Thursday, November 7, 2013


"In the Hood"
16x16" oil on Belgian Linen


This is Shawn, the son of one of the construction crew members that worked on the house last year. I have been struck by this young man's amazing features since I met him back when we had 30 inches of snow and they came to bail us out. Last week, when they were here to move some furniture, I decided to at last ask if he would mind if I took some reference shots of him. Happily he was fine with the idea which made my day because I had a great time painting this.

I've been listening to Eckhart Tolle's audiobooks while working which makes it near impossible to listen to the "voice" at the same time. I've struck a nice balance I think. His words help me with grief, insecurity, mind clutter and the near constant negative chatter that seems to become so very loud whenever I work. Nice.

Shawn wore a hooded sweatshirt that day and I think it frames his face so nicely. I want to do more work on his hood but don't want to get bogged down in detail and take away from his incredible features.

I am falling in love with this linen surface however it is a tad expensive. It's so me. I go along and work on surfaces for years, just accepting that that is what I'm used to until I actually realize in the middle of a painting that a different surface would be better for the subject matter.

Reminds me of the time when I was a pre-teen and a gentleman came to the door offering music lessons. I wanted to take guitar for the longest time back then but because he was selling accordion lessons I studied that for four years! Hated every minute of it. Never occurred to me to ask for guitar instruction. What's up with that? In hindsight it's seems pretty messed up, but we were taught to be very agreeable. Asking for something you wanted instead of what you were offered was thought to be I guess it makes sense...a little.

Oh well, I finally got around to trying the portrait smooth linen on Tim's portrait so the timing was perfect. I'm so pleased that I did his painting on this surface, I think it added a lot to the feeling of it.

He's been quiet lately save a few perfectly timed light flickers. But I've been quite content embracing his presence since the peanut dream so I guess he see's I'm good to go right now. Thank you so much for your kind words of support and understanding on that post. I'm very fortunate to be able to share this journey with so many open minded and caring people. I will be forever grateful.

Thank you for stopping by!


  1. Have to laugh about the accordion story! I, too, took lessons when I was about 12 years of age. A friend had taken lessons and I thought it was something I would like. I quickly got over it after a few long walks...several miles in fact...carrying the beast to my music lesson...

    You've done a beautiful job on this fellow's portrait! I am sure he will be thrilled!

  2. Shawn is one darned handsome young man. Really gorgeous portrait, Suz.

  3. I love the skin tones in this, it just glows. And what a great face to paint, the hoodie sets it off beautifully. I can see why you were drawn to him to paint. There are some faces we see here and there that speak to us. I still haven't had the courage to approach people, probably why I stick with fish and water!

    Now for your piece of trivia: Hoodies, in Saskatchewan where my daughter lives, are known as "bunny hugs". Why? I don't know.

    I never took music lessons, mostly because everyone knew I was a lost cause musically :) and there wasn't a lot of spare cash to pay for them either. However, I did buy a guitar in later life and took some lessons. The outcome? I was a lost cause musically. But it was fun.

  4. This is SO amazing, Suzanne! He's PERFECTLY painted.!!! It's so funny because I'm almost finished with a portrait of my granddaughter...yes, wearing a hoodie!!!
    and I missed your last post...I love Louy...! and enjoyed your post so much.. I always love hearing about the presence of Tim in your life.. your love for each other will keep you together forever. Again, I LOVE this portrait...the light hitting his face is perfect!!!

  5. Just beautiful features and the hoodie looks so soft and snuggly. I picked the clarinet in grade school to make a friend happy but I really wanted to play the flute. I'm still trying to break my people pleasing habit.

  6. Oh Gunkie, I can see why you felt compelled to paint this handsome young man!! Even from this viewpoint, he has such warm and loving and intelligent eyes, and such elegant lips! The hoodie frames him perfectly, and the title is utterly appropriate.
    Kathryn, the other Gunkie XOXO
    PS - accordian???

  7. Love IT! And I love working on portrait linen! Want to try oil primed linen now... Schmid says it is vastly more pleasing to work on. Not as absorbent, making wipe outs easer

  8. This is so fabulous! What a beautiful painting...and I love the title! I have never painted on linen, but this makes me want to have a go. Your work is gorgeous Suzanne!

  9. What a handsome lad. You've captured his visage and personality wonderfully. It's a beautiful painting.

    I can so identify with your "what's up with that?" puzzling. I felt much the same way as a kid and now wish I'd voiced my needs and wants. It seems so silly now, especially now that I'm a mother and grandmother, that it didn't seem appropriate to speak up.

  10. Oh Suzanne, this is stunning! I could barely pull my eyes from it long enough to comment. I always love your work, but I think this may show a new, even higher level of expertise. I must go back and study it again...bye

  11. Just love the way you paint and has he seen this yet? Funny about the accordion - my brother took four years also until he too said ENUF!

  12. well, without a doubt, this has an almost 'spiritual' or religious look...he looks wise and gentle...yes, like a savior. What an incredible painting!!!

  13. Hi Suzanne!
    I agree, it's been way too long!
    This is a beautiful painting, and you're right, he has such beautiful features. Maybe you can also do a frontal view, and a side view of him.
    I'm glad you are doing reasonably well. And I think the peanut thing was super cool.

  14. Suz, this is an exceptionally fine portrait, and I think there must be something special about your particular brand of belgian linen too, just from looking at the zoom on this one.

  15. Bonsoir chère amie,

    Je voulais tout d'abord vous remercier sincèrement pour votre très gentil commentaire.
    La vie, parfois, nous emporte vers d'autres horizons et le temps s'écoule si vite...
    Je suis heureuse aujourd'hui de pousser la porte de votre jardin secret et de pouvoir vous lire et admirer vos oeuvres... toutes celles également que j'avais manquées.
    Cette toute dernière est incoryable ! Ce portrait est rempli de douceur, de bonté angélique... Je pense que la présence de cette capuche apporte une mansuétude supplémentaire à ce visage.
    Vous avez réussi merveilleusement bien et talentueusement la texture et la couleur de sa peau.
    Une très jolie peinture, un magnifique travail. Bravo !

    Gros bisous à vous.

  16. Sweet Suz
    We love this painting so much,, and we have been behind in commenting.
    We wanted to just take a moment and thank you from the bottom of our heart for all the love and healing thoughts and prayer you have sent to me.
    I love you so much sweet Suz.
    We will be back when we have more time

  17. This is amazing portrait! i like it very much! Cheers

  18. I have wanted to try linen for a while now. I'm just getting through the batch of canvas's I already have and then I will invest in some. I'm pretty sure I'll like a smoother surface too...
    I was knocked out by this portrait! Really, really beautiful! You have the most amazing gift! :0)

  19. The portrait of Shawn came out exactly like you wanted it to. I like that surface, too and make my own lately. Painting is beautiful - presence with Tim most likely when you most need him...

  20. Our sweet Suz
    We came back- just like we promised, because we wanted to take some time to look at this spectacular portrait of Shawn, and to read your words- that are so important to us.
    We feel as if we are sitting right there- with you and Shawn- face to face.
    It seems impossible to know you painted the perfectness in this portrait!
    We can feel the softness of his hoodie- and the look in his eyes- that glance- it's total amazing!!! You create magic- and we love it!

  21. I think you captured the softness in the sweater with his swagger :) lovely work.

  22. Totally awesome portrait! It's a great choice to stop rendering the hood. It leaves the fabric soft and really emphasizes the face. It reminded me of Tim's portrait. Is that the linen? I've never worked on it. The skin you paint just glows. Beautiful! Very handsome young man...

  23. This is so wonderful,Suzanne.He has great skin and features and you have brought it out well.


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