing in particular. For no particular reason and for no one in particular, except maybe me. To see more of my sketchbooks, try my YouTube channel.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

I capture ideas—they come to me, they are not mine.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

My sketchbook is my friend.

I am on a journey of unknown destination. My friend, the sketchbook allows the meanderings and musings to be captured, recorded, honored, and saved.

I’m in that liminal place between where I’ve been and where I’m going. I am uncomfortable and a little scared. I will stay here, in the pages of my sketchbook, until I know exactly which direction I’m headed next.

Will there ever be an exactly? A knowing? A clear and undeniable answer?

Likely, not. My sketchbook is one of my favorite things, and my friend, because I can rely on the pages to take what I have to offer.

When I need comfort, she’s here for me. When I need an outlet, he takes a beating.

Page spread from August 2018 sketchbook of Suzanne Gibbs.

My friend, the sketchbook knows that to be silly is to use one’s highest intelligence because laughter heals.

I have learned in life, that what I write down, and what I pay attention to grows and becomes  real life, eventuality. The sketchbook, knows this too and the seeds spread far and wide.

The impossible becomes possible and what is impermanent becomes permanent inside the pages of a sketchbook filled from curiosity.

Picking up images, words, and musings everywhere I go, and everyday absorbing and applying them in my friend, the sketchbook. This is a place of unrestrained containment. My favorite place to be, with a friend—myself.

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!

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

The Finish Line

I am almost to the finish line… just a little bit more effort and I will order my first set of books!

Honestly, there is no way to contain the excitement of FINISHING a big project! …and I’m not even finished yet! So you’re stuck with me telling you about it!

My second book looks at my own beliefs and behaviors, one essay at a time. Written from the perspective of a year in my life.

My Year of Separation, book cover sample/not the final product!

My Year of Separation is a book containing a series of essays about the year I moved out and lived on my own for the first time in 25 years, and successfully stayed married and connected fully to my children, friends, and family—while healing from the near death of my eldest son.

My Year of Separation will sell for $15 plus shipping. However, pre-orders from now until February 28, 2018 are $12 each. What a deal! Simply email me and I will send you an invoice and I will also let you know as soon as the first shipment arrives to Silly Girl Factory and when it will be on it’s way to you. These will be signed editions. You may request special notes, if you like.


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…

Sharing Excitement

I am too excited to contain my excitement! I need to share more details about my newest book.

But before I do, you could buy my first book. I recently ordered a select number of re-prints. These will be signed copies!

Then you could move onto reading my second book! …When it is ready!

My Year of Separation is 95% finished (I think). Ninety-five percent is very likely an overestimation, but every time I begin to see the end of a project I always get excited to start my next project.

The life of a creative…

Sometimes, I forget about all the little details that go into finishing a project. Then I get excited about sharing my work with the public, and you, my cherished and loyal readers. And, hinestly all those little details seem so mundane!

I say, Phewy! On details! Let’s just get this thing out into the world!

Today, I am feeling the need to share and tell you where I am at with this new book.

  • Recently an editor was hired—wow was that a lot of work! And the work I did with her made the essays stronger.
  • I have a few illustrations to draw.
  • The cover needs to be designed and doing this part is always a fun way to use my graphic design skills.
  • An ISBN number has already been ordered.
  • AND, I plan to self-publish as soon as possible.

I need to share with you that—hopefully by February 19th—I will have published this second book! BUT this is a huge PUSH goal! Huge!

Please cheer me on! Or tell me you’re excited to buy a copy… or that you are excited for me, just because!

 

Silly, synonyms—because I sometimes wonder if I am silly to share the deeply personal and make my thoughts public!


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…

Creating “Containers”

Some of my best work has come from the idea of creating containers. I create arbitrary and also thought out “containers” from which to start a body of work. How can something be arbitrary and thought out? Allow me to explain. As a creative, I tend to have way too many ideas to actually execute in any given day, month, or year. So, I have learned how to create what I call, containers — arguably this could also be called parameters — but let’s stick with the image of a container!

Oblivion, Bright half of life, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Oblivion, Bright half of life, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Imagine a box. Now, put in the rules in the box. Magic happens in the container. Out the other side comes the art!

(more…)

Why Silly Girl?

Lately you might have been seeing the name Silly Girl on and around my website, on my art, and on my social media posts. Why you might ask? Why Silly Girl?

Just because!

One morning I woke up and realized that Silly Girl has the same initials as Suzanne Gibbs, so why not Silly Girl. Any of you who have known me a while know there is a silly girl in there somewhere. She used to be more obvious!

final-web

That was before marriage, before kids, before owning a home and becoming a “responsible adult.” I’m wanting to shed my skin. I of course, will remain responsible, and a mom, and a wife – but why can’t I be silly too!

Silly Girl represents the child in me, the creative being who although I worked like crazy as an adult to shush her, she had her own ideas all along…

Silly Girls is:

  1. Playful
  2. Curious and inquisitive
  3. Adventurous
  4. Sensitive – about others, the environment, and with the self
  5. Most of all, she wants to develop close connections to people through her art, yoga, and in a perfect world a blend of the two!

 

Does Silly Girl Art mean the work will always make people laugh? No. Will there be cartoons? Maybe. Will the work be completely un-serious? No. How can yoga be silly? Try me, you might like it!

Do I lack judgement or common sense? I’ll let you be the judge of that, however will you please give me 3 months to a year before you judge? Silly Girl has more resilience than I ever knew, I am only now listening to her wisdom.

Am I crazy, ditzy, and childish to think that I can launch a company called Silly Girl and actually find success here? Well, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do. Right now, right here, this month, today – I feel compelled to listen closely to what Silly Girl has to offer. I hope you’ll stick with me/us as we uncover all the fun we wish to embark on! Ah Ho! Namaste.

Do That Thing

Do that thing you have been putting off.

Do That Thing.

I have been putting off making work for a solo gallery show I have coming up in July. So you know what I did when the gallery contacted me and asked if I’d like the space in May as well as in July?

I said YES, sure!

A bad idea? Maybe.

I am doing my thing. Too much work, too often, without enough time or planning. However, I am pretty sure everything will turn out fine. Because I am doing my thing!

Would you like to see sample work? Yes? Sure, here:

Each of these drawings are drawings based entirely off of paintings I created in the last few years. For example:

drawingandpainting

Top image is an encaustic painting on panel, bottom is an abstract drawing based on the painting.

Here is a sample of work in progress:

Encaustic painting, Heap O' and the beginnings of the Abstract drawing of the painting. And yes, my studio couch to!

Encaustic painting, Heap O’ and the beginnings of the Abstract drawing of the painting. And yes, my studio couch to, as a support and drawing table!

 

In conclusion, if you are anything like me, and procrastination is easier than doing the work that is most worth doing. Take a risk!

Do That Thing.

My show is at the RAA Gallery in Eureka CA. May 23 – June 15.