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.


  1. My dear, sweet Suz and Gunkie,
    I have been wondering if you had been abducted by aliens or what. I was heavily thinking about you this AM, and here you are. I feel for you so deeply. I am glad you are at least partly back. Listen to Tim, and give everything time.
    That is very eerie about your niece!
    Love you always, my weird and wonderful Gunk!
    Kath XOXO

  2. PS - The dog is brilliant, whether you see it that way or not!

  3. Sweet Suz,
    We have been missing you,, and have been worried,,
    Bailey is so splendorious! Gosh-- every little piece of fur is perfect.
    We are sorry you have felt lost-
    I understand your words,,, what your saying,, and we are hugging you right now
    We love you
    tweedles and moms

  4. This is so beautiful and full of life, Suzanne.I have been missing you for last few weeks.Don't know what to say, I just wish and hope that you find peace,my friend.

  5. I love hearing that so many email you (as I was nearly going to do) and you still managed to do an amazing portrait! You can just feel his sweetness. Hugs and prayers.

  6. I love Bailey and I am betting whoever gets this painting is going to TREASURE it.

    I thought of you and Tim yesterday. I was in a restaurant and there was a couple 15 feet away from me. They liked each other's company..that was apparent. They kind of seemed like they might work together. Well, I loved how she held her hands up to her face while she listened to him. I decided to try to stealth photograph that, in case I wanted to sketch it later. Right then...when I took the photo they both looked directly at me and ....smiled! I felt sheepish. They had caught me...(but at the same time, they didn't seem in the least intruded upon. They were happy.
    They were "peas in a pod". And I tell you all this --because I thought to myself, "Tim and Suz".

  7. When a heart smiles, confusion can do the wallowing. And when your heart catches up to the slow down, grief and creativity will find their base line.

  8. Bailey is beautiful, Suz. You did such an awesome job on her! I wish I had wise words on grieving but alas, I do not. The heart will do as the heart must do. To my mind, your way of painting is just exquisite and perfect. You paint as you paint and if you find a way to make yourself happy with your work, that is what matters. But never give it up for you have a gift that is to be shared. I am so glad Tim is always there with you.

  9. He is gorgeous Suz! And you are your own Artist, with your own style. Be proud of it!! Loose and painterly is nice but so is what you do - Everything you paint is masterful so remember that and embrace it. I am glad you have posted and this phase will pass... Hang in there. Big hugs xxx

  10. This is so lovely Suz. I have had you in my thoughts and wanted to stop by to say hi.
    This will all take time for you. You are a strong person and you are doing well so keep up the good work. I also feel that you do not have to change the way you paint. I hear that my work is tight too...but this is me...this is how I paint...this is what makes me happy...this is in my soul. I am not changing my soul. It is what it is. Just keep doing what your doing and be happy with you! Here if you need me. Hugs, Madison

  11. I can feel the softness of that white fur and that face.... He is glorious! Your style is what it is.....wonderful! Loves and hugs....

  12. Hey, chickie! I've just come out of a two month non-creative spell. I read, studied, absorbed all my art blogs and books, and emerged being fascinated and excited to begin encaustic. Like I need another medium. But I look forward to the Zen of scrape n fuse n scrape n fuse. We'll see how this influences my oils and pastels...they always crossover and compliment each other.

  13. So glad you are back! Yippee! I am smiling again! And isn't Bailey just the cat's meow!!!? Or is he the dogs bark! Whatever - he is so happily wonderful that he is making me smile too! Welcome back, dear Suz - you were sorely missed!

  14. I just love this! I'm not sure it could be done any better! It is lovely, really! Tim's portrait was wonderful too, but I agree...loose and painterly is only one way to do things. I love the tight, get as close as you can style too. Your work is magnificent. If only you could see what I do you'd be convinced. You are such a talented gal!

  15. The expression in Bailey is just enough to pull one through a funk. It just says "I'm there for you!" Your inner self and talent is coming out here seemingly without struggle....a beauty!

  16. Oh, he is so soft and beautiful. Suz, just keep going, Your work is brilliant.

    All the best to you,

  17. This dog portrait is truly beautiful. I have checked in from time to time wondering where you were. I'm sorry you are having a difficult time. They say time helps but I think it totally depends who you lose. Terrible to lose a parent but you lose your soul mate, I dread that day. Thinking of you.

  18. I love that you are so candid.
    Sometimes you just have to wallow.
    I can imagine that the grief never truly ends and I am rooting for you every step of the way.
    Your paintings are Beautiful.

  19. I'm so glad you're back, Suzanne! Unfortunately, I still don't have a sidebar with all of my blogger friends latest paintings, so I go on my favorites until I can figure it out.
    Bailey is painted SO beautifully!!!! AND I'm still mourning my Mom and Dad but I cannot imagine the devastation of losing a husband!! I wouldn't say that time will heal when I know its not the basically, doing what you do now is the only way to heal...Take care, friend.....know we are always thinking of you!!!!

  20. As all the comments agree, Bailey is beautiful. I love the fur as it contrasts with that expressive mouth and eyes. I see a continuation here; I see a painterly painter by the name of Suzanne Berry.

  21. Wow, this is SOOO beautiful!! I love the soft quality!!!


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