Wednesday, November 28, 2012


16x20"  oil on heavyweight canvas NFS

This is Pinot.  I'd like to thank his Mom for her patience. It's taken ages for me to get this done. It seemed as though I would never finish and there's so much more I'd like to do but I'm ridiculously behind, so I called it.

There's a difference that I became aware of while working on Pinot. I can feel a shift in the perception of my work. It's a good thing, I think, however it has affected the length of time it usually takes to complete a painting. But there are other factors to be considered now, of course.

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving. I counted it as my first official "real" holiday without Tim's physical presence. It sucked but it didn't, if that makes any sense. My good friends, Jason and his wife Lori, visited that morning and made pumpkin pancakes and turkey sausage for breakfast. It was wonderful and I was so grateful. They assured me that they weren't making sure the widow Berry wasn't alone on a holiday but I couldn't help but feel a bit like the lonely shut in. Silly I know. Even sillier, on some level I think I might have thought that perhaps Tim would be rewarded with a one-day pass to spend the day with us. Strange things dance around in ones head at a time like this. But really, let's face it, I wasn't all that grounded before he left!

After they left I had myself a good cry but it was cut short by the distinct feeling that Tim was not havin' it! I could hear him scold me in my head..."Come one now, you know the deal! I'm right here and I'm perfectly fine. No more ugly cries, vacate the pity pot and get on with it. We will see each other again and until then you need to stay positive!"

Okay. I'll try.

After that, the day was actually a good one. I had invites from Tim's bro Conor and his wife Sheila and a few other friends, but preferred to spend my first Thanksgiving without Tim...with Tim, if that makes any sense. I know it sounds strange but there's no way I could ever talk myself into feeling as good as I do sometimes if he wasn't here with us. It's uncanny. Either that or I've completely lost my stuff.

This snap is from one of our first dates back in '93. I think we were at a party for a co-worker. We were always so nervous because we were both so shy. That's one of the reasons we were so perfect together.

I swore I saw him today as I was driving to the market. He was driving this big SUV and smiled right at me! It was startling! George Anderson and Theresa Caputo (the Long Island Medium on TLC) both say that it's not our imagination when we think we see a loved one who is no longer with us.

That's fine with me. Even that quick glimpse today did wonders.

Also, please forgive me, I'm almost half-way through my thank you's for the kind and generous comments left on my last post. I so appreciate your words of support and your patience. I had promised myself I'd get on them right away but again, time just got away from me.


  1. OMG, Gunkie [that seems inappropriate when speaking to the artist who created this magnificent painting]
    This portrait is utterly phenomenal. I feel like Pinot is right in my bedroom, on the bed, cuddled up on the blankets. You have gone beyond realism, into envisioning and portraying the soul. It's almost a bit frightening, in a way, but a very good type of frightening. Hmmm ... like "wake up, and see what's in front of you".
    And Tim - I KNOW he is there with you, and probably was in that SUV, smiling at you. :)
    Keep on painting and feeling your paintings like this!!!
    Hugs and love

  2. Sweet Suz
    My moms are saying.. "ahhhhh, geeze, wow- she is something else!!"
    You are too amazing to capture the spirit of Pinot. We almost expect Pinot to get up and come to us.
    As Kath said in her reply- 'it's almost scary-'
    and we feel the same way- because you are so spetacular because you are bringing your art to life.!
    The snap shot of you and Tim- show so much spark and love.
    We think you did see a fast glimpse of Tim today--- yes we do.
    We love you so much
    tweeldes and moms

  3. Suzanne, the direct eye contact in Pinot's portrait is quite remarkable, and consequently I feel as if I've met him in person! I love this dear picture of you and Tim so much; what a beautiful couple you've been! I'm so glad you got to see him. Had an experience like that last summer that I'll share with you some time.

  4. Suzanne,
    This is a terrific and empathetic portrait. Is it a whippet, a greyhound, or a fabulous mutt?
    I'll bet no one could pass by this painting on a wall without stopping to look.
    Keep painting...

  5. Really amazing portrait! You are sooooo good. And your memories of Tim and experiences without him are fantastic. I think you should write a book.

    And, thank you, for all your encouraging comments! I treasure them!

  6. The "Pinot" portrait is quite nice and not an easy pose. You have captured Pinot's inner self and his eagerness to please. Love the portrait very much. The photo of you and Tim is just lovely. Thanks for sharing it.

  7. I love this painting. It is very well done, and it captures that earnestness that dogs are all about. My husband died recently. And I think for me the thing that helps the most is knowing that other people survive this. Of course nobody's husband or marriage was the same, but the complete unraveling sense of loss must be similar. Mothers and grandmothers and women all around me have traveled this road and moved along with hope and grace and purpose. Thank you for sharing so honestly.

  8. The painting turned out to be lovely, even though you say you took your time with it.Im sure his 'mom'is quite happy with it. Isn't it great, we painters can actually make others happy...That is why it pains me so much when I read your posts.I see so much pain there.I wish there was some way to make you happy,too.I know it must be tough, very,very tough, but still it would be great to see you grit your teeth and move on,,,you have so much to offer to this world, Tim would be happy to see you making use of the talent God has bestowed upon you.Keeping busy sometimes takes your mind off the pain.My best wishes.

  9. Fascinante...
    La pintura técnicamente es impecable, perfecta, y la expresión del simpático perro está repleta de vida, le falta hablar.
    Me quito el sombrero.


  10. Pinot is a gorgeous Whippet, Suz. You've undoubtedly made his owner's week with this beauty. I love seeing the photo of you and Tim from back when you first started dating. What a gorgeous couple you are! If it makes you feel any better, I'm not sure I'm all that grounded either. I love hearing of the ways Tim lets you know he is still with you. You keep listening and you keep doing what you need to do to move another day forward. How are Raz and Blu?

  11. Well, I want to leave you this comment on the condition that you don't answer it! Really and truly, I already know you appreciate your comments and so there is no need. So - that's one less thing for you to have to do!
    I was only talking about you to Paul the other day. Actually, it started with a conversation about Codi and how this Christmas might be difficult. But then I said how it pales in to such insignificance when I compare it with your own loss. Not that Codi is insignificant to us - just that there is always someone else, somewhere else going through something worse. Doesn't help I know, but I was thinking of you anyway. This painting is just astounding! You never fail to do such incredible things with your paintbrush! I am so glad that you are still painting and I really hope you do more and more :0)

  12. A very moving post starting with an amazing, skillfully done dog portrait.
    This is my second, lump in my throat and tears in my eyes attempt at answering. Please know I think you are an amazing artist and courageous woman. I send you warmest love and prayer for gentle transitions.

  13. Pinot is beautiful! Such powerful changes in one's life will likey effect one's work. This year is a year of "firsts" for you, and you've made it through your first holiday successfully. How lovely that Tim visited, although I think he's always there. Goerge & Theresa are right...just don't have an accident when he drives up next to you! :o)

  14. Ok you caught me. I hadn't seen this last post of yours and you're thanking me for commenting already! You're further ahead of yourself than you know.

    Pinot is lovely. I'm certain the owner didn't mind waiting for such a stunning piece. And speaking of stunning... you're absolutely gorgeous! You realize we'll have to talk about this.

    Remind me to tell you about seeing my grandmother in the choir at church one day and the events that occurred afterwards. I've no doubt that Tim was trying to be visible for you. You haven't lost your stuff. You're way more normal than you give yourself credit for. Hugs again, my friend.

  15. Such a wise, such a giving, such a true Pinot!
    I've experienced those glimpses of a beloved as well.

  16. Suze Pinot is gorgeous and completely perfect! Such soul in his eyes. You are a master at that. :) And I'm glad you had a good Thanksgiving, even if Tim did have to scold you a bit. ;) That probably helped quite a bit didn't it? And I agree with your friends who said that when we think we see someone we lost it's not just our imagination. Hope you are doing well my friend, I think about you often.

    And don't worry about sending me a thank you ever, I know how you feel so don't stress about that. :)


  17. Suz, You set the mark when it comes to creating pet portraits! Wow!

    Not too many years ago I woke up one morning after a long conversation with my beloved Grandmother who has been gone for nearly two decades. It may have been just a dream or my subconscious talking to me, but I couldn't have been happier. I still carry that moment in my heart.

    I pray joy and the peace that passes all understanding for you, my friend.


  18. Fantastic post, Suz - not just the wonderfully alive painting but the sharing of your life and that great photo. From previous posts, I knew Tim was a handsome devil but only guessed at your beauty from your self-portrait. No need to guess any longer - beautiful outside and inside with talent and bravery and just the right amount of silliness or moron moments (which we all have at times, thank goodness or we would start thinking about how smart we are!).

  19. Suzanne, you did it again.... beautiful post. I could feel your emotions through you words. You are magic with your writings. Loved the picture of the two of you. Young, beautiful and smiling.....
    Pinot is lovely,too. His mom and dad will love the painting.

  20. Oh, I just saw one of your comments that suggested you write a book.... FANTASTIC idea. I think so too !

  21. Pinot is beautiful! I know what you say about those shifts in your work, those have been happening here lately too...must mean growth, and I always appreciate the signs, as I know you do. And this post.... I teared up when you said you would have liked a one day pass with Tim. If only... And seeing him out and about in an SUV...a priceless vision for you. He is with you all the time. It is so apparent. Glimmers and 'shout outs' of your wonderful togetherness will always be there.

  22. What a lovely painting of Pinot, it's outstanding. The picture of you and Tim is beautiful. My heart still goes out to you Suz. You were a beautiful couple and I am sure you did see Tim.

  23. Great painting! I love the slight twist to the lip and look of expectance in Pinot's eyes. You nailed this one alright!

    Getting through those holidays when memories are stirred are difficult. I'm glad you have friends who help you over the hump.

    And you never know how near someone really is. For a month after my father died, I would get a call once or twice a week. There was no voice, just static-like noise as if from so far away. After the initial hello, I would just listen and not say anything until it would abruptly stop after a couple of minutes. Maybe just a wrong connection, but it felt like a strange communication with him.

  24. Beautiful painting of Pinot, lovely eyes! I know loved ones do come back to help and watch over us from time to time, my grand daughter
    was visited by my Dad twice to bring her messages and comfort.

  25. What a lovely painting of Pinot, he looks so soft in nature and in fur! I think the eyes have it, beautiful.

  26. Pinot is wonderful, what an expression, your painting is amazing!
    And everybody 's glad to watch thoses photos, Susan!
    Have a good week-end!

  27. You did an amazing job with Pinot, Suzanne!!! Even that reflection in his eyes is get better and better with every painting you do.!
    As far as that photo!! A beautiful couple...Wonderful memories..and thank you for sharing this personal part of your life with us!!! Hugs..

  28. Your doggie portrait is beautiful Suzanne. As was your story. Thank you for sharing a bit of your journey with us. Blessings to you.


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!