Monday, June 22, 2009

The journey begins...

It's funny how you arrive at art. It's a journey and not an easy one. Everyone thinks, oh, you just slap some paint down and you're done. No. It's work from beginning to end. And it starts with a blank, gessoed canvas. You sit, you look. And then you sit some more.
I went into the closet today to search for a gessoed canvas. Wow. Haven't seen this in over five years. I painted it at UCLA for an Honors Study class with Henry Hopkins back in the early 90's. Henry was a dear friend. He was the chairman of the art school at UCLA and the director of the Arm and Hammer Museum in LA as well as the former director of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. I loved that man. And I know he loved me. Why? Because I was so pissed off when I met him. I was dealing with smoking in my sculpture studio and I was livid. Absolutely f****** livid. He didn't help me. I went to the LA Times and they wrote a kick ass piece and the Regents of California got involved and banned smoking from all classrooms on UC campuses. No. I don't screw around. Ever. Henry and I became dear friends and I took numerous honors classes with him. This was one. I was concurrently taking "Great American Authors" and read about Ben Franklin. There was a woman in the book. I painted her for my honors class. The pearls are real. They're glued on. She's holding real gems in her hand. Henry said "Sue, I didn't see her like that." I didn't either initally. I got an A+. Not because Henry was my friend, because it was good. Henry knew art. He never screwed around about art. Never. He would never yank my chain. If it sucked, I'd know. He actually wanted me to become a photographer. I told him I didn't want to. He informed me I was missing my calling. Hummmmmmmmmm.

Pretty. Yes, I'm looking down into canvases I know so well.


It really is a journey.
Three gessoed canvasas waiting for me. Why didn't I gesso the sides?
Wow. I didn't finish that?
I thought I painted over that. Hummmmmmmmm. I grabbed it and hung it in Rob's old office. It looks lovely.
Yes, it's all begins with a white canvas. Trust me. I'd know.


just bob said...

Wow, what a great journey through a small part of your portfolio. Thanks for sharing it.

I start everyday with a blank canvas... then I get to work and some monkey throws a handful of dung on it. That pretty much ruins it.

Hopefully you don't have any dung throwing monkeys to deal with.

Joyful Jo said...

Hey Suze, I really like the painting of the roses. That is the one on your side bar. It looks good to see it in its entirety. I love the way the shutters have a dimensional look.
I also notice you like the color blue in your paintings.
I am a leo as well although i'm not the typical leo. I'm quiet and keep things to myself. I think i should have been a virgo.

Megan said...

So, do I go back and comment on every post, or do I do a round-up here and touch on everything, or do I just say that this one is really great?

This one is really great.

Megan said...

I just read it again. It's more than great. Thank you so much for sharing your work with us.

Suzanne said...

I think monkeys are good. Don't blame monkeys!

Thanks babe and you're welcome. But get ready, when I said I'd take you on this journey, I wasn't kidding.

Love you,

P.S. You've never sent your address. Are you in prison? If you are I can't allow Megan to marry you.

Suzanne said...


Hi honey. I often forget you're a Leo. You aren't a typical Leo. I think we're kind of obnoxious, but you aren't. How the heck did that happen???!!! Mark is SO lucky!

Blue. Tell me about it. I do have a thing about blue. It always shows up in my paintings. I also have a thing about pink. Oh, and about white. What? I also love green. I wear a lot of blue, pink, white and green. It's funny because blue is a "cool" color and pink is a "warm" color. I will admit I look terrific in both!!! Why? I have no clue.

And my darling, I will show you the painting in another post. I realize I never have. It sits above my head as I write this. It took a year to paint and is very special. I'll never sell it. Only prints are made. Thanks for your kind comment, it's beautiful. The painting is 3' x 5'. Nice and big! And you know what else, it's the painting that made me an artist. I didn't feel like one before that. I always doubted my ability even as canvases sold. Always. But I painted that and I new there was no turning back. A year is so long and to get from one end of a painting to another is a journey. When I got to the end, I knew I was an artist.


Suzanne said...


I love you darling. Thank you. I realize just writing about what I love most will guide me. Going through a divorce and menopause is killing me and I need to remember why I'm here and it's not for divorce or menopause. Thank you so much my darling friend for reminding me.

I love you very much.


Karen ^..^ said...

Beautiful. Breathtaking. If I've ever had an unsettled frustration in life, it is a yearning to make beautiful art. But I can barely make a stick figure without messing it up. I've always wanted to paint, draw, create.

Your work is amazing, and yes, very good.

Your canvas will turn out as beautiful as all the others you've worked on.

I'm glad you didn't paint over the Suzanne's Rose cottage. Good choice.

Suzanne said...


Thanks darling. I wish you had been the voice of reason before I painted over lots of other stuff! So many good painting now only exist in my mind or in a photo. Oh well. I'll show you some when I find the photos. ;)

Don't laugh, but I love coloring books. Have since I was a child. I haven't colored in years, so bought a coloring book a few months ago, but haven't used it because I can't find my crayons!!! Just writing that was funny. I'm still laughing. Buy a simple coloring book and practice drawing the images. It's amazing how talented people are and don't realize. Take something simple and don't overthink it. Don't use paint or anything complicated, just a good old #2 pencil or even a pen. Doodling is good and a wonderful way to relieve stress. And you may discover you have more talent than you think.

Thank you darling for giving me a good swift kick in the ass on the previous blog. It mattered so much. Really. I find I just get impatient and moody, want to delete my whole blog just like I delete paintings. Yikes. It's so selfish and it's time to stop yanking all my dear friend's chains.

So it's official. This is my ROYAL PROCLAMATION:

I Suzanne, do hereby agree to turn off the computer when I'm a kranky pants. (How do you spell kranky? Cranky? That looks right. I'm too lazy to look it up, so just go with the flow.) I will never again bitch or moan on my blog. I will never again threaten to leave. I will act my age and behave. That is my solemn vow. (Baby, I need a ring. You have the ring?)

Love you!
Sis XO

Mr. Shife said...

Thanks for sharing all of your lovely art. You are a talented lady. I hope the journey that you are beginning is wonderful and full of laughter, love, and joy.

Megan said...


Karen ^..^ said...

Here's the thing... I wasn't intending to kick you in the butt.

I think you SHOULD bitch and moan on your blog. It is what a blog is for. You've been through a lot lately, and need an outlet for that. If it isn't the blog, then it should be something. Painting, perhaps?

Deleting isn't the end of the world either. Sometimes I delete. I've let a lot out on my blog, and delete it when it doesn't help to have it up anymore.

I'm just saying that we should all write what we feel, and if we don't feel like writing, don't. It's supposed to be fun, and if you feel obligated to write, then it becomes a chore.

I love your blog, the good and the not so good. You post the most breathtakingly beautiful pictures, and your writing is real, humorous and very good.

Trust in the fact that a handful of folks you've never met before really do care about you and would never hurt or judge you. Its true, chickie poo.

Take care, and enjoy your painting. I do wish I could. I LOVE to color in coloring books, too. I'll try your suggestion. Maybe I'll start some colored pencil mandalas. That way it isn't too childish, even though i don't mind childish.

Karen ^..^ said...

Ok, holy crap. I didn't realize the timing of my comment because I came to this one before the onion. Also, I posted my comment before reading the comments before it. Sorry.

To Prince:

Suck it, asshole. Get lost and don't come back. Oh, and by the way? I'M full of MYSELF. Shithead.

To Suze: Ignore the asshole. He's a douche bag. But anyone who came here and read this would know that.

'Nuff said.

Karen ^..^ said...

Suzie, don't give this prick any power at all. don't change a thing about yourself because of what some know nothing has said.

You are not full of yourself. He doesn't know anything about you.

I'm sorry Ive fouled your lovely blog with expletives. I can't help it. When someone treats my friends badly I tend to get pissy about it.

I've read all the comments, and the subsequent comments, and now I'm up to speed.

Do not change a thing about yourself. For what? Him???

don't do it. And don't wrap the wall around yourself either. Nasty comments sting, I know. I've had many of them in the past year and a half. You guys know what I went through with one particular person, and I don't wish that on anyone. So ignore this gnat, he isn't worth it. And such a coward. Doesn't even have a blog for us to look at. He can dish it out but he can't take it.

Suzanne said...

Mr. Shife,

Thanks baby. I'm laughing. I don't know what to paint yet. The canvas isn't big enough for Leah's photo at the beach. It's the biggest canvas I have at the moment, but it's such an odd dimension. 3'X 4'. What was I thinking when I built it? I don't know! It should be 3' X 5'. I'll squeeze something into it!

I've been thinkings so much about you today. Then you show up. How interesting. Have you ever read any Raymond Carver? I have a book of his short stories "Will You Please Be Quiet. Please?" I started reading it today and it's kick ass. I know you'd love it. I think I'm thinking about you so much today because right next to my computer I have Po Bronson's "Bombardiers." I haven't read it, Rob did. It's his book. It reads "The Bonfire of the Vanities with Catch-22 in this black comedy about corporate America in the 1990s." Sounds good, hugh? I wasn't aware Rob read Po's stuff.

How's the wee one? Hope you're holding up on "Daddy Duty." I'll stop by and catch up.

Love you dear and thanks as always.

Suzanne said...

Hi Baby. I got your first comment and loved it. Then I erased without the second two! THANKS. I ERASED!!!! You remind me of Bindi. She's the most gentle soul in the whole world but when I got a nasty comment years ago she was the first to say, "DON'T RESPOND, ERASE." And of course I did. She wasn't here this time so I wrote back. You know me, I try to understand. I try to learn a lesson. You know what baby? I did. I've vented on blogs. Vented to people I love so much, and they never abandoned me. They always let me know what they thought, but never abandoned me, so I try very hard to understand.

Baby, you can always swear on my blog. I have Potty Mouth Syndrome so understand completely!!! And thank you for protecting me. I appreciate it very much. You're so much a sister. You're like one of my own. I swear to God. You did and said exactly what they would have done and said if they commented on this f****** blog. They do not. ;) How rude. Oh and I got laughing when I learned he read my entire blog but didn't even know me!!! How the hell can't you know me after all that effort?!!!

Oh honey, life's funny. I met a young black guy at the park the other day and thought of you. He was with an older guy. Homeless usually pair up for protection. He was so young and so handsome. I got in my car to drive home and cried. I wanted to know his story. He was so kind to me and we talked about kitties. He adopted one and asked if I had any food. I of course gave him everything I had. He said "You don't know all of us, but we all know you and we think you're a saint." We hugged. I got in the car, drove away and just sobbed. Writing this is making me cry. He's so young and beautiful. Why is he homeless? He can't be more than 20 years old, if that. He's well over 6 feet and looks like he could play basketball for any major university. He's well spoken and a gentleman. You know how foster kids turn 18 and have to make their way alone. I don't know his story, but suspect that's it. He doesn't belong at the park. He doesn't deserve to be homeless. I haven't seen him since and I'm glad. It would be too hard to see him often. Some things just don't make sense in this world.

Thank you so much my darling, darling friend for your love and support. And thanks too for defending me. You know I'm not perfect. Not because I don't try, but there's a beautiful quote, "Perfection is an empty goal." I believe that's true. So I don't try as hard as I might!!!

I love you so much baby. And thanks. You're a great sister.

XO ;)

P.S. Yes, I deleted.

Suzanne said...


Yes, I agree. And now it's just a memory.


kylie said...

did you notice something suze?
he said "nice presentation, elegant pictures, good stuff"
thats three compliments to one "you seem to be......" and it's not even a definite statement


otin said...

They are awesome paintings! Maybe I should pose for an Otin nude! LOL!

Megan said...



Damn, woman, I need to give you my number. How do we do that? I give it to Cece? I think that's the safest way. Cece, you seeing this?

bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
Thanks for sharing this lovely journey with us.
I have left a message for you this morning. oh.. one more thing. did you heard Kylie is going to send your tim tams to me:)
talk to you soon.
♥ & ((hugs))

Cece said...

The photo of the lady sitting on the red sofa (the second one on the blog)made me think of Leah sitting on the red Macy's Sofa at The Wild Onion. For some reason, what I can see of the woman's face, it looks like her. So you painted Leah before you ever met her. Talk about creepy. That's even creepier than Bob knowing that we talked about him on the phone last week.

Cece said...

As for the Leo bit, my boys are Leo's. My husband is a Libra, and I'm an Aquarius.

just bob said...

Cece... I'm more than a little bit creepy... trust me.

Karen ^..^ said...

By the way... Read this:

Leah said...

Cece, you're right, that does look like me!

Hi Suzy, hope you're creating!


Mr. Shife said...

Just checking in to see how the journey is going. Hope all is swell.

Suzanne said...

I'm back, but not for long. No I haven't been "creating," I've been dealing with MIRGRAINES!!!!! Still am, but feel a bit better today, so will try to hurry and fit as much in as possible. I'll even try to post some new photos. Wow, can you believe I haven't been on the computer (nope, haven't even turned it on) for 8 days?!

Kylie ~ You're absolutely right. I did notice and forgot to thank him. Prince, if you're reading this, thank you.

Hi Kylie! ;)

P.S. How can Prince still be here? I deleted his comment!!! God my head must have hurt worse than I thought that evening. Apparently I deleted only what I wrote, not what he wrote!!!!!!! Ahhhhhhh screw it now. I'll just leave it.

Otin ~ Thanks!!! I haven't painted a nude male since college (we had live models!), and trust me, guys are fun to look at, but hard to paint. Painting female nudes is much easier. However, I'll try to fit you into my schedule. ;)

Megan ~ Hi honey. Yes, give it to Cece. Cece's like a clearing house or something! Kylie & Leah also have it. Karen does I think. Bob might. And Bindi does. That help! ;)

Bindi ~ So sorry I didn't return the call. I've been so ill. Talking on the phone hurts too much as you know from our chat the other day. I'll call you when I'm feeling better. Please also let Shara know I'm ill and that the drive is 8-10 hours depending on her speed and I can't even guarantee I'll be well enough to recieve her. Give her my numbers because she may not have them with her and also give me her cell or a number where I can reach her in LA. Yes, I know I have her number, but I put it in a pile of "stuff" and with this headache am unable to locate it easily (I tried). And yes Bindi, the distance between where Shara's vacationing in LA and where I live is HUGE!!! Because I'm ill and may not be able to see her, the only way I'd agree to her driving such a great distance is if she'd take a few days, relax, enjoy the view and drive the Pacific Coast Hwy. She'd love it. She's an artist and I know that's the California she'd fall in love with. Even if we were unable to meet she'd have wonderful memories of a beautiful drive. She could take Sunset Blvd. right to the ocean and start in Malibu, end up in Marine, then head north/east to Sacrmamento. Let here know. Thanks! XO

Cece ~ Sorry I haven't returned your calls. I've been too ill to talk obviously. I'm okay. Don't worry. And it's not a sinus infection. I'm just waiting for all this pain to pass.

My painting and Leah. Interesting. I think you might be right. I'll have to take a closer look. And Missy, stop pulling Bob's leg.



I'll return later. Gotta go for now

Megan said...

Cece called me and I haven't called her back. I will call though! I so totally suck when it comes to answering the stupid phone.

Hope your journey is progressing well.

Suzanne said...


Christ, Cece's going to develop a freakin' complex! Good!!! That woman bust my b**** all the time and I don't even have b****. *Everyone looks over at Bob sitting on the Macy's sofa. And Severus standing next to him. And Jorge standing behind them. Hummmmmmmm.* Oh, you know what I mean.

When you get the number, trust me, don't call for about two weeks. I can't return it. I'm strugglin' with migraines and they usually run a course then let me go gently into the wind. MF's!!!

Love you darling! XO P.S. Hope life is treating you kind. ;)

P.S. The whole UCLA, MJ thing is sort of surreal, isn't it? It's freaked me out. I've been to the medical center so many times for tests on my darling head and the whole south side of campus is so different then the north (art, architecture, law, film, etc.). I'm sure you know. As soon as I saw events unfold I thought of Elvis. It was so strange. Nothing that happened after surprised me. Nothing. UCLA Med is Graceland. That's too wierd. The one thing I did take offense with because the north side of campus borders Sunset Blvd and Bel Air is the media's reference to Holby Hills. First it was in Westwood! Then in Beverly Hills! Hey...just contact me, I'll tell you where the hell it is!!! IT'S IN BEL AIR!!! They finally all got it right. You don't get more prestigious than Bel Air. No, you just don't.

The north entrance to UCLA is opposite the gate to Bel Air. The art/film complex is where you first arrive upon entering campus. We're simply an extention of Bel Air and the landscape. It's the most beautiful part of the UCLA campus. The "South Side," is all science, math and medical buildings. Very different. I was fortunate to take classes mostly on the north side, but had to run like hell for math and computer classes down on the south side!!! Yes, I'm serious, you got like 10 minutes to make a 1 1/2 mile treak. No, I'm not kidding. No food nor water. You just hauled ass. But, for one class it was always worth it. My computer class. I think it was computer 101. For most it was a breeze. For me, hard. I worked my ass off in that huge 300+ lecture!!! But the professor and I became dear, dear friends and so did the TA and I. I'd go to them for help and we'd talk about all sorts of things!!!! Like roses!

No, I'm not kidding! ;)

Megan said...

I know Bel Air. I once knew people that went to parties there. For all I know, they still do. I went to one once. Once was enough. I couldn't take the pressure...

Suzanne said...


Honey, you call me any time. I'll get back to you when I can!!! You're killing me, you know that!

Suzanne said...

It's funny how Bel Air just spills off the hill and on to the to the art department. Where we lucky, or what!!???


otin said...

Man Prince, that was uncalled for! A comment like that is only made as a jab at someone. Is it a coincidence that you cannot be contacted? Obviously you had some intent by leaving your thoughts, maybe some ax to grind. I hate when pussies hide in the shadows!

Suzanne said...


I hate "pussies" too. And I love that word. Now Leah, Cece, Megan or Kylie could write a whole post on "pussies." I can't. I just know one when I see one! I think if you leave a comment like he did you deserve a response. Oh, right, I can't respond because he doesn't has a blog. Whimp.

Thanks baby. I love you. All the friends who dearly love and actually know me came to my rescue. Am I perfect? No. I fail all the time. But am I self-centered? No. I believe that with all my heart. I can't be and do what I do every day. I have so many faults, but that is not one. Trust me, I'd know. And yes, I'd be the first to admit it.

Love you darling. XO

He hurt me, you know. I had to really think and reflect. I know who I am. And so do all of you.

Suzanne said...

Isn't it interesting how the "good stuff" is always on the comment page! Gotta go. I'm late.


bindhiya said...

Dear Suze,
When i comment last time, i didn't have the time to read any of the comments already here.. just now i came back to see your reply and saw other comments and prince too..
Our dear friends already give him/her the answer..
you didn't start a blog for prince. just delete his comment..
we all know who you are.
love you dear
many ((hugs))

Suzanne said...

Thanks baby. I love you so.


Anonymous said...