Wednesday, June 13, 2012


 48x36" oil on canvas

"I think a death, or a loss, of someone very close to you, does something to you that you can't get any other way."
                          Andrew Wyeth speaking about the loss of his father N.C. Wyeth

Clearly, I’m no Andrew Wyeth, that’s not my point. This quote could have come from anyone, it was just a nice happenstance that it emanated from the mind of an artist and particularly one that I worship. It meant so much more to me that way.

I watched "The Wyeth's: A Father and His Family" on the the Smithsonian Channel the other night. I was left with a deep sense of longing for a father like N.C. for one thing and an acute sense of how differently things look to me now that Tim is no longer a part of my physical life for another. That said, it occurred to me that this marriage really isn't over, it just exists on two different planes for the time being. That thought makes me smile.

As I mentioned in my last post, painting feels wonderful. I don't feel the need to apologize, agonize or do the "who me? shucks" shuffle.  It is what it is and the results are what they are. They mean nothing in the scheme of things. Nothing is solved by a particularly good painting, nor is anything harmed by a particularly bad one. I'm still me. Tim's still gone. What difference does it make?

And, I want to continue honoring the memory of my very best friend in the world, however I don’t want each post to be a funeral march to the cadence of my lingering sorrow and grief. I don’t want visitors to my blog to be met with yet another installment of my deep sense of loss. I know that Tim wants me to work. He wants me to realize my potential and he wants me to be happy, and I don’t plan on disappointing him.

I began walking the boys two days after Tim passed. We have a rather sizable back yard and had grown far too comfortable just letting them out into the fenced expanse of space to play, do their business and get the exercise they needed. I felt walking was something we could all benefit from, so I bought two turquoise harnesses and began walking them three times a day.

The fresh air and exercise helps the three of us and we look forward to it every day that it doesn't rain. In the hushed silence of the morning, listening to the noises they make, watching their ears flopping up and down and their little cute bottoms sway as they walked, I couldn't help but think it might be a good idea to paint them doing just that, but from the leash point of view.

I bought the largest canvas I've worked on to date - 48x36" from Dick Blick (gotta love that name). Anyway, I've always used the Premier Gallery canvas for my work but decided to try the Premier Heavyweight cotton for the first time. I'm hooked. The paint just settles on the surface so nicely and the finished look is something I've longed for. Who knew?

I'll be taking the camera on our walks now and then and snap away until I get a shot I like. This one really hit that sweet spot inside and I couldn't wait to paint it. I thought I'd spend weeks doing the asphalt but actually spent only about 30 minutes splashing it on and just leaving some of the black painted surface of the canvas to explain the road texture. I have a few more details to iron out and some shadow and highlight to fix but that's about it.

I think Tim is pleased. With both the painting and my not putting all of my sense-of-self eggs into one ability-to-paint basket.

Thank you again for your caring, support, words of comfort and interest in my work. I'm very fortunate to have so many wonderful friends.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


8x8" oil on cradled hardboard


First, I apologize. I had planned to go on as I usually did. Posting and then visiting other blogs and leaving comments. That never happened, clearly. Plus, forgive me for not thanking everyone for the wonderful and most welcomed comments left on the post of Neo. I seem to be making a lot of false starts these days.

I'm doing ok, I guess.  It's gotten worse though. The missing him. We were together every single day for 20 years, a good deal of that time 24/7. It's going to take some getting used to obviously. I cry a lot. At the most unexpected times. Something will trigger it and I'm off. It's called healing I'm told. Odd, but I now realize, once all of the visits, phone calls and cards fell away, I found myself asking the universe, like some lost little girl...can Tim come home now?

Conor, Tim's younger brother, and his lovely wife Sheila, came by to pick up his work for the memorial held at their mom's home. When he brought the work back, I was struck by one painting that I did of Tim over eight years ago. The reference was from a photo I took not long after we fell in love.  I felt drawn to the painting, almost as if he was flirting with me, somewhere, within the canvas, I felt he was watching. And after that strange event, I've been able to look at his image without dissolving into tears. It's wonderful to see him again.

It's ironic, but there is an upside to this ridiculous event. I call it ridiculous because I'm older. We were sure I'd go first. He would always say, 'you have to live to be 100, you know that, right?'

Anyway, I was talking about that upside. The first positive, if one could call it that, is that I'm noticing that I don't worry any more. About Tim at least. The siren sounding off, while he was on his way to or from work, doesn't make my stomach drop. I find that painting is just that...painting. How silly, it seems to me now, that I questioned my ability and felt so insecure about it constantly. When I do paint now, it's a wonderful distraction and I enjoy it because it's like therapy. Overeating no longer holds the promise of warm security and I don't fret too much that I'm looking older. That's about it though, I'm afraid it's a short list.

Anyway, on a lighter side, the dude above—the fly that is— decked out in neon green is Steve. His real name is Earl, but he now insists upon being called Steve.

One night, a few months ago, he was hanging at home having had a bit of a run in with his buds, and knowing it was date night for the 'rents, he decided to chill and watch the flat screen.

As fate would have it, his pops had the 1968 Steve McQueen vehicle (no pun intended) Bullit ready to go in the DVD player. He decided to watch it so he could make fun of the old man when he got home, he just knew it would be pure corn. Well, to say that the movie changed Earl's young life is putting it mildly. But hey, it was time to identify with a movie hero and, really, how can you go wrong with Steve freakin' McQueen? (If you're really young, check it out. It holds up. Big time. It was one of our top ten. Although it does skirt on the edge when his girlfriend gets all bent out of shape because of the violence he faces every day. But it wasn't like it is now then. Remember Quincy? Compare that with what we see on CSI!)

Since then, Earl...excuse me...Steve cruises the expressway and side roads looking for Mustangs. Preferably a late sixties model in olive drab, but he'll take anything. He's thrilled they've been reissued as classics.

He circles, lands and then holds on for dear life as the car winds through traffic, all the while pretending he's flying through the streets of San Francisco, as 'ole Frank himself, clad in that navy blue turtleneck, looking uber-cool and the lead and stand in for stunt man driver, in the first great car chase in cinematic history.

His new identity has bolstered his confidence, he's finding he has no trouble whatsoever with the ladies and for some reason his buds follow him everywhere now! But, that's no surprise. It's cool to be Steve McQueen. Even if you're a fly.

The example to the right is an idea I had that might be nice. I thought it might be cool to add the story to the bug. I'm not set on the design as yet, but whenever a bug is purchased, a 5x5" parchment with "the bug's story," featured in my blog, will accompany the painting.

If you've already purchased a bug and would like the story that accompanied said bug, just email me and I'll forward their story to you.