All black cats are not the same, nor are their portraits.
My first black cat painting of Venus was done many years ago, when I was in High School.
I kindly refer to the finished oil as Outsider Art. I was learning.
Felicity, now a mature women, posed for me when she was young and spunky. Her coat is short, with only a few undertones of brown. I kept the background simple and colorful to put the emphasis on the lines of her body.
The day I met Nikolas, he tolerated a few photos and then allowed me to follow him outside. It was there that I saw the beautiful copper shimmering through his thick black coat and noticed that his alert yellow eyes were flecked with violet.
Nikolas is in his senior years, but as he wandered in his garden, I sensed the intensity of a younger, adventuresome cat.
His owner described him as an "Alaskan Shed Cat." Like a few fortunate, feral felines, he won the "little kitty lottery." On a cold day in Wrangell, Alaska, the five week old kitten found his way onto the boat and into the hearts of a couple passing through who were searchng for a cat to adopt.
"We worried that he wouldn't be tame enough, that he'd jump off the boat," Sue, his owner said. "But once inside, he curled up and went to sleep." Nick became a "boat cat" traveling well beyond his humble origins.
I imagined that my third black cat, now a grand gentleman, would enjoy being captured in a wilder setting - a place where the sun catches the splendor of his fur and in surroundings that reflect his ongoing explorations.
Last month, a member of my Illustrators' Group, posed a challenge -
Draw one face, every day for the 28 days. Click on the image of
the girl thinking to see what
Original New York Storm
While I was cleaning out my garage recently, I found this and several other oil paintings that were done when I was in high school. The TV antennae gives you an idea of how old this is.
I photographed it and pulled it into Photoshop. Could I have ever imagined this transformation?
Edited in Photoshop
Click on "February Faces" for original post from TableTalk Blog
"So I'm initiating an art challenge for myself and anyone who also wants to particpate can join in: February Faces! Draw one face every day for the entire month. Big faces, small faces, stick faces, ALL faces!" Gail Buschman
Here's my first one.
Likely I'll bundle them together over the month. One face a day. Doesn't sound like much, but...
#1 February Faces "Gemma" 2.16 x 2.16 inches, acrylic on teeny, tiny canvas
Each week I attend a childrens' writers' critique group. One of the members, Eloise Freeman, writes amazingly funny and clever stories for early readers.
In one, the protagonist is a frog (Frogsley) whose life becomes complicated when he believes that scary Count Dracula is trying to contact him.
Having illustrated and painted - dogs, cats, emus, rabbits, goats, pigs, ostriches, elephant seals, fish, chickens, roosters, cows, horses, herons, egrets, mice, moose...you can imagine my dismay when at a fund-raising event last summer, someone stopped by my booth and asked, "Do you have any images of frogs?"
I didn't. Inspiration wasn't hard to find, nor was a name.
"Frogsley" will be at the Harbor Village Gallery in Ventura for another month. Thanks to all who voted for him as the "People's Choice."
Thanks also to Eloise for introducing me to the amazing world of adorable amphibians.
"Stretch" in Copic marker on Bristol paper.
Cats, unlike pugs and some other breeds of dogs, offer a particular challenge for the artist.
Cats don't pose. Or do they?
On November 3, 2012, I will not only be displaying my pet art as a vendor at the PUPPY UP! WALK 2012, but I will be a speaker.
Most of us have more than one area of interest or expertise, but rarely do we get to combine our passions into one day.
When I was asked to be a vendor for the event I was pleased. I not only have lost several dogs to cancer but am a cancer survivor myself. So, the topic is near and dear to my heart. The "near" is easy to understand, but the "dear" requires some explanation.
I am often asked, "When did you start doing these pet portraits."
I usually answer, "About seven years ago." Most people smile, and then we begin to talk about my technique or their own pets. I rarely explain, and most people don't ask, "What happened seven year ago?"
I was diagnosed with cancer.
Within seconds of hearing the words, I decided that someday
was here. That no longer could I put off doing the things I love. Simply put - if I had never had cancer, the paintings you'll see at my booth and on this website would never have happened.
We share our lives with our pets. I get great joy from recreating that relationship of love on my canvases.
Dogs are in the moment. These days so am I. That's how this blog got its name.
I hope to see you at the event and to hear your story.http://www.trustedpetpartners.com/santa-barbara-cancer-heros
Pug on a Paris street
Pug posing at the dog show in Ventura
My dog paintings began about 6 years ago when I first created a digital pug image, working on the program Painter.
Since then, I've returned to acrylic on canvas, but that first pug is still the image on my logo. I'm often asked if I work from photos. Oh yes!
Very few humans can sit still for a portrait. Some dogs even have trouble sitting long enough for a photograph.
I frequent dog locations to take pictures of various breeds.Pugs always accommodate. They are very good at posing.
Sadly, even these adorable dogs fall on hard times.Below is a link to Green Mountain Pug Rescue in Vermont. Check out their website and, if you feel inclined, support their work.
I met Bailey and her friend, Bruce, at the second anniversary of the Barkley Pet Hotel, in 2011.
I took photos that day and made mental pictures of the color of her fur and eyes.
One would think that painting a dog who looks like she is mostly hair would be easy. Not so!
As we dog lovers know, there is much more inside - not only bones and muscles but Bailey's exuberant personality and spirit as well.
Bruce looked at several sketches. This was his choice. Sketches give a preliminary glimpse of how the canvas will be filled.
At this point, the painting is about half-way complete. Bailey liked the red background. It compliments her coloring and personality.
Visiting Bailey at her "work."