Thursday, July 4, 2013


"Us Three"
11x14" oil on heavyweight canvas


 About two months ago, I received a very complimentary and eloquent email from a young artist named Melissa Adams. She was very sweet and asked me if I would be interested in mentoring her. My initial reactions was the usual "aw shucks...who me?" shuffle but she added a thought to her email that I found very intriguing. She said, and I'm paraphrasing..."I believe that we can both learn from the experience."

Hmmm. I'd been thinking that I wanted to branch out and get involved in things online and here was the perfect opportunity. The problem is I'm not a huge fan of critiquing! We are just in the first blush of mentor/mentoree interaction so time will tell how it works out, but so far, I'm pumped and enjoying our chats very much. I'm thinking and working more and that can't be a bad thing!

The painting above is our first project/challenge together. I decided to actually paint in layers. I put down the basic colors and built up my layers over three days. Plus I premix the colors and put them in the freezer (thank you for that tip), so when I'm ready to start, everything is right there and ready.

Melissa also asked if I would like to join a group of artists in a joint blog entitled..."Artists Growing Together". I did, and I'm feelin the love. Our first challenge is the dreaded self-portrait. Arrrrrrghhhh! However, in the spirit of being a grown up and doing grown up things, I decided to stop being silly and relate to my face as if it were....well...a face!

Recently, I got all tarted up for dinner out with friends and I thought since I cleaned up, did the hair etc. it might be nice to see how the aging process is going so I took some iPad snaps.

The aging isn't going as well as I'd hoped but the snaps were tolerable. I chose one and begin it tomorrow. It's due on the 7th. We'll see.

Oh, yeah, I've been meaning to share a little situation that I experienced a few months ago. Losing my wallet is a hot button issue for me. I'm sure no one likes to lose their wallet, but for me it's instant panic city. I freak out! During our first few years together, Tim went from understanding, patient, and supportive to "Dude, you're on your own!" Admittedly, my reaction to the missing possession was over the top. Really. Over. The. Top.

So when I'd gone to my favorite market and driven home listening to some great tunes, all calm and looking forward to relaxing with a good book and a glass of wine, it was quite distressing to slide my hand in my pocket to put my wallet away and find it empty!

Panic ensued. I phoned the store I'd just left to see if anyone turned it in. I combed the car, the grocery bags, the garage floor and every pocket I had. Nothing! I hopped in the car and drove up to the market like a madwoman, hugging the rear end of the car in front of me. See, like I said...over the top. Of course when I arrived and retraced my steps there was no wallet to be found. I went into the market and inquired again, but it wasn't turned in.

At that point I began hearing echos of Tim's common sense filter through my panic and fear....everything can be replaced, it's fine...and I began to calm down. My stomach dropped when I remembered I kept emergency money in there and thought...oh well, I hope whoever found it needs it more than I do. I decided to go straight to my bank, cancel my debit card and get a new one.

Luckily they know me there so replacing my card without a license was possible but took some time. When the teller handed me my shiny new debit card, I was coming back to feeling normal and I felt Tim would be proud of me for not getting depressed and heavy sighing all day. Back in the car I heaved a sigh..but of relief and laughed to myself...dude, you survived losing Tim...this is just a wallet!

As I pulled into the drive I noticed the mat on the front porch was raised up and thought, oh goody, the books I ordered from Amazon arrived. I put the car in the garage and came in through the studio and went straight to the front door to see what had come. When I lifted the mat up there was my wallet with all the money and everything still in it!!! It felt like a dream! Sweet relief! I was astounded!

The gentleman who returned it called later that day to make sure I'd found it and to see if I was indeed the owner of said wallet. I thanked him profusely and was so very grateful.

There are some really wonderful people in the world. Still.

Also, thank you SO VERY MUCH for all of the wonderful comments on the Sparrows Ass (asparagus)!There's nothing like getting a great response to a painting in progress you're not sure works! My thank-yous are on their way!


  1. Oh I love that story. There ARE still good people in the world. And how awesome is it that you didn't freak out? Of course it was Tim's presence calming you through it. :) Love the new painting Suz, it is glorious. Such rich buttery colors! Ah! Heavenly.

    And is it really due on the 7th?? ACK I better get started! :D

  2. Love your pears! And your wallet story. So good to know there are honest people.

    Looking forward to seeing your self portrait!

  3. Sweet Suz
    thank goodness blogger is back for a minute or two so we could look at your beautiful pears!!! We said "we need to try again- just in case blogger is working,""' and yeaaaaaaaaaaaa!
    So glad we did- because these pears are ready to take a bite out of right now!!!
    And were so happy about your wallet story--
    keep letting your wings heal slowly
    tweedles and moms

  4. Oh Mrs. always make me smile. Your mentoree is so lucky!! I really think these pears look like a photograph. You have so magnificently captured that texture on the skin! Amazing! In the looks department, I never was in the upper half of the population and the aging process is dragging me ever lower. I'm not liking it one darned bit!!

  5. Suz, I was attracted here by your fabulous pears, but feel I found a gold mine with your commentary. My only regret....Why didn't I come up with the idea of asking you to mentor me!!

    I love that you are involving yourself in new projects, putting yourself out there and you wallet story is priceless! You should really write and illustrate your own book!

    Cannot wait to see the self portrait :)

  6. Bravo! I love these pears! Love that you're mentoring, love that you shared this great story about good people with us and love that you're painting like a mad woman these days! It warms my heart to see you blossoming like this. Have a great day my friend! Sending you smiles and hugs...

  7. Hey Gunkie!
    You have got a lot packed into this post!!! I love the idea of mentoring, and the group really does sound wonderful. {Could they use a watercolor artist?}
    As for your story about the lost wallet, I am so happily surprised it was returned, and in such a caring manner. There are great people in the world!!! I just went though the same panic this morning. ACK!!! I can't find my glasses, and I am as blind as the proverbial bat! But, there they were, sitting in a spot on the bathroom counter where I never leave them. :)

  8. Hah ... forgot to say - the pears are the BEST pears I have ever seen as a painting!

  9. This is gorgeous! I want to pick up and eat one of those pears! And I loved your story about the wallet - there are so many really good people in the world and how wonderful for the man to do this - without even asking for a reward! ha ha Angels watching over you so no need to panic! And I'll have to check out that other site you mentioned for the group painters :) Have a wonderful weekend.

  10. I just love your pears.... How you can take the ordinary and make it extraordinary.... Wonderful job!

  11. Mentoring is a gift that works both ways I believe. When I explain something or critique I have to draw deep inside to figure out how to put it into words and doing that I learn too.

    And its our duty to share knowledge, just as others before us have too. We all have to learn and network and connect. It sounds like you found the right partnership to do so.

    I want to bite into those pears, they're delicious. Stop being so good at painting everything would you? I'll have to break my brushes soon if you keep it up. :)

  12. I bet the mentoring will be (indeed) a great experience for both of you. What a good idea! Your glazed fruit is ammmaazing and I'm on board to watch for your portrait. As for the wallet, I had a very similar experience. Glad you did not have to replace everything!

  13. What a fantastic idea to be and have a mentor!!! It is so important to receive honest, helpful (and of course tactful) feedback - Without it, how would we learn?
    Unfortunately my Mentor is me!
    The joint group sounds like a fabulous idea too :0)
    Your pears are perfect! Layering like this does give so much depth doesn't it?
    I chuckled at your story. See? You can do anything! And yes there are lots of wonderful people in the world. I would have done exactly the same as that guy as I'm sure would you. It's just that we only hear about the bad people. Thankfully I reckon they are outnumbered :0)

  14. Wow, Suzanne. You sure have the adventures. I love your honesty so much. And I'm giving thanks with you about your wallet and the trustworthy stranger who returned it!

    The mentoring and the group project sounds good, and seems to be really good for you, too.

    I love this: "it might be nice to see how the aging process is going". Haha... nothing like some close-up snaps to get an honest look. You are a brave girl.


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!