Friday, August 8, 2014
30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas
Still working! Feels good! I'm so grateful!
This is our friend Laura who you may remember I was working on when Tim was still here in his earth suit. As a matter of fact I had asked him to take the camera to work and shoot a series of shots featuring her, so it became a chance to feel close to him knowing he saw this through the lens while I worked on it. The painting below was a work in progress when IT happened so I had no desire to return to it, however last week I so felt like doing a large portrait that I went snooping in the folder and found this pose, which was also included in that aforementioned WIP below.
For some reason when I found the reference shot last week I was really drawn to the fact that her hair was covering her eyes and the pose conveyed an air of mystery. I had a wonderful time working on it all week. That old feeling is back thank goodness. Having something in progress on the easel that beckons each day. It feels a bit like having a good friend waiting, one that you might argue with from time to time when things don't work out, but you're still anxious to see again when you wake up.
Laura hasn't seen this yet. I dunno, I guess I just want to post it as a painting of a person and not put any pressure on myself for her to like it before I do. As I've mentioned before here, she has become a close and trusted friend and has been playing guitar so we jam every now and then, which is so much fun.
I've been listening to the stuff Tim and I recorded and it's been such a gift. There's over 300 sessions, some over an hour each, packed with us talking about what we'd like to accomplish, trying out different drum patterns on "Skippy" the drum machine, a few examples of impatience on both our parts. We were always nervous, even with each other and now, looking back as I listen, for two people with meager skills we hit some pretty nice moments. Sharing that kind of spontaneous creativity united us on a completely different level in such a deeply emotional way, I'm so so fortunate to have this collection to snuggle up with. And of course hearing his voice, his laughter really feels incredible. Sometimes his presence is so strong, it feels as though he never left. I treasure those moments.
I'm doing well actually. I got the distinct impression it's time to get back out into the world, do things, enjoy myself. In my last session with medium Patrick Matthews, Tim admonished me for biding my time and being in such a rush to get there. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas. I don't wanna do anything to piss Santa off. When I leave I want to jump right into his waiting arms so it's definitely time to start living again.
The garden that was planted in his honor the year he left is doing so well. Everything is growing beautifully. I sit there each day and have a chat with him. It's so peaceful, I feel his presence so strongly that I wanted to thank him. When this arrived I was thrilled to place it right near where I sit. Unfortunately the boys have christened it a few times but I'm sure he doesn't mind.
Anyway, since I'm all pumped up to work, now I'm faced with the task of taking shots of complete strangers to bulk up my reference library. If anyone wants to donate some reference shots I would appreciate it so much. I really feel like painting portraits but not traditional portrait poses so enjoy and have at it if you've a mind to send. And there's no pressure to buy whatsoever at all. There's a different feeling of a relaxed, non-critical atmosphere in the studio lately. I think there's been a slight shift in perception on my part and it seems I'm not taking it all too seriously.
Thanks so much for dropping by. I hope the summer is going well, although it does seem to be speeding by doesn't it?
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
"AT THE ZOO!"
16x20" oil on heavyweight canvas
Wow! I worked! I'm fortunate to have had a donation piece to finish, not really sure I would have ventured back into the studio had that not been the case. Still have a few things to fix, they never seem to be noticeable until I snap the painting for posting etc., but it's a good way to see it from a different point of view.
This was done on Blick's heavyweight canvas and I just love the finish it gives the paint. I decided to just keep working and see what happens. I have begun to meditate and sage the studio before I go in to remove any negative energy I have stored up in there. I set the intent to enjoy painting and be grateful for the ability to do so and to stop acting like a spoiled little brat, folding my arms, stomping my feet, demanding things go the way I wanted. I think I needed to do that for a bit, get it out of my system and take responsibility for how I felt and behaved, so in retrospect, the "intermission", if indeed it is over was/is a good thing. And it's just lovely to feel like painting again. Really lovely.
So...how is everyone doing? Hope your summers are going well. Still in a tiny bit of a funk here, but feeling much, much better. For a while there I became a right slug. Seriously! I even imagined myself leaving one of those little mucus trails as I dragged my slimy tubular bum from one room to another, heavy sighing all the way.
That's a tad graphic.
I read. A lot. It's astounding how many books are available on how to raise one's consciousness...and I believe I have the bulk of them on my iPad! How handy is that little critter? All those books and magazines, at my fingertips, any time I want! Sometimes I feel as though I'm in an episode of Star Trek! Beam me up Tim!
It so funny. Back in the day...say the 60's... when future from the book "1984" seemed so threatening, we imagined by 2014 we'd be gliding through the skies in our jet propelled rides. It's so much more subtler than that. It's all in electronics...soon, it seems, we really will be able to beam ourselves up. I remember when it felt like cheating for the kids to use calculators in math class!
Anyway, back to being a slug and what that was like. It sucked. Feeling better really IS my responsibility, damnit! I've been preaching that fact for the last two years, now I think I've finally accepted it. And so I'm doing things that make me feel good. Simple. And it works!
I'm swimming in books on the afterlife, mediums and the metaphysical. One book.."The Conscious Universe, The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena" by Dean I. Radin Ph.D, states that much like denying the possibility that the earth actually traveled around the sun back in the day, the scientific community ain't havin' any of this psychic stuff. Despite proof, consistency and not being able to explain away the unexplainable, no one wants to own up to the fact that everything is very, very, very far from what it seems or what we have come to believe. Fascinating stuff!
So, I'm feeling much better, plan to work more consistently and again, I so appreciate your concern and caring. Time to fully embrace Tim's constant presence and be grateful for all I have on a more consistent basis and to be happy!
Hope to be posting again real soon. Thank you for stopping by!
Thursday, April 24, 2014
Well, at least I'm back to work! Last Saturday I was puttering about the kitchen and suddenly felt the urge to paint! Just like that! So weird. Before that I couldn't even consider going in there, actually thought for a bit that I would take a break just to see what happened. I'm glad it's back....whatever it is. Muse, Springtime, healthy eating, more wine...whatever...I'm just happy to feel that yearning again.
But it wasn't a bad thing this time...not wanting to work. I figure that these lapses happen for a reason so I did what Eckhart Tolle suggested and embraced it. Didn't fret or complain. At least I don't think so. Took a while to feel comfortable again though. I figured I'd jump back on the Sparrow's Ass...Berry speak for asparagus... and I'm glad I did.
It's like a giant puzzle, painting the pieces, trying to make them fit. Warm highlight, cool shadows, step back and it works! Sometimes. This is definitely the kind of piece that can become like a meditation. Just keep going because it's endless. I thought I was almost finished when I last worked on it but I found that certainly was not the case. I'm enjoying myself and have stopped trying to paint like someone else. Thank you for the support, I appreciate it so much. If the painterly quality is there, it will come out. I'm tired of not being grateful for what I can do. It's a silly waste of time...she said knowing she'll never be satisfied.
and now for the....
It was April 6th, a Sunday afternoon. As I've previously shared, I sometimes allow weekends for me to suck and so, not surprisingly, I found myself giving in and preparing to attend another pity party. It'd been a while since I'd heard from him...well maybe three weeks or so...and those feelings of being disconnected were collecting on my horizon, so I quietly asked him for a visit and made every attempt to cancel my planned attendance to the "woe is me" shindig.
The next morning I woke up and found an email from a dear friend featuring a snap of an absolutely fantastic, all-type design of the song title "You Are My Sunshine". A friend of hers had created the design and she wanted to share it with me because she thought it was so well done. This song title shows up very often for me in one form or another since Tim left, so seeing the artwork sparked a giggle and some relief because, and I know Tim won't be pleased that I'm sharing this, we used to sing that song to each other constantly. Sorry honey, sappy and very uncool, but happily, very true.
Being intrinsically self-centered and in need of a sign, I decided it was his way of letting me know he was near using my dear friend as a conduit. Yeah, I know. This really smacks of thinking everything is about moi, however in this instance, I'm gifting myself a rather hefty pass. Later I thought it might be a bit of a stretch, however, I decided that since Tim told both notable mediums to tell me that whenever I think it's him, that it is him, why not embrace it and be happy.
Later that day, still nursing the need to climb into the pot, pity that is, I went upstairs early to get lost in television again. I channel surfed for a few and landed on a documentary that I'd seen before, and really enjoyed, detailing one of the historic dives to the wreck of the Titanic. As I settled in to watch I began paging through a magazine on my lap and casually glanced up at the screen. It took a moment to register but I recognized a very familiar form, did a double take and looked again, thinking I was surely seeing things!
For a few seconds I wondered why the screen saver snaps of Tim were there but I realized I'd never seen this photo of him and then it dawned on me that it wasn't my snaps but the documentary I'd just decided to watch! I stared at the screen in disbelief and grabbed my iPad and began pausing and snapping until the scene changed. In the snaps shown above the two men are discussing the blue prints of the wreck and the man on the right, in the red shirt with the pony tail, is the spitting image of Timothy Francis Berry as he looked from behind!!!
I couldn't believe it! I was elated! I kept rewinding to that portion and re-watching, blinking my eyes in total disbelief at what I saw. I decided to send one of the snaps to a few friends and some family to see if I might possibly be, again, loosing my stuff. One friend called me as soon as he saw it and before I even said hello he asked, rather put out...'when was Tim in a documentary about the Titanic and why didn't you mention it before now???'
I received other very positive responses of disbelief from close friends and family. And even though I've shared more than a few photos of Tim here, I certainly don't expect anyone who didn't know him personally to recognize the uncanny resemblance, however I had to share this stunning "coincidence" with you! I'm embracing this even if it is an incredible coincidence. The strange thing is that from the front this dude looks nothing like Tim, but from behind, every detail is him!! He even owned a shirt identical to the one he's wearing! And again, right after I asked him for a visit or a sign!
I know I've mentioned that I wanted to begin keeping these visits and messages to myself, I don't want to appear desperate or a little loopy, however this one was just too incredible not to share and besides, it's show and tell proof! Proof that I either saw a man on television that from behind looked exactly like Tim, which is just fine with me or he's sending me support and love using the television again!
He loves to do that!
He loves to do that!
Sunday, April 6, 2014
16x20" oil on canvas
Well, that happened! The question is what happened? And, I'm still not sure that it's finished happening! After completing Tim's anniversary portrait I thought it would be the beginning of a new direction in painting for me. It did turn out to be a beginning but I'm still not aware of what!
It wasn't a case of the Dread Mahockiss—the name I've given to that period of time when a creative has little or no desire or seeming ability to create—it was more of an "I really don't give a crap!" if I paint period and I'm not really sure it's over.
This portrait was not easy to complete but it is a donation piece and had to be done. I'd go into the studio, sure I was just being lazy or distracted, but as I sat there, brush in hand, I felt like I was sitting down to watch grass grow. Usually there's an air of excitement, and anxiety to be sure, but a feeling somewhere that something cool might grow out of the blank canvas. But...nope! Nuthin! Not for almost 2 months..well more like a month and a half. I embellish for effect.
I'm sure it's got everything to do with another stage of grief. I've been doing a lot of reading and listening and reading and watching. The missing him has reached Biblical proportions and I can see now that as time goes on it will most likely get worse. There have been some incredible signs and messages not the least of which was his 6 year old niece offhandedly explaining to her mother how Uncle Tim and his dog Devlin come to visit her sometimes.
Still, I sit. I stare. I get up and move from window to window. I imagine him pulling into the drive, running out into the garage to meet him. That first hug that would last for minutes as we sunk into each other and all the cares of the day melted away. Home at last. A glass of wine, discussing the day, playing with the boys. I'd give anything to be able to sit across from him at the dining room table and have one of our epic conversations about nothing. Or I'd sous chef while he prepared one of his gourmet meals out of left overs.
It could also be that I'm terrified I won't be able to duplicate the loose painterly quality of Tim's anniversary study. I did sit down not long after completing it and was bitterly disappointed when the same old tight, get as close as you can to what you see, outcome became apparent. Typical. It dawns on me that I might have to work at it.
Anyway, who knows. This too shall pass. I have to make that choice and for a bit I guess I needed to wallow. I appreciate the emails of concern. I'm here and I'll keep sitting down to paint until the excitement returns.
Tim assures me that it will.
Friday, February 21, 2014
"Tim in the Light"
8x8" oil on linen
I found the reference photo for this while going through those huge bags of old mail I've been whining about lately. I'd forgotten all about it. I was thrilled to see it. Planned another big portrait, another week or two of "time in the studio with Tim"...sounds like a PBS instruction show...however, apparently he was not havin it. I got the distinct impression that another large portrait wouldn't be a good idea. I "heard" the word obsessive and he doesn't want that, so I compromised and did a quick study which I'm very happy with.
Keeping in mind his opinion that I "overwork" my paintings, I decided I would follow his line of thought while working on this. "Don't linger over a specific area!; don't paint a continuous color anywhere, break it up!; that area is DONE! do not touch it!; Dash in the color!"
I think he's so pleased with himself right now. I can just hear him..."See!! I told you!"
The anniversary proper is February 23rd, however I "feel" as if the 3rd Thursday in February should be it. It just seems so impossible that one can go to sleep and just leave like that! But still, I understand now that it was his time and I am so very grateful he left with us snuggled lovingly around him.
Oddly enough my resident geek and good friend Jon came over yesterday...the 3rd Thursday in February...and asked if I was ready to read Tim's "vanity" page, which he has been holding for the last two years. Vanity page...a term, from the paper the three of us worked for, defining a page that appeared in the paper that is then subsequently printed out on glossy stock for framing. In this case the vanity page is his obituary.
It was surreal seeing our names with those words surrounding them. "Wife found him dead." "Died in his sleep." They can't possibly mean us! But, I must be getting better. I read it and was able to distance myself from feeling left behind, abandoned.
Not gonna front though. I dove headlong into the pity pot for a nice extended stay earlier this week and haven't come up for air yet, but it is getting tired. And he's done so very much to keep in touch, it's just mind boggling. I won't go in to detail as I feel uncomfortable sharing it all now for some reason. It's basically for me so I'll know he's with me. I feel as I share every detail, I'm just trying to convince everyone of what I know to be a fact. Suffice it so say he's left little room for doubt...and yet, I still do, but that's normal.
Even feeling adrift in between signs and messages and needing that constant contact was addressed. My dear friend Carolyn, who suffered the same sudden and tragic loss this past August, shared the title of a book written by George Anderson that she's been reading. I read it years ago but thought it would mean so much more now. (gee...ya think?) I bought it on Kindle and the first passage I read explained that we are meant to go on as the unique individuals we are and constant contact would prohibit that. They make contact when it's time and going on doesn't mean leaving behind so, aside from the anniversary dreads, I'm pretty much good to go. As long as he checks in now and again...often.
And as for feeling awful, that's part of healing as well. Sometimes ya just gotta meet yourself where you are. And sometimes ya just gotta sit there and keep yourself company.
Thank you so much for dropping by, for the support and caring and for your friendship.
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
16x16" oil on heavyweight canvas
Meet Beauford! Excellent name. And I just love his crooked toofus! I must admit I had a bit of trouble with this one. I think I might need a break. I don't have the dreads, just doing a lot of heavy sighing. Guess it's the anniversary coming up.
I am amazed by the amount of snow we've been getting and are scheduled to get again tonight and tomorrow. Depending upon where the line is we'll either get rain and snow or just snow. I'm done and I don't even have to drive in it. Although the morning after the other day, it was gorgeous out. Just mounds of the stuff stuck to branches and trees. Beautiful! Winter wonderland time. Except for the shoveling. Luckily I have that covered but after he left the big plows came out in force and BAM! Just like that, 4 feet of big chunks of half frozen slush and snow across the drive! Oh well.
Tim has been very busy this past week! I'm so fortunate, but still, there is nothin like the real thing and I miss that more than I can put into words. Sometimes I feel normal, I know he's fine and with us but sometimes...well you know.
I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks so much for dropping by.