Friday, June 18, 2010


oil on canvas

I'm posting this sucker because I'm incredibly frustrated with it and think it's time to take a break. I find I'm beginning to dab at piles of color on my palate and hope they'll be right. Not good. Every so often, more often than I care to admit, I just lose focus, get lazy and make stabs at the right value and temp instead of carefully looking at my reference. I want to finish this just so I can post and move on. Not good. I want the spontaneity and fresh brush strokes Ciree had. I'm finding it hard to make the transition with a larger surface using larger brushes. Practice will help.

I want to begin a series of portrait studies of faces that interest me on 24x36," stark white canvases. I'm hoping I'll stumble into a concept. We'll see.

Have to finish a few commission and donation pieces, one more challenge and then I'll continue. A fresh look always helps.

Thank you to everyone who stops by this blog. Your comments and insights are incredibly supportive and helpful. Enjoy the weekend.


  1. I'm sure after a good break you'll come back with fresh eyes, fresh enthusiasm and all the focus you need to make it exactly as you'd like it to be.

    For me it's looking absolutely amazing already! The reflections really catch your eye and add to the crisp and vivid sense of light you're creating. And there's a great mood about the piece, pensive but cool...I love it! Enjoy your break and best wishes for the next push! Have a great weekend :)

    It seems we're similar in another way as well - I do the same thing with colour when my focus goes.

  2. This is AWESOME, Suzanne!! Maybe seeing this piece in person I could agree with you, but it looks great to me! Makes me wonder what his eyes look like. He is good looking and has a very interesting expression. His skin tones and hair are beautifully rendered. Well done!!

  3. stunning painting,it looks perfect to me from where I'm sitting ;)

  4. Personally, I think you could call it finished. It's beautiful. Perhaps if you want a little more texture in the hair, that could be a nice addition, but really, not much more is needed in this painting. What a handsome face. Love the color.

  5. What an absolutely gorgeous face this man has! I am awed...there is intensity and power in his expression as well. I think it is beautiful work, Suzanne!

  6. I would say in a week or 2 if you paint on this..........full time, maybe it will be ok......someday.

    flirting with sincerity,


  7. I would call it a done deal. But, you are the artist.
    I love the face, he is a good looking guy, and the reflection on the glasses, superb.
    Good luck Suz.

  8. Don't fight's done and it's wonderful! Beautiful skin tones, sensitively painted reflections in the glasses and I love the handling of the hair - move on to the next one, that's what I think:-)

  9. You know the phrase, 'stick a fork in it, it's done'...? Time to put a price tag on this handsome face and start the next one.

  10. I saw this on DPG & my breath caught. I had to know more, so popped over to your blog. To my amazement, you are ambivalent at best, unhappy at worst. Really Suzanne - it is perfect as is = and that is coming from one serious art admirer!

  11. Love it! Those sunglasses are great! I'd call it done...put down the brushes.

  12. I don't know why it is in progress, for me it would be finished. but I recognize it is a question of style. I love the cold colors in the face, I can see the light reflected on his skin.

  13. Stop stabbing. You were smart to step back. If you can't be objective, then take it from us. You are done, it is FAB!

  14. You are not happy with this masterpiece? Then it is time you step away because you've clearly had a stroke. This is my all time favorite portrait of yours! Spectacular work on the features, the glasses, the skin tones, love love love the hair and red jacket. And that single shining white diamond earring...perfect. I do so love that crisp clean white background. Ahhhhhh!

  15. Suzanne, If you were going for "hot" you got it! Funny, I don't notice the color nuances, just his expression...strength and thoughtfully perplexed. Maybe those are the details only the creator notices after hours and hours of living with him (similar to how one would notice he probably leaves the lid up every time :-)...and who wouldn't want to.

  16. Suzanne, this is fabulous! I absolutely love the sunglasses! I know how you are feeling. I get the same way toward the end of paintings. Just step away and come back to it with fresh eyes in a week or two. :) I can't wait to see the next portrait.

  17. It's awesome as is. Fantastic!

  18. I often put a project away for a few days or even months. If I still don't like it after awhile I start fresh.

  19. OMG. You sound just like me when I'm frustrated while painting. Except YOUR results are AMAZING, really. You paint beautifully - I'm very envious! I can't get the big stroke thing down on any size canvas, so don't feel badly. I really, really love your work. Thanks for sharing!!!

  20. It's Brilliant! All the best to you Suzanne. I have missed your previous post. So let me go and enjoy the rest of your blog.

  21. Wish I could get stuck at this point Suzanne, but haven't got there yet. Beautiful work as always, but this one really rocks. Love those glasses.

  22. You posted this when I was on vacation and I just found it. This is a stunning portrait. The intensity of the expression and the fabulous colors on the white background make it one of your best EVER!

  23. Caroline, you're so right. I'm already looking forward to jumping back in. Thank you so very for your incredible comments. I'm such an insecure artist, reading your words helps more than you can know. One is just never sure. I'm also glad to hear, misery loves company, that you fall into the same trap. Sometimes I just get really lazy and want the piece finished. Thank you again. Take care.

    Linda, THANK YOU!! I really appreciate it. But I'm sure you know what I mean. When I look at my work I see mistakes. Thank you, I am so grateful.

    Diana, thanks so much!

    Diana MB, thanks so much. Actually I did just that with the hair so far. Added some blues, reds and sienna and it made all the difference. Thank you for that suggestion.

    AutumnLeaves, I am so grateful for your words, thank you so much. I lose perspective when I work and appreciate what you said so very much.

    Rick, we chatted about this. you are delightfully deeply disturbed...i'm hooked on your work and your wonderful comments.

    Irit, thank you so much.

    Cathyann, thanks so much. And I agree, some time away from it has really helped.

    Karen, thanks so much. We'll see.

    R Garriott, I'm trying, I swear. Thanks so much!

    beckielboo, I appreciate your words and agree with your assessment of my feelings. Would that I could see past my insecurity. Your words help, thank you so very, very much.

    Susan, thank you!!

    Julian, I so appreciate your comments, thank you so very much.

    Mary Ann, thank you, stepping back did help. I so appreciate your comments, thank you so much.

    黃佳伸, I've always thought so.

    Gwennie, thank you, thank you, thank you! I am thrilled with your comments and appreciate them so very much!

    Ariel, he looks as though he would leave the lid up doesn't he? Thank you so much for your comments.

    Carol D, thank you so much. Isn't that feeling strange? When I start I'm frightened but hopeful. In the middle I'm confident and excited. Nearing the end the questions and doubts come. I guess it's all part of the process.

    Liz, Thank you so much!

    Kristen, it helps doesn't it? A new perspective always clears our vision.

    Jen,Wow, thanks so much. I'm still learning to put it there and let it go. I can't get it through my head that the first stroke is usually the best. Thank you so much!

    Joan, thank you so very much. I really appreciate your words.

    Vern, I really appreciate your comments, thank you. Your work is amazing.

    Carol, Wow, thank you, thank you, thank you! I will treasure your words.

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  25. Hi there, I just stumbled across yougr blog - love your work. I especially love this one. There is something really intriguing about it. Hope you are able to come back ito it in a fresh way (although it looks fantastic from where I am standing :-) But I can totally relate to needing a break sometime from a painting and it is amazing how you see it ina whole new fresh way when you return to it. good luck!!

  26. You're done! This is gorgeous just as is, why would you do more? Sure hope you didn;t!

  27. What everyone else said! It is beautiful from here. You really have a way with faces, even little doggy ones.

  28. Hi Suzanne,
    It is such a treat to see what you are working on that I almost always save your blog for my dessert.

    I remember when I thought Ciree was done and then I saw what you did next and I remember wanting the image to get larger and larger and larger so I could just be "in" the painting with her.

    What you have with this piece is already so beautifully rendered. Continue to choose courage, over fear, and you will win the love of your brush.

    May you find peace at your easel...

  29. This is phenomenal. I love painting portraits, but am rarely satisfied in my own because they are so difficult for me. Then, I see something like this and I get inspired all over again. I LOVE it! I love the colors. I love the composition. I love the stark white background. I love everything about it!

  30. This is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G, Suzanne!

    You are quickly becoming the queen of portraits!

    You paint black skin so well. So many hidden colors mixed into those rich browns. And I think you made the right choice using an all-white background. Everything 'pops' because of it.

    The subtle creases on his forehead, the wiry hair, the hint of intense red from his hoodie, and those killer reflections on the sunglasses.

    So much to praise, I exhausted myself! *whew*

    Impressive job on this one!



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