Thursday, May 20, 2010

CIREE almost there

oil on canvas
still in progress

This painting has caused quite the ruckess (how does one spell ruckess?) here at chez Berry. Himself was adamant that I not touch it again and call it finished. I disagreed... quite loudly I might add. "I'm just giving you my opinion," he asserted, following a rather boisterous accounting of comments on my blog that agreed with his "opinion." We had quite the discussion about what encompasses "giving an opinion." I posited that if one is just giving an opinion, one states that opinion and then shuts the hell up! Proof positive that what Mr. Berry was expressing was not an opinion.

It's an unsettling feeling because, as you know if you're an artist, one becomes quite intimate with a work in progress. And it seemed every time the subject came up I was warned not to touch it. In his defense though, I do the very same thing to him. He created a 40x40", oil on canvas caricature of Ani DiFranco some years back and overworked it to within an inch of it's lovely little life and I, being the loving wife that I am, have not let him forget it. Payback is, as they say, a beeeatch!

While I certainly appreciate the compliment, I was looking forward to working on the painting and found myself quite afraid to touch it. It's been a few weeks and today I was feeling rather full of myself and confident in my vision and decided to carry on.

Himself hasn't see it yet. We'll see.

Saturday, May 15, 2010


16" x 20" (40.7cm x 50.8cm)
oil on canvas
$300 plus $15.95 shipping and handling in the US
E-mail me for International shipping rates or other inquiries.

This month's challenge was not fun for little Suz I can tell you. Robin Cheers, whose work I admire so much, threw down the gauntlet, for me anyway, with her challenge idea. We were to paint whatever we wanted, as long as we used only purple and its complement yellow, plus we were allowed to use white but no black. Frankly I was vexed.

I'm a good mimic. That's my thing. So much so that I fear it hinders any imaginative/abstract/conceptual sauce that I might be able to add to any of my creative ingredients. I wonder sometimes, if the part of my brain that mimics well, has the free-wheeling, free-thinking compartment of my little gray cells held hostage. I can see them there, all decked out in some alternative garb, railing at the injustice of it all. Something to think about.

Anyway, the challenge scared me because I would actually have to look at something and re-interpret it into the proper value sequence in the two colors allowed. I couldn't paint what I exercise I now feel I can only profit from. I waited until the last minute, well the last day and a half anyway, and even considered not doing it, but I had a small personal challenge that pissed me off and nothing lights a fire under one's bum like anger mixed with the appropriate amount of fear.

And, regardless of the success of the painting, I experienced another small yet profound growth spurt. I hate it when things one doesn't want to do are exactly what they should do.

Enjoy the groups interpretations of purples, yellows and white...

Dancer at the Bar
oil on hardboard  7x5”
©2010 Diana Moses Botkin

Study in Complements
8x10” oil on panel
© 2010 Robin Cheers

Sliced Plum on Wood Block
5x5” oil on panel
 ©2010 Jeanne Illenye

“PY Study”©2010 Vicki Ross
9x12” oil on panel

Monday, May 10, 2010

JANUARY by Timothy Berry

24x36" oil on canvas

This is himself's very first journey into the free, spontaneous and unlimited world of abstract art! He and I joined an art group, the brainchild of two talented, imaginative and focused co-workers of his, and this is the second project he completed. I wanted to share it because I am so proud of what he did. 

We actually missed two meetings and finally attended our first one this past Saturday. A question. What is it with men and critical information like where and when? I shouldn't generalize, I apologize. Let me rephrase...what is it with my man and critical information like time and place? Enough said. Bottom line, we made it this month.

I was thrilled with our first meeting and dearly wished we'd made the first two. The concept goes like this: each month we are given a new word by the group leader; we can interpret that word in any creative way we choose. We fill out a card that explains what our interpretation means to us creatively and we meet once a month to present and discuss each piece. It's that simple and it is quite simply the best creative experience I've shared with others in quite some time.

The atmosphere felt free of critical condescension, free of any kind of posing or inflated egos. It was a wonderful experience. We each took a turn to talk about our piece and then we were asked questions by the group members. Everyone discussed, freely, what it's like to create and how sometimes it doesn't always feel all that wonderful, but the rewards from trying, from facing ones fears and keepin on, are worth every doubt.

The first project was the word "Wheel!" Tim and I actually co-created a jam for the word, complete with his voice, through a "helium filter" in GarageBand, reciting words he'd written over my lead, his bass and a drum loop. It was pretty cool and something we would not have ever even imagined doing, except for being involved in the group. This month we co-created a music video, for the word for the month, January. And I must say, I'm more excited about creating -- painting and otherwise -- than I have been in some time. I hope to share both of these at some point after we refine them a bit.

I'm feelin very good about this.

Sunday, May 9, 2010


oil on canvas SOLD

This was a commission for a Mother's Day Gift to a friend from the past. Oddly enough, she's the person credited with the best thing anyone's ever said to me. I hope she enjoys it.

And to all the Moms our there, God Bless You All! I don't know how you do it.

I don't know how good I would have been for a child. I just checked to make sure the boys were still breathing and they're dogs! In my defense though, it was quiet...too quiet and they just chewed the button off of my new linen hobo bag and I'm not sure what it was made of. I think I'd be somewhere in-between Shirley Maclaine in Terms of Endearment, climbing into the crib to make sure her daughter was still breathing and Joan Crawford, weilding a wire hanger. Kidding. However I think I'm safer with just pups.

A word to a certain mother we haven't seen in a while. There is love where it appears there is none. Have a wonderful day.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

THE MUSCIAN in progress

detail - in progress

This is a detail shot of the beginning of a painting I'm calling The Musician. I've been doing commissions and donation paintings trying to catch up, and I cannot wait to be able to just paint stuff. This was started a few weeks ago and I haven't been able to get back to it as yet, but soon. It's good to have work I have to do, it helps me appreciate the work I want to do.

Raz is back to normal, they run around and around like little crazed muppets on crack. I'm beginning to get the "pug" thing. We've actually spent entire evenings watching them interact instead of the television, and for us, that's sayin' a lot! The time is approaching when they'll just be hangin' while mom's workin'. No more crating, no more time outs. Of course I'll have to put down my brush to extract the occasional sock or roll of toilet paper from their mouths, but they're pretty much good to go. I'm almost feelin back to normal.

A funny thing happened on my way to translating a comment left on my last post. It wasn't some kind artist from Japan or China stopping by to leave a complimentary message. It was a gateway to pornography! Oh well.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


12x12" oil on canvas

This is a commission that my busy recent past delayed. I'm catching up and even though I can hear the whistle, I'm bettin that light at the end of the tunnel is not another train. Kidding. I'm actually enjoying myself.