Monday, February 23, 2015

New Challenge Blog!

"Solitude One"
8x8" oil on canvas

This is my first painting for The Naked Artists, a blog artist Sandra Busby and I created to encourage productivity, growth and confidence.

Each month we take turns posting 5 words. One of us then chooses a word and we then create four paintings per month, one each week, that we feel best evokes the feeling of the chosen word.

Please feel free to join in the challenge yourself. Just be sure to link back to 'The Naked Artists' and we will link right back to your own paintings at the end of each month!
And, we're off.......


First date, Christmas Party 1992

Three years have gone by since I woke up to find my twin soul, best friend and husband gone and there is not one moment in one hour in one day that he is not in my thoughts and in my heart. And on this day, I will not mourn because his love and presence continue to make themselves known to me in the most amazing ways.  I am so fortunate and have so very much to be grateful for, not the least of which are my family and friends who continue to keep us in their thoughts

If I entertained a shadow of a doubt in the belief of life after death, it is completely gone now. Whether we believe it or not, our loved ones have not left us and they never will. I love you Berry and I will until the end of time and I see you again. You are my heart and I miss seeing you more than I could ever put into words.

Sunday, January 4, 2015


18x24" oil on heavyweight canvas

Apologies for my disappearing act. A lot going on. I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and even though I'm late I'd like to wish you all the best in the coming year and thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support and comments. I've said this many times in the past few years but it bears'll never know how much I appreciate them.

This is Diva, a Christmas commission and my first poodle. It was interesting for me because her fur didn't reflect the light and I thought that might detract from the finished painting but it didn't. I rather enjoyed the kinkiness and actually had to restrain myself from getting lost in all the different hued strands covering her right ear.

Happily the clients were very pleased which in turn, caused me to be very pleased.

Clearly my creativity and drive is at an all time low but that doesn't mean I'm wallowing in negativity. In sharing my lack of enthusiasm for painting I struck up a conversation which led to a joint collaboration with a colleague online. We are both looking to reignite our creative spark and in the process grow as artists and have decided to form an alliance in support of helping each other do just that.

Still in the planning stages but we hope to roll out our blog in early February. We'll see. I'm excited about beginning anew.

Tim is ever present and with me and the boys....missing him like mad but we are doing well. We have much to be grateful for and look forward to the new year, embracing new signs and visits and rekindling my desire to pop into the studio on a regular basis and perhaps even stay a while and paint! We'll see!

Thank you so much for dropping by.

Monday, November 3, 2014


30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas
Private Collection

This is my dear friend Brenda Ferguson. I have admired her use of color and brush work from the moment I first saw her work online. I would leave comments on her blog and she would leave some on mine. And after Tim left she would continue to reach out to me and leave messages of encouragement and support and one day we got to chatting via email.

What transpired has been the gift of a friendship I will treasure forever. There are a lot of kind people in this world and Brenda is among the kindest.

I found the reference for this painting online at her site. I'd never seen it before and was immediately drawn to it. I had planned to paint her creating her wonderful work on the shores of her favorite vacation spot, but when I saw this I knew I'd found the perfect photo.

An interesting thing happened on the way to painting this. When I pinched the shot and opened it to print it out for reference, the resolution was so low that the blown up version pixelated and broke up. I was a tad vexed as I have always wanted clear, in-focus reference to work from but when I began painting I was forced to work much more loosely than I usually do. Her blouse is smooth due to the material but up close her face is a much looser.

I think I'll reduce the resolution of my next reference and then blow it up! Looks like Bren might have helped solve my career-long desire for a more painterly quality to my work!

Thank you so much Brenda for being my friend. You are, without doubt an inspiration and one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Tim at his desk. Circa 1995 

I sat one cubicle away. We were graphic designers in the marketing department of the local newspaper. The headphones saved our sanity. We were able to get lost in music while toiling away each day. The job was difficult and fast paced, the managers hot tempered and oppressive, but we had a ball. Not complaining...yes you are...okay maybe a little...but that said, it was a great job, we both learned so much and were lucky to have it...and each other.

Being there with him, having the emotional support of your very best friend in the world who wasn't the least bit shy about telling you when he thought you were wrong and could calm you down when your emotions or ego got the best of you. We were together twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and never wanted it to end.  I so miss those days.

Today, October 1st, is Timothy Francis Berry's 47th birthday! If someone had told me he wouldn't be here to share it with me I would have laughed in their face. And rightly so. Because he is here to share it with me. I just can't see him. But I'm getting used to that.

I found this somewhere. It was written by Bob Marley. I thought it perfectly described this incredible man. That he came into my life and loves me is the greatest gift I have ever received and I will be eternally grateful for it and him. And since he has made it clear that he's more than a tad uncomfortable with me doing yet another portrait of him, I thought his b-day was the perfect occasion to share what I believe conveys exactly what he means to me now and forever.

It took me a while, but I have finally come to realize, that death is no match for the bond we share.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


8x10" oil on canvas

 Okay, don't laugh. Yes, it's a landscape...of sorts. This puppy has been on the easel since I finished Laura 3! The reference, from, was taken by...still searching for the name...when I find it I will be sure to give credit where credit is due...I hope!

Anyway, looks like I just can't up and decide to dive into painting a landscape! Each and every time I sat down to work on this I just felt so overwhelmed. Not sure whether is was feeling inadequate or just not feelin' like working but there it is. It's been well over a month! I had so planned to post at least 3 times since then. It's sloppy and not very good but at least I tried. I had planned to go back and make nice, but I'm callin it. I'm done. Landscape attempt officially ticked off the list. I think. And of course, I never stopped to consider a smoother surface would have helped...just grabbed a dry canvas in stock that was already painted black. Putz!

Our friend Laura is coming over for a photo session and I'm even considering props and hopefully soon I'll get back to some sort of structure and perhaps even some consistency in working and posting. We'll see! I have to have a plan or there's just one broken promise after another, but the good news is that I'm giving little Suz a break and not being so hard on her. All things considered, I think she's doing pretty well given the circumstances. I finally realized that she needs my constant support not my constant criticism and like Tim "said", even if you decide to laze in front of the flat screen with a bag of something unhealthy, embrace and enjoy that decision to the fullest. It's the depression that follows that feeds that negative vibration.

Had an old college bud from FIT stay for a bit. She put me in touch with how much I really need to get back into living and doing. I thought I was doing fine in that department, however a deep desire to cocoon in the house with my all my toys and the boys was made very apparent during her stay. That's fine though. I'll get out more and do more but my fear of having to become a social butterfly (clearly not me or Tim for that matter) was lovingly quelled by "hearing" that he doesn't care if I'm alone in the middle of the Sahara Desert, as long as I'm happy and enjoying it. Whew! Thanks dude!

Tim continues to surprise and delight with his presence and little synchronicities and coincidences. There are times that I have gotten so in tune with him that I wonder why I can't see him. I'm finally meditating on a somewhat daily basis and it's really helping me feel more centered and calm. And someone...wonder who?... stroked my finger three times the other day while I sat!!! Hello!!! I am so grateful for this connection and grateful that I'm so open to it. I cannot imagine what life would be like if I wasn't.

Cannot accept it's September, which, as much as I'd hoped has done nothing to make it still July. Time marches on does it not? Happy fall and thank you so much for stopping by. It means the world to me.

Friday, August 8, 2014


30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas
Private Collection

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.

I remember when I was working on this one to the left that I had chosen the pose above to anchor the composition however it gave me a lot of trouble so I abandoned it planning to return to it at a later date.

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?