Thursday, August 15, 2013


"Eggs 2"
36x48" oil on heavyweight canvas

Yet another protein-packed canvas! Thought I'd be painting eggs for a stretch but I'm done for a bit after this I think. Too much protein isn't good for me!

My challenge choice turn came round and I chose an all white composition as this month's subject. This set up, believe it or not, is of 9 white eggs in a white bowl on a white background, but as you can see there was very little in the way of white to paint...which is after all, what attracted me to an all white challenge! The lessons in value and temperature are many.

I took this reference shot when I did my extensive egg photo shoot with the double yolks. When I suggested the all white challenge I'm sure I had this in mind. Taken from above, I loved the shot; it was graphic and had an element of abstract design that I thought would be so much fun to paint! It wasn't though, surprisingly enough. It did become a tad tedious. It's not completed, but I need a break and will put it away for another day. I think it's close enough to call though.

I had a hell of a time with the bowl and the eggs. I wanted smoother transitions from shadow to light but it just became splotchy. I feel a little betrayed by my larger Home Depot brushes. But, who cares? I worked, I was present, focused and involved. That is what's most important. And even if I'm disappointed in the outcome, handling that with emotional maturity is another part of the lesson. I don't know how many paintings I've abandoned only to find them years later and wonder what my problem was. I think, with this one though, I missed the color!

Here's the scale shot, juxtaposed fittingly next to their cracked cousins. Again, thanks to Bren for the scale suggestion!

Quite surprisingly, there were, evident in the reference shot, shades of burnt sienna! Where, I wondered, could this color be coming from? Then I realized that it only showed up on the bottom of the eggs. They're snuggled up in one of those 21st Century bowls that are attractive but fairly useless. You know the ones I mean. The huge, oddly-shaped dishware that holds very little in the way of food but look really amazing with a handful of micro greens and one big shrimp!

This is one of those bowls. The front end is about two inches in depth and the top end is about eight, so the eggs settled toward the front end and gravity affected the yolks, the double yolks I should say, which made themselves known through the thin shell with that touch of burnt sienna.  I guess. I can't imagine how white eggs in a white bowl would suddenly sprout a warm glow of sienna through their shells otherwise.

I hope the summer is going well for you all. And I wouldn't dream of closing this post without uttering just two more words...Tim Berry. Whew! There, thanks, I feel much much betta!

Oh, yeah, I almost forgot...if you have any interest in joining our happy group, please email Diana at

 Please enjoy these wonderful all-white compositions from the group:

"Study in White"
16 x 12" pastel
©V.N. Ross

"Basic White"
8 x 6" oil on canvas"
©2013 Diana Moses Botkin


  1. Well, this protein power punch is just eggs-traordinary! Truly well done, Suzanne - and who would have thought about the egg yolks and gravity revealing the burnt sienna! Very interesting!

  2. So amazing, especially at scale!

  3. Your eggs are incredible, truly! I'm in awe of this painting. What a great challenge idea to explore the different ways of creating whiteness.

  4. Suz, this is jaw dropping. Your work is consistently outstanding. Yet it looks effortless...clean, crisp, confident.
    So well done, my friend. Congratulations!

  5. I can't even imagine how you'd improve that! Wow!

  6. Suzanne, I don't care what you say about this painting, I love it. I love the scale. I love that you can take on such a huge challenge. It all works and I LOVE the sienna glow. Lovely-Lovely-Lovely!

  7. Lovely egg shapes Suz. You do them proud. That subtle shading is THE most difficult thing to achieve and eggs one of the hardest subjects.

    A few years ago I used to hatch egg, duck and goose eggs on the farm. I loved candling them, you know, holding them up to a strong light and seeing the magical movement inside and shadowy forms of feet and beaks. The sienna shadow reminded me of that, not really sure why, perhaps the colour in a darkened room of the lit egg.

    Anyway, I digress.

    I love the scale and clean feel to this. White on white. Oh you are a glutton for punishment m'dear. But you pull it off so darn well.

    And....hi Tim! :) Never be afraid to talk about Tim. We all feel like we've known him for years through your words and stories. And its good for you to share those memories and emotions.

  8. As always, the challenge presents us 3 marvelous works! I love yours and I can't think you had any blotchiness or issues at all. It looks like it fell off those big H Depot brushes perfectly....gotta get some of those!

  9. Holy smokies Suz!!!
    How can you do this? These eggs are incredible!!! You are!
    With Angel Tim looking over your shoulder- how could it not be incredible?

  10. yeah...just when I think she can't wow me anymore.....she does!! I guess if you don't like this you should take your advice about putting it away for a spell and looking at it later (and"what was the problem?") Because----UH----it doesn't have a problem! I know if you weren't so persnickity you couldn't paint in this genius way....BUT, GAWD. Tis a fabu painting. :)
    Tim Berry! (agrees, I know).

  11. Goodness, Suz. I thought this was a photo! You never cease to amaze me with your talents! Interesting information on the burnt sienna that had me looking closer and I definitely see what you mean about the settling yokes. When you hold an egg up to the light, isn't it almost like holding your hand up to the light and it becomes translucent?

  12. Well once again you have bowled me over with your AMAZING painting! It's astonishing work!!! How you could possibly be disappointed in any way with this is completely beyond me!!! It is just astounding! :0)

  13. OMG THIS IS FANTASTIC!!!! love it.... you NAILED it.

  14. I'm SPEECHLESS!!!! This is fantastic work, Suzanne!!! Congratulations on this painting..Definitely a "Blue Ribbon"!!!!
    I LOVE IT!!!

  15. Hi Suz. Congrats on an amazing job! When I first saw the painting I was struck by the surrounding glow that appears to be the Virgin Mary! How appropriate that she would be embracing eggs! Such a tribute to the feminine. I also really love the tiny nipple detail (for lack of a better word) that casts an amazing shadow on that front bottom egg. So Cool!!!

    I have to admit, I've had a canvas that size sitting in my studio all summer and it's still white and wrapped. I find the size a bit intimidating, as though it deserves a special subject. Who would have known it was eggs! I'm thinking it needs a big scene and you zoomed us right in. So powerful! We're so opposite sometimes, but I love you just the same! Perhaps you'll inspire me to tackle the giant BLANK in my studio. Keep painting girl, your work is awesome!

  16. Hi Gunk!
    It is truly an eggs-ceptional painting!!! How could you not be thrilled with it? I love your studio photo of the two egg paintings. They would look fabulous hanging together.
    Good to read that you have such focus once more. :)
    Kathryn XX

  17. Your take on this Challenge is wonderful, Suzanne. It's not surprising that the piece became a bit tedious for you. It IS quite large! I have found that doing big paintings after working small feels like it takes forever (and yes, it gets tedious for me!). You kept your energy and inspiration until the end, though. It's a beautiful painting.

    I think you're right about that warm glow being the yolks. Strong light passing through the shells will show what's inside. Those yolks just can't help but show off a bit.

  18. HOLY CRAP!
    Sorry, I should have waited to find a more eloquent expression but that's the first thing that popped to mind. Deliciously awesome Suz!

  19. My word, you are AMAZING! This is one of your best paintings - so rich and full of color; a rather astonishing accomplishment when considering the fact that you've been working on all white forms in these last two pieces. I'm just flabbergasted - I don't even know how to compliment you enough to give justice to how beautiful these egg paintings have turned out. Very masterfully done, Suzanne! I LOVE them!!!

  20. Amazing is right, you rock. So no more eggs for a while, what's next? Bacon, toast, pancakes perhaps? Orange juice? Making myself hungry, lol

  21. Amazing and a treat to behold. Okay, I'm just about ready for breakfast, looks like eggs today. I agree with Barbara, YOU ROCK!!

  22. Suz, I am speechless!! It is incredibly well-painted. Smoother transitions might thrill less rather than more, may-haps??? Yet that is up to a great artist to decide, which you are my dear. I just can't get over this one! I'd love to see it in person when I can.

  23. Gorgeous painting Suzanne.
    Sometimes our best work is born out of struggle or tedium, but none of that is evident here. We just get to enjoy the glory.

    The eggs are so crisp and pristine. They really pop against the bowl, which incidentally would be just as hard as the eggs but you did (it right) beautifully by making the bowl slightly more soft edged. That separates the bowl from the eggs, as different materials or surfaces, more than in just tone/value alone.
    It is exactly those kinds of subtle qualities that photo realistic or realistic paintings need to go beyond the ordinary to above ordinary.
    Most do not realize those qualities (are present) and think photo realistic painting is nothing more than copying a photo or set up. Not true. It is a very different kind of artistic discipline and one that is not easy.

    The touches of sienna and the organic refections in the bowl really give it life.
    Great work!

    So... is no-white the new white?... or is gray the new white?... or is white the new gray?... or is white the new no-white?... or is gray the new no-white?... or is no-white the new gray?... or maybe all-white is the new gray?... or maybe all-white is the new no-white?... or maybe no-white is the new all-white?... or gray the new all-white?... just wondering...

    BTW... on the wall behind the painting, looks like a dip or triptych of a plane...
    a painting... yours?
    just curious

  24. Amazing!! You really are good. White on white is so difficult to master and I think this looks fantastic. I can't see any of the "splotchy" areas -- the shadows and their transitions all look smooth to me. And the scale! Awesome. Great impact. Great work. :)

  25. thank's for your information an ver nice your post
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  26. Wow was my reaction to this painting, then white on white on white with little or no white. That burnt sienna is genius. Then,(and I really appreciate this), you posted a photo of this beautiful piece on your easel to give a sense of scale. Super duper Suzanne.


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