July 9, 1959 - March 23, 2015
Yesterday morning, the news I had been expecting but dreading arrived. My dear friend and budly, Brenda Ferguson made her transition after a long and difficult battle with cancer. It is so very hard for me to believe that this incredible person, so full of life and light has left this plane.
As I've explained many times here, Brenda reached out to me when I needed it the most and we became fast friends and email buds. We were into the same woo-woo metaphysics and spiritual paths and she would send me passages almost daily to help me through the sudden and unexpected loss of my husband in February 2012.
She was always spot on with what she sent and could lift my spirits in an instant with wise words and spiritual support from her super-sized kind and loving heart. We have never met face to face. She and a friend were going to come down to New York for a visit from her home in Maine last summer but unfortunately she had become to ill to make the trip.
The painting above is a detail shot of the second portrait I began of Brenda last year. I had finished the first one, created from a pixelated low-resolution reference which now, I'm incredibly happy to report, hangs in Bren's home. But later she had told me that there was a much beloved twinkle in one of her eyes that didn't appear in the low resolution snap, so she sent me a clearer, higher resolution version so that I could add it.
I was so struck by the difference in the two reference shots that I immediately began a new portrait, hoping to improve vastly on my first attempt. However, I became so engrossed in her features, wanting to get them just right...I don't think I did, but I will...that her face, head and hair just grew all out of proportion and I got stuck.
Wanting to finish it as soon as I could, I kept at it but just couldn't get to the place I'd envisioned and stopped. Now however, I think I'll begin yet another portrait, using the same reference but from a different place in my heart and I know, as we had discussed, that she will see it finished.
I first saw Bren's work on the Daily Painter's site and was immediately attracted to her bold use of color and freedom of brushstroke. Her paintings of pears are my favorite however I am the proud owner of a lovely collection of Ferguson originals, a few of which appear to the left, that I will treasure for the rest of my days.
Brenda's works and style are the perfect vehicle for daily painting. Each time she posted I was so drawn to her ability to catch a moment, a feeling with everyday objects, giving them so much character and life I felt they moved about on the surface of the board. I envied her spontaneous and lively brushstrokes and coveted her courage to splash in hues with such intensity that made every composition sing with life.
The painting below is my very favorite though. The expression on this gull's mug is priceless. Such attitude and presence, as if he's quietly studying something off in the distance, not sure whether or not to investigate and looking at bit put out by what he sees. I studied her treatment of his breast and body for quite some time when it arrived in the post. I love the palette, the composition, everything...it's just perfection!
And I think the title is so fitting. It's so what I envision Bren saying just before she left, with a smile and that twinkle in her eye...well guys...
I would like to extend my deepest sympathies to the Ferguson family and say with all my heart how sorry I am for your loss. I know her spirit will be with you always.
I love you my dear budly. Thank you so much for being my friend. I cannot wait to finally meet face to face.
Writing this through the tears. You made a beautiful tribute to someone who was obviously an amazing, warm and courageous woman, friend, mother and artist.ReplyDelete
Loved seeing her work. They gave me a sense of Brenda Ferguson, the artist!
I send warmest love and sympathy to you Suzanne on your loss.
Dear Suz!... Human life is really just like a Carousel ride - You get on... and at some point.. this wondrous machine we live in... can no longer carry us further.ReplyDelete
But along the way on this brief circle... there exist magnificent and magical moments and memories of riding... "side-by-each"... sharing the music... the beauty and spiritual connection... no matter how brief. They matter and remain etched indelibly in the heart.
When either we... or our cherished traveler are forced to leave the ride... there exists a tremendous void and longing to recapture the presence of the moment and the people we loved... and lost.
Your portrait most adequately replaces the physical loss of Brenda to "You"... and catches that sunny inward spirit which now soars in a place that ... "God only... knows"!
A moving tribute... which by the way Suz ... as well captures your own spiritual rebirth!
Happy Easter... and Spring Suz!
Hugs and Warm regards,
I'm so sorry to hear about your friend Brenda... this is a beautiful tribute to an amazing person and Artist.... I remember very clearly when you painted her last year .. You did a wonderful job on her outfit ..it looked so silky...ReplyDelete
I went to visit Brenda's blog and she did some very impressive paintings.
Again, I'm so sorry for your loss!!!!
I can remember many times when you spoke about your dear friend Brenda. In our heart we carried her--- along with you,,, and wished her well.
Your tribute is more than beautiful. And tonight,, we celebrate what she celebrate,, life.
We visited her blog and went back, back to a long time ago when she painted freely with no illness.
As we have said about you Suz, there is no other artist like you- we say the same about Brenda. We find it hard to leave her blog with the beautiful paintings,,
We found many to include in our "group of favorites".
We could feel what she painted,,, They are treasures left behind for all of us,,, to look at and try to capture that same joy she felt,,, in the tiniest of details.
The portrait you painted of Brenda is beautiful.
We know your heart is sad right now,, we understand,,, What a gift she was to so many,
And we love you Suz,,, and we know for sure how much she loved you.
Oh, Suzanne, I am so sorry for your loss. You have painted a beautiful portrait of Brenda....her physical form, and the friend she was.ReplyDelete
Virtual hugs sent your way!
This portrait is wonderful! I love your friend's paintings. So so sorry!ReplyDelete
I'm so very sorry to hear of your friend's passing. It sounds like you had much in common and she sounds like sometime that i would've connected with as well. I'm so glad she came into your life at a time when you needed her and that you got to share such a special friendship with her. The portrait is beautiful-of course i don't know what Brenda looked like but I'd guess you've managed to capture her essence perfectly. Her art work is gorgeous and i can see why you'd be so proud to have original pieces to treasure. xReplyDelete
Oh honey...I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your friend, Brenda. Her portrait is gorgeous and yes, her work is phenomenal. I wish I'd known of her blog/website because her work is one I would have followed always. Really beautiful.ReplyDelete
Suz, Please accept my condolences on the loss of your friend. I, too am trying to climb out of that dark place left by the loss of someone special. It has been seven months for me, and I am sometimes able to enjoy her memory and the beautiful friendship that we shared. I hope you to will journey to that place.ReplyDelete
We puny little humans often feel we don't matter and we don't reach people the way we want to - but this post is a clear sign that we in this blogging and online world do touch people deeply and create friendships that last long past our leaving...to friends who will never be gone from our hearts. Thank you, Suz, for sharing this lovely post about a dear woman and wonderful artist.ReplyDelete
Your beautiful portrait of Brenda jumped out at me when I was looking at the daily paintworks page this morning. Had no idea it was Brenda until I got yo your blog. I am so sorry that she died and that I did not even know she was sick. We used to email back and forth a bit too. She was such an encourager. Lucky you having some of her work. Your tribute is so wonderful!ReplyDelete
What a fine and fitting tribute to a wonderful artist and person. Great job on her portrait - her shining personality comes through. Our loss, in the art world and on earth.ReplyDelete
beautifully said and a beautiful portrait.ReplyDelete
Her last post praised the Hospice team.
Love to you Suzanne, in your continuing journey.
The same one we all are on.
I so grieve when I hear that an artist has passed. I think always about the learning curve they went through and the knowledge that slips away with them. Your portrait of her is simply beautiful and her work was infused with color that is stunning.ReplyDelete
Dear Suz, its always so sad and heartbreaking to lose someone dear.May peace with you and Brenda's family.This portrait is so gorgeous, so soft and delicate...she would have loved it, I am sure she would have.I do remember seeing the other portrait that you did in loose style and liked that as well.May be its her personality that leaps out of the painting, just beautiful.Hugs xReplyDelete
This is the loveliest tribute I have ever read. I'm sorry; I'm speechless...ReplyDelete
I popped in to see how you are doing Suze, and can't believe this news about Brenda! I didn't even know she had passed, I have always been an admirer of her work and told her so quite a few times. That is so sad. :(ReplyDelete
Thanks for honoring her with this post.