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!


  1. Beautiful! And a new method : ) Fresh and natural. Great work Suzanne!

  2. Wow!!! Susanne!! You painted Brenda so beautifully! LOVE, LOVE her jacket.. you can almost feel the silkiness of the material!! The way she's squinting because of the light hitting her face is perfect.!!! You did a great job on her hands!!!
    Okay!!! I love it all!!!

  3. What a great honor to have someone paint your portrait with admiration!
    Wonderful and meaningful tribute of friendship and camaraderie. Beautiful! I am sure you made her day, very moving....

  4. What were seeing is WOW,, WOW,, WOW..
    incredible.. wow wow,, wow... is what moms keep saying!
    perfect,,, looks like a photo-- wow wow..
    yes sweet Suz,, were loving what you and your magic paint brush have created!

  5. Such a great portrait, Suz! That shadow work is magnificent too!

  6. Beautiful and LOOSE portrait, Gunk!! That sounds like a great technique to encourage looser painting. :)
    the other Gunk

  7. Suz, I am honored by you. and the greatness of your talent and the bigness of your heart. you're the best friend I've never met! Love you,Bren

  8. I don't know Brenda but often enjoy her blog. That turquoise top and her hands are so exquisitely rendered.
    Actually, I've also had the same experience with a "bad" or perhaps a better adjective, incomplete, photographic reference. The incomplete reference seems to let my prior knowledge and experience fill in what's missing. And I seem to do it in a much more painterly and intuitive way.

  9. Soooo beautiful, Suzanne. And so obviously painted with an abundance of love and tenderness.

  10. Oh my gosh, what a beautiful painting! She must have got such a surprise when she saw it! And I do love the painterly look, it is stunning!
    I once read of an 'en plein air' painter, who used to smear his glasses with vaseline (petrolium jelly) before beginning to paint. He said it changed his view of 'too much detail' and changed it to large areas of tone and shape. His paintings were fantastic! I suppose that's why they say we should squint!

  11. Wow. You are an amazing painter Suzanne. What a beautiful portrait of a beautiful woman.

  12. What a beautiful and lively portrait, Suzanne.Sometimes its fun to lose some detail.I hope your friend loved this painting, its such a wonderful gesture.

  13. Wonderful color and sun filled light. It really conveys such an open and giving friendship. Perfect!

  14. a very beautiful painting...what luscious colors!

  15. We came back again! We love this !!
    And we love you!!
    Right this moment we are thinking of you!!
    your tweedles
    hi raz and blu

  16. This is incredible.... I love it! You never disappoint!

  17. Yet another gorgeous painting Suzanne - love it!

  18. Wow, Suzanne! This is wonderful. Great ideas for loosening up, too.

  19. Hi, Suz. I am thinking of you at this time of year and hope that all is well and that you are happy and are painting. May peace be with you and joy fill your heart and soul this Christmas and I hope that your New Year is filled with happiness, health and prosperity. I think of you often, my friend.

  20. A stunner - a fabulous STUNNER!
    Now I have to go and find out more about this wonderful sounding woman you painted with so much affection.

  21. Dear Suzanne. Thought i would drop by and wish you a Merry Christmas. It's been so long, my apologies. My blogging time is rare these days. Just thinking about you. Christmas can be a tad difficult for some as memories surface. It is still so for me even after 20 years or so. But we celebrate life with our art, friends and family. Your art is truly so beautiful and full of life. I am so glad to have come by and toured your amazing works once again. Merry Christmas Suzanne. May all be well in your world.

  22. Suzanne,
    Something reminded me of you the other day... funny how the internet works... you stumble across someone, get a glimpse into their life, then think of them as your friend.
    I've followed you for a long time and absolutely love your work. I hope you're able to post again soon. I'd love to see what you're working on.

  23. Another stunning piece. For the life of me, I don't know why you feel you want to change your painting's perfect exactly the way it is.


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