Friday, May 15, 2009



We had the problem again last night. It is a recurring problem, and we are learning to handle it better, but...well, it is a problem which has, in the past, resulted in quite of the minds shall we say?

Himself, like me, loves spontaneous brush work. We've spent endless hours studying John Singer Sargent's work in person, in print and on DVD. For us, he is the original. So, consequently, when I'm working on a piece, in the beginning stages, himself will without fail, appear at the studio door and declare the painting completed.
"It's done!" he'll shout, already pacing frustratedly because he knows I'll disagree. "If you put another brushstroke anywhere near that canvas, my head will explode! I'm buying it, right's mine...give it to me!"

He has threatened me with everything from hiding the painting from me to confiscating my brushes. And on some level, I do agree with him.

But, I can't seem to help myself. I work until everything looks neat and polished and presentable and invariably he will then pronounce the painting "compromised." He still loves it, but he really loved it before I "overworked" it. The irony is that he suffers from the same malady. I actually rescued a lovely watercolor of me that he was working on before it was too late a few years back, so obviously I don't disagree.

And so it was, when I presented the completed "Boxer" to him last night, he shook his head and uttered those dreaded words..."Just once, I'd like to see a painting leave this house with one brush stroke in tact!" Bite me! I'm 50/50 on the pooch, I think. Either that or I just can't admit I agree. In my defense, I thought his ear needed something to rest on and if I'm not mistaken, there are brushstrokes! But I know what he means. Every inch of the canvas doesn't always have to be covered. The battle continues.


  1. I can see brushstrokes in the finished painting. Isn't that how you rendered the fur?

  2. overworked or not it is a wonderful painting

  3. I'm kind of confused now.

    Which one is the finished painting? The left or the right?

    I love the color combinations of the one on the right the best. The browns of the fur go so well with the gray background.

    Sometimes you just have let a painting be done with no matter what.


  4. Both beautiful. Two different approaches. I don't think it looks overworked....just more refined. (I was just having this conversation with Sam Dolman...I would be the queen of detail, he might be the king. Hey, we were born like this. Gimme those tiny brushes!)

  5. Suzanne I'm wih you, unless a painting is polished up and painted right up to the edge, it's not finished I feel, I can't see how spaces around a painting or rough brush strokes can be left, it's like the last sweet in the packet, it just has to be taken and finished off! Lovely painting, superb artwork

  6. All I can say is no painting of mine is done until I say it's done. The vision is mine, so the end result will be mine. I'm glad you "finished" the painting. The shadow patterns and the introduction of complimentary color took it to the next level. -Don

  7. This really made me laugh! I have similar artistic discussions/arguments/debates with The Husband.

  8. I now have and own this piece and the picture does not do it justice. It is a absolutly wonderful piece and I feel so blessed to now be the proud owner of it. Thank You Suzanne, I can't stop looking at it and admiring it. I am not an artist or know much about art but there are not too many or too few brush strokes, it is perfect!

  9. I love your work Suzanne, and am enjoying going back in time on this blog, seeing what you're painted that I've missed.

    And I so agree with your painting philosophy... and so identify with the desire to keep it (at least a LITTLE) loose. But I love detail, so ... unless the model moves, I keep painting until I feel it looks the way I want it to.

    I think there is probably medication for this.


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