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…

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…

New Book Coming in 2018

As many of my readers are already aware, our family lived through a traumatic experience in 2016 that extended into 2017. To deal with this trauma I resorted to my tried and true emotional helpers: making and moving. I wrote, drew, scribbled, and made messes in my journals and sketchbooks almost daily and with great urgency during this time. From these pages a new book emerged. I also practiced yoga and went for long walks outside, even in pouring rain and sometimes snow.

My Year of Separation is my second book and will be self published really really soon. The plan is to have it in your hands by May 7—just before mother’s day…

…OR EVEN SOONER!

I hope you are excited! I hope you will want to purchase a copy of my newest book!

There are words of comfort and certainly some unpleasantness in the stories I share in My Year of Separation: A collection of essays examining the impossible task of separation from self.

crayola crayon box pattern, created in my sketchbook during my year of separation, NFS

I have a theory that there are many people attempting to separate from our true selves going on in the world right now. Including myself. Some indicators are: drugs, alcohol, prescriptions, broken relationships, violence, and the list goes on…

I am not saying that I was doing drugs or being violent, but there was disconnect, for sure…

Some indications of the desire to separate from the self are more subtle. My book aimed to look at underling root causes of separation from self in myself, one essay at a time. By sharing my inner journey I hope that others can relate to the journey and intentionally find contentment and joy within themselves as I have been able to do as a result of this journey.

The book is little and not very long—just over 100 pages—so I will not tell all here. I can share that the following quote from the Dali Lama strikes a cord within me having just finished my manuscript and sent it off to an editor:

Outward attainment will not bring real inner joyfulness.
We must look inside. —Dali Lama

While you wait for my much anticipated (ha ha) book, may you have a most glorious and joyful day today—knowing that I care about you, even if I have not yet met you in person. Hugs and Namaste.

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.

Happy New Year, 2018!

For me, 2017 was a year of new adventures and experiences. My hope for you is that, 2018 brings new growth, change, love, joy, and happiness to you and your loved ones.

Peace on earth! Ahoy to New Adventures!

Silly Girl Factory has opened for business! Yea! Find my art on Etsy! All original art ships in 1-2 business days!

Last year was a year of growth, change, and adventure for me, instead of working for myself, I took a full time job. I worked for for Angela Haseltine Pozzi at Washed Ashore in Bandon, Oregon making huge sculptures that travel the country to teach about the problems of plastic garbage in our oceans. The experience was terrific! In one year I built, restored, designed, and refurbished 18 sculptures. I even helped retire 2 out of the inventory of 70! I will be forever grateful for all that I learned while working for another artist, making work in her style.

Dorky Doodle Wind-Me-Up. Paper, Ink. 14 x 11 inches. $95

Moving on! New Adventures in 2018!

Silly Girl Factory is moving into a new dedicated studio space in Langlois, Oregon tomorrow—January 2! Pictures of the new studio and other art making processes and what it is like to start a new business will be unveiled on Instagram and in this blog. Stay tuned.

PS. I also have a new book in the works and I cannot wait to share it with you in 2018.

Most of all…

Happy New Year!

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!

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!

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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Tell a Good Story

I read. A Lot. Tracking my reading in Goodreads because I can. You can follow me if you’re curious about the books I read.

How many of us heard these words of wisdom from our ninth grade English Literature teacher?

The best way to learn to tell a good story is to read. A lot.

To read 52 books was my goal this year. At this point I know I will surpass my 2017 goal. I finished Austin Kleon’s book: Newspaper Blackout last night – number 52. Through reading I will continue to work on learning how to tell a good story. I also write and/or journal daily. My youngest son feels that one of my greatest strengths is writing and that he’d like to see me write more books!

Let me know if you agree.

My dog is snoring next to me as I write this post. Her snorts are a lovely sound with the backdrop of heavy rain outside. It’s early and very dark out. I am sipping coffee with soy creamer and cinnamon sprinkled on top. I awoke ready to start my day, and so here I am…with you!

In the 5 sentences above, a story could evolve. I could take it further. Or not.

Is the Trump thing a good story? Is that why we listen to the drivel? Not knowing the ending. We can endlessly imagine endings. Actually not even knowing how the story started and got so far. So far.

In the 5 sentences above, a story could evolve. I could take it further. Or not.

Austin Kleon‘s weekly newsletter often has nuggets of wisdom. I saved this entry, knowing that one day I would write a blog about telling stories — George Saunders explains about how to tell a good story. So smart! Enjoy!

I have nothing more to say right now about telling a good story. However, if you are curious about what books I have read this year go here.

Thanks for reading.

PS. I get nothing for tooting Austin’s horn!

Create Compassionate Goals

Do I create compassionate goals? Do you? For me the answer is: Um, heck no! I tend to create too many goals then beat myself up for not reaching them or any, due to lack of focus or “whatever.”

Yep, my truth.

I DO get stuff done, but never satisfied…

Here is a noodle of information or a “starter” idea towards creating compassionate goals:

One way to create compassionate goals, according to yogic wisdom, is to reframe them 
as an ongoing practice of sankalpa (resolve)—
san means “born from the heart,” while kalpa means “unfolding over time” — recommends Richard Miller, PhD, a clinical psychologist 
and author of Yoga Nidra: The Meditative Heart 
of Yoga.

So, to be compassionate to myself I would need to resolve to allow the goals I set to first, be from the heart and second to unfold over long periods of time. This I have done! This I can do! For example, I set goals for myself as a parent when my children were 4 and 2 years old. They are now 20 and 18. The five goals I set for myself, for them, have taken many years to unfold. In fact, in many ways I am still resolving to be the parent I set out to be.

Was I a perfect parent while reaching the goals I set for us? Did I follow the outlined goals (I had 5 concrete written down goals) all of the time? Of course not! And I am totally OK with how much I have done and how much I didn’t do. I know that for 95% of the time (maybe less) I did my best with the kids.

Then there is my art life.

Somehow, for my art life goals — like writing another book, making more fine art, making fun art postcards and note cards, sharing free art, creating coloring books from my drawings, and so many other things… I am not as compassionate with myself! I feel like I let myself down because I want to do so much and I only have so much time. And I have added a full time job to the mix – uh oh!

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

I want to do so much that I loose track of which project I am working on. This is real. This is the life of a creative. This is the me I have created. I hardly ever feel like I have met my best self in my creative pursuits. This is why the idea of creating compassionate goals caught my attention.

How would I create compassionate goals? How can you?

Seriously, I really am struggling with this. When I look back, raising kids did not happen alone. I had help! There were teachers, coaches, tutors, other parents, family, and others along the journey with me. I woke up each day and did the work, or as yogi’s say—the practice.

Creating compassionate goals for my creative life might mean being kinder to myself. If I go back to the quote above, that means two things, do work from the heart and practice. Practicing working towards goals—compassionately. OK, I get that.

In writing this reflection, I realize that I may also need a team, peers, mentors, and others to join me along the journey. To create compassion for self may require a network of people to help and support the goals along the journey. (I think of my readers as a part of this team, wink, wink…).

Compassion starts from the inside, but also needs to emanate from the outside.

SO lets hear it for NOT going it alone as creatives! Let’s also build compassionate goals not just for our creative lives, but also for life in general. The world needs our heart and practice towards compassion.

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