Wednesday, September 9, 2009


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!


  1. This is why I married you, Suz! That was a great post. You know better than anybody that as a fellow "artist," I too suffer many of the same ridiculous insecurities you've described, causing much ego-driven angst during the act of creating. So seeing them written up all nice and tidy in black and white really hit home to me how important it is to take that shit and throw it out the window! Your unflagging honesty and incredible insight into the human psyche has always been your trademark. When we first met, you disarmed me with that honesty. I wasn't used to it, having grown up in a family full of manipulators and posers who rarely shared their fears or bared their souls. You're a breath of fresh air, even after 15 years of marriage! So congratulations on being asked to join Diana Botkin's challenge group. They are some incredibly talented artists and you'll be in good company, as will they. They made a great decision in asking you to participate. You're an amazing painter and an even better person.

    Love, Tim

  2. WOW, Suzanne! You are a very good writer as well as a fabulous painter. So glad you joined our motley crue. I've been playing with this team for a year, and still don't know why Diana picked me in the beginning. However, as in tennis, the only way to get better is to play with people better than you! That's my story and I'm stickin' to it!

  3. You will shine at this! I hope you write about the challenge as it goes on so I can learn more about it - sounds interesting.

  4. I think every artist has periods of insecurity about their work. I often feel a need to be validated. When people leave favorable comments on a blog, or the ultimate compliment, MAKE A PURCHASE, it reassures the artist that their work is worthy.
    Your paintings are exquisite and I can see why you were invited to the group.
    Maybe I should start a challenge group for abstract artists....

  5. Hi Suzanne,

    A huge congratulations on this fantastic accomplishment! Oh, I am so excited for you! You are a wonderful and extremely talented artist. I'm sure so much of what you have written on this post (and written very well) hits home with so many of us. I hope you can embrace your inner Sally Field and repeat..."You like me. you really like me" because it is the truth!

  6. Suzanne,

    congratulations, and also congrats on that cool husband of yours! I hope to be this fortunate in love some day.

  7. Suzanne, your honesty about yourself and your work is what made me want to see more of your whimsical, talented and unique outlook that shines in your art. I'm so glad you said "yes" to my invitation for the Challenge! Welcome, welcome, welcome!!!

  8. Wow, Suz... After I read this blog I was exhausted. I think I went thru every single emotion with you. Your willingness to bare your soul and your ability to put it into words inspire me. Congratulations on your acceptance. It's well deserved and your inclusion will raise the proverbial bar for all those already accepted. -Don


Your visits to my blog and the comments you leave here are an integral part of my creative process. They are helpful, supportive and well, let's face it, they feel really good! If I don't thank you personally, please allow me to thank you in advance for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts, they mean so much!