Thursday, January 29, 2009
oil on canvas
This is Archie. He's not finished yet, but I need to post tonight. That unconnected feeling again. Plus, I want to post him now, and then again when he's done, because of the new approach I'm experiencing. I say experiencing instead of choosing because I don't seem to deciding. Nothing metaphysical going on, I'm sure. Apparently the time I've spend with Mr. Hein has been quality time. When I began painting Arch this morning, I just held the brush and applied the paint differently. Hmmm...osmosis. I like it.
Posted by suzanneberry at 3:26 PM 2 comments:
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
'LIL RED WAGON
oil on canvas
My father was a man of few words. He was very imposing, moody, funny, sullen and on occasion philosophical. My mother loved to gossip. She'd prattle on and on about some poor soul while his head was buried in the latest Mickey Spillane pulp fiction. When she realized he hadn't been listening, she'd demand to know what he thought about the subject of her slander. He'd look up from his book, brow furrowed, a weary look on his face and heavy sigh: ......"Well, it's his 'lil red wagon, I guess he can push or pull it."
This little red wagon once held an 18-pack of double A batteries. I bought it in honor of Pop. It now sits on my desk, packed with clear plastic push pins.
By the way, I have a great excuse for not posting since last week this time. Two words. Jury duty. Arrrrrgh!
Posted by suzanneberry at 12:51 PM 2 comments:
Thursday, January 22, 2009
oil on canvas
This adorable little girl is a commission that I'm presently working on. There's still much to do but I decided to post it today and then again when it's completely ready to go to the client just to see if I did indeed improve the piece.
This is the second child I've done in recent years. I'd forgotten how difficult they can be. There are really no hard and fast planes or shapes to hold on to, so in the beginning she closely resembled a lil' old lady with no teeth. At this age their little noses are just cute round buttons on a rather large egg, but they do have distinctive features that make them look like who they are. And this little one has an abundance of personality and character in her adorable little face.
Posted by suzanneberry at 1:10 PM 3 comments:
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
oil on canvas
I haunt bookstores. Back in the day, I would travel to a different one every lunch hour if time permitted. Even now, whenever I get the buggy, I'm off to Barnes and Noble or Borders. So many purchases to make and so little time. Suffice it to say, if I had a nickle for every book I own, I could feast on stone crab legs throughout the season, instead of just once. I love the way they feel in my hands (the books, not the crabs), the way they smell, the fonts used for copy. Next to himself, Devlin the Wonder Dog and a huge bowl of colossal pistachio nuts, books are among my favorite things. Definitely in my top ten.
I bought this mug when I started doing pet portraits for a living. It had something to do with keeping a schedule I think. It also made me feel like a professional for some reason. When I did the "hold" test with this puppy, I was hooked. There have been other "special" mugs and cups since, but only one that feels like this.
I used the brush more freely since viewing the Jeff Hein DVD. I felt insecurity begin to stir when I broke out the brushes this AM. I put the DVD on and dove right in. Impatient as usual, this could have used a few layers, but I'm pleased. Still, I need to cultivate some courage when I paint. Fearless. I need to be fearless. What's the worst that can happen? Really?
Posted by suzanneberry at 10:50 AM 2 comments:
Thursday, January 15, 2009
oil on canvas
I really needed a break from the "cute!" Nothing at all wrong with cute. Cute is good. The world needs more cute. It's just not me, as anyone who reads my rants well knows, on any consistent basis. But sometimes it's great for rounding out those sharp edges, on the canvas and especially in life.
What better way to get back to basics than your basic nude? These are good for me. "Strips" everything down so to speak. I have so far to go. But today, I'm going to appreciate where I am, right now. Four years ago, I came home from work with the knowledge that my well-paying 9 to 5 was circling the drain. I came into this very room, then mostly used for storage at the time although it was the designated "studio", found the basics, set up and tried to paint a Labradoodle. It was frighteningly bad.
I'm trying to come up with one line that cleverly describes my feelings today, but only one word keeps popping up. Hopeful. I'm hopeful that I'll someday be patient—with myself and the process. I'm hopeful that I'll someday trust myself enough to take the training wheels off and create work that defines my artistic vision. Hell, I'm hopeful that someday I'll figure out just what that vision is! Right now, it's..."what can I paint today that is unique and different?" And that's fine. But I want more. And wanting more is as good as having more.
Posted by suzanneberry at 11:11 AM 3 comments:
A THANK YOU
I'd like to thank Jeanette for her wise and kind comments regarding Toy 4, but I can't find an address. So I'll say it here instead. My husband and I had the very same discussion. Also, I visited your blog and think your work is so beautiful! Thank you again.
Posted by suzanneberry at 6:11 AM No comments:
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
oil on linen
Still in the "cute" phase, somewhat. Back in the day, I thought I wanted to create dolls. I subsequently realized it was just a desire to sculpt. That whole make the clothes, shoes and hair thing was way beyond my interest level. I was purely interested in facial features. Anyway, back in the day, we also had a lot of disposable income and I disposed quite a lot collecting dolls which now sit cold in storage boxes in the garage. Digressing again.
This little girl, lost in sleep, sits on a toy chair resting on a pedestal in the living room. She's one of my favorites because himself surprised me one birthday with her. She's quite lovely and so well made. I have spent many a hour wondering what she's dreaming, if her eyes are brown and if she'd like a snack when she wakes up. The face is badly painted. She's much cuter. I went a bit overboard on her lips. They're not nearly as big. I'm going to try this one again after I digest the Hein DVD which is discussed below.
I was granted a well needed kick in my artistic ass last night when the hubs and I sat down to digest a DVD by inspiring, uber-gifted artist Jeffrey Hein. Oh my! Not only is his demonstration of painting a portrait completely mind-blowing, but during the session, there is a voice-over in which a student of his questions his process! A nugget of wisdom a minute from a really cool human. I was thrilled to hear that he's nervous whenever he steps in front of a blank canvas. I also realized that I'm still holding back. I still gloss over areas, don't pay attention to shadow temperatures, shapes, and all manner of important details. I know I've got skills but I get so lazy sometimes. Perhaps that's the reason. The "good" voice tells me it's not laziness, but fear. If it were laziness, the voice counsels, I'd be watching TV, not painting.
Then fear of what? What if I take my time, do it all correctly and it comes out perfectly dreadful? Or perfectly perfect? I fear joy. I fear disappointment. Yet somehow disappointment and defeat feel safer. Lots to think about.
This Jeff Hein DVD is one of the best I've ever seen. I plan to spend a lot of hours with this man. I want to feel the elation of success. I'll deal with the guilt and fear later.
Posted by suzanneberry at 10:18 AM 3 comments:
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
oil on linen
I'm having one of those days. No matter what I do with this painting it still looks like poop. The voice is screaming "failure!", my head hurts, it's cloudy and it's probably raining somewhere, whatever that means. Anyway, I'm letting it go with love before it goes through the window and me along with it.
Did you ever have an image in your head of what a piece would turn out to look like? I was beyond pumped about these little shoes and how I wanted them to look. Maybe I'll try them on canvas and see what happens. Problem is, once you create a puddle or a mess on board, there is no covering it. Each stroke must be deliberate and correct or you end up with this. Oh well.
Tomorrow will be better. Also, I must keep in mind, I could be suffering from a "cute" painting overdose. Bought more toys yesterday. Perhaps I'll give them a rest for a bit.
Posted by suzanneberry at 1:18 PM 2 comments:
Friday, January 9, 2009
oil on linen
I'm going back to the bookstore. I need more toys. I only have one more to go and it's my favorite, although who can dislike a Lady Bug! I loved them as a child. I never did like the creepy crawlers and dispatched quite a few in my time, but I always took great care not to harm a Lady Bug. Apologies to bug lovers everywhere. I'm completely reformed and now tote the little suckers outside, gently cradled in a napkin. Except big spiders. Himself takes care of those.
Digressing again. I can't post without mentioning my struggle with linen can I? Today, I loved it. Enough said. As long as the layers are dry, it's no problem at all. Um...duh!
Posted by suzanneberry at 3:16 PM 1 comment:
Thursday, January 8, 2009
oil on linen
These toys are fun! I am having fun! Of course I have issues with that subject I wasn't going to discuss/whine about but, I'm a willow, I can bend. ...Freakin' linen. Oops! Slipped out.
Still getting to know the copy board. It's amazing though. So convenient. It's got a 24x24" board, an adjustable camera stand and two adjustable light kits on either side. I think the whole thing cost about $250 and it's worth every penny. I love my set up. I'm so fortunate. This is like a dream come true for me, despite my constant whining to the contrary. I remember sitting at my computer during my days as a 9-5er, making the same revision for the 56th time and thinking, "why am I not in front of an easel?"
Posted by suzanneberry at 4:23 PM No comments:
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
oil on linen
Ok, so, if one lets the layers dry, the linen really is fun to work on! Patience isn't one of my strong suits or weak suits, or even slacks and a blouse. I hate to wait. But, I see now, I must. This could use still one more layer, but, guess what? I'm impatient. And, I promise, this is the last discussion regarding this issue. I think.
Out Christmas shopping a few weeks back, I headed toward the checkout counter in one of my favorite book stores, and there, in a clever little display, nestled these incredibly cute, brightly colored little wind-up toys. I've been searching for just the right toys to paint and there they were! My shopping mood suddenly brightened. These were just what I was looking for! A bit steep at $5 a hit, but, where art is concerned, cost is not an issue.
Can't wait to get going on the others.
Posted by suzanneberry at 4:27 PM 2 comments:
Monday, January 5, 2009
oil on canvas
Himself is home until Wednesday, so painting time is limited. I'm still on high-appreciation alert so the canvas has to wait. It's been hectic what with accident reports, trips for tests etc. Looking forward to establishing patterns again. The holidays always trip me up and laziness sets in.
I wanted to post a self-portrait for DP tomorrow, but just haven't had the time to get 'er done. This is a portrait from a few years back. They had the cutest names, but I just don't remember them right now. Hopefully a new piece for Wednesday. I'm still in holiday head. We'll see.
Posted by suzanneberry at 12:52 PM 7 comments:
Thursday, January 1, 2009
THAT DENTED DUSTY CANDLE LAMP
oil on canvas
Finally! A new painting! And I used the new copy board, with the help of himself, and am very pleased with the results. I guess I just have to get used to the linen, because the tooth of the canvas really makes me feel comfortable. Um...repeat yourself much suzanne? Even I'm a tad sick of the linen vs canvas debate.
Anyway, this was done in 2 sittings. I wanted to finish it in one to prove a point to myself. I did many of my daily paintings in one day before I was accepted at DP. Now that I'm posting with all of those incredible artists, I'm much less spontaneous and confident. Have to fix that. I'll be comfortable as long as I keep on working.
This little item was stashed in the closet, along with all of the other pieces I bought in the recent past, whose function it was to lend an air of sophistication and coolness to the dinner table. He cooks like a legend, I'm in charge of ambiance. I buy a lot of things. Dusty and dented with highlights of patina and rust (is that the same thing?), it arrogantly screamed "daily!" when I saw it last week while foraging for napkins.
Ah! It feels good to post a new piece. Off to celebrate!
Posted by suzanneberry at 12:40 PM 1 comment:
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