Friday, January 8, 2010

MACHETE MAN by Tim Berry


24" x 48"
oil on canvas

I'm having a bit of trouble getting things going again after more than two weeks off. I'll explain more later. I thought it would be a great time to expose himself, artistically that is. Remember that little challenge a few months back? The Pink Curler Painting Challenge? Well it's fairly obvious, at this point, himself was a no show. However he does deserve a pass. Tension and upheaval at work, family stress, twelve hour days. The last thing he's lookin' to do when he gets home is work. Can't blame him. At all. I didn't start painting again until there was nothing else to do, but I digress.

This painting was done several years ago. We were still working together, in the same office, a cubicle away from each other and loving it. We both came down with walking pneumonia and had to spend a few weeks in bed. Poor babies. It wasn't appreciated at work but we certainly enjoyed ourselves. At the time we had easels set up and the end of the bed, on either side of the TV. We'd get up, spend some time painting and then drag ourselves back to bed, exhausted. It was heaven. Except for exhaustion and general ickyness that is.

This is the painting Tim was working on and it never fails to take my breath away. We worked at a newspaper at a time when they actually had photographers on staff that actually got on planes and flew to far away places to take photographs to accompany real stories written by real journalists.  And this is one of those shots. There's a terrifying story that goes with this machete carrying man I'm sure. Tim and the photographer had discussed a series but, unfortunately, it never took flight. A shame too, I'm sure the combined efforts would have been very powerful.

We had quite the time when we first hooked up, proving our skills to each other. I went grocery shopping one day and came back to find my countenance growing from a sheet of Canson pastel paper. It was spooky. I began work on his portrait that day. There was a lot of art flying back and forth in those days. Great fun, and a healthy, respectful competition that helped us both grow artistically and emotionally I think.

Now, about getting back to work. Had a camera mishap and had to get a new one. It was a painful experience that was instantly turned to joy when I was forced to purchase a new one. Glad Santa left a little coin in the account. Now I just have to get through the manual. Arrrrgh!

A few months ago I was outside snapping a painting to post when I accidentally knocked over the tripod and bounced the camera off of concrete! Miraculously, it didn't break! I still don't understand why. Then a few days ago, I decided to record the progress of the piece I'm working on, tipped over the tripod again and saw the camera land softly on the carpet with a tiny little thud. Confident it would still work, I turned it on and was treated to an alarmingly out of focus preview. Figures. Perhaps keeping the camera atop the tripod wasn't wise.


  1. Suzanne, I am speechless. What an amazing story, not to mention the very talented Tim Berry. You have both been blessed with an extraordinary talent. Hang in there. I do hope the both of you are showing your work in galleries. All the best.


  2. This is beyond words. There is a story in this image and in those eyes and I'd love to hear it. It looks like it is a very large piece... what are the dimensions?

    Looking forward to seeing your work too when you have something to show.

    Take care and Happy New Year to you and your wonderful husband.


  3. Oh crap!

    This is good. Insanely good, Suzanne!!

    Tim is quite a super-talent, based solely off this painting.

    Expertly rendered!!

    I love everything about it. The pose, the view, the use of color!

    Amazing job, Tim!!


  4. Himself kicks some serious painting butt!!! Wow, Tim! Great job.

    Bummer on the camera. That would put a crimp in anybodies style. I'm glad you were able to get a new one. Maybe only put this one on the tripod when you're using it??? Sorry for the dig... couldn't help myself.

    Happy, happy my good friend... -Don

  5. An absolutely gorgeous painting, Suzanne! I love this one and your new tomatoes painting. You have the talent for making me feel immediately and intimately engaged with your subject matter, whether it's still life or figurative. I like that directness, that sensation of confrontation (in a good way). Thanks for your enthusiastic response to my paintings. Makes me feel good, knowing you're a truly fine artist!

  6. Just thought I'd check and see what you've been up to lately. Wow on the tomato painting. And Wow again for this engaging portrait by Tim.

    Yeah... double Wow.

    Sorry about the camera. Ouch, dear Girl. I hope the new one is all you've been hoping for!

  7. Thank you everyone for you very kind and inspirational comments!! I have been thinking about getting back to the easel and your responses are really helping me get there. I apologize for taking so long to thank you, but things have been hectic at he job. Again, many thanks.



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!