Category Archives: Painting

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.

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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!

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.

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!

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…

Health School Tales

The titles of my paintings contain meaning. In this BLOG post, I’ll give you a glimpse at what I mean by deconstructing an image of my small painting called: Health School Tales. I used found words and media from magazines to create a collage. Then, I painted this painting using my collage as a reference. When I collage, I work from my intuition and at a fast and fluid pace. Sometimes I am not even sure of the message I have created until I take the time to reflect on what I have made.

Health School Tales

The painting Health School Tales contains a butterfly, three words, a fish, a house on land with plenty of sky and a barn, and most of the images contained within the image are contained within their own outlines.

2015, Suzanne Gibbs, Health School Tales, rag paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75” $35

How to “read” this work:

Allow change – it’s silly to stay stuck
Get rid of what is not working
Be Honest
Use less than you think you need
Consider the environment
Have fun everyday
Be extra extra kind to yourself

Is my message immediately “understandable” in Health School Tales? Probably not for you, but I was the creator so it is for me!

To find out more about the series of work this painting came from, please visit the gallery called Reassemble.

Finally!

Hi there! I finally have new work to share on my website!

You see, the thing is, I’d rather be making the work than photographing and Photoshop-ing the images in preparation for sharing the work on-line. No more wait! My new work is here! Here now! Finally!

Schedule Wild Idea, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

Schedule Wild Idea, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I know, I know — it’s been a whole year that you have waited! Jimmney Cricket a whole year!

(more…)

Opuscule

I love this word! Opuscule! It describes my new body of work to a “T”!

Opuscule

  1. a small or minor work
  2. a literary or musical work of small size

Reassemble is a series of work that would be considered diminutive in the fine art world. At only 4.75 x 4.75 these little paintings are quite small!

GO! make something beautiful, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

GO! make something beautiful, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I do not see any reason to work bigger when the message and the meaning can come through on a smaller format. Do you?

fresh green, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

fresh green, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I hope you consider a purchase of a piece or two or three… $35 each. Or you can just comment below and say: “Hey Suzanne, these are fun! and Silly too!”

Opuscule means: small work! Bonus, you learned a new word today!