Wednesday, September 30, 2009


A huge THANK YOU! to Leslie Ervin for awarding me the Kreative Blogger Award! Thank you so very much and I apologize for taking so long to keep the good feelins' goin'! I'm still not sure how to get everything linked the right way but I'll certainly give it a try. I, being completely self-centered, have indeed put this off until I have the time to do it right and I do hope you will forgive me.

Leslie's blog:, is just a joy to visit. She takes the most amazingly beautiful photographs of "scenes a dragonfly might bump across in her travels here and there upon this earth!" Deeelightful!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


pencil on paper

Finally! Just emerging from a very intense "I can't draw anymore!" period. So strange. It's not like it goes away and then comes back again, it's more like I get lazy and don't want to finish. In my defense, I have been distracted by other duties. Thanks to himself, I pushed through. And then there's the pending visit from the puppy fairy. She's comin' heavy so I gotta be ready.

Starting a relationship with new pets is always an exciting time for me. I bought my second Shepherd when I was going through a divorce. Poor baby was a neurotic mess. But now, in hindsight, I think Dev was so extraordinary because he was raised in a loving home, with a medium amount of drama. I'm very focused on the quality of my energy and feel like I'm becoming more aware of the unavoidable human tendency to go to the dark place. It's realizing it's a choice. There's the rub!

PUG LIFE: Parenthood!


Meet Rampage Jackson Berry and Mayhem Miller Berry. Those are just working names. Himself called me last week from work to tell me a co-worker was adopting a pug puppy and did I want to do the same. He didn't have to wait for my reply. We went to see the little critters on Saturday and we're takin' two!!! I am beyond excited. Except for feeling like I'm cheating on Devlin's memory, I am alive with anticipation. I'm even reading up on how to train puppies correctly. A little tentative that I might be taking on too much but they're soooo cute and small. Calm and assertive, Suz, calm and assertive.

Himself is fixed on Rampage and Mayhem. We follow mixed marital arts. Rampage Jackson and Mayhem Miller are fighters with the UFC. I like the irony of the names, but how does one shorten them into nicknames? It's inevitable. I can't see myself calling Ramp....yo...May...dinner's ready! Doesn't work for me. If anyone has any suggestions, I'm definitely open. Our friend weighed in with some great ones, but I'm just not sure.

I really miss posting! I tried a drawing last night, but hated it. I have 7 paintings going, but keep getting graphic design work with uncomfortably tight deadlines and can't seem to catch up. Not complaining. But I need to paint and post, soon!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Site from DP Creator!

Please check this survey out, the projected site sounds very interesting!


oil on canvas

In an effort to post more than just 11 paintings a month, I'm working more! Could it be that easy? In my defense I am working on six other paintings with specific destinations when finished and some increasingly more and more frequent graphic design projects. Berry is a busy bee! I'm bee-holdin! (I think I need to paint a bug!)

Not thrilled with this painting, but when am I ever? When it dries I'll define the shapes, shadow and light more and post a side by side.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


oil on linen
in progress

I'm still waitin' on the muse...great song title...anyway, she is a fickle little witch isn't she! It is Sunday, however feel free to exchange the "w" for a "b," if that's your natural inclination. I assure you, it's mine. Anyway, I'm realizing now, she actually did show up, but since her gift was not in praise of moi, it took till today to discern she had indeed visited!

For lack of a better thread, I'm following the "floating face" thang. They're fun and fast, and appear to scratch that annoying ego itch quickly and somewhat painlessly. But, I thought, why not try the same thing in a larger format and in oil?...(there's a pattern here isn't there?)...the still-evolving result is above. I was just going to leave it as it is, satisfied that my "floating face" thing was indeed progressing, having moved to a larger venue and medium, and would one day possibly be my new "answer!" Maybe fill in only a few other parts of the face in a graphic manner, maybe a splash of red to define the right side of the face.

As the afternoon shadows faded into evening on Friday, I sat on the bed, looking alternately at the TV screen and the canvas shown above. I was pretty satisfied, but I knew that somewhere, more artists than I cared to imagine, were taking the concept of "floating faces" to places unknown or imagined, by me anyway, and I wanted, very much, to see some examples. I'll jump online later tonight and find some to check out, I thought.

A half an hour later, himself had arrived home from work and was all excited about this artist he'd found online. "She does the faces thing," he said, "but differently, you really need to see her work!"

Himself, my perfect "little" resident geek, has the mac hooked up so we can view monitor content on the embarrassingly large flat screen that we share our bedroom with. As I sat there, the images that flashed before my eyes were indeed incredible and coincidentally (there are none by the way) exactly what I had in mind to look for later that night! This artist, based in England, had done an incredible collection of what I call "floating faces," in oil and thread no less and I was transfixed! Check out her work, particularly "Pores," on:, it is a feast of texture, composition and skill!

Since whatever transpires is entirely about moi, including viewing Linda's work, what struck me was the absence of my usual all-encompassing creative submission to one obviously more imaginative than I. This was, in the not too distant past, my time to withdraw into my shell, pull my head back into the darkness and assume my favorite hang-dog position of one with ability but no imagination. Why didn't I think of that? Why is it I can't do anything that's different? Blah, blah, blah and more blah. I suddenly realize, with great delight, I'm feeling excitement, not defeat!

It's a new emotion, coming at a time when I'm usually consumed with envy and doubt. Creative horizons open wider with each new image that appears on the screen! I see, for what could be, the first time in my life, actually, that this exciting work is a light to illuminate my path, not obliterate it! And I believe that is my elusive answer! Natural inclination! We'll see how this evolves, it might stay just like it is but I hope I'll be inspired to take a lot more chances and explore many more possibilities than I have before. I'm the only one who can limit moi. As true as it is cheesy! And cheesy works just fine if it gets me out of my own way.

Also, in an effort to get himself off his artistic arse, we've agreed to paint the same subject matter and post a side by side comparison of the paintings. I'm excited to see what he does. I love his work. He works a full day of graphic design and editing so being creative at home isn't a priority. It certainly wasn't mine back in the day. One month from today, Northport, October 20th!

Friday, September 18, 2009


An amazing artist, Nicki Ault, has been kind and generous enough to include moi in the group of artists she bestowed a lovely blog award to. Thank you Nicki! Please stop by her blog, her work is sumptuous, rich and beautiful!

I'm having trouble uploading the graphic but I'll have the resident geek check it out for me. Thanks so much! In the meantime, I hope you don't mind if I post one of my favorite from your blog. This is The Muse, by Nicki Ault. Enjoy!

Oh, I just had to agree to the new terms before I could upload. Um...duh! Here's the award graphic:

Bear with me on the other task. Take care and thanks so much.

Thursday, September 17, 2009


pencil on paper

I have no feelings about Elvis one way or the other, I just loved that this smile looked like his. But, ya gotta love that famous sneer. Donald Trump has it too I think.

Posting the challenge painting made me realize how long it's been since I've posted in any consistent manner. Time to get back in some sort of pattern, posting-wise that is. Heavy sigh.

I thought the crumpled paper would blossom into a series of more than 3 paintings, but I just can't bring myself to do another, at least not right now. Took a whole series of shots for reference, but I'm not feelin' it. Hope I stumble onto something else soon. Don't feel buggy either. Oh well, we'll see.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

SEPTEMBER CHALLENGE: Kitchen Pantry or Cabinet

Busy is good. Stress is bad. How to separate the two is the question. Finished my first challenge painting and will be posting the group collection today. I seem to sweat the minutia. So busy trying to fit in and do everything right, I miss the obvious. Oh well. No biggie.

There was a bit of a struggle looking around for an answer to the challenge. Running about the house, peering into cabinets and drawers, it did dawn on me that they need to be tidied but a concept wasn't forthcoming. Then in the studio, I noticed my paint which is stored in ball jars and thought canning. Whew! Of course not many folks store their paint in jars so a bit might have been lost in translation, but still, I did it!
And thank you Vicki for your kind comment on your blog!

The Artist's Pantry
oil on canvas, 5x7" $100

Coffee Corner
7x12" oil on board by Michael Naples

The Red Napkin 16x20" oil on canvas by Marie Fox

Yo-ho-ho and a Bottle of Rum 6x8" oil on panel ©2009 Diana Moses Botkin

Steel Cut Oats 12x12" oil on canvas by Silvina Day

Coming Out of the Cabinet
9x12" oil on board ©2009 Vicki Ross

Staples 8x16" oil on panel ©2009 Robin Cheers

Thursday, September 10, 2009


pencil on paper

So far behind. Think I'll be posting drawings for at least a week! It's great to be busy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


I received the most welcome email today! And right on the heels of the Challenge Group invite!... hold me, I'm frightened. Why do we get all twitchy when good things happen?

Callie Rucker Oettinger, who works with Steven Pressfield, the author of The War of Art, noticed my reference to his book in my blog today. She then contacted me with a most generous offer!

She wrote that Mr. Pressfield will be happy to do a short 3-question Q&A with me on my blog! What an incredible opportunity! I have lots 'o questions, but thought it might be fun to open it up to followers as well, if they're interested, to pose the questions, as they relate to our creative work. I'll choose the three most interesting questions and Ms. Oettinger will forward them to Mr. Pressfield. I'll post the Q&A session on my blog so we can all benefit from his wisdom. And he will also forward 4 signed copies of his book which I will then pass on to the authors of the three questions! I'd say that is pretty neat, no?

I'm happy. The War of Art helped side step the dark place when I first began painting dailies. I carried my dog-eared copy around for weeks and was thinking, when I spewed out my fears this AM, that it might be a great time to pull it out again!

Serendipitous assistance! There are no coincidences.


This is so exciting and at the same time so puzzling to me! Why do I feel as though I'm showing off by announcing my accomplishments on my blog about my work? I mean, isn't that what it's for Suz? You are so weird!

I've been invited to join the Diana Moses Botkins' Challenge Group on the Daily Painter's site! I'm at a loss for words! When I was accepted to DP almost a year ago, I was so impressed by what the Challenge Group was doing. Such incredible work! And I am so humbled and thrilled by the invitation, I'm beside myself! I'm going to jump right in and post next week! And, of course, I'm scared. Not as terrified as when I was first accepted to DP, but there's definitely a noticeable quake. Why?

I'm so tired of my "aw shucks, who me?" persona, juxtaposed against my exquisitely unattractive, raging ego! I think it was because I was born into a family of civilians. We all thought, me included, that I was left on the doorstep because I was so different. There were only the four of us, my bro and me, M&D, but I was the only one with creative ability. We were all insecure people, so my little gift was not nurtured or encouraged in any way, which is completely understandable. It was just something I did all the time up in my room that they'd look at and say, "Oh, isn't that nice." However, when my senior class visited FIT in NYC and I lost my mind and begged to attend, they stepped up big time! Mom got a job, made me a nice little breaky each morning before I'd march down to the train station with my huge portfolio case, over-stuffed with just about everything I owned. I suffer from "take things that make you feel good wherever you go" syndrome, which is probably why I have a bad back.

I digress. My point is that while I'm proud of my work, I'm horribly insecure, shy (really!)and weird about it. It's my responsibility to shore up my sagging confidence, I know. And folks get very tired of persistent insecurity. A friend I once had was actually disgusted by my lack of artist "airs." When I expressed doubt about a painting she'd snap, "Stop being so ridiculous, and get on with it!" She had a point. I know I must sound like a lunatic whining about how this painting didn't turn out or that drawing isn't good, considering all the wonderful comments everyone has been kind enough to leave. Perhaps that's part of my process. The War of Art specifically instructs artists to embrace their fear and doubt and use it in their work.

Whatever! I'm tired of being afraid! I'm tired of putting so much into succeeding when I don't even know what that is! Some days the act of putting brush to canvas is a raving success. It's human nature I guess. More. More. More. We're in the financial mess we're in today because no one is ever satisfied with what they have. Raise that bar. At my former job, the suits in charge thought $500 million a year wasn't profit enough so they raised the bar. We all know how that ended. Why do I need more? More positive feedback, more ideas, more good paintings, more sales, more attention. I'm tired. I want to sit and enjoy my work. I want the voice to shut the hell up and I want to have fun! And that is exactly what I'm going to do with this new adventure!

Thank you so much Diana! I think I'm up to the challenge!

Monday, September 7, 2009


pencil on paper

If you've followed my blog, you know I'm not at all motherhood material, so you'll understand why my first name choice for this drawing was "Birth Control!" But, I thought, the sound of a child crying actually is music to some parent's ears! So, on this Labor Day, I'm raising my glass not only to the working force (let's hope it stops shrinking soon) but to parents everywhere. That's where the real work begins!

Friday, September 4, 2009


pencil on paper

I have no clever ideas about this expression. I've seen it many times on many different faces, but I seem to have misplaced my objectivity tonight. There's a story here somewhere, but it's not coming out. Hmmmm. Oh well. Perhaps another time.

I'm really, really behind schedule. I seemed to have let everything pile up somehow and I don't have time to just paint. Not complaining. Grateful for the work, but even the fact that I miss just painting is a very good sign!

And, I simply cannot believe how much we are missing our little man! I'm talking to his image on the computer screen, still carrying ARFOD around and putting together photo albums. All part of the process I guess. Heavy sigh.

Oh well. Enjoy the holiday weekend! Ridiculously quick summer, no?

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


pencil on paper

When I sit down to work, whether it's a painting or a drawing, I get so uncomfortable my fight or flight response kicks in. I overheat, my stomach turns, a mini-panic attack ensues and the knee is goin' a mile a minute. The first couple of pencil lines or strokes of paint, I'm positive this will be a failure. I whisper to myself, "ya think this might end well?" A resounding NO ricochets off every corner of my brain and I give in and hunker down, preparing myself for failure.

Some minutes later the brush, or pencil in this case, begins to feel good in my hand. The lead glides along the textured paper, suddenly I have no problem with directional shading, which I believe I'm incapable of. At this point, I see that it might just be postable and another mini-attack makes itself known. Beads of sweat trickle from my forehead. I'm certain I'll ruin the drawing with my next line. I dance around the paper, trying to finish without touching lead to surface. I decide not to do a finished drawing and make the space work with the features I've drawn. I admonish myself for copping out and then give myself credit for trying a different approach.

It's done. I can post. No wonder I blew off that drawing a day promise I made last month.