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


  1. It looks to me that your "hippy" brain cells escaped long enough from the confines created by your "ultra-conservative/fearful of change" brain cells' prison long enough for you to pull off this little caper. Progress is once again forced upon us by the counter-culture... Kudos.


  2. Suzanne, She's BEA-UUUUU-TIFul!
    I only hope this exercise that you perceived as difficult wakes up some of those hostage gray cells and give thems great new ideas of breaking free.

  3. Sorry it scared you - and made you mad. But I am glad it was an impetus to let those creative loose canons out of the cell for awhile. Definitely hard to see things as values only, and interpret them differently from what is there. Wish it had helped me more this week. I know its what I need to do a lot more often.
    Peace sista! Robin

  4. I'm so glad you decided to follow through because the result is simply gorgeous. Love the way you stayed mainly in the purples and kept the study loose. Really beautiful, Suzanne!

    I feel exactly as you do about those wayward creative cells. It's soooo much easier to stay in your comfort zone. But it's those uncomfortable challenges that bring the joy of growth and, wow... you really rose the occasion on this!

  5. Lovely portrait,what a challenge, I'm not suprised you found it daunting. You rose to the challenge and grew in the process.

  6. She is a stunning model, Suzanne, and your interpretation with purple, yellow, and white is just truly beyond the pale. I'm with you on the thought processes as you went through this challenge. I hate when what we don't want to do is exactly what we should do too. Sigh...But that happens alot once we become big people, yes?

  7. This is simply gorgeous.
    I love the way you worked her hair.
    Great piece and why I am not surprised???

  8. I'm impressed with the painting, and as always your verbage. You have a way with words, girl!

  9. THAT IS A BEAUTIFUL PAINTING! i don't mean to shout, I just want you to know that I love it :)

    The hair is perfect, as is her expression and the colors are glowing. You nailed it.

    I'm sorry you feel frustrated though, *sigh* I can relate :)

    And not only are you an amazing artist, but a fantastic writer too. Very entertaining post.

  10. Oh, dear Suzanne, you have voiced my very thoughts about this challenge and painting in general! I'm fighting with myself a lot lately in the same way. And yes, I waited until the night before to begin painting, after almost chickening out of the ideas I'd been turning over.

    Every month I have a similar battle and every month I'm SO glad to have met the Challenge. This one felt especially good to complete!

  11. Fantastic idea, and you have done a great job Suzanne, I always think purples look great in dark areas.

  12. Don,thank you! It's such a strange feeling when one is in the process of proving oneself wrong. Stretching is not nearly as painful as I want it to be! Thanks for the kind words.

    R Garriott, thank you so very much! I'll fight growth with everything I have. How silly is that? Thanks so much for the good wishes.

    A Painter's Journal, I'm so glad you gave us this idea for the challenge and please, no apologies, I needed it and I'm so grateful. I'm hoping I'll continue in this vein and explore my death grip on painting only what I see. And I absolutely love what you did.

    Gwen, thank you so very much! I was thrilled to see that a mixture of the purples and yellow made a nice gray, it made me feel grounded. I don't think I was as creative with the colors as I could have been but it's a start.

    Diana, thank you! I really appreciate your comment!

    AutumnLeaves, thank you! What a wonderful comment! I so agree, I'm still not ready to be a grown up, in my life, in my art and I will kick and scream and drag my heels. It seems the depression about not growing is more comfortable that chartering unknown territory.

    Irit, thank you so much for such a kind and generous compliment!

    vicki, thank you so much! I love your painting for the challenge.

    Crystal, thank you!! Thank you so very much, what wonderful comments. I will treasure them.

    Diana, you are so right. There is so much I would not even try without the challenge group and as much as it scares me, I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

    佳穎, so very true!

    Sam, thank you!

    Jala, thanks so much. I hate the combination but it usually gets me going! Poubles!!

  13. Lovely portrait Suzanne! Great poetic pose! It was fun to see how we all interpreted the monthly theme. Jeanne

  14. Gorgeous job, Suzanne!

    It makes me want to dye my hair purple now!



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