Category Archives: Philosphy of Suzanne

Delete Me!

Hello to the end of yet another year! Time to reflect. Get ready for a new year and new experiences.

I unsubscribe from blog posts that come to me daily, weekly, and monthly—that I no longer need. This chore is a part of my end of year rituals. These are blogs that once interested me for one reason or another, and then my attention necessarily needs and wants to go elsewhere. Otherwise, I will feel too full of information.

I often want more time. I want more space inside my own mind.

I’d like to give you the gift of time and space as well. Happy New Year—now is your chance to Delete ME!

I woke up this morning thinking: my faithful readers need a chance to Delete Me!

Why? Why would I tell you to get rid of me in your in box? After all, the idea behind a blog is to entice people into… (insert consumerism here) …gosh, no!

WINDOWS, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I blog because I hope my readers find my words inspiring, interesting and thought provoking. At times I have tried to sell my work via blog posts, but those posts never feel as real, honest, and authentic to me. If I do not feel good writing them, how can I expect my readers to find pleasure in the reading? You want nothing from me?!?!?

Delete Me!

Yes, go ahead. I will continue to write. You can continue to stop by on Facebook (where I automatically post my blog) or at my actual website anytime you like! I will continue to be on-line and I will continue to blog.

Will I continue to write about art? Why yes!

Will I write about creativity? Very likely.

Will I write about yoga? I think so.

Will I write about health? Maybe so.

Will I randomly muse and philosophize? Yes, seems to be my way these days…

Will I write about how my life is on the precipice of change, again and again and then again and again? Yes, I think I will…  I believe in fundamental mental and emotional shifts hapening daily, moment by moment. I keep asking myself, what will the future hold? I ask this often.

You will not know what Silly Girl Factory has in store for you in 2018 if you delete me, but I want you to delete me if you’re needing the space away from my musings and offerings.

Line and Dot. Paper, Ink. 12 x12 inches.

You may Unsubscribe and Delete Me, or you can hang on for the ride ahead! Either way, to those of you who continue to read and comment and share and continue to be my friends through this process – thank you! I love my readers!

Silly Girl Factory is planning on some much bigger adventures this year. Will you come along? …or Delete Me?


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! I’d love more followers on Instagram, tee hee… I might start monthly giveaways in January 2018—but you’d only know about it if you follow me on Instagram!

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Why? What? The Vision…

Recently, I was with my son in Montana and he and I were talking about our future plans. He has a grand and very well defined vision for himself in the future—when he finishes college. He is currently only 18 and a freshman.

I was astonished and proud to hear his plans! I quickly began to wonder, how can I better define my plans as an artist.

As I was musing, he asked me what my vision is for my art and my art business—I was instantly stuck! I did not know how to answer his question! Embarrassingly, this has been a constant struggle for me!

Dorky Doodle Zen Master. Paper, Ink. 7 x 5 inches.

Here is where I plan to write and chat about this important topic. Why do we do the things we do? More importantly, since I am writing this blog: Why do I do the things that I do? What stimulates action, what creates change and success, what is my vision and motivation for continually being a creator and making art year after year?

To answer the questions I create a container.

First, I needed to give parameters to this dilemma of how to define: vision. Here is an idea that I learned from Alyson Stanfield, according to her, all art is make for four reasons, these are: to document, delight, confound, and question.

For example, Austin Kleon is primarily an artist/writer that documents as a means to communicate through his art and writing. He has a journal for each of 10 years worth of writing down the details of what he did the day before. Ten years! Imagine knowing if you went to the dentist, caught a cold, celebrated a friends birthday, or moved into a new house and you could go back and look at every single day of the past 10 years.

Dominique Kongsli… makes work that delights her viewers. Here is her website. Be sure to check out her Instagram feed as well, she has some very funny moments that include her wearing a wig and talking about art!

Angela, my boss at Washed Ashore makes art that has the viewer questioning human behavior and consumption. She creates art with marine debris. Actually, I make many of the sculptures, she directs the work!

Leslie Love Stone is an artist that makes art that confounds the viewer. Leslie takes three disparate ideas, combines them together, adds color in a geometric container and viola! Beautiful paintings.

Why do I make art? What is my art for? What is my vision?

I have been pondering the subject of defining a VISION for my art and writing nearly non-stop for over week now. You’re lucky enough to read about why I make art and write books…

Silly Girl factory is the real ME. She runs out to play, she is silly and goofy with a childlike sense of curiosity and wonder. Drawing, painting, writing, and having fun, creating joy, and making silly stuff is what Silly Girl is all about.

Dorky Doodle Wind-Me-Up. Paper, Ink. 14 x 11 inches.

Silly Girl Factory does not stop at silly, the second part of the equation is to question on going beliefs and deep rooted behaviors.

Terribly Wrong Thought, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

One of the projects I created is the book Conscious Curiosity. This book has the intention of helping couples to find room in their relationships for being silly and also curious enough to keep getting to know one another on a more serious level. Conscious Curiosity is but one example of the work that Silly Girl Factory has created.

Packaging my VISION in a formula.

The magic formula for Silly Girl Factory is:

silly + curiosity = delight

Simple right? Silly plus curiosity equals creating room for Delight—aka. people being kind and loving and inquisitive—resulting in a more peaceful world full of happy folks! Yea! There you have it! The vision for Silly Girl Factory!

Picture of Conscious Curiosity open on a table.


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! I’d love more followers on Instagram, tee hee… I might start monthly giveaways in January 2018—but you’d only know about it if you follow me on Instagram!

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A Year and a Week

Change happens in a blink of an eye. One nanosecond. Then again, sometimes change never happens at all and one wishes for something different, for any change at all! For example a dog that jumps on people as a means of greeting, or a boss that only sees the mistakes, never the successes—those are things we might want to change. There is a moment I wished had not happened.

A year and a week ago my son nearly lost his life.

When I got the phone call, I felt as though my own body was tearing apart. The sound of my voice was wholly unfamiliar to me. I wished for a teleportation system so that I could be by his side.

It took 21.5 hours for me/us to reach him. To hold his hand. A year and a week ago sometimes feels like yesterday and sometimes feels like a lifetime ago. Last week I visited him to help him through yet another surgery to put all the pieces that he injured back into place again. He’s fixed and forever broken. He’s back in school. He has a job. He found a girlfriend that cares about him despite the regular returns through surgery and copious number of scars throughout his body. He may still require further surgeries. We will know, more importantly he will know, when what has been repaired continues to heal.

His spirits are good, as are mine. Then on other days, his attitude could use some adjustments, but then, so could mine.

A year and a week is not enough time to heal. Not enough distance from the event to forget. We may never forget. That’s ok too. I write this post, not for sympathy, nor prayers (although prayers are always welcome). I write for closure.

I write because I opened this subject on my blog earlier in 2017, and now I wish to move beyond the story of him and us. I plan on going back to words, thoughts, and my philosophies about writing, art, and life. Not about him and injury. I hope to share new art. The past year was all about sketching and journal keeping, but no actual new art was created. The mental space did not exist for me, but I feel it opening up to me, to new adventures.

I will be opening my Etsy store again in 2018!

touch, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

A year and a week ago, in a blink of a moment everything changed. Tomorrow, even right now, life resumes to my new norm. I worry, sure. We all do, about something or other. However, having made it through one hell of a year, I am ready to say good-bye to this chapter. Hello to this lovely moment tonight, alone on a Saturday night. Doing something I love. Writing and pondering life’s moments in words.

I do hope you will continue to read, watch, and be involved in my future endeavors. I have some exciting plans up my sleeve and I can’t wait to share! I treasure my readers, thank you. I do not tell you this enough, how happy I am that you stopped by and care enough to read.

Thank you dear readers! Thank you. For the last year and a week of knowing, caring, and being you!

 
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Potboiler

Hey there! It’s time for another vocabulary word!

Potboiler!

When I first saw this word it made me think of cooking lobster! However here is the actual meaning of potboiler:

a mediocre work of literature or art produced merely for financial gain

Yes, I do worry if my work is mediocre. That does not stop me from being a maker tho!

Dorky Doodle Octopus Head. Paper, Ink. 12 x 12  inches.

Dorky Doodle Octopus Head. Paper, Ink. 12 x 12 inches.

Can you think of an example of a mediocre work of literature or art produced merely for financial gain? If you can, let me know. Because in my world artists are always attempting to show their best work, not crap work.

Dorky Doodle Backbender. Paper, Ink. 6 x 6  inches.

Dorky Doodle Backbender. Paper, Ink. 6 x 6 inches.

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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.

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Do Less

I am a do more, do all the time sort of person. Or at least I have been until recently.

By doing less, even nothing, I feel less empty.

Or so I tell myself…

…But then again, I come around and berate myself for my do nothing days. Ha, I am feeling like there is a line of inquiry that I cannot seem to move away from these days. The inquiry always seems to be polar, rather than gentle.

Work, or not work.
Make money, or not make money.
Find a job, or not find a job.
Travel, or not travel.
Keep supporting my younger son through high school, or start to let him “be on his own?”
Make more art, or stop making art.
Teach yoga, or just do yoga.
Apply for a professor/instructor position and the local community college, or teach private clients, or not teach art at all any more.

After all these questions I begin to ask myself about nothing.

What IS do nothing anyway? I get up, I feed myself, I shower, I workout, I take care of the dog, I shop for groceries, I plan future travel, I plan for my children’s travel, and children’s school, I pay bills, I wash clothes, I wash dishes, I clean the house (sort of), I organize stuff, I give stuff away, I buy more stuff, I eat again, I surf the social media world, I answer emails, I talk to my husband, I text my children daily, I walk the dog, I cut my finger nails and toenails, I go to the dentist, I go to the doctor, I prepare healthy meals, I eat unhealthy snacks, I breathe, I go to yoga classes, I go to fitness classes, I walk on the beach, I walk in the woods, I drive my car, I learn how to use my new car (it’s complicated), I make my bed, I sweep the floor, I take out the garbage, I clean my cluttered desk, I draw as often as I remember to, I write three pages of long hand stream of consciousness thoughts each day, I tend to this blog, I hang art shows, I remodel my home, I hire contractors, I pay said contractors, I stay in touch with friends by phone, I call family members, I walk with new friends in new neighborhoods, I take my dog to the beach with her doggie friend, I go to the post office, I order goods we need on Amazon, and so on…

There is no nothing.

Do less?

The question stems from the inevitable change that comes from becoming a parent to two adults, rather than two children. My youngest is now 17. I am in that year… the year before the inevitable. What IS my job now?

Do less?

What is less? What is more?

Life will unfold, I know. But to what, for whom, why? And will I like this next phase in life? Will I? Does anyone know?

 

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I Say Play

Play is for grownups!

I say play!

When is the last time you skipped and jumped and splashed water and shot milk out your nose? OK, maybe not the milk, but how do you play?

…and I am not talking about those days when you play with your kids, grand kids, nieces and nephews… I am talking about play for plays sake. Just because you want to have fun! When is the last time you scheduled a fun date? Or better yet, when did you succumb to play even at inappropriate moments? (more…)

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Lazy is as Lazy Does

Lazy.

Lazy seems to be a bad word in today’s culture. Except that I decided that it would BE my word this weekend. The decision unfolded quietly and unknowingly.

Lazy Is as Lazy Does.

I did lazy. I am doing lazy.

I have celebrated mother’s day by spending three full days in my PJ’s. Reading. Watching movies. Drawing. Eating and sleeping. Alone in my home. Relaxing with my dog when she sleeps. Talking on the phone.

When is the last time you took the opportunity to fully embrace lazy? Quiet? Solitude?

There is something about being lazy and alone that feels different and powerful and wonderful. I have been forced to listen to myself. I could have run away into the world outside the walls of my house, but something unknown pulled me in. Each meal came when I was hungry, not when: “it was time to eat.” Sleep was the same, I slept when I felt like sleeping, and of course I used no alarm, because who is here to wake up for?

SG Studio handlettering.

SG Studio hand lettering.

I’m on the third day now as I write this, and I feel calmer and quieter — and even more focused than I have in a long time.

Usually I am scattered and disappointed at the end of the day, because I often feel that there is always so much left to do…

I think a lot of this happens from doing the wrong thing, that work which does not matter.

I am still not sure how I fell into lazy for this weekend, but I did. Life is funny. I decided to write a blog post and I found that this topic had surfaced for me earlier this year.

A few months ago, I came across an article by Pema Chodron on Lazy. I had forgotten I read it. I had forgotten I was called to her words. This is likely because I am often too busy gobbling up information as it flies in at me from the internet feeds I frequent. Except, still somehow my subconscious remembered the pull and I chose lazy in spite of my forgetfulness.

I had all sorts of plans for this weekend. I had planned on going east to visit my mother or going to Colorado to visit my son. I had planned on going hiking in the redwoods, joining a party at a neighbors house, driving to Arts Alive! in downtown Eureka, attending yoga classes, and more… none of these activities called to me as loud as lazy.

Lazy Is as lazy does.

Pema Chodron had this to say in her article about looking into laziness:

The path of awakening is a process. It’s a process of gradually learning to become intimate with our so-called obstacles. So rather than feeling discouraged by laziness, we could look into our laziness, become curious about laziness. We could get to know laziness profoundly.

Curiously, the dictionary definition of lazy is: unwilling to work or use energy. These days, to do lazy actually does take work, I had to repeatedly tell myself that it is ok, ok to be lazy. I had to use my energy towards being kind to myself and telling myself that a weekend of lazy really is an adventure into self and a worthwhile endeavor. I explored my lazy with joy — willingly working at lazy and using energy exploring the depths of lazy.

How many Netflix movies and series can I fit into my day? Into a weekend? I’ll never tell…

I have come nowhere near the possibilities of the exploration of lazy. There is still so much not to do!

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Tears and Such…

No too long ago I cried for 90 minutes straight while attending yoga class. I did not know it was possible to cry for 90 minutes while moving, holding poses, and breathing, but it is – at least for me. Due to this emotional waterfall I have decide to write about:

Tears and Such…

Why I cried is not important. We all have emotional moments even hours or months or years, because as humans, we all have emotions. Some of us release hard emotions through yelling, some by laughing, some while crying, and others have their own unique method(s). Then, there are the millions of people who push emotions down deep, drown them with alcohol, numb emotions with drugs, or blanket emotions in overeating, and all sorts of other emotional acrobatic tricks!!! Such is the way today in our culture. Or so it seems to me.

The current message is: Don’t experience the beauty of emotion. Instead, try to cover it up, hide it, hold it, or press it away. And now, shame, fear, guilt, love, compassion, and longing have become less acceptable than anger. One day, not too long ago, I chose tears.

Tears and such can teach, but only if we pay attention and notice, and let the emotion move.

I think this is how yoga and emotions support one another – in both we are moving. Yoga is moving the body. Emotions is moving our feelings, in, out, around, stuffed, pushed, up, down, and all around; all of this is moving emotion. As are the tears themselves, they move emotion a drop at a time.

I was exhausted after my nearly silent outburst. I was embarrassed. I was testing the limits of the compassion of my yoga instructor. I was testing the space of the studio I was practicing in, could it hold my emotions with me? I was testing the students in the class, would they tolerate a fellow student sniffling, blowing her nose, and dripping sopping wet salty tears and such….

I was not testing any of these boundaries on purpose, I was simply being in the moment, feeling what I was feeling.

I was testing the idea that the practice of yoga is a “safe place,” that the yoga mat is a safety zone. I found out that it is. When my exhaustion subsided a few days later, new life erupted inside of me. In the words of Paulo Coelho, “Tears are words that need to be written…”  (found on Author Unlimited).

I take this to mean that tears are creative droplets – to be used in words, paint, music, or any other creative pursuit. Tears point us in the direction we need to move – if we listen, if we pay attention, notice, and care about our own heart’s callings and yearnings.

Two in-progress paintings. Dancer and Yogi.

Two in-progress paintings. Dancer and Yogi.

I have re-started my regular blogging – I am not sure if this is related to my tears, it might be. I also got my gesso out of hiding, and paper, and a few substrates for painting, and I began creating in larger scale for the first time in about a year.

The tears were loaded with emotion – why I cried is not important.

That I allowed tears and such to fall and move through my body is ultimately a beautiful gift, a reminder of change and the impermanence of things, times, and places.

Tears and such are teachers and notes of wisdom from an inner depth.

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Commit to Your Life

I have a very personal reason to talk about committing to one’s best life right now. So personal, in fact, that I cannot share the details (and please don’t ask). Still, I wish to share my thoughts on committing to life.

Our time is limited; so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. — Steve Jobs

Life is meant to be lived, or as we yogis do, we could say life is meant to be practiced. Working to improve relationships, attempting to learn new concepts, drawing to improve skills, working out to stay strong, or eating whole foods to gain health, these and more all take practice. All things in life take practice.

There is an entire industry devoted to helping people to practice a better life. Self help books, classes, and online courses, or books like Conscious Curiosity (ha ha a personal plug) can only help if you commit to practicing the ideas presented. Work on them daily. Commit to practicing the work of something new for a week, a month or more. Practice spending time listening to what’s inside and writing your dreams. Draw your dreams if you like, act them out, and dance too.

The promise of change and growth comes when you commit to doing the work. The work called life. The practice of life. Some people will pick up a book, a new habit, or a new  commitment and and quickly put it aside – when something else fancy catches the attention or when change seems too hard. Others, do nothing while knowing that something else is possible. Those that commit to doing some (or even all) of the work – practicing – will create and feel a shift in life. We are all busy these days. We all have choices as to how we spend our valuable time. Make a promise to yourself to make your relationship to your life the one you want to live.

Commit to your life.

When you commit to your life, great [and sometimes not so great] things happen. This I can I promise! I refuse to promise that doing the work is easy work. It is not. The work of being committed to yourself in life is not easy, but it need not be miserable either! The work of being committed to the practice of your life is NEVER finished. Until it is finished, and that is a very personal and final moment.

Do you feel like screaming right now…because you know that what I say is true? You will never be finished with creating and practicing a better life. You will need to practice at being in love with life and committing to improving your life, always and forever.

In the art of life, practice is the beginning. Practice curiosity. Practice deep breathing. Practice your commitment to your best life.

Commit to your life.

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