This month's challenge was a self portrait. What can one say? I claim occupational disorientation. You know how the carpenter's home is sometimes unfinished and chaotic? The hair stylist's hair occasionally unkempt and unattractive? Well this one's about the artist that can't paint herself!
A few unpleasant situations came to mind as I toiled away on this just now. Root canal. Waiting rooms. I would gladly endure either one of these insults at any time, than to have to paint a self portrait. Not a fan of the self portrait. Never have been.
You can imagine the state of little suz. Off somewhere sulking I'm sure. She's threatening never to speak to me again if I post this! Right! If it were only that easy. I was going to paint the "towel over the head with the glasses on" gag, but thought better of it as this is a serious group and the challenges are meant to...well...challenge, but this! This was not at all fun.
With a new set of luggage taking up residence under my eyes each morning, furrows and lines staying put long after my smile fades and the occasional single strand of hair turning up in the oddest of places, this is the last thing I wanted to do. Hmmm...vain much Suzanne?
Actually....Yes! But contrary to popular family opinion...I am a willow. I can bend.
24" x 20" (61.0cm x 50.8cm)
oil on linen
$450 plus $25.95 shipping and handling in the US E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.
It looks like that pug blog is looking more and more like it might become a reality. I can't seem to stop painting my pugs! There's one almost done that I couldn't bear to work on today so I did this instead. I'm carrying my camera everywhere with them. I'm addicted.
Blu is the alpha, Raz the enforcer. If you hand them a little treat Raz comes rushing up so fast he impales his little face on your hand. Blu? He's more like...if you bring it over here I'll give it a sniff and let you know. If sitting down and leaning forward, too far away from him to take up residence on your shoulders and rest his head on yours, he'll climp up, stand on your shoulders and gently paw at your scalp until you sit back and accommodate him. He insists on being let in the shower while you are in there so he can watch the water go down the drain and he and his little bro still nurse under Tim's neck after every meal before they go down for their nap. Amazing.
It seems the reference determines the brush strokes. I went for loose and spontaneous but there so much detail I found myself smoothing with my pinky again. Oh well. I'm pretty pleased anyway.
I have a few commissions, a few donations and a challenge to get done but I've given myself two days out of five to work on what I want to. It's helping. I seem to be getting things done! Of course my challenge painting might be a tad late, but we'll see.
Clearly mom and dad might have overdone the "be polite" thing, as the last few months of my individual "thank you" emails might have illustrated.
I've been spending more time thanking folks for comments than I have been painting. And since my appreciation is beginning to border on obsessive, I think it might be a good idea to do what everyone else seems to be doing... thank everyone directly on my blog and spend more time visiting the sites of those who left comments. Um...duh!
A contrarian. The dictionary defines this person as someone who takes an opposing view, especially one who rejects the majority opinion. I am, in point of fact, married to a contrarian, which makes life, as one might imagine, quite interesting. It works out really well actually. I'm your basic cosmic muffin, he's completely grounded. He keeps me from floating off into space and I've loosened his stranglehold on reality. Am I repeating myself? Anyway, once I got past the need to be right all the time, I found our discussions quite illuminating and I've come to the conclusion that if there isn't one in every crowd, there should be.
Seriously, I am astounded that other artists like my work enough to feature it on their blogs. You know the feeling, the grass is always greener or in this case maybe the paint is always arranged better. When I'm low on creative fuel, I pull up to the computer and visit other artist blogs to fill up on pure, clean inspiration. There's a folder I keep on my desktop called Inspiration, oddly enough, and it's chock full of art that I've pinched from various websites. I look at what's inside almost every morning just to get the creative juices flowing...and it always seems to work, even in severe drought conditions. There are several Julie Beck's there. You see where I'm going with this I'm sure, so I'll dispense with the "aw shucks, who me?" stuff and just say thank you, Julie Beck, this feels very, very, very good!
Julie has an "I Heart..." series on her blog: http://juliebeck.blogspot.com/, and the June 6th post she "hearted" moi!! I'm bowled over, completely! Bowled over and so grateful! Julie's work is right up my palette. Poor analogy, sorry, it's early, but I've visited her site almost every day since I first discovered it. Her work is incredible as you can see from the example above. I love the attention she pays to the atmosphere surrounding her work, I love the subject matter she chooses, her style of painting and even the design of her blog. Her name in script in that very tasteful soft wedge wood blue just makes me happy. And the fact that she liked my work enough to "heart" it has made me downright giddy!
Please visit her site, you'll be glad you did! And Julie, thank you from the bottom of my paint covered, insecure little heart! Your generosity is as boundless as your gift.
About a week ago, I was joyfully surprised by a comment that pointed me in the direction of Bruce's blog: http://awbrucesherman.blogspot.com/, explaining that he had mentioned my work, specifically "The Camera," in his post! What I read there damn near bowled me over! Bruce explained, in some extremely flattering prose, how that painting had inspired his, which is featured here. After seeing this painting, I explained to Bruce, his finished product is what I had been aiming for! The soft, loose brushstrokes combined with the laid back attitude of the musician and the beautiful treatment of light and shadow make this one of my very favorites of his.
I am extremely grateful to Bruce, not only for his beautifully written and thought provoking posts and his incredible paintings, but for his very kind and generous mention of my work on his blog. I cannot express my appreciation in words that I feel explain how much his kind reference means. And learning that a painting I did inspired another artist to create is a very humbling experience, especially for me as I'm sure frequent visitors are familiar with and most likely a tad tired of my notorious insecurity. Please take trip over to see Bruce, his incredible work and meaningful posts, you will leave with a smile in your heart.
Thank you again Bruce, you are a kind, gentle, generous, and extremely gifted artist!
Here's Raz, aka Razoo-Dazzoo, as he cops a few Z's on the couch sometime during the holiday weekend. We set up a speaker cabinet in front of the screen door so the boys could rail at passersby to their hearts content without going through the screen while we jammed. They ran themselves ragged running back and forth from the front to the back door, thinking that anyone who walked, biked, ran or drove out of their view would inevitably end up in our back yard. Adorable. However it was nice when their batteries ran down and they needed a rest.
Clearly the Moses Botkin Challenge this month has had an effect on moi. Growth spurt!! Stayin' in the lines is so much fun, however this new brush stroke freedom thing is quite exciting! I believe, more than anything thus far in my born again art career, the challenge group has forced me to grow...kicking and screaming all the way...but grow nonetheless.
Plus, I spend so much time watching these two little monkeys interact, seeing the shapes of their heads, their folds and wrinkles, and beauty marks, not to mention the near constant hi-jinks, why not take advantage of them? Clearly, I'm standing on the shoulders of giants here...see http://tweedles-georgie.blogspot.com/...Through the Eyes of Tweedles...to enjoy the most incredibly poetic pug ever...but I was thinking of incorporating little pug anecdotes, pug drawings and pug paintings into another blog. We'll see, it might be fun.
My apologies for the late thank yous that are on their way to everyone for the wonderful comments you were all kind enough to leave for "Now What?" A short vaycay, finally moving the studio to the den along with the boys, their little playpen and insane collection of toys has taken it's toll. I was so anxious to begin anew in my new space I just dove in today. Thank you for your patience and please don't think me rude. What fun would it be if no one saw my work? Gak!