Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Beach House

Beach House
Work in progress 18x24"
by Susan Roux

I received Don Hatfield's new DVD in the mail the other day. Its titled, Fantasy Portraits In the Garden. Mike wanted to watch it with me, so we saved it for that evening. It was already late when we got started, so we planned on only watching about half of it.

That didn't happen.

Though it was early get-up in the morning, we stayed up until nearly midnight finishing it. We just couldn't stop. All night I dreamt of painting. (Don't you just love nights like that?) I thought about Don's method and how it differed from my approach. Completely opposite, actually. He begins with grays and adds color over it. I begin with pure color and gray it out...

Nonetheless, it was fun to experience his process and see how he maneuvers the paint around. I feared I'd be stuck in the mud, if I tried his approach!

I haven't been painting, as you well know. Gardening has consumed my every free moment. My body has been absorbing the gifts of nature and as I predicted, at some point I would want to explode on canvas. The following morning, soon after getting Jesse off to school, I was down in my studio. Between Don's instructional movie and dreaming all night about painting, I couldn't wait to pick up my brush!

It was 8:30. I was so inspired. Paint flowed readily from my palette to my canvas. (Yes, Luka was serenading me through my nano...) It was one of those moments when you get to do exactly what you wish to do. I felt happy and blessed and the paint wanted to sing! I didn't even try to paint like Don. Pure color. Saturated color. Nice, juicy, delicious creamy oils hit the canvas as bright light. Each stroke invigorated me even more.

Its close to heaven, when your muse is fired up and moving through you!

I poured all I had into this canvas. I felt myself exhausted. I stopped for a break. It was now 9:30. How could only one hour have passed? It didn't make sense.

Have you ever poured so much of yourself that exhaustion hits so soon?

I knew I must pace myself. I returned after a short break. I didn't want to stop. I worked for two hours more and the painting sits at this stage. I'm not sure if I'll get back to it today. Commitments fill my moments. Perhaps I will find some time...

I was really loving working wet in wet. I hope it doesn't set too soon... My mind continually analyses where I'm at and where I want to go. These forced breaks in painting time can sometimes be a blessing in disguise. It gives you time to reflect on the work you're done and hopefully allow you to see those passages you want to preserve. Overworking the canvas is a downfall of many of us, myself included. I see so many values, its hard not to put them all in...

If you haven't seen Don's DVD yet, I highly recommend it. It takes place during a workshop. I really enjoyed seeing the artists work around him. It made me feel like I too was there painting. Funny how we find similarities of ourselves in other artists' work. I found myself wondering how I would have approached this subject if I had been present.

Enjoy your painting time. Let yourself be swept away with delicious color!


  1. the wind and the rain has kept me out of the garden but hope I find a sunny hour or two this weekend to plant some more things!

  2. Susan thank you for your kind response. You are such an encouragement to me. I am glad you are inspired and hope to communicate more soon. Blessings, Don

  3. Your visit to my blog has led me back to yours. I do enjoy it and will come back again!

  4. Thanks for following my blog. I am now following yours. This is a great painting. I know what you mean about feeling close to God when that "muse" is running through you to the canvas. I have a painting that I haven't had a chance to post yet on my blog (since I just started) but you can see it on my FB page...called Winter on the Brazos. That happened to me that day and I painted so fast and really only worked on it a couple more times and called it finished. Anyway, I will check back with you on your blog.
    Susan Root Merritt

  5. Thank you for visiting my blog! I love your blog - so nice to make a new friend!

  6. Wow Susan. I love the way the light is hitting the house and seems to pull you down the walkway. Very nice. You make me want to get back into the garden!

  7. once again..lovely light and love the color

  8. Hi Susan
    I'm very happy this morning when i open your blog... A new painting! This is late in this progress. I didn't see it at this beginning...
    And you only started it in the day!
    You're a fairy or a sorceress of colors! And with your writing about of your mind or feeling i can tell you you bewitch me. I feel like to go paint very quickly... These last days i drawed, but today i want to paint. To take my little brushes, get out my palette with a lot of colors and smell the odors' painting...
    It's your fault Susan and this of Don too!
    But i apolize you because i'm a drug addict about the painting like you ! No medicine to this illness. I only hope it's contagious for everybody...
    Today i'm happy because i know you'll show me via skype your work and we'll talk to you too.
    See you sooner. Kisses my dear.

  9. Thank you for following my blog. I saved yours to read more!

  10. Hello Susan!

    I came here via Martine-Alison's blog. I am happy I sauntered here. I enjoyed scrolling through your blog. I also enjoy sharing my paintings in progress that sometimes finishing them is rather bittersweet.

  11. Welcome Ces. Saunter anytime...

  12. gorgeous. I feel like I know this place as it reminds my of my brother's home and gardens

  13. susan, thanks for linking to the Hatfield fellow--he is a real kick. I will buy his dvd. Seems like a bargain. :) (this is a very nice painting!_)

  14. I found your lovely blog thru Don Hatfields amazing blog..
    The light and shadow play in your newest painting is awesome


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