Friday, December 9, 2011


16x20" oil on canvas NFS

If you’ve been a follower of my blog over the last few years, you may have surmised that my feet are not at all planted firmly on solid ground. Admittedly and happily, I am not at all convinced that what we see is exactly what we are.  And given the recent quantum physics theories of time being an illusion and form becoming solid only when our eyes rest on it, I’m feeling pretty confident that when we all wake up, “life” will have been a sometimes joyful, sometimes terrifying self-imposed dream.

With that planted firmly in mind, it is my pleasure to announce that the portrait above was painted as a Christmas gift for a dog. A dog I’ve never met, at least not in person. Her name is Tweedles. Tweedles has a blog: I am a follower of her blog. Admittedly, spending every single waking and sleeping moment with our two pug pups, Blu and Raz Berry (who both have a crush on Tweedles by the way), has had a profound effect on me. I am, as Oliva Newton John warbled to John Travolta in Grease, hopelessly devoted. I enjoy just watching them exist. That said, I believe even if I didn’t have the pleasure and joy of being a pug pet parent, I would still be head over heels in love with Tweedles.

Maybe it’s the wide eyed innocence of her poems along with her belief that we are all­—including the critters, trees, air and oceans of the world—entitled to love, compassion, care and respect. Maybe it’s knowing that whenever I visit Tweedles blog I will come away with a smile, even if news of one of her close friends crossing the rainbow bridge is the topic of her post that day. She has a way of putting everything into perspective, of conveying that even though she’s sad sometimes, in the end, everything is and always will be fine, no matter what appears to be going on in the outside world. And, it ain’t just moi! Miss Tweedles gets more comments left by admirers than I could ever hope to, so clearly, I’m not alone in my admiration.

To be sure though, himself is a tad wary. He’s fully aware of my cosmic muffin tendencies but reading a pup authored blog and writing emails to a dog—even if she is a pug— has earned me more than a few raised eyebrows and curious glances. He was even prompted to ask recently, somewhat tongue-in-cheek one hopes, if I was indeed aware that, in reality, I was communicating with a person and not a dog. He does get points however, for following that rather cheeky comment with:

“That’s one of the reasons I love you. You have the ability to write emails to a dog and fully believe you’re communicating with her!”

Ummm, thanks...I think! I was a bit startled by his statement and when I replied, “Of course I do!” I wasn’t lying. I mean I know that Tweedles mom writes the poems but for some reason it’s easy for me to make the leap of faith that indeed, those words spring directly from the eternally innocent mind of Tweedles herself! Mom only types them in for her. Again, in my defense, spending each and every day with the boys might well be a contributing factor in my ability to overlook any human complicity in Tweedles communications, there is a definite freedom in interacting with another species. There's a certain fearlessness I don’t experience when interacting with homo sapiens. Not even himself!

When getting to know humans through emails I always break out into a sweat while typing. There’s the ego-based need to appear clever, cool, interesting, intriguing. The worry that I’ve revealed too much (that ship's pretty much sailed hasn't it), or said something amiss. In an effort to be cute have I clumsily scoffed at some deeply held belief?  Even now I somewhat anxiously await a reply from a colleague hoping I haven’t revealed a truth that put them off.

This never happens with Tweedles. I can tell her how much I love her, how happy her posts make me and how adorable she looks in her pumpkin hat without fear of rejection or judgment. 
 I can read her poems and feel hope for the future. I can even believe that she is indeed the author of said poems without any fear of reproach or ridicule.

But then, maybe it’s just me. I am a bit left of center and a tad idealistic. I never did understand why Rodney King’s plea of “Why can’t we all just get along?” became a world weary punch line for cynics and sitcoms.

Imagine for just a second what life would be like if we could. Miss Tweedles does...with every single post.

Yeah, I know. You’re due back on planet earth. Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.


  1. Oh, Suz!!! I just LOVE you! (I always say I don't wear my heart on my sleeve, I wear it stapled to my forehead!) I'm with you on Rodney, too!
    And Tweedles was one of my FIRST pug friends in the blogsphere! And though I've been away from her blog for a while, I still adore her. So does Paco. And I posted a pug today, too! (hear Twilight Zone music here) You did an absolutely beautiful job on your portrait of Miss T. xo

  2. Sweetest Suz
    When my moms and me looked at this portrait of me, tears fell from our eyes. Tears of love and gratefulness- that you painted this gift for us. Tears because of the beauty you captured as your brush touched the canvas. You felt my spirit and you painted it! You felt the very moment that I did- as I sat gazing out across the big ocean. Your paint brush captured that moment of peace. Your paint brush captured the breeze that fluffed my fur.
    I am touched by your love, as I never in a zillion years would have expected this.
    As I read your words to my moms, my voice cracked and quivered with graditude, as no one has ever spoken so beautifully about me.
    We were all stunned "in the moment".
    My moms and me looked at each other- and then we all hugged- sending thank you's to you across the miles.
    You have so much love, and I thank you for sharing it with me and my moms.
    How can I thank you- except to look at you and wag my tail.
    I love you!

  3. OK, I can say it - Suz, I love you. You are one wonderfully weird and fantastic woman [and probably a lot like me ... hmmmmm?] I guess I'm a cosmic muffin, too. Your portrait of Miss Tweedles is so beautiful, so lovingly painted! She seems to be gazing into the depths of space/time and beyond. I absolutely loved this post! HUGS!
    PS - Miss Tweedles will have another follower now.

  4. Suzanne you are an incredible person, which seems such a trite thing to say, but in all the sincerity of my heart I mean that. You are awesome. I LOVE your blog, I LOVE your paintings, I LOVE your words. I just luv ya Suze. You are the best.

    I hope this comment comes across as sincerely as I feel. Because you've really touched me, not just with this post, but so many before and I'm sure there will be so many more to come. Thank you for being so genuinely you. :)

    SO glad we're friends.

  5. Suzanne, you don't have to try to be clever, cool or interesting, or worry about being these things. It's just natural for you, you are all of these things just being yourself. We all wish we had the capacity to write and share in such a manner that you are gifted with. Some people are artists with their writing, performing or painting. I know you have 2 out of 3 and you obviously touch a lot of people! You're good!! (Thanks for sharing Tweedles blog, pity the person that can't relate to him, huh?)

  6. love your brushwork and unique composition for this particular breed, he seems focused like a dog should be, oblivious to everything around him.

  7. What can I say that hasn't been already said, you are so talented and eloquent with both pen and brush, how lucky you are! I so enjoy seeing and marvelling at your beautiful paintings, reading your thoughts which make me smile, sometimes with a tear im my eye and brighten my day no-end. Thank you Suz!

  8. Thank you for immortalizing a brilliant little pug. What on earth would we do without our helpers? Signed, another Tweedles fan.

  9. Wow, Suze, you have outdone yourself with this one -- painting and blog! I did not know about Tweedles before but am now a fan. I firmly believe that dogs -- pugs or not -- are here to teach us how to live.

    Big hugs and treats to all the Berries! ;-)

  10. Superb portrait and brilliant post. Love them both. ;-)

  11. This PAINTING!!!!!!! It's brilliant. The brushwork and color in the fur is to die for... It's nothing less than spectacular!! I sometimes think like writers "writing what they know"--painters should paint what they love and you've done it so well. What a treat.

  12. I LOVE... LOVE...this post, Suzanne! And this painting is absolutely amazing!! You couldn't have painted her better!! She's perfect.

  13. This is a wonderful painting, Suzanne. You have portrayedMr. Tweedles with regal comportment and heroic personality!

  14. Thats a wonderful portrait,no doubt about it!And Tweedles looks as cute in it as she does in the picture below! Great job.

  15. Well, Ms. Suzanne Berry...I think you are clever and cute and oh so talented. I like that you are tad left of center! I, personally, am apparently a few bricks shy myself...Tweedles is a beautiful Puglet and I know her mommy will be thrilled to pieces! Oh yes...I love the name of your Pug babies! Hah! I get it! (a day late, a dollar short, that is me...)

  16. Beautiful painting, and what a face! I laughed out loud when I scrolled down to the photo with the hat. Thank you for sharing Tweedles!

  17. Tweedles is just wonderful, set off by her terrific red colar and regal persona! perfect!

  18. Good Morning Suz!... Sorry for the delay in responding to "Tweedles"... too much jingling and jangling goin' on at the moment in our lives here at The Paint Box at least!

    "Tweedles"... is like all of your other pet portraits.... "pug"-dilly-icious! Not a word... but its equally as much fun as your ouija connection to Tweedles! Far out Suz!... and we artists all think that way... all of us... at times!

    " Oh I have slipped the surly bonds of earth..." (High Flight by McGee) precedes Rodney King's plea! "They" just don't get it Suz... and never likely will! One's eyes and heart must be open to embrace such simple Truths!

    It's up to "You" and "I"... and "Others" who do "see" to stay the course... reach out and to share our optimism and love of all things simple and good! That's our job... our Karma... like it or not!

    Cheer up Little Bird!

    Good Painting!
    Warmest regards,

  19. This is as ever a jaw-dropping painting! I LOVE how you have painted his fur. I am going to have to come back to this when I paint my next bear who has a similar fur to this adorable pup!
    I am sorry I am a little late visiting - It's that time of year when everything happens at once and time seems to pass at an alarming rate! :0)

  20. I love your blog. I love the way, and what you write. And now I must follow Tweedles too.
    Just makes me happy! And your painting, as usual!, is gorgeous.

  21. So fun and it is nice to be able to talk to a dog sometimes they really do understand.

  22. I just came over from Tweedles's blog. What a wonderful, and beautiful gift you gave to Tweedles. Your portrait so captures all the beauty that she possesses. I love Tweedles and consider her a good friend. I too write a blog. I do it through my Mom, but is truly my voice, just as Tweedles voice comes through her Moms. Those who don't understand that, just aren't lucky enough to be owned by pugs. Thank you on behalf of Tweedles I know she will always cherish such an amazing and generous of heart gift.

    Wilma the Pug

  23. What a fantastic post :-)
    Also about one of our very best friends in blogland too. Well done. Your words and your beautiful portrait make me speachless. FOR ONCE :-) X X X

  24. I have come by from Tweedles' blog. Your paintings are amazing. That was the sweetest gift for Tweedles and her moms. Tweedles sure does have the sweetest voice and words! I will be coming back and looking at your paintings. I love your style.


Your visits to my blog and the comments you leave here are an integral part of my creative process. They are helpful, supportive and well, let's face it, they feel really good! If I don't thank you personally, please allow me to thank you in advance for taking the time to stop by and leave your thoughts, they mean so much!