Friday, April 15, 2011


One Duck in 7 to 15 or 16.5 Strokes
10x10" oil on canvas

Well, it is a challenge after all isn't it? Little Suzanne was not happy about this particular one I can tell you. Robin Cheers, whose brilliant paint strokes I covet, came up with this beast of a challenge. I'd like to say thank you Robin, but I'm still on the mend from this morning's trauma.

The challenge was to create a painting in 7 to 15 strokes of the brush. Seems simple enough. Behind in my work as usual, I arrogantly thought I could do this in minutes so of course, again, I started at the last minute yesterday. After abusing 4 good canvases, I decided to switch to paper until I got the jist of the exercise. Ten pages later, with one swift melodramatic sweep of her arm, everything on the table went crashing to the floor to the strain of some extraordinarily excessive expletives.  I stepped back and watched Little Suzie carry on about scribbling with a brush and not posting something she'd be ashamed of... yada, yada, yada. She eventually took to her bed, spent from the tirade, while I was left to pick up the pieces. I tried to assuage her bruised ego by assuring her she'd come up with something by morning.

The above is the result. Not thrilled, but at least relieved the object was at least recognizable, Little Suzanne finally granted permission to post, but only after promising to have a word with Robin and the rest of the group about avoiding any challenge that even hinted at attempting to pry her loose from the safety and familiarity of complacency.


“7 Stroke to Place”
13x9”  oil on canvas
© Vicki Ross

“7 Stroke to Apple”
4x5”  oil on canvas
© 2011 Diana Moses Botkin

6x4” oil on canvas
©Ruth Andre

12x6” oil on panel
© 2011 Robin Cheers


  1. You're too funny!!!! I'm with you I'm way to much of a perfectionist, okay control freak to do those 10 min challenge, 7 brushstroke challenges. I think you did a great job even if it was tormenting:)

  2. Ah yes, "the safety and familiarity of complacency"...

    It's a mellow place to hang, but look at all the drama you would have missed, not to mention the fun!

    Little Suzie may feel a little wounded but you know the old saying, No Pain, No Gain. Now make her pick up that mess and then wash her mouth out with soap...



  3. Oops, Little Don snuck out and signed my previous post, too... Little brat!

  4. Ah, Suz...It is that sense of humor of yours that I love. Well...that and that divine artwork of yours. At any rate, some of these pieces look like they have well more than 7 to 15 strokes. How do they do that????

  5. Oh Suzanne - I'm sorry to have traumatized you. But its over now and you performed beautifully! I will be trying to think about something more diabolical for my next choice! :)

  6. Taking risks like doing this little exercise hurts good, doesn't it?

    Ya done good, Girl.

  7. Wow - A challenge like this would FILL me with horror! And yet, you have managed it perfectly! All of the strokes look so confidently placed, I would never have guessed that you found it at all challenging :0)

  8. Very, very good...
    Un saludo desde Bilbao

  9. that little shoe stopped me in my tracks, while perusing my blog this morning. I didn't even know it was a challenge.... it's simply perfection. I love the painting, and the post.... Tell Little Suzie I think she's terrific !

  10. Oh man have I missed reading your posts Suzeanne! You make the struggles that we all go through seem funny, even though when you're in the middle of one it's not funny at all!

    Honestly, I love this shoe. I can't even begin to tell you how much I like it. The strokes look so confident and sure. It reminds me of those old pen and ink illustrations that were done in so few marks but held so, so much to see!

    Bravo! I for one, love it. :)


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