Monday, December 31, 2012


9x12 scratch board NFS

I'll be somewhat relieved when this particular holiday season is over to be honest. Keeping my outlook positive is really helping but it'll be nice to get back to not having to feel like I have to fake jolly. It's a difficult time of year for so many who've lost loved ones, both recently and in the past.

But it's also a time of renewal. Of possibly being able to accept what is and move forward. I know that I will never move on from loving and "losing" Tim but I can and must move forward, with his joyful memory as close to me as my next breath. I must say that the season has not been nearly as horrible as I expected. There really is something to this thought vibration thing. Invariably, when I choose the higher thought, my experience follows suit. Conversely, I've found the opposite to be true. The mornings I wake up and assume a victim posture, there's a lot of toe stubbing, plate dropping, deep depression and missing my best friend like crazy.

I know I've said the above many times in many different ways but I almost feel guilty not feeling constantly devastated, even though I know that's not what Tim wants. How silly to think that being in constant pain would please a loved one who has passed, as if it would show them how much they are missed.

Anyway, I've been doing a lot of purging and throwing out... still. I'm having some work done upstairs and I've been forced to get rid of a lot of stuff. Yesterday I cleaned out the "art" closet, which in reality is just a closet in one of the bedrooms up here. Over the years I'd stuffed it to near bursting with artwork, boards, books, papers and paintings and I finally had to face it all. Somewhere Tim is smiling. He was so after me to finally go through it all. I found some wonderful memories and work that we did in the early years when we used to throw down.

The scratch board above was done when I still lived with the 'rents, way back in the day. My last name was Barnes then but I replaced it with Berry in Photoshop. I remember being so proud of it, thinking that I'd been thrown a bone by the art gods. Working from complete darkness and picking out the light was quite a lesson in values. I'd love to try one again soon.

 I was particularly thrilled to find copies of these illustrations that Tim did of us in '95. Working in the same office at the same job for 15 years was such a gift and more fun than I can put into words. We kept each other sane—the pressure in the marketing department of a newspaper was incredibly intense. And he was so creative and eager to learn anything new, and such a positive influence. And after a hard day, we'd get in the car and just unload, complain, make funny noises and finally laugh until we arrived home. Our hearts were broken when I was asked to retire. We had hoped to one day find a way to work together again, but it was not to be.

In those days, Tim did so many illustrations, both for the paper and for fun. I'd always find a drawing or cartoon on my desk as a surprise. I am so fortunate to have so many loving memories.

I'd like to thank everyone for all of the support and kindness I've received through this most difficult year. Thank you for visiting and following my blog, for reading my posts and leaving messages that have helped so much, for flowers, for checking in to let me know I'm remembered, for being there. I hope to get back to some sort of normal schedule after the new year. My new studio is ready and I can't wait to get started.

I'm putting aside time each day to visit other blogs and see what I've missed and catch up on my thank yous. Until then, I wish you all a healthy, wealthy and safe New Year and again, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for caring.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012


16x20" oil on canvas

Meet Casey. He is, unfortunately, no longer with us but I'm sure he's kickin' it with his buds somewhere over the rainbow bridge. I'd like to thank his Mom for her patience and an incredible reference photo to work from. This portrait was pure fun to work on.

It's that time again. Cannot believe how quickly time flies and clearly, still not wrapping my head around himself not being here with us. Tim and I took the "surly, aloof artist, we're far too cool for this" route and never really created any sort of traditional holiday rituals once we broke from our respective family festivities about 8 years ago. So, gratefully, I'm not missing trimming the tree and putting up lights with him. I always sort of regretted not going there, until now that is. We just knew, being us, all the stuff would still be there when the next Christmas rolled around. We celebrated the holidays in our own unique way. Great old movies, good wine and a feast prepared by the chef himself. That I will definitely miss.

I'm doing really well actually. Keeping my frequency open to the one Tim is on. When I follow my path, get out of my head and avoid the pity pot I open up the channels and clear the way for feeling him near. Missing him and feeling sorry for myself are two completely different things so I'm focused on choosing my thoughts carefully.

The events of last week in Newtown, Connecticut put things clearly into perspective. I have no words. There is really nothing any of us can say. I saw two different statements from two different parents of lost children and I felt both humbled and oddly hopeful. They spoke only of love, forgiveness and honoring their babies by not becoming bitter and full of hate.

Those are, as it turns out, the perfect words.

I wish everyone a peace-filled and safe holiday season and I hope we all find a way to, finally, live together.