Tuesday, March 19, 2013

MORNING WALK - Refreshed

48x36" oil on heavyweight canvas

So, looks familiar right? When I posted this last June, I always had plans to revisit it. I rushed through it back then for two reasons. I always rush through a painting (in the process of correcting that) and I just wanted to see if posting a painting I was really proud of would help the grieving process. (My sweet Tim had only been gone 4 months at the time.)

It did as it turns out. Tim's message was to keep working and now that I've actually been in the studio consistently for a week straight, showing up on time and leaving on time, I can see how much it helps my state of mind, so much more than my previous sporadic visits. Right again dude! I talk to him more, I'm actually walking around the place humming and the Raz and Blu are thrilled that mommy is becoming much more patient.

This is the original version. In my head it was much more sketchy and unfinished. I needed a break from work that had to get done and decided to spend a few days on this.

I've been studying the work of so many artists online whose work I admire and I realized that I leave a lot of unfinished thoughts...or brushstrokes. I decided to really take my time...in the bright light of the new studio, music playing, the pups curled up snoring near my feet and Tim chirping away over my shoulder. "Don't touch it!!! You'll overwork it! Leave it alone!" Sorry sweetheart.

I found the warm spots were much to hot and their legs and hind parts were unfinished. Some shadows too dark and cool and some highlights too light and warm. There's still tons of work to do on the leash, rings and connectors. Taking my time, studying the reference, even trying out new methods to achieve the result I'm looking for are improving the creative process in ways I didn't expect.

 When Tim would use a brush to do quick character studies, he would often load a toothbrush with ink and splatter it in certain places on the paper for effect. I decided to load up a brush with thinned titanium white paint and flick the bright reflective particles that seem to be everywhere embedded in the pavement and I think it works. I had a really good time with this painting and I'm still not done, but when I am it will be the first painting that I've actually really totally finished!

I'm thrilled with the road. Can I say that? Not too arrogant? In my original post I was tickled that splashing in the road took only minutes and I thought it read okay but I think the darker, more detailed version anchors the boys more solidly. They seem to fit better into their surroundings. I want to feel that I can walk over and scoop them from the canvas, hear their panting and little toenails on the pavement. Not yet but I'm getting there.

There's another waiting in the wings. Maybe I'll actually do a series this time. Another reason for posting this is so that I didn't have to see that pile of dirty tissues every time I log in to my blog. And thank you so much for your kind words, the thank you's are on their way, but I'm not feelin' those clouds, at all. Just one of those things I guess.

I hope Tim approves of the new version.


  1. Sometimes it's a good idea to leave a painting alone for awhile then go back to it. I have always loved this painting..I see a lot of added light which is excellent...and the pavement cracked since the last time..LOL...
    I look forward to your future series, Suzanne!!!

  2. Hi Suz
    We could not see how this painting could get any better. It was already perfect. But now it looks as beautiful and more-- how can this be?
    You are the one who makes things happen-- and again- you brought the painting to more life- we feel like we are there- walking with you,

  3. You sound happy Suzanne, which I'm sure comes and goes but I get a great vibe from your post. I'm glad you're keeping Tim with you and thanks for sharing this scary journey with us. One never knows ......
    Beautiful brushwork and color and composition in both of these paintings!

  4. amazing, and I agree--fantastic job all around. I can imagine the abstractness of the road would be hard to capture, you got it spot on and the dogs are sooooo charming! love it.

  5. Oh man! I did the back and forth view on these and I didn't think the first could get better, but it did! So super!

  6. The light, the light, the light. Continue with good things, just continue to shine for the both of you.

  7. I studied them .. flicked back and forth [that was fun] and totally agree. The painting is looking much better. It seems more cohesive, Raz and Blu are more grounded, the cooler shadows are fabulous ... and I LOVE the sprinkles on the pavement!
    I KNOW Tim approves!

  8. Nice pugs Suzanne, they look like there having a good time out walking. It looks really good now.


  9. Having a good time with a painting, trying some new stuff, and knowing where you want to go with it is big. Congrats! Although the earlier version is lovely, the piece is even more so now.

  10. Let me congratulate you on being consistently in your studio, painting-for a straight week.Nothing beats that.I agree with you that now the painting has been softened; it looks even better.I am really thrilled with your treatment of the road.Those white flecks have created a great texture...not to forget the cracks...it looks really great!Congrats again.

  11. I loved this the first time I saw it and I think your continued work on this piece was the right move. I have to agree with your thoughts, not that I would have on the original post. I thought it was awesome originally too. I'd ask you to share some of that patience with me but it was hard earned and well deserved. Maybe one day I'll learn some myself!

  12. I loved the original painting of the boys and now you've brought it to an even higher level that's extraordinary. I spent ages looking at the pavement, analysing colours and shapes and you're right, you nailed it. Refining colour in the dogs and honing in on detail really bring this to life.

    Darn you for being so good! :))

  13. Well as you know I think your painting style is just PERFECT and one I aspire to be able to do one day myself, lol!
    But I love how you have worked on what was already an amazing painting, and still it is absolutely unmistakably yours. I also love those sparkles in the road too - they give it another dimension! I can't see what else you could do to make it any better :0)

  14. WOW! Liz sus' is back! It really pops, and I can't wait to go look at them on my bog screen instead of ipad. Stay in the studio...in the beginning, several years ago, if I could get thirty minutes of zen, it helped. I'm now addicted to that disappearing of mind I get consistently now when painting. So proud of you :)

  15. I liked it before but you have improved it a lot - especially a bit more bump in their rumps which got lost a bit in the original. I enlarged this, too, to see those sparkles in the sidewalk. Very well done all around! And the best thing - you are getting into the studio and working and working and having fun and creating great stuff!

  16. Absolutely beautiful Suze!! I think it is always so funny when we look back at older work and think it was so finished and great then and later. . . it just seems so lacking you know? I was just going through some photos of older paintings and peeking behind my fingers for the most part! Yikes.

    I am so with you on that road. It is FABULOUS!!! The thing that gets me the most is that faint, curving, so realistic crack in the road. I love it Suze. Especially those little pug buns!! :D

  17. Only you could take a painting that is so good it can't possibly be improved on ... and improve it. The road is amazing and the cracks and speckles just add that extra dimension that lifts it from great to amazing. And thrilled to hear what a good time you're having in your new studio. ;)

  18. I have loved this painting since you first posted it. I agree with you the titanium white adds a lot sprinkled across the pavement. So glad you are making it into the studio and humming around the house:)) Makes me smile! Keep on!!

  19. Hi there Friend Suz!... Good to see you... "out there"... and walking the gang... again!

    All of your decisions to change the original were sound and seem to been addressed Suz! There is a much stronger sense of being on the walk... sharing the lead with you. The revised addition of detail is significant when one looks carefully. However... not so much as to tamper with the original idea!

    This is an important and deeply personal work in your oueuvre and speaks volumes about your passion and technical skills... working hand-in-hand! I love this one!

    Good Painting!... and Happy Spring Suz!

    Friend Bruce

  20. What a great painting - I love what you have done with it. So happy to hear that your creative impulses are returning.

  21. beautiful finishing touches suzanne ... i love your paintng when you posted it ..sounds like you are back working hard ...have a good easter break ciao jane.

  22. As Tim would say "Do not touch it" This is a dramatic improvemnt on what was already a terrific piece.
    Quote from JS "Step away from the easel and no one gets hurt"

  23. Oh wow, Suzanne, this is so wonderfully beautiful! The changes immediately stood out to me, especially the changes you made to the pavement and the leashes/harnesses. I love the splatter and the cracks in the road - they definitely help to ground the boys as you said! =) Lovely work, as always! So good to see you back up here more and more the past few months - you have been such an incredible inspiration to me, so much more than you could ever possibly understand. I've been following you for years now, and always felt too timid to comment on your blog, but the more I read about you and have watched you grow and live your life through your posts, the more I've wanted to at the very least give you the compliments you deserve. And I want to thank you so very much for all the ways you have inspired me to pursue my own dreams of becoming a full-time artist, and to push myself out of my comfort zone so that I can grow. You amaze me. You always have, since the very first time I saw your works on Daily Painters. I love your work and eagerly await to see you back at the easel more and more as time starts to help heal the wounds so deep that Tim left in his wake. I am so sorry for your loss, and even though I don't know you, I've been praying for you so, so much! I hope you are feeling well, as it sounds that you are feeling so much better than before, and I pray you continue to find purpose and joy in your work. God bless Suzanne! I can't wait to see where your art goes in the weeks, months and years to come! =)


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!