Monday, October 31, 2011



Having made a commitment to do the ladybug installation, which was due today, I found myself tired of painting them so I took a break and did this critter instead. I think the ladybug concept is a good one, but I think it best to do them sporadically and not all at once. Sixteen of them! Not cool. I want to keep a freshness about them so they'll be done when they're done. I always think giving myself a tight deadline will make me get things done and it just gives me something else to beat myself up with. Chillax Suz, it's not a race.

So this guy, with that vibrant turquoise on his bum, was great fun to do. What's that old saying... a different bug a day might keep boredom at bay? No? Oh well.

Enjoy the day and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, October 28, 2011

THE BOYS 1 A Study

16x20" oil on canvas

Not sure this works, the drips in the back are a tad distracting. Maybe it's done, maybe it's not. I'll see. I don't want to fill it in but I'm not sure it works half finished. Hmmm.

Anyway, thanks for dropping by and enjoy the weekend...again.


A huge and grateful thank you to Carrie Waller for featuring yours truly in her Friday Feature interview series of artists! Please visit if my ramblings here haven't worn you down yet!

What a great idea, I'm so looking forward to the series. I've wanted to get to know so many great artists in this blogosphere and the interviews are just the ticket.

This is one of Carrie's outstanding watercolors, and also one of my favorite of hers. I was bowled over the very first time I saw her work and continued to be awed with each post of her incredible work.

Illuminated Pumpkins
watercolor on paper  30x24"
by Carrie Waller

Thank you again Carrie and thank you for stopping by. Enjoy the weekend.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


24x36" oil on cradled hardboard

Meet Max and Jake Buzz. They're brothers. Max is always trying to ditch Jake and Jake is always trying to catch up. I'm developing a real affinity for these furry critters, especially since it finally dawned on me to paint them on a smooth surface. Um...duh!

Time for a list. I'm callin' it The Obvious List. Just a few things that were starin' me in the face, keeping me from seeing the oft-mentioned forest for the trees. Like painting highly detailed subject matter on a smooth surface instead of course cotton canvas for example. Here are three really obvious things that I've learned in my seven years as a full time artist:


Don't use them! There you have it! I've tried everything from tenderly washing, conditioning and gently blowing them dry to chanting incantations over their lifeless little bodies, their once lustrous uniform hairs pointing everywhere but north. I've rinsed them in safflower oil or not rinsed them at all. I've spent countless dollars on conditioning soaps, brush-washing machines, and so many chemicals— a lab coat was required. Then a few days ago, I needed a nice crisp zero for detail. My eyes went immediately to the "new brush can." There, glistening in the sun was an entire collection of brand new brushes. I thought I was saving them for that special painting but that wasn't it. I was just saving them! From the inevitable! If someone dipped you in oil paint, dragged you around a canvas and submerged you into a variety of mediums so harsh they require face masks and air cleaners for general use, and then washed you vigorously every day, how long do you think your "do" would hold up? It's a lost cause. There is no way to make them last, period. Use them until they look like crap and then move on.


Ignore them! Period. I've been defending my preference for using photos for reference over live models and still-life set ups for a while now and I suddenly realized that that was the problem! I needed everyone to agree with me and instead of seeing my inability to embrace my choice and not worry about it, I saw everyone who didn't as the problem. And as far as mean spirited comments, they say everything about who is making them and absolutely nothing about my work, except of course when they come from moi, which is most of the time. And they can be helpful. You can't get angry at something you don't believe in.


Stop it! I don't enter competitions or approach galleries so I can't wax poetic about that kind of rejection, but I'm really accomplished at the other kind. We were watching an NFL show the other day and one of the well known coaches has a segment entitled..STOP IT! He reviews whatever a player, coach or owner is doing that he doesn't agree with and just looks at the camera and delivers a snappy...STOP IT! How simple can it be? Feeling inferior Suz? Feeling a lack of creativity? Depressed, lost, wallowing in self-pity? STOP IT! I know, I know... but really, it is that simple! I can curtail the time I feel badly by deciding not to. I have emergency plans in place and the minute I feel myself goin' down the rabbit hole, I revert to plan B. It really is all up to me. The call is coming from inside the house!

I'll be adding to this list as the obvious dawns. Clearly, that doesn't happen often.

Thanks so much for stopping by!

Saturday, October 22, 2011


16x20" oil on canvas

We need some space and my storeroom has been targeted! Ouch! Time for a SALE!

I went through my paintings and selected some that I'm reducing in price. If you'd like to take advantage of this sale, I would prefer PayPal, but please feel free to contact me, I'll be happy to discuss other arrangements.

I've selected a few from the larger, mid-size and small canvases.  Here we go:

Sunny Side Up
16x20" oil on board

Artichoke One
16x16" oil on linen

Ribbons One
30x30" oil on canvas

16x16" oil on canvas

Green Shadow
16x20" oil on canvas
$350 reduced to $250

Lemon Thru The Drinking Glass
20x20" oil on linen

Three Reds
16x20" oil on canvas

Greens and Reds
16x20" oil on canvas

 The smaller paintings—which range in size from 4x4" up to 5x7"—  are reduced from $125 down to $50 each, or 3 for $140. Shipping $10.00. Just email me and let me know by name which ones you're interested in and I'll send you an invoice.

Please feel free to visit my gallery at and for more.

Thank you so much for dropping by.

Saturday, October 15, 2011


16x20" oil on canvas $275

This month's challenge, given to us by Robin Cheers, was quite challenge! We were given this black and white photograph.....

as reference and asked to paint it in full color, keeping the values as close to the original as possible. I spent more than a few days fretting about this puppy, however, once I sat down to work on it, I decided to take each element and choose shadow, mid tone and highlight colors, with a dash of a pure version of each color for some added life. It was fun actually, once I got going. And an added plus was the decision to paint much more loosely than I usually do. It's obvious I've got some chillaxin' to do in that department, but, up close it looks a lot looser than it does from a distance. Baby steps right?

Oh, and before I forget...the 16-piece Ladybug Installation will be done by month's end instead of today. What was I thinking? Besides, I think the finished group will make a more definitive post than one after another.

That said, time for the group to hang some laundry, enjoy!

Fresh Sheets
11x14" watercolor on aquaboard
© Vicki Ross

8x10" oil on canvas
© Sharman Owings

Summer Chores
11x14" oil on panel
© Robin Cheers 2011

10x8" oil on hardboard
©Diana Moses Botkin 2011

"Its a Wash"
8x6" oil on canvas
© Ruth Andre

Sunday, October 9, 2011


24x36" oil on canvas

Well, so much for the dreads! I powered through my attack of the vapors and took responsibility for what I was feeling. I really hate it when I have to do that!

I'd been visiting Dana Cooper 's blog a a few weeks ago and saw a fetching painting of this very waitress. Discovering that the reference photo was from a site called A Day Not Wasted, I headed on over there to see what the deal was. An open challenge! Yea!

I was instantly smitten with the photograph. There was something so sweet and innocent about this waitress. Her distant smile, as if she had just received some good news, her stance —mid-gait, the bits of hair in disarray, even the tilt of her silver tray.

I always start with what I consider to be the most difficult part of the painting—the face—followed by the figure and it's attire or lack thereof. In this instance there were lots of my one of my favorite things...folds. When satisfied with the complete figure I start on the background. There was a lot going on in this photograph. Magazine racks, paned glass, a figure to the right and writing on the window—all of which add so much to the charm of this shot—but I was so taken by the spirit of the girl that I focused only on her for my version.

This, of course, caused a ruffle in the feathers of you-know-who! When himself arrived home on Friday evening, this is how it looked...

The usual barney ensued. "It's perfect, I love the graphic elements behind her!" he bellowed. I opened the snap of the painting in Photoshop and simplified the background, and while I agreed with him on one level, I was still so taken by the figure I decided that I did indeed prefer that she be the focus. In hindsight, it was a very grown up discussion. He made it clear what he preferred but did not disagree with my choice. I very calmly told him what I was going to do and that was that! Hmmm...growth spurt?

And there you have it. I'm very pleased. I can sincerely say that I am proud of this painting.

Dreads my arse!

You can check out the other paintings and the original reference shot on A Day Not Wasted.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011


8x8" oil on cradled hardboard $100 plus shipping 

I'm beginning to believe that Macs aren't all that anymore! Guess who wouldn't boot up yesterday? Back to intensive care. I'm thinkin' we might have bought ourselves a lemon! When we got it back recently, I was alarmed because the fan kept coming on. We realized that since the day we brought it home the fan was NEVER on. It probably fried itself. Now what? Who knows.

Then I got all my chores done and sat down to paint. Good mood, beautiful day. Boo ya! The dreads, outta nowhere!!! No matter what I touched, it turned to poop.

This isn't even post-able, but I'm sick and tired of giving in to whatever seems to be happening.  I refuse to curl up with a bag of chips and sulk. So silly. Such a waste of time. If the dreads aren't gone by tomorrow, I'm workin' anyway. Bite me! If corporately employed I don't think my direct report would let me leave early to go home and watch tv because of some unexplainable, phantom brain fart! So, I'll use the remaining work day to get organized for tomorrow. Just did a raspberry to the dread mahockiss and wet my screen all up. Nice!

And, I'm unable to send personal thank-yous to everyone who left a comment on the first please accept a great big unified THANK YOU for your very kind words.

What was it Scarlett O'Hara said about tomorrow?