Motion sketching

annamaria3pearlescent acrylic and watercolor inks on w/c paper, 15 X 11″

My husband Bob is an artist too and when he looks at my paintings/drawings, his favorite pronouncement (unsolicited, by the way) is “This is great!  It’s finished!”  Well, I suppose I should feel flattered – and I do – encouraged to keep going on this, at times, demoralizing path of attempting to paint what one sees in the mind’s eye.  But sometimes the piece is not finished, and shouldn’t I be the one to say so?  But when you’re married, your spouse’s words are like a bell that keeps ringing and will not be silenced.  So this time at least, I let these pieces be. . .well mostly. . .after his very sweetly meant pronouncement.

annamaria1Anna Maria was dancing, moving very slowly to Andalucian music, which we played for her because she’d just returned from Spain, enthralled by the place.  Bob with his camera and me with my inks.  So every part of her kept moving and all i could do was keep sketching what I had just seen in an instant, or thought I saw.  I liked these so much better than my usual attempts at realism.  I mean I try not to simply record but to express the figure.  But something else always takes over and I go on automatic and get all involved in details.  When the subject is moving, that’s impossible!  And so I think the right hemisphere finally has a go of it.

annamaria2drawn with the dropper in the ink bottle



  1. Hi Suzan, sorry I have’nt been around for a while!
    Gee, these three pieces are fantastic, especially the second and third one!! I love the way the second one is … unfinished (!!!) and leaves us to complete it freely, and I love the way you went straight to the core in the third one.

    … and I know exactly what you mean when you talk of a bell that will not be silenced 😉


    1. THanks Cathy! I guess we all have those incessant bells in the head. I have to admit that the one I added a touch to after the modeling session was the first – just a touch to finish, but you preferred the other two. Maybe that’s a lesson too.


  2. I am really impressed with all three of these. Good job on the moving part. I don’t have that down too well. I think it is always amazing when one discovers the value of a few simple lines saying it all. It is a gift that I get intermittently in my own art. I ALWAYS stop. It is done……. The ink dropper one is exceptional, in my opinion.


  3. Susan, How greatful I am to be able to see these works there just beautiful.
    Thank you so for this blog and youre work. Trying to teach yourself is not easy. But being able to see work like this gives one hope.
    Have a great day, Good job husband


  4. I also feel that these images are finished — but I have a bias toward a lot of air on the canvas. There’s a lightness and spontaneity in these that is engaging and uplifting (dare I say ‘uplifting’ — it seems so out of step in a time when it seems everyone wants to be “edgy”) Simple, and beautiful. And it’s the kind of thing that would be easy to overwork.


    1. There is so much agreement on this point that it must be TRUE. So the question is – how to get out of the way while painting so that this lightness and simplicity can happen consistently.
      I know what you mean about edgy versus uplifting. I really haven’t a chance to be edgy, even if I tried, and I appreciate the “uplifting” comment. That does make it hard to get into some art shows though, for sure.


  5. I adore the second one, Susan, absolutely adore it. it is simply perfect. If I had a company making hats for women, or simply fashion stuff, I would try to buy from you the outright copyrights of this painting and use it as my company log!


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