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.


  1. Steve is so awesome Suze. I just love how you can make creepy crawly bugs into a thing of beauty and interest. And this guy doesn't dissapoint. :) And the story of him is such a great idea. makes use of your talent for art and story telling.

    Tim's painting is astounding. I'm so sorry you're hurting my friend. I'll be thinking of you. And please know that I don't expect any reply to this comment, and especially don't worry about not visiting blogs. I know you're thankful I stopped by, you are Suzeanne, and you're the warmest person in this blogiverse. I just want you to know that I'm thinking of you, praying for you to heal, and hoping that this might in some way make you smile and know that you're not alone. :)


  2. Love the story of Steve and your painting of him is ..... well, just perfect! You can make a bug come alive in so many ways.

    As Crystal said, please don't respond to this comment. Now is the time to concentrate on you and the healing journey that is taking place. Just know that you are loved.


  3. What a fabulous, wonderful painting. I loved the story that goes along with Steve as well Suzanne. Stories are so awesome and add a new dimension to each painting. Your painting of Tim is brilliant also. There is much love in each brushstroke. What a very handsome man. Hope to write soon. So sorry for the delay. Take good care.

  4. Sweet Suz
    The painting of Steve is incredible. He does not look like a painting, he looks like he is real and could fly off the page.
    Your idea of printing a little story about each bug,, is exactly what we were thinking as we read your post. It is a brilliant idea.

    Suz, we looked and looked at the portrait you did of Tim. There are no words to describe the deep feeling that you put into it, as each stroke of your paint brush captured the soul.

    Your wings are still healing Suz. Somedays you will feel stronger than other days. Somedays you may think you feel like flying, but then just as the weather changes can suddenly dampen your plans,,, so your heart can do also.
    Take time. We think of you everyday. We love you.

  5. "Steve' is incredibly beautiful, Suzanne.And how well you write..its an amazing talent!
    I am so sorry for your loss.I have recently lost a friend and I can only imagine how hard it must be to go on after losing your life partner.You are strong,though, I salute your courage.
    Take care,

  6. I can only imagine what you've been through these past months... I hope there are people around you who can offer a warm shoulder and a comforting hand to hold on to. I am so sorry that you have had such a loss, and the world too seems to have lost a very special person. As you said, we can smile and celebrate the joy that was shared, and keep those we've lost with us in our hearts and minds. They would want us to be happy and to smile through our days. The bugs are awesome! What a wonderfully unique series you've created!

  7. Shiny, slick Steve is one classy bug. You weave a wonderful story around him as you do with your other insect pieces. You have a real knack for bring them to life on several levels.

    Tim's portrait is strong. Looking straight out of the canvas is a powerful pose and will bring you comfort when you need it. To have that essence of Tim in a portrait is far better than anything a photograph can provide I think.

    Take it one day at a time my friend.

  8. Gosh, Suz, this is fabulous with the story on it. My brother's name is Steve. I'd love to know how much you want for this with the story?! My brother is currently in the hospital and this would hopefully bring many a smile and help in the healing process.

    I love the portrait of your Tim. He is gorgeous (I knew it already from photos)!

    Reading your words of your worries, your self-doubt, I know we are quite a bit alike. I do just the same thing.

  9. My dearest Suz.
    Steve/Earl certainly has led an amazing life for a fly! He's devilishly handsome, with those gleaming colors. I think the idea of the parchment with the story on it is probably one of the most brilliant art ideas I have ever heard!!! Your painting of Tim is so real, so intimate.
    Keep on doing what you are doing. My thoughts and love are with you.

  10. All of my bears also have a story too. I love creating them because writing them is as enjoyable as the painting itself.
    I felt a little sad when you said 'once all of the visits, phone calls and cards fell away...' As long as you know that despite that, I am sure everyone thinks of you regularly, as I do and it's not because you or Tim have been forgotten, but sometimes people need space to heal, don't they? I think it has affected my own relationship too. I worry more about Paul, I tell hime how much I love him on a more regular basis and I value life a lot more too. After all, we are the same age.
    I am so glad that you no longer absorb yourself in those feelings of uncertainty about your work. I never could understand it! You are at the top of your game without a doubt and I am glad you are just enjoying it now! I have also reached a point where I'm no longer looking for approval - knowing I am never going to get it from everyone. I am just trusting that my own pleasure will show on the canvas and that it is enough :0)

  11. Your strength, your spirit, your painting abilities and your writing abilities awe me and inspire me. Even though we've never met in person, I know that I am richer for having you in my life. Hugs!


  12. wow that fly has quite the life. You have a great sense of humor.
    I can't imagine the loss you're dealing with Suzanne. I think just getting out of bed every morning is HUGE, never mind painting, posting and getting out and about. Obviously, you have friends who care and think of you. Sadly, no one can fix this.
    The painting is awesome and yes, what a lovely man. Hugs and love to you.

  13. I love seeing this incredible portrait of Tim you did, Suz, his spirit is in there indeed, and thank you for sharing this. Absolutely love the idea of the parchment stories to accompany the bug paintings ~ Steve's story and painting rocks!

  14. I don't think anyone can paint a "bug" as well as you, Suzanne!! and this painting of Tim!! Absolutely're in my thoughts constantly and an inspiration to all of us!! Hugs!

  15. Dear Suze, I just have to say, that's one damn fine-looking man! I can see you painted it with all your love - now even more of a beautiful treasure. I think of you often. I'm glad to hear you're less self-critical because like Sandra said I think you're at the top of your game and I admire your ability no end. hugs.

  16. I am so sorry Suzanne, I have been so busy I just read your blog today. So sorry for your loss. Why does it always seem God takes the really good ones from us. I guess they are meant for even greater things. Even though we have never met, I consider you a friend. Please never stop painting even when it seems like it is too hard sometimes. I am sure your true love would never want you to stop creating and sharing your gift with others. You are in my prayers and keep staying strong.


  17. Oh Suz, you're just too cute! Love the parchment idea. Who else would think of doing that? Tim's portrait is really really good. How could you go on wondering if you were good enough to be titled artist with such beautiful expressive art in your repertoire? I'm glad that notion doesn't haunt you anymore. Your work is quite stunning! Be well my friend. Sending you smiles and hugs...

  18. Too funny! It's nice to see you still have your sense of humor. The paintings is fabulous! How did you get Steve to stand still long enough to paint him?

  19. Your painting of Tim is so immediate and beautiful. It's wonderful. I think giving every collector their bug's life is a great idea.

  20. steve he is neat suzanne ...such a special portrait suzanne..take very good care

  21. Great paintings Suzanne. I'm so sorry you've had to experience such a deep and profound loss. Grief and healing is a long and never-ending process really -- your description is spot-on. Keep pluggin' along . . . have faith you will once again be able to get lost in daily tasks and routines if only for a little while -- but until then please know you're doing good!

  22. You are so creative, Suzanne, not only with your art but these stories you write. I think eventually all these bugs and their bios should be in a book!

    Keep using art as therapy.

    "When it is dark enough, you can see the stars" (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

  23. What a wonderful painting of Tim. What a interesting story and painting of steve. Love them both. My prayers and thoughts are still with you. Have a blessed peaceful day.

  24. I love your paintings! The idea of putting the story with your painting is very cool!

    I think about you constantly Suz! I have your address on my fridge. I keep staring at it knowing I should write or send something, but I just don't know what! There really isn't anything that can change what happened. I'm not sure I have any words that can comfort. I don't understand this World, the timing of things, the tragic things that happen. But I do think of you and your strength to carry on, your sadness and I just wish you peace and insight! I feel connected to you and honored that I know a little virtual bit of you.

  25. You've been blessed with a genuinely quirky mind, Suzanne. I love this story. And I would very much love one about the caterpillar painting I got from you... which, by the way, continues to delight every time I walk by it. My grandgirl, now 2, loves it very much too.

    And Steve... er, Frank... is wonderful. LOVE, love, love him and his personality.

  26. I love the beautiful painting of Tim and I am happy that you have it.
    You are so special Suzanne. I wish you well and miss you.
    Hugs xoxoxo


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!