Tuesday, June 9, 2015

STEEMAS!
























"STEEMAS!"
30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas
Work in progress

Still working on this, there's a lot that needs to be done but I'm getting a bit bored and I don't want to ruin it because I've lost interest, for the time being anyway. These are the clams that I snapped while rinsing them in the sink a few weeks ago.

Why "Steemas" instead of Steamers? I'm from New York. Long Island to be exact and our accent is very distinct. If you've ever seen the Long Island Medium on TLC you get it. Although admittedly, I have tried to cover it up for years. Imagine my surprise when my college bud and I visited her family in CT back in the day and the way I spoke was the topic of the weekend! Ouch! Who knew?

Anyway, I have been fortunate enough to have enjoyed working happily away on this for the last 2 weeks, however today it was a struggle getting in there so methinks it's time for a fresh canvas. The distinct semi-circle lines need blending and there's lots of highlight work to do but I thought I'd post it today for the Naked Artists challenge and finish it up when the mood strikes.

The great thing about this subject matter is that painting each distinct line and ridge would send me screaming into the night so I was forced to suggest instead of render and it was quite different from how I usually work. It's still pretty tight but that's me and I'm finally getting around to accepting that.
And appreciating it!

Off to celebrate! Today is our 21st wedding anniversary! Together on this plane for 23 incredible, joyful years! I can't wait to see what comes next. Happy Anniversary Berry! You are so cool.

And my apologies for not thanking those who stopped by and were kind enough to leave comments for my last post. Decidedly not cool! I so appreciate you stopping by, I can never say it enough...it means so much!

Happy creating and I hope everyone is enjoying the summer. Would be nice if it got warmer here though! Oh well, at least there's no snow to shovel!

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

GREEN APPLES
























"GREEN APPLES"
8x8" oil on canvas




Still working and having a good time! And right now, that's all that counts. I'm stayin' out of my head and taking note that when I listen to the ego shrieking I cannot be concentrating on what I'm doing! That right there is 90% of the problem I think. I've literally begun talking myself through each stroke and next step. It's interesting and keeps me focused on what I'm doing, not what I think about it. Nice.

It's nothing short of dee-lightful to look out of the studio window and see leaves on the trees, hear the birds singing, the sprinklers going. Gotta be the spring!

Anyway, had a commission to do of a pup and although I found the reference wasn't optimal I think it came out okay. It did give me a chance to dust off my artistic license though. Imagine my surprise... it hadn't expired!

This is Moe. I hope the giftee was pleased.

I am excited about what's on the easel next. I am a devout lover of shellfish, especially steamers. When I bought some the other day, I noticed, as they sat patiently in the sink awaiting a good rinse, that there were some incredible colors and shapes going on so I snapped a few and have one in mind to begin tomorrow.

Sure feels good. I'm grateful but with all my spouting about "my thoughts creating my experience" —apparently the lull is all my doing. Gee Suz...ya think? But, see... therein lies the rub. Does one go all military on oneself, attempting to force creativity or does one wait out the drought—accept what is and wait patiently and optimistically until it's over? Probably no hard rule to that. Depends on the individual. I'm not the least bit disciplined so I would think it's rather easy for 'lil suz to give in and grab the remote more often than not. Still.

Thoughts?

Anyway, I need to say this. I am more in love with Timothy Francis Berry than I was yesterday or the day before and I haven't laid eyes on the man in 3 years, 3 months and 3 days. He continues to make his presence known in the most surprising and clever ways. I am so very fortunate!

Thanks so much for dropping by, it means a lot!

Monday, May 11, 2015

I THINK IT'S BACK!





















"BABY BLU refreshed"
oil on linen 24x20"

Well that happened! The other day while tidying up I suddenly felt a strong urge to paint! Finally!! I ventured into the store room—very scary, what a mess—there's a dent in this canvas because of said mess—looking for some large canvases to prepare and saw this painting of Blu from June 2011. Tim was still here then! Sigh.

Anyway, it struck me that if I worked on a piece already established I would be able to bypass the procrastination and false starts that usually pop up when standing before any empty blank canvas. It worked! In no time I was boldly splashing on a background...which has always bothered me. The interesting point about this particular painting is that I considered it completed back then, however as I continued to work on it and it came together, at last that familiar yet elusive wave of joy passed over me and I was involved and enjoying myself.

The fear was gone, the timidness evaporated. I didn't equate the outcome with self-worth and I believe for an instant or two, I actually felt to my soul that none of this mattered...not one tiny bit. Oh in the material world, "why haven't you been working, what's wrong with you" kind of way, of course it matters but in the big picture, in a universal sense, it absolutely doesn't matter at all so have at it Suz and have fun! And I did.

The trick is believing that when a painting isn't working for me but I think I'll get there.

I am pleased with the finished version but not altogether unhappy with the original. As I said, the background always bothered me, visually it didn't read "casual oil sketch"  but messy vertical lines for no reason, so I think the version on the right is more what I'm looking for now. Either way, I'm elated to have that desire back again and whatever coddling I need to do in order to keep it going... I'll do!

I think accepting the void and not fighting it is key. Since "IT" happened I've learned to accept the present moment more and more. The pain comes from resisting it. As I worked I listened to Eckhart Tolle's "The Open Door" session. We often think if we resist what's happening it will somehow protect us from the pain it will inevitably cause. "This shouldn't be happening! I refuse to accept it!" The very simple and obvious reply...But it is happening!

Apologies to the kind folks who left comments on my last post. I haven't returned the compliment as yet but I will. I so appreciate your support and sharing, it helps on so many levels and thank you so for dropping by!



Wednesday, April 29, 2015

AT LEAST I PAINTED!























"Joy!"
8x8" oil on canvas

SOLD



It's entitled Joy because I finally did some work! Still not feeling any jets of desire to paint but
at least I darkened the door. Not whining or complaining, it is what it is and there's nothing wrong with not feelin' the love.

Decided I was just passively allowing this to happen and forced studio time. Probably have painted this before as I went through my reference shots and picked the first thing that I thought would be fun. The old feeling of joy did surface for a bit which felt nice. I'm sure the more I work the better I'll feel. Why I can't apply "your thoughts create your experience" to this particular subject is a mystery I'm working on daily to crack.

I do feel like painting....I do feel like painting...I do feel like...

Thanks for dropping by and thanks for your patience.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

VENUS the Charger Lady






















Venus the Charger Lady
9x9" pencil on paper
NFS

Okay! So, here you have it! Still not feelin' the flow. It is the strangest feeling going into the studio, fully expecting to work and minutes later finding myself in the living room, on the couch looking out the window! Still. No. Desire. To. Work. At. All!

Heavy sigh!

I wanted to do Venus in oil, however even squeezing it out of the tube onto the palette sheet felt wrong, so I tried a pencil sketch. Whateva! Not gonna stress. This has happened before and will again, for whatever reason. The ego gets off on me analyzing it and trying to figure out what the end game is, so screw it, not gonna do it. I have far too much to be grateful for to get my drawers all twisted because I don't feel like creating. This too shall pass.

Yeah, I know. But when?

In the meantime, I promised myself I'd keep darkening the studio door and attempting to work. We'll see.

Oh, yeah, Venus. Let me 'splain. She literally charges the iPad up. It slips right into the handy little slot of her mitten-like fingers, rests snugly against her enormous mammillia and sucks up energy through a little port thingy near what should be her navel. A little strange but so unique. I love her. She looks like sculpture, sitting proudly on the coffee table, right next to the starfish my budly Brenda sent me last year in a goodie box.

Thank you so much for your patience and for stopping by. I so hope to be posting something of substance soon! Don't give up on me!

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

IN CELEBRATION OF BRENDA!





































Brenda Ferguson
July 9, 1959 - March 23, 2015
 
WIP/detail

Yesterday morning, the news I had been expecting but dreading arrived. My dear friend and budly, Brenda Ferguson made her transition after a long and difficult battle with cancer. It is so very hard for me to believe that this incredible person, so full of life and light has left this plane.

As I've explained many times here, Brenda reached out to me when I needed it the most and we became fast friends and email buds. We were into the same woo-woo metaphysics and spiritual paths and she would send me passages almost daily to help me through the sudden and unexpected loss of my husband in February 2012.

She was always spot on with what she sent and could lift my spirits in an instant with wise words and spiritual support from her super-sized kind and loving heart. We have never met face to face. She and a friend were going to come down to New York for a visit from her home in Maine last summer but unfortunately she had become to ill to make the trip.

The painting above is a detail shot of the second portrait I began of Brenda last year. I had finished the first one, created from a pixelated low-resolution reference which now, I'm incredibly happy to report, hangs in Bren's home. But later she had told me that there was a much beloved twinkle in one of her eyes that didn't appear in the low resolution snap, so she sent me a clearer, higher resolution version so that I could add it.

I was so struck by the difference in the two reference shots that I immediately began a new portrait, hoping to improve vastly on my first attempt. However, I became so engrossed in her features, wanting to get them just right...I don't think I did, but I will...that her face, head and hair just grew all out of proportion and I got stuck.

Wanting to finish it as soon as I could, I kept at it but just couldn't get to the place I'd envisioned and stopped. Now however, I think I'll begin yet another portrait, using the same reference but from a different place in my heart and I know, as we had discussed, that she will see it finished.

I first saw Bren's work on the Daily Painter's site and was immediately attracted to her bold use of color and freedom of brushstroke. Her paintings of pears are my favorite however I am the proud owner of a lovely collection of Ferguson originals, a few of which appear to the left, that I will treasure for the rest of my days.

Brenda's works and style are the perfect vehicle for daily painting. Each time she posted I was so drawn to her ability to catch a moment, a feeling with everyday objects, giving them so much character and life I felt they moved about on the surface of the board.  I envied her spontaneous and lively brushstrokes and coveted her courage to splash in hues with such intensity that made every composition sing with life.
 
The painting below is my very favorite though. The expression on this gull's mug is priceless. Such attitude and presence, as if he's quietly studying something off in the distance, not sure whether or not to investigate and looking at bit put out by what he sees. I studied her treatment of his breast and body for quite some time when it arrived in the post. I love the palette, the composition, everything...it's just perfection!

And I think the title is so fitting. It's so what I envision Bren saying just before she left, with a smile and that twinkle in her eye...well guys... 
"I'm Off!"

I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Ferguson family and say with all my heart how sorry I am for your loss. I know her spirit will be with you always.






I love you my dear budly. Thank you so much for being my friend. I cannot wait to finally meet face to face.








Monday, March 16, 2015

REFLECTIONS TWO
























"Reflections Two"
8x8" oil on canvas

Muddy. Sloppy. Unfinished. And that's just fine. I'm still stuck in the doldrums and that's fine as well. I'm really not sweatin' this new, seemingly entrenched aversion to painting...this too shall pass.

What you're looking at is truly the work of an artist exposed. Naked. In an effort to help me simplify, Sandra suggested I finish my next painting in one day. I agreed, however I found I was far too uncomfortable to remain in the studio more than an hour at a time, so the painting above was "completed," and I use the word loosely, in two hours over two days which took literally five days!

And this could just be an extended version of the dreads, who knows? Whatever. I'll keep trying. I just hit me that I've never woken up on a Monday morning with the fitness resolve of a supermodel, so not surprisingly, deciding I'd complete a painting a week hasn't stuck either. And that's fine.

I'll get there. Thanks for your patience and for dropping by.