Reading List

I set a goal of reading 50 books this year. I surpassed my goal. Sometimes we actually Do reach our New Years Resolutions! I am proud to share the list of books I read. A few of the books are not represented here because I could not find a good image.

If you are curious about any of these books, please ask, or you can go to my Goodreads account and search my ratings of each book.

Also, what is on your reading list? Do you have recommendations for me?

    • It's Never Too Late to Begin Again by Julia Cameron
    • Your Inner Will by Piero Ferrucci
    • The Monks and Me by Mary Paterson
    • Commonwealth by Ann Patchett
    • Warrior Goddess Training by HeatherAsh Amara
    • Glory over Everything by Kathleen Grissom
    • Coming Full Circle by Lynn V. Andrews
    • 30 Days- Change your habits, Change your life by Marc Reklau
    • Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin
  • Peace Is Every Step by Thich Nhat Hanh
  • The Silent Passage by Gail Sheehy
  • Walden and Civil Disobedience by Henry David Thoreau
  • The Kitchen House by Kathleen Grissom
  • Sitting Still by Patricia Hart Clifford
  • It's Easier Than You Think by Sylvia Boorstein
  • Man's Search for Meaning by Viktor E. Frankl
  • American Gods by Neil Gaiman
  • Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly
  • My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman
  • The Goddess Pose by Michelle Goldberg
  • The Sketchbook Project World Tour by Steven Peterman
  • The Winter of Our Disconnect by Susan Maushart
  • Spark Joy by Marie Kondō
  • Orange Is the New Black by Piper Kerman
  • Where'd You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple
  • A Man Called Ove by Fredrik Backman
  • A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara
  • Good Morning, Beautiful Business by Judy Wicks
  • Mr. Churchill's Secretary by Susan Elia MacNeal
  • Girl Waits with Gun by Amy  Stewart
  • The Chakra System by Anodea Judith
  • Overcoming Trauma through Yoga by David Emerson
  • Rising Strong by Brené Brown
  • The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna
  • The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens
  • Come Rain or Come Shine by Jan Karon
  • Lost Teachings of Yoga, The by Georg Feuerstein
  • Coming Closer to Ourselves by Pema Chödrön
  • Revived by Sarah Noffke
  • Sparks of Divinity by B.K.S. Iyengar
  • Fierce Medicine by Ana T. Forrest
  • Yoga The Spirit And Practice Of Moving Into Stilln by Erich Schiffmann
  • Stunned by Sarah Noffke
  • The Yoga Sutras of Patanjali by Patañjali
  • Art Before Breakfast by Danny Gregory
  • The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown
  • Awoken by Sarah Noffke
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan
  • The Fire Starter Sessions by Danielle LaPorte
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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!

Continue reading “Creating “Containers””

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The Daily Trend

The daily trend is a “thing.” Have you seen or run into these daily trends?

Do this for 30 days.
Do this for 100 days.
Do this for 365 days.
22 pushups for 22 days.
Start with one burpee and add one every day until you just can’t anymore… (I made this one up just now).
And so on…

As I navigate my way through hundreds of on-line groups, classes, and blogs one thing that strikes me is how often I see “daily challenges.” These challenges — the daily trend — are great, until they are not.

Explore Yes, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”
Explore Yes, paper, pen, watercolor, 4.75” x 4.75”

I have joined a few daily challenges from time to time, for example this month’s #inktober. I have also created my own challenge, for example 222 Faces, which I did back in 2010. I have tried to do 222 faces again this year, but I am falling short of my own goal, check out my progress on Instagram.

Continue reading “The Daily Trend”

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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.

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Feeling Lonely

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

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

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

Fixie Bike

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

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

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

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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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New Pages!

Announcing!

New Pages on my website.

  • First a Free Art page — yes, free completely FREE art (there are conditions and restrictions) but yes very very free.
  • Second a new YOGA page! I am now a certified 200 Hour Yoga Teacher. I want to keep friends and fans informed of this new venture.

OK so that’s it! Go look:

Free Art

YOGA

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All About Asking the Right Questions

Conscious Curiosity was a long ago project for me. I self published well over a year ago now. Yet, still, I think about what went into the project vs. what I got out of it. Then it gets me thinking about what goes into a long term relationship and what one must put into it vs. what one might get out of it.

If we knew we could not fail, we might take more chances, we might ask more questions, we might go for it more often. Or not.

What questions do you wish you had asked a friend, lover, spouse, or partner before you became engaged in one another’s life? Could there be a set of questions that would mitigate all problems? Are there questions that could lead you into a finer state of existence? Are there a set of questions that foster vulnerability and self-disclosure in such a way that two people really fall for one another? There is the vulnerability of eye contact too, but some believe that falling in love comes from asking the right set of questions.

This article in the NY Times addresses the question and the solution. A set of 36 questions to ignite, love. Is 36 questions all you need to assure yourself that you are engaged in a relationship with the “right” person?

I don’t know. Maybe you’ll want to try this set of questions. I think I will. Even though I have already been married for 24 years! Today.

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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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