Monday, November 3, 2014


30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas
Private Collection

This is my dear friend Brenda Ferguson. I have admired her use of color and brush work from the moment I first saw her work online. I would leave comments on her blog and she would leave some on mine. And after Tim left she would continue to reach out to me and leave messages of encouragement and support and one day we got to chatting via email.

What transpired has been the gift of a friendship I will treasure forever. There are a lot of kind people in this world and Brenda is among the kindest.

I found the reference for this painting online at her site. I'd never seen it before and was immediately drawn to it. I had planned to paint her creating her wonderful work on the shores of her favorite vacation spot, but when I saw this I knew I'd found the perfect photo.

An interesting thing happened on the way to painting this. When I pinched the shot and opened it to print it out for reference, the resolution was so low that the blown up version pixelated and broke up. I was a tad vexed as I have always wanted clear, in-focus reference to work from but when I began painting I was forced to work much more loosely than I usually do. Her blouse is smooth due to the material but up close her face is a much looser.

I think I'll reduce the resolution of my next reference and then blow it up! Looks like Bren might have helped solve my career-long desire for a more painterly quality to my work!

Thank you so much Brenda for being my friend. You are, without doubt an inspiration and one of the kindest, most generous people I have ever met!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Tim at his desk. Circa 1995 

I sat one cubicle away. We were graphic designers in the marketing department of the local newspaper. The headphones saved our sanity. We were able to get lost in music while toiling away each day. The job was difficult and fast paced, the managers hot tempered and oppressive, but we had a ball. Not complaining...yes you are...okay maybe a little...but that said, it was a great job, we both learned so much and were lucky to have it...and each other.

Being there with him, having the emotional support of your very best friend in the world who wasn't the least bit shy about telling you when he thought you were wrong and could calm you down when your emotions or ego got the best of you. We were together twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and never wanted it to end.  I so miss those days.

Today, October 1st, is Timothy Francis Berry's 47th birthday! If someone had told me he wouldn't be here to share it with me I would have laughed in their face. And rightly so. Because he is here to share it with me. I just can't see him. But I'm getting used to that.

I found this somewhere. It was written by Bob Marley. I thought it perfectly described this incredible man. That he came into my life and loves me is the greatest gift I have ever received and I will be eternally grateful for it and him. And since he has made it clear that he's more than a tad uncomfortable with me doing yet another portrait of him, I thought his b-day was the perfect occasion to share what I believe conveys exactly what he means to me now and forever.

It took me a while, but I have finally come to realize, that death is no match for the bond we share.


Wednesday, September 24, 2014


8x10" oil on canvas

 Okay, don't laugh. Yes, it's a landscape...of sorts. This puppy has been on the easel since I finished Laura 3! The reference, from, was taken by...still searching for the name...when I find it I will be sure to give credit where credit is due...I hope!

Anyway, looks like I just can't up and decide to dive into painting a landscape! Each and every time I sat down to work on this I just felt so overwhelmed. Not sure whether is was feeling inadequate or just not feelin' like working but there it is. It's been well over a month! I had so planned to post at least 3 times since then. It's sloppy and not very good but at least I tried. I had planned to go back and make nice, but I'm callin it. I'm done. Landscape attempt officially ticked off the list. I think. And of course, I never stopped to consider a smoother surface would have helped...just grabbed a dry canvas in stock that was already painted black. Putz!

Our friend Laura is coming over for a photo session and I'm even considering props and hopefully soon I'll get back to some sort of structure and perhaps even some consistency in working and posting. We'll see! I have to have a plan or there's just one broken promise after another, but the good news is that I'm giving little Suz a break and not being so hard on her. All things considered, I think she's doing pretty well given the circumstances. I finally realized that she needs my constant support not my constant criticism and like Tim "said", even if you decide to laze in front of the flat screen with a bag of something unhealthy, embrace and enjoy that decision to the fullest. It's the depression that follows that feeds that negative vibration.

Had an old college bud from FIT stay for a bit. She put me in touch with how much I really need to get back into living and doing. I thought I was doing fine in that department, however a deep desire to cocoon in the house with my all my toys and the boys was made very apparent during her stay. That's fine though. I'll get out more and do more but my fear of having to become a social butterfly (clearly not me or Tim for that matter) was lovingly quelled by "hearing" that he doesn't care if I'm alone in the middle of the Sahara Desert, as long as I'm happy and enjoying it. Whew! Thanks dude!

Tim continues to surprise and delight with his presence and little synchronicities and coincidences. There are times that I have gotten so in tune with him that I wonder why I can't see him. I'm finally meditating on a somewhat daily basis and it's really helping me feel more centered and calm. And someone...wonder who?... stroked my finger three times the other day while I sat!!! Hello!!! I am so grateful for this connection and grateful that I'm so open to it. I cannot imagine what life would be like if I wasn't.

Cannot accept it's September, which, as much as I'd hoped has done nothing to make it still July. Time marches on does it not? Happy fall and thank you so much for stopping by. It means the world to me.

Friday, August 8, 2014


30x30" oil on heavyweight canvas
Private Collection

Still working! Feels good! I'm so grateful!

This is our friend Laura who you may remember I was working on when Tim was still here in his earth suit. As a matter of fact I had asked him to take the camera to work and shoot a series of shots featuring her, so it became a chance to feel close to him knowing he saw this through the lens while I worked on it. The painting below was a work in progress when IT happened so I had no desire to return to it, however last week I so felt like doing a large portrait that I went snooping in the folder and found this pose, which was also included in that aforementioned WIP below.

I remember when I was working on this one to the left that I had chosen the pose above to anchor the composition however it gave me a lot of trouble so I abandoned it planning to return to it at a later date.

For some reason when I found the reference shot last week I was really drawn to the fact that her hair was covering her eyes and the pose conveyed an air of mystery. I had a wonderful time working on it all week. That old feeling is back thank goodness. Having something in progress on the easel that beckons each day. It feels a bit like having a good friend waiting, one that you might argue with from time to time when things don't work out, but you're still anxious to see again when you wake up.

Laura hasn't seen this yet. I dunno, I guess I just want to post it as a painting of a person and not put any pressure on myself for her to like it before I do. As I've mentioned before here, she has become a close and trusted friend and has been playing guitar so we jam every now and then, which is so much fun.

I've been listening to the stuff Tim and I recorded and it's been such a gift. There's over 300 sessions, some over an hour each, packed with us talking about what we'd like to accomplish, trying out different drum patterns on "Skippy" the drum machine, a few examples of impatience on both our parts. We were always nervous, even with each other and now, looking back as I listen, for two people with meager skills we hit some pretty nice moments. Sharing that kind of spontaneous creativity united us on a completely different level in such a deeply emotional way, I'm so so fortunate to have this collection to snuggle up with. And of course hearing his voice, his laughter really feels incredible. Sometimes his presence is so strong, it feels as though he never left. I treasure those moments.

I'm doing well actually. I got the distinct impression it's time to get back out into the world, do things, enjoy myself. In my last session with medium Patrick Matthews, Tim admonished me for biding my time and being in such a rush to get there. I'm like a kid waiting for Christmas. I don't wanna do anything to piss Santa off. When I leave I want to jump right into his waiting arms so it's definitely time to start living again.

The garden that was planted in his honor the year he left is doing so well. Everything is growing beautifully. I sit there each day and have a chat with him. It's so peaceful, I feel his presence so strongly that I wanted to thank him. When this arrived I was thrilled to place it right near where I sit. Unfortunately the boys have christened it a few times but I'm sure he doesn't mind.

Anyway, since I'm all pumped up to work, now I'm faced with the task of taking shots of complete strangers to bulk up my reference library. If anyone wants to donate some reference shots I would appreciate it so much. I really feel like painting portraits but not traditional portrait poses so enjoy and have at it if you've a mind to send. And there's no pressure to buy whatsoever at all. There's a different feeling of a relaxed, non-critical atmosphere in the studio lately. I think there's been a slight shift in perception on my part and it seems I'm not taking it all too seriously.

Thanks so much for dropping by. I hope the summer is going well, although it does seem to be speeding by doesn't it?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


16x20" oil on heavyweight canvas
Private Collection

Wow! I worked! I'm fortunate to have had a donation piece to finish, not really sure I would have ventured back into the studio had that not been the case. Still have a few things to fix, they never seem to be noticeable until I snap the painting for posting etc., but it's a good way to see it from a different point of view.

This was done on Blick's heavyweight canvas and I just love the finish it gives the paint. I decided to just keep working and see what happens. I have begun to meditate and sage the studio before I go in to remove any negative energy I have stored up in there. I set the intent to enjoy painting and be grateful for the ability to do so and to stop acting like a spoiled little brat, folding my arms, stomping my feet, demanding things go the way I wanted. I think I needed to do that for a bit, get it out of my system and take responsibility for how I felt and behaved, so in retrospect, the "intermission", if indeed it is over was/is a good thing. And it's just lovely to feel like painting again. Really lovely. is everyone doing? Hope your summers are going well. Still in a tiny bit of a funk here, but feeling much, much better. For a while there I became a right slug. Seriously! I even imagined myself leaving one of those little mucus trails as I dragged my slimy tubular bum from one room to another, heavy sighing all the way.

That's a tad graphic.

I read. A lot. It's astounding how many books are available on how to raise one's consciousness...and I believe I have the bulk of them on my iPad! How handy is that little critter? All those books and magazines, at my fingertips, any time I want! Sometimes I feel as though I'm in an episode of Star Trek! Beam me up Tim!

It so funny. Back in the day...say the 60's... when future from the book "1984" seemed so threatening, we imagined by 2014 we'd be gliding through the skies in our jet propelled rides. It's so much more subtler than that. It's all in electronics...soon, it seems, we really will be able to beam ourselves up. I remember when it felt like cheating for the kids to use calculators in math class!

Anyway, back to being a slug and what that was like. It sucked. Feeling better really IS my responsibility, damnit! I've been preaching that fact for the last two years, now I think I've finally accepted it. And so I'm doing things that make me feel good. Simple. And it works!

I'm swimming in books on the afterlife, mediums and the metaphysical. One book.."The Conscious Universe, The Scientific Truth of Psychic Phenomena" by Dean I. Radin Ph.D, states that much like denying the possibility that the earth actually traveled around the sun back in the day, the scientific community ain't havin' any of this psychic stuff. Despite proof, consistency and not being able to explain away the unexplainable,  no one wants to own up to the fact that everything is very, very, very far from what it seems or what we have come to believe. Fascinating stuff!

So, I'm feeling much better, plan to work more consistently and again, I so appreciate your concern and caring. Time to fully embrace Tim's constant presence and be grateful for all I have on a more consistent basis and to be happy!

I promised.

Hope to be posting again real soon. Thank you for stopping by!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

5x7" oil on linen


Okay, I'll be brutally honest. I have hit the proverbial wall! Smacked face first right into that sucker! BAM!!!! 
Haven't got a clue what's going on and oddly enough don't even care! Figuring out why I do things that aren't, on the surface, good for me has never ever aided me in stopping them so why take the time to bathe the ego is all that focus and attention? That's exactly what it wants.

I can't stand the painting I posted and have had it languishing in limbo for the last 3 days, opening up my blog list to look at it from time to time, hoping that I'll see it and not feel repulsed. I can't believe I had the arrogance to reach out to a few artists I admire and try to wrestle them from their "intermission" with all sorts of advice, none of which is helping me now. Forgive my hubris in thinking that I had the answers. Clearly I don't and never will. And I think realizing that is a good thing. Plus, let's face it, poking my nose into someone elses' bidness is a stellar way to stay out of my own. A "let me reach out and fix the world while my own is crumbling around me" type deal.
I'm not really miserable. Missing my best bud has reached epic proportions and surpassed anything I would have expected a year ago but he's here and I'm embracing that. It takes some getting used to I can tell you. I'd be foolish to ignore all the signs and visits but sometimes, as I've often said here, I do and feel genuinely sorry for myself. However I think experiencing that, owning that and releasing that is exactly what I'm supposed to do. Suppressing any emotion will guarantee a pimple popping up somewhere or worse so I'm fairly honest with myself, at least in that respect.

The path I study says that everything in this world is neutral and that I give it all the meaning it has for me and I think I'm beginning to be able to step back and see that...finally. I'm choosing what I feel. No one else is in there, who else could it be? Repeating myself again however I can't say often enough that if my joy and serenity depends upon what's going on outside of me, I'm just asking for trouble. If I've learned anything I've learned that change is the only thing we can depend on in this world and if we dig our heels in to try and prevent it, well basically, we're buggered. That last word is clearly a euphemism for the one I'd like to use.

So here I am. I'll call it an intermission. Today, The Daily Flame or Inner Pilot Light, which is uncannily always tuned into my madness asked....Why are you in such a hurry? Don't you realize that sometimes the best course of action is waiting and becoming? There's a reason they call it intermission. It ain't about the popcorn! Patience precious!

I hope that wasn't a no-no. Repeating a portion of today's message. Brenda turned me onto it and it's wonderful. Seems like every day it's exactly what I need to hear. Or read. It's from Dr. Lissa Rankin and her site is a very uplifting collection of love and health.

So again here I am. I think I'm turning a corner on a journey that began with Tim's anniversary painting. Rendering is no longer satisfying and I'm thinking of just choosing a simple subject and committing to a quick study a day and see what happens. I do have another donation painting to finish so as least I'll be forced to work.

I'm good though. Really, not frontin' one bit. I'm blessed in so many ways. Yeah, Tim had to leave early but he's with me always, and what a gift that we even met!! That kind of love doesn't happen all the time and it's eternal! The one thing we all want is to love and be loved, valued and cherished by someone we respect, admire and treasure. And the Universe hooked me up...big time! I can be patient. I'll see him again. Meanwhile...I'll just do my best to do what's best. 
Thank you so much for dropping by. Your comments and caring, as I've said over and over, mean more than you will ever know!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014


Asparagus (detail)

Well, at least I'm back to work! Last Saturday I was puttering about the kitchen and suddenly felt the urge to paint! Just like that! So weird. Before that I couldn't even consider going in there, actually thought for a bit that I would take a break just to see what happened. I'm glad it's back....whatever it is. Muse, Springtime, healthy eating, more wine...whatever...I'm just happy to feel that yearning again.

But it wasn't a bad thing this time...not wanting to work. I figure that these lapses happen for a reason so I did what Eckhart Tolle suggested and embraced it. Didn't fret or complain. At least I don't think so. Took a while to feel comfortable again though. I figured I'd jump back on the Sparrow's Ass...Berry speak for asparagus... and I'm glad I did. 

It's like a giant puzzle, painting the pieces, trying to make them fit. Warm highlight, cool shadows, step back and it works! Sometimes. This is definitely the kind of piece that can become like a meditation. Just keep going because it's endless. I thought I was almost finished when I last worked on it but I found that certainly was not the case. I'm enjoying myself and have stopped trying to paint like someone else. Thank you for the support, I appreciate it so much. If the painterly quality is there, it will come out. I'm tired of not being grateful for what I can do. It's a silly waste of time...she said knowing she'll never be satisfied.

and now for the....


It was April 6th, a Sunday afternoon. As I've previously shared, I sometimes allow weekends for me to suck and so, not surprisingly, I found myself giving in and preparing to attend another pity party. It'd been a while since I'd heard from him...well maybe three weeks or so...and those feelings of being disconnected were collecting on my horizon, so I quietly asked him for a visit and made every attempt to cancel my planned attendance to the "woe is me" shindig.

The next morning I woke up and found an email from a dear friend featuring a snap of an absolutely fantastic, all-type design of the song title "You Are My Sunshine".  A friend of hers had created the design and she wanted to share it with me because she thought it was so well done. This song title shows up very often for me in one form or another since Tim left, so seeing the artwork sparked a giggle and some relief because, and I know Tim won't be pleased that I'm sharing this, we used to sing that song to each other constantly. Sorry honey, sappy and very uncool, but happily, very true.

Being intrinsically self-centered and in need of a sign, I decided it was his way of letting me know he was near using my dear friend as a conduit. Yeah, I know. This really smacks of thinking everything is about moi, however in this instance, I'm gifting myself a rather hefty pass. Later I thought it might be a bit of a stretch, however, I decided that since Tim told both notable mediums to tell me that whenever I think it's him, that it is him, why not embrace it and be happy.

Later that day, still nursing the need to climb into the pot, pity that is, I went upstairs early to get lost in television again. I channel surfed for a few and landed on a documentary that I'd seen before, and really enjoyed, detailing one of the historic dives to the wreck of the Titanic. As I settled in to watch I began paging through a magazine on my lap and casually glanced up at the screen. It took a moment to register but I recognized a very familiar form, did a double take and looked again, thinking I was surely seeing things!

For a few seconds I wondered why the screen saver snaps of Tim were there but I realized I'd never seen this photo of him and then it dawned on me that it wasn't my snaps but the documentary I'd just decided to watch! I stared at the screen in disbelief and grabbed my iPad and began pausing and snapping until the scene changed. In the snaps shown above the two men are discussing the blue prints of the wreck and the man on the right, in the red shirt with the pony tail, is the spitting image of Timothy Francis Berry as he looked from behind!!!

I couldn't believe it! I was elated! I kept rewinding to that portion and re-watching, blinking my eyes in total disbelief at what I saw. I decided to send one of the snaps to a few friends and some family to see if I might possibly be, again, loosing my stuff. One friend called me as soon as he saw it and before I even said hello he asked, rather put out...'when was Tim in a documentary about the Titanic and why didn't you mention it before now???'

I received other very positive responses of disbelief from close friends and family. And even though I've shared more than a few photos of Tim here, I certainly don't expect anyone who didn't know him personally to recognize the uncanny resemblance, however I had to share this stunning "coincidence" with you! I'm embracing this even if it is an incredible coincidence. The strange thing is that from the front this dude looks nothing like Tim, but from behind, every detail is him!! He even owned a shirt identical to the one he's wearing! And again, right after I asked him for a visit or a sign!

I know I've mentioned that I wanted to begin keeping these visits and messages to myself, I don't want to appear desperate or a little loopy, however this one was just too incredible not to share and besides, it's show and tell proof! Proof that I either saw a man on television that from behind looked exactly like Tim, which is just fine with me or he's sending me support and love using the television again!

He loves to do that!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

BAILEY and some confusion

16x20" oil on canvas

Well, that happened! The question is what happened? And, I'm still not sure that it's finished happening! After completing Tim's anniversary portrait I thought it would be the beginning of a new direction in painting for me.  It did turn out to be a beginning but I'm still not aware of what!

It wasn't a case of the Dread Mahockiss—the name I've given to that period of time when a creative has little or no desire or seeming ability to create—it was more of an "I really don't give a crap!" if I paint period and I'm not really sure it's over. 

This portrait was not easy to complete but it is a donation piece and had to be done. I'd go into the studio, sure I was just being lazy or distracted, but as I sat there, brush in hand, I felt like I was sitting down to watch grass grow. Usually there's an air of excitement, and anxiety to be sure, but a feeling somewhere that something cool might grow out of the blank canvas. But...nope! Nuthin! Not for almost 2 months..well more like a month and a half. I embellish for effect.

I'm sure it's got everything to do with another stage of grief. I've been doing a lot of reading and listening and reading and watching. The missing him has reached Biblical proportions and I can see now that as time goes on it will most likely get worse. There have been some incredible signs and messages not the least of which was his 6 year old niece offhandedly explaining to her mother how Uncle Tim and his dog Devlin come to visit her sometimes.

Still, I sit. I stare. I get up and move from window to window. I imagine him pulling into the drive, running out into the garage to meet him. That first hug that would last for minutes as we sunk into each other and all the cares of the day melted away. Home at last. A glass of wine, discussing the day, playing with the boys. I'd give anything to be able to sit across from him at the dining room table and have one of our epic conversations about nothing. Or I'd sous chef while he prepared one of his gourmet meals out of left overs.

It could also be that I'm terrified I won't be able to duplicate the loose painterly quality of Tim's anniversary study. I did sit down not long after completing it and was bitterly disappointed when the same old tight, get as close as you can to what you see, outcome became apparent. Typical. It dawns on me that I might have to work at it.

Anyway, who knows. This too shall pass. I have to make that choice and for a bit I guess I needed to wallow. I appreciate the emails of concern. I'm here and I'll keep sitting down to paint until the excitement returns. 

Tim assures me that it will.

Friday, February 21, 2014


"Tim in the Light"
8x8" oil on linen

I found the reference photo for this while going through those huge bags of old mail I've been whining about lately. I'd forgotten all about it. I was thrilled to see it. Planned another big portrait, another week or two of "time in the studio with Tim"...sounds like a PBS instruction show...however, apparently he was not havin it. I got the distinct impression that another large portrait wouldn't be a good idea. I "heard" the word obsessive and he doesn't want that, so I compromised and did a quick study which I'm very happy with.

Keeping in mind his opinion that I "overwork" my paintings, I decided I would follow his line of thought while working on this. "Don't linger over a specific area!; don't paint a continuous color anywhere, break it up!; that area is DONE! do not touch it!; Dash in the color!"

I think he's so pleased with himself right now. I can just hear him..."See!! I told you!"

The anniversary proper is February 23rd, however I "feel" as if the 3rd Thursday in February should be it. It just seems so impossible that one can go to sleep and just leave like that! But still, I understand now that it was his time and I am so very grateful he left with us snuggled lovingly around him.

Oddly enough my resident geek and good friend Jon came over yesterday...the 3rd Thursday in February...and asked if I was ready to read Tim's "vanity" page, which he has been holding for the last two years. Vanity page...a term, from the paper the three of us worked for, defining a page that appeared in the paper that is then subsequently printed out on glossy stock for framing. In this case the vanity page is his obituary.

It was surreal seeing our names with those words surrounding them. "Wife found him dead." "Died in his sleep." They can't possibly mean us! But, I must be getting better. I read it and was able to distance myself from feeling left behind, abandoned.

Not gonna front though. I dove headlong into the pity pot for a nice extended stay earlier this week and haven't come up for air yet, but it is getting tired. And he's done so very much to keep in touch, it's just mind boggling. I won't go in to detail as I feel uncomfortable sharing it all now for some reason. It's basically for me so I'll know he's with me. I feel as I share every detail, I'm just trying to convince everyone of what I know to be a fact. Suffice it so say he's left little room for doubt...and yet, I still do, but that's normal.

Even feeling adrift in between signs and messages and needing that constant contact was addressed. My dear friend Carolyn, who suffered the same sudden and tragic loss this past August, shared the title of a book written by George Anderson that she's been reading. I read it years ago but thought it would mean so much more now. (gee...ya think?) I bought it on Kindle and the first passage I read explained that we are meant to go on as the unique individuals we are and constant contact would prohibit that. They make contact when it's time and going on doesn't mean leaving behind so, aside from the anniversary dreads, I'm pretty much good to go. As long as he checks in now and again...often.

And as for feeling awful, that's part of healing as well. Sometimes ya just gotta meet yourself where you are. And sometimes ya just gotta sit there and keep yourself company.

Thank you so much for dropping by, for the support and caring and for your friendship.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014


16x16" oil on heavyweight canvas


Meet Beauford! Excellent name. And I just love his crooked toofus! I must admit I had a bit of trouble with this one. I think I might need a break. I don't have the dreads, just doing a lot of heavy sighing. Guess it's the anniversary coming up.

I am amazed by the amount of snow we've been getting and are scheduled to get again tonight and tomorrow. Depending upon where the line is we'll either get rain and snow or just snow. I'm done and I don't even have to drive in it. Although the morning after the other day, it was gorgeous out. Just mounds of the stuff stuck to branches and trees. Beautiful! Winter wonderland time. Except for the shoveling. Luckily I have that covered but after he left the big plows came out in force and BAM! Just like that, 4 feet of big chunks of half frozen slush and snow across the drive! Oh well.

Tim has been very busy this past week! I'm so fortunate, but still, there is nothin like the real thing and I miss that more than I can put into words. Sometimes I feel normal, I know he's fine and with us but sometimes...well you know.

I hope everyone is doing well. Thanks so much for dropping by. 

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

THE far

The Girls (WIP)
36x36" oil on canvas

This is the portrait I've been whining about having trouble with for the last year or so. I've come close but still no stogie. But no worries girls, I'll get there, I promise. I knew both of these young ladies before they made their respective entrances into this world, which is mostly likely the reason there is this, shall we say, rather mature looking, older woman staring back at me each morning from our bathroom mirror. Who is she??

Anyway, a dear friend and guardian angel used to live next door years back and these are her two beautiful girls, ahem....excuse me...three beautiful girls. You may remember Chloe...the one with the fur coat, from a portrait I did of her last year. I can see she needs some work as well...her right leg seems to be growing out of her neck!

I keep going back and trying to capture them and I will at some point. I think it's good for me to not give up. I used to. Such a brat! Not going my way? Fine, I'm done! I had started another portrait of these beautiful girls when they were much younger. Got halfway through and called it quits telling their mother it wasn't working. Years later I stumbled upon it and was really happy with it so, clearly, putting a painting away to marinate is a good idea. This particular one has been in the sauce way to long though.

I'm still recovering from my 30/30 Challenge attempt. Haven't been back in the studio since. Going in tomorrow. I'm ready. The store room is tidy, there are bags of things to donate and I have 3 (of 6) huge construction garbage bags of mail to sort and shred so things are moving along. Tim is hysterically laughing right now. He witnessed me move those bags from garage to closet to garage to store room to garage and back to closet and store room, again! I found some statements and mail from the eighties! He wasn't a fan of sorting and shredding. I can see why. You can be sure however, that there is a standard operating procedure set up in the office for dispatching any incoming mail to it's proper destination! Shredder at the ready! Heavy sigh.

There is so much I want to say about Tim and the reading I had with medium Patrick Matthews but I fear it all sounds too outrageous to be believed. I'm the one who used to try and sell the metaphysical to Tim! Now he knows it's real and I'm balking! I hate when that happens!

I will say that I've been also whining about him not coming through to me in my dreams or me not remembering if he did. Well after the phone session began and Patrick said Tim was too excited to begin to allow him to quiet his mind, the first message he gave me was...

"He's heard you and he's working on a way to come through to you in dreams so you'll remember!"

Well yesterday morning around 4AM I woke up and for a bit couldn't get back to sleep. However when I did and woke up a few hours later it was to the very incredible and vivid memory of the most wonderful visit and tender kiss from my best friend in the world. We spent some time together and it's fuzzy now but it was just what I needed. And since then everything looks different, better somehow. I'm sure in a few days I'll be whining about needing more signs, more visits, but I'll try not to. He's probably exhausted.

I never expected this to be part of my mourning process. I would swear to the reality of it all if it were someone else all of this was happening to, but when it's you there's a hesitancy and the fear of being thought of as the poor widow who's lost her stuff if you know what I mean. I'm just going to continue to remain positive and grateful for even having met this man, let alone being his best friend and wife for twenty years. The rest, I'll leave up to him.

Thanks for stopping by and thank you too for the support and kind words on my Challenge attempt.

Monday, January 13, 2014


11x14" pencil on bristol board

It was this past Friday. I had just realized that the painting I had planned to post and had been working on for the previous 3 days, still needed at least 3 more days work. I had nothing in progress and had just painted newly arrived canvases black.

I began to panic and decided to do a floating face so I wouldn't miss a day. In the midst of that drawing, which is above and still not completed, I began to feel very uneasy because it wasn't going fast enough or looking like anything I would want to post.

It was then I realized that a semi-permanent knot had taken up residence in the pit of my stomach and that I was waking up each morning panicked, wondering what I could find to paint, wondering if the painting I did work on the day before was dry enough and would I be able to finish it in time, would it be good enough, and on and on and on.

I wasn't painting in the spirit of the challenge. I was painting to have my ego stroked and I was not enjoying myself, at all. I went online and instead of checking the posts for that day, I read Leslie's blog entry. Her words jumped out at me! She basically said that painting for 30 days isn't about creating 30 masterpieces...

I realized I was getting depressed and anxious, the studio began to resemble a detention room and I had lost any desire to create. Clearly, this wasn't the point of the challenge and I needed to step back and rethink my approach. I gave myself a few days to think about it and came to the conclusion that I would tap out and get back to my normal schedule of painting a few hours a day on an ongoing piece at my leisure.

I guess I felt guilty because the next day I decided to clean out the store room...a job I've been putting off for the last two years. Two problems were immediately realized...I'm a packrat and I have far too much inventory to keep. A sale of my work is being planned as we speak, so if you're interested, feel free to check here in the coming days and weeks.

I feel much better and relieved. I apologize for not completing the 30 days and thank everyone for their support and encouragement.

On top of that, I had an hour telephone reading by medium Patrick Matthews this past Wednesday and my feet still haven't touched the ground. Tim validated the movie scene I wrote about a few weeks ago and mentioned everything I had asked him to the day of the reading. I'm still trying to process it all but with the anniversary coming up I thought it best to find some peace and I certainly wasn't finding it in my manic approach to the challenge.

So, I tried. It didn't work. Maybe I'll experiment with some quick studies and see how that goes and try again next time. Thanks again and I so hope I haven't disappointed. I'm realizing that I'm not failing anymore, I'm just finding out what doesn't work for me and I feel really good about that.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


"Second Seating"
6x6" oil on canvas
Painting Nine


Eggs and floating faces will clearly be my fall back positions, but at least I'm actually painting, right? The Challenge honeymoon is over my friends. I wanna tap out. But I won't. I promised himself I would complete this and I will. (who said that?)

 Seriously, what was I thinking? Although I must admit, this is the part that I love. Posting yet another finished painting and then planning my next two. I still can't believe I'm actually doing this! Thank you again for your support!
You can view all of the Challenge submissions at

Wednesday, January 8, 2014


"How Many Days Left???"
10x10 oil on linen $75
Painting Eight


Okay, I'll admit it. All I felt like doing today was curling up with the remote. But as much as I dreaded getting started, I felt relieved and relaxed once I got going. I have two that I began yesterday but even after working on them today, I can see they're going to need some more time to marinate so I did a floating face instead.

Her expression describes my emotions today regarding the challenge at this point. I want to remain optimistic and excited but coming up with new and different subject matter is a challenge....oh.... yeah, I get it now...that's why it's called a challenge!

Thanks for stopping by! Off to tidy, relax and enjoy some wine and chat with himself.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014


"Cooling Down"
8x8" oil on canvas
Painting Seven  $125


I thought just now while finishing this up that it was done on the wrong surface and for sure the kind of detail I wanted to achieve would have been best done on linen, however I like the soft gauzy feeling the canvas gives it. There were some pretty interesting water droplets on left top side of the bowl but with the course canvas it just was not workin. So I called it and I'm somewhat pleased. I would like to try it on linen though, those water droplets looked like they'd be fun to paint.

Day seven in the can! I haven't painted this much or this consistently since my first shaky days in DP! And I have the nervous stomach to prove it.

Off to begin the next two! Thank you so much for dropping by.

Monday, January 6, 2014


"Red Velvet Cup Cakes"
8x8" oil on canvas
Painting Six

Day six! If nothing else this is an excellent exercise for observing the ego...doing business as..The Voice. Nothing seemed to be working on the painting I wanted to finish today and there was much gnashing of teeth and a fair amount of sulking. Seeing that it would need at least another day of work I switched to this one which I had also begun painting yesterday.

Apparently all is well. The sulking seems to have abated and I could swear I heard some whistling a minute ago.

Leslie's advice for keeping the rhythm going is working flawlessly. Even if I don't feel like beginning another painting, knowing that I just need to splash in the basics helps me to keep going. Did I mention I was enjoying this?

Hopefully the illustrations will be done tomorrow and I'll be able to focus on the challenge all afternoon and my other work in the morning.

Thanks for stopping by!

Sunday, January 5, 2014


20x20" oil on linen $175
Painting Five


Day five and I'm lookin' forward to the end of the month! Not losing interest, just miss sitting around wondering if I should paint. And still need to finish that freelance job, she said with a heavy sigh. Not complaining, (yes you are) but I just wanna focus on the challenge.  Hopefully I'll be able to wrap my end up early this week.

The contrast of thinking that I'm working a lot and actually working a lot is startling. I'm not sure I will keep this pace up after the challenge concludes (golly Suz, really?) but I was thinking maybe taking a month off, catch up on commissions and donations and then doing it again. Big talk for being just five days in, although I do feel reinvigorated and very enthusiastic...right now.

But I can see now that all of this work is keeping me miles from the pity pot. Berry is always right.

I love painting insects on a white canvas. Tidying it up with white paint when I'm done is crucial because not only do the smudges disappear but I can control the shadows and wings by toning them down.

Thanks for stopping by. Off to start days six and seven! Can't believe I'm actually doing this! And I know Tim is as surprised as I am!

Saturday, January 4, 2014


6x6" oil on canvas
Painting 4

I wasn't going to post this. Not very pleased with it but that's not the point of the challenge. I also think it's good for me to post a painting that I'm not that proud of.

I usually thank everyone and then pay a visit to the blogs, but I'm swamped with a free lance job so I'll have to convey a very hearty thank you for your incredibly generous comments here and promise to get around to seeing all of the challenge posts and my other favorites very soon.

Enjoy the weekend and thanks for stopping by.

Friday, January 3, 2014


"Baby Blu Berry"
8x8" oil on canvas $150
Painting Three

Okay, this is working! I splashed!! Tightened up to do the eye but this was done in about 2 hours! Had to force myself to call it though. So wanted to get into those details!

The love seat is under the picture they still call them that? the living room and since I put it there it has become the boys "go to" perch. They spend the day barking at leaves, people, white cars and trucks and the mailman! Seriously, what is the deal with dogs and the mailman? They go nuts. Feels familiar...repeating myself again. Anyway, then they run to the back door to be let out so they can "chase" whoever they were barking at.

The love seat is in shambles but they love looking out the window so much I don't have the heart to try and keep them off of it. Plus, they exhaust themselves all day and sleep soundly the minute their little heads hit my pillow! Yep! Still hanging my kiester off the side of the king size but hey, they're comfy.

Anyway, this challenge thing so far is the best thing that could have happened. I say "happened" because I see, each and every day that what we focus on becomes our reality. I kept saying I wanted to get back to dailies but never really thought about how. Even finding this challenge that Leslie is hosting was through a new friend I've just made through a comment she left on my blog. And here I am, doing dailies and really enjoying myself! Repeating...again!

I love beginning on a black canvas. Unless I'm doing a bug, the white space seems so daunting and difficult to fill up for me. It becomes sort of like a scratch board exercise...picking the light out of the dark and mid tones just sort of happens. Plus it keeps me from working light to dark which never works out well, and yet I still insist on trying to make it.

I have so many great shots of the boys. I can see it now....eggs, pugs and fruit...fruit, eggs and pugs. I'm cool with that.

Tim worked some TV magic the other night. It's amazing, the man is Spirit and I'm still feeling insecure, in spite of all the signs, visits and validation from a world famous medium...ah yes,  those ever present abandonment issues (thanks mom). So, I'm thinking, it's almost been two years since I heard those magic words, what if he's found some blithe spirit to while away the hours with?

Turn on the tube, begin channel surfing, land on a movie some of my friends have been prompting me to see...Where Dreams May Come! It's been on for a few so I thought I'll check it out for a while. It's the scene where his wife...who by the way is an standing in front of her canvas in the middle of an ugly cry and he's standing so close, trying to make her feel and hear him and at that moment, he yells into her ear...."I LOVE YOU!!!" Happy tears followed. And lots of goose bumps! Another sign.

Coincidence? Perhaps. But not for me! Then the movie got weird. It's funny and tragic...seems humans cannot conceive of a place without conflict...not even heaven!

Off to get going on painting number 27 and thank you again and again for the lovely comments! It's wonderful to see all of the incredible work everyone is doing. 

Thursday, January 2, 2014


"Double Vision"
8x8" oil on canvas $125
Painting Two


Wow! Two in a row! I'm on a roll! Tim and I always used to say that we needed adult supervision to get things done on time and just look at me! Day two and I'm still on board! Adult supervision indeed!

This photographed a lot darker than it is but I guess it's okay. Not going out in the snow to snap another, this will have to do.

I can feel myself itching to splash paint on the canvas with abandon...however clearly that's not happening just yet. It will be interesting to see if I do get to that point as time goes by. I'm feeling like I have a lot to do, just got a free-lance illustration job (Tim's wheelhouse, not!) and there's commissions and donation work to do but it feels good to have my time consumed with projects, because believe me if there's a chance for me to put off know the rest.

I've been telling my friend Brenda that I've wanted to get back to smaller canvases and daily painting and BOO-YA!! The 30-day challenge appears! Be careful what you wish for.

Kidding. Actually I'm feeling really grown up right now. Up early, wrote my thank yous, took care of the peripherals and got into the studio by 10 AM! Off to get more canvases ready and add a layer to tomorrow's. That egg photo shoot I did last year is really coming in handy. I dearly love what goes on with the yolks, color wise, and painting the white googlies on top is for me like icing on a cake. I loves me some protein!

Thank you so much for the comments and support! How can I fail with such assistance? And there's so many great paintings being submitted! I need time to look at them all! And I'm meeting new colleagues in the process. This is a wonderful concept, I'm so glad to be a part of it! Been watching from the side lines, telling myself I'm not a joiner. Guess I was wrong.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

30 PAINTINGS IN 30 DAYS Leslie Saeta

"Frauds Among Us"
8x8" oil on canvas
Painting One


In an attempt to delete the buy now button I inadvertently deleted the whole post!! PUTZ!!!

Thank you so much for all these wonderful comments!! I cannot believe I just did that! Apologies!