Wednesday, October 1, 2014

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY LOVE!





































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.




HAPPY BIRTHDAY SWEETHEART!

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

MISTY BRIDGE




















"MISTY BRIDGE"
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 morgueFile.com, 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 concepts...so 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

LAURA 3
























LAURA 3
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?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

AT THE ZOO





































"AT THE ZOO!"
16x20" oil on heavyweight canvas
Private Collection


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!

I promised.

Hope to be posting again real soon. Thank you for stopping by!



Wednesday, May 28, 2014



















"MATAS"
5x7" oil on linen


SOLD


Okay, I'll be brutally honest. I have hit the proverbial wall! Smacked face first right into that sucker! BAM!!!! 
Haven't got a clue what's going on and oddly enough don't even care! Figuring out why I do things that aren't, on the surface, good for me has never ever aided me in stopping them so why take the time to bathe the ego is all that focus and attention? That's exactly what it wants.

I can't stand the painting I posted and have had it languishing in limbo for the last 3 days, opening up my blog list to look at it from time to time, hoping that I'll see it and not feel repulsed. I can't believe I had the arrogance to reach out to a few artists I admire and try to wrestle them from their "intermission" with all sorts of advice, none of which is helping me now. Forgive my hubris in thinking that I had the answers. Clearly I don't and never will. And I think realizing that is a good thing. Plus, let's face it, poking my nose into someone elses' bidness is a stellar way to stay out of my own. A "let me reach out and fix the world while my own is crumbling around me" type deal.
I'm not really miserable. Missing my best bud has reached epic proportions and surpassed anything I would have expected a year ago but he's here and I'm embracing that. It takes some getting used to I can tell you. I'd be foolish to ignore all the signs and visits but sometimes, as I've often said here, I do and feel genuinely sorry for myself. However I think experiencing that, owning that and releasing that is exactly what I'm supposed to do. Suppressing any emotion will guarantee a pimple popping up somewhere or worse so I'm fairly honest with myself, at least in that respect.

The path I study says that everything in this world is neutral and that I give it all the meaning it has for me and I think I'm beginning to be able to step back and see that...finally. I'm choosing what I feel. No one else is in there, who else could it be? Repeating myself again however I can't say often enough that if my joy and serenity depends upon what's going on outside of me, I'm just asking for trouble. If I've learned anything I've learned that change is the only thing we can depend on in this world and if we dig our heels in to try and prevent it, well basically, we're buggered. That last word is clearly a euphemism for the one I'd like to use.

So here I am. I'll call it an intermission. Today, The Daily Flame or Inner Pilot Light, which is uncannily always tuned into my madness asked....Why are you in such a hurry? Don't you realize that sometimes the best course of action is waiting and becoming? There's a reason they call it intermission. It ain't about the popcorn! Patience precious!

I hope that wasn't a no-no. Repeating a portion of today's message. Brenda turned me onto it and it's wonderful. Seems like every day it's exactly what I need to hear. Or read. It's from Dr. Lissa Rankin and her site is a very uplifting collection of love and health.

So again here I am. I think I'm turning a corner on a journey that began with Tim's anniversary painting. Rendering is no longer satisfying and I'm thinking of just choosing a simple subject and committing to a quick study a day and see what happens. I do have another donation painting to finish so as least I'll be forced to work.

I'm good though. Really, not frontin' one bit. I'm blessed in so many ways. Yeah, Tim had to leave early but he's with me always, and what a gift that we even met!! That kind of love doesn't happen all the time and it's eternal! The one thing we all want is to love and be loved, valued and cherished by someone we respect, admire and treasure. And the Universe hooked me up...big time! I can be patient. I'll see him again. Meanwhile...I'll just do my best to do what's best. 
Thank you so much for dropping by. Your comments and caring, as I've said over and over, mean more than you will ever know!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

BACK TO WORK and AN INCREDIBLE SURPRISE!






































Asparagus (detail)
WIP

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....

INCREDIBLE SURPRISE!! 
















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!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

BAILEY and some confusion
























"BAILEY"
16x20" oil on canvas
NFS

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.