Sunday, January 2, 2011


18x24" pastel on canson paper

Another painting from the past. I'm closing in on a very tight deadline right now, working on a painting for International Women Celebrate! I joined the group late, started my painting late and just hope I can get 'r done by tomorrow, the deadline for electronic and narrative submission. If you are interested in learning more about the project, the blog address is:

Anyway this is a pastel, from back in the day when I worked exclusively in that medium. I couldn't sell this because it was done from an incredible photograph taken from a Pottery Barn catalog. At that time, I was so insecure it never occurred to me that I could set up paint my own still life, so I would scour catalogs etc. for photos to paint from.

I was seeing a therapist at the time, finding my way out of fear and dependence. She was adamant that I continue painting and even suggested that I set up my own compositions and take my own reference photos. A revelation! Seems so obvious now, but I was more than a little confused back in the day and rarely if ever thought beyond my own self-imposed limits. The results of that advice were very satisfying. I'll look for some snaps to post.

I was so thrilled with the therapist's interest in my work that I offered her a choice of paintings that resulted from her guidance and advice as a gift when our time together came to an end. She chose this one. I so didn't want to let it go, but I knew I could never sell it since it wasn't my composition, so reluctantly, I let it go.

Her parting words to me were in the form of a dire warning that I should continue painting and not stop, because if I did, I might never start again. I ignored her advice, stopped and subsequently didn't work for the next fifteen years. I used to regret that lost time but I now believe that what we choose to do has to be the right thing simply because we chose to do it. It's not like you can go back and see what the results would have been if we'd made another choice. During that time I worked as a graphic designer, learned valuable lessons in design, used computer programs that are an integral part of my work today and met himself.

And now, I'm painting again. I wonder where she is?


  1. Amazing story, Suzanne. Thanks for sharing such a personal account of your art journey. Your pastel is beautiful. I love all the hanging herbs and the light from the left. Your therapist chose a stunning piece.

  2. Thank you for sharing your story Suzanne. I certainly can relate but I certainly am not even close to your talent and masterful technique YET! That's my New Year's resolution...stop slamming myself and to keep on keeping on. Happy New Year Suz.

  3. Good post! It may seem too bad about the 15 years you didn't paint but we are each on our own path and whatever the reason for your "hiatus" you are back now and stronger than ever! The pastel is lovely but you are right, an artist can not sell an image taken from someone else's published and copyrighted photo. Making your own setups tells us about YOU the artist from concept to completion and each of us has our own individual outlook and story that needs to be told.

  4. What a beautiful painting! And that is an amazing and inspiring, but sort of sad story. Does that even make sense? I'm really glad you shared it because I've felt the same way so many times.

    And I'm glad I'm not the only one who's working under a tight deadline for IWC! Procrastinators unite!! :)

  5. I think you are corageous, to bare your soul to us. Your honesty touches me,,, and makes me think. I too struggle,,as you did.
    You have found your way,,,
    The painting is gorgeous,, and probably more beautuiful than the original.(i am sure it is).
    Good luck on your project, and thank goodness you did not give up.

  6. You may have stopped painting for a while, but you never stopped creating. You're right, those are not lost years. Every experience and everything you learned inform the work you do today.

    Thanks for sharing this wonderful pastel. I'll bet it still hangs in the office of your former therapist.

    Good luck meeting your deadlines.


  7. Wonderful and inspiring story, those years weren't lost as you were still learning new skills and you met himself an added big bonus!

    The painting is beautiful as all your paintings are. Believe in yourself like all your fans do, you have so much talent and original ideas you are an inspiration to me for one.

  8. Wow, first i looked at the painting and i was amazed but then i read the text and double amazed:) wonderful painting... By the way, Happy new year and i hope you could finished your work for iwcelebration, and i'm also curious about your work:)


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