Monday, January 31, 2011


24x36" oil on canvas
private collection

This is Maria, the leader of our art group and wife of Eric. I hesitated to post this portrait as I don't think I captured Maria's spirit at all. I was going for the same light, limited palette feel of Eric's portrait, but somehow it just didn't happen. I really labored over this, put it away for several weeks and reworked it, but it's just not a love connection, at all.

I told myself I would post a painting even if I was uncomfortable with it so I am. Doesn't mean I have to be happy about it.


  1. May I make a suggestion? It is well drawn and well painted, and I like the expression very much. What bothers me is the use of so much grey in the skin. Even with a limited palette I would advise avoiding the use of too many grey and purple tones. It makes for a cadaverous complexion! Limited palette would work better in warmer tones. My preferred skin tones come from Naples Yellow, Indian Red, Umber, White for use in limited palette.

  2. I like the tones because it compliments Eric's portrait perfectly. Is Maria beautiful? Is she soulful, intelligent and often has a glint in her eye because of her sense of humor? If so, then I say you captured her quite well.

  3. We all see so differently through our individial eyes. Our concept are all different.
    I feel what you painted.
    I feel her spirit.
    I feel the rhythm that you painted to as your brush traveled across the canvas.
    To me - she is beautiful

  4. First, I have to comment on the picture of the roly poly, folded, curled up pugs. Paint this, with all the folds they would blend in with the fabric, you wouldn't know where the dogs started and the fabric begins. They are about the cutest pugs in the world. I better not let my son hear this. (They want another desperately!) (They are getting married and are having pug wedding invitations!)
    Now, I would like to agree with your assessment of the portrait, but ain't happening! She is so expressive and exquisitely rendered, it's almost like she is sculptured. There is so much feeling in her look and gaze, it's almost like the viewer is left disappointed they can't see what she is seeing and feeling! You gave her a very ethereal feel, refined and delicate. A+

  5. Your words made me smile, Suzanne. I think you are a kick and we'd get on famously. Maria sure is a beauty and look at that head of hair! Gorgeous!! I was thinking about what Karen said and also a couple of words Mary Anne used might give Karen's words some credibility (to wit, "almost like she is sculptured" and "ethereal,"). 'Course, I can't think of a way to make it better (I think it is fabulous and way beyond my abilities), but maybe...?

  6. WOW!!!Looks more like a photo. Beautiful piece/ portrait.
    I can feel her spirit, her in and out beauty.

  7. Hey Suzanne,

    For starters, I am super proud of you for having the guts to go ahead and post something that you are not totally fired up about. That's very gutsy and real of you.

    Secondly, I'd like to remind you that we are all our own worst critic and you are being hard on yourself.

    Thirdly, I think this would be a great compliment to the portrait you did of Eric. Perhaps all it needs is a bit more of the reds in her skin to add a bit more life to her face... Eric's face has a bit more colour to it and that might be all this needs.

  8. thank you everyone for your very kind comments and suggestions! i appreciate each and every one! i'm incredibly fortunate to be a part of this online art community and value each and every word you are kind enough to post.

  9. I feel a very vibrant spirit coming from this painting. I don't know how MUCH more fabulous she is in person, but this is a beautiful portrait. You don't want it to look like a photograph - you want it like THIS ... with VERVE! I look at it and say, it's not Maria, it's MARIA!. I bet her husband loves it.

  10. This looks amazing. A very inspirational piece!

  11. My first impression was wow! I really like the lighting, and the way you have rendered her face. I also like the white background which contrasts beautifully with her hair. Did you capture her spirit, well only you know that. I wouldnt be too hard on yourself, I know if I have something on the easel for too long I get sick of it too.

  12. Wow your portraits are superb each and every one of them, my thoughts when I first saw her painting was that she perhaps needs her skin tones to be warmed a little, but that's just my opinion. I love it anyway!

  13. Suzanne, all I can say is Wow and double Wow. It's perfect just as it is, you did an excellent job on this one. Brilliant!

  14. Hi, Suzanne - I love looking through your site and find your portraiture to be absolutely amazing. You have such a unique style - and I do beleive you are successful in showing much more than surface. Your portraits are compelling - they make me hesitate and look again, look closer. You are wonderfully accomplished.


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