Cats don't pose. Or do they?
"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.
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.
My black pug has good company on a page called
Black Dog Prints
A Bahia beach cat posing
As I traveled to Brazil for my son's wedding, there wasn't room in my luggage for the usual array of canvases, paper and paints So, my artistic expression was limited to what I could create in my journal. Photos will serve as future inspiration - especially the one above!
I was commissioned to paint a portrait that was to be a birthday present. I never met the subjects, Rickey and Jose, but I got to know them through photos and detailed descriptions of their personalities. Each image filled in another visual piece - their size, their beauty and how they interact with each other and the little girl who loves them.
Outside of Payson, Arizona, in a place called Strawberry, I was lucky enough to meet a handsome llama, who agreed to be the subject of my painting.
Here we are chatting about the how beautiful llama eyes are.
K-9 Fausto and his handler, Bob Massey have been part of the Ventura County K-9 Search and Rescue Team since 2003. His job with the Sheriff’s Department is to help locate missing individuals. From an object with the person’s scent, he trails for many miles over a multitude of surfaces long after the subject has left the scene. I met the team at Dining With Dogs, a 2011 fundraising event, for the Ventura County Sheriff’s Department and Ventura County Search and Rescue. I was captured by the handsomeness of his face, Fausto’s that is. He attended the opening of my show and seemed pleased with the likeness. Though he did think I could have added a few more folds.
Check out photos from the 2012 Dining With Dogs
I've noticed that my paintings have caught the attention of the animals themselves. Gracie, a Great Dane Service dog, owned by Kristine Dziak of Gracie's Closet and Gallery 28 in Oxnard, has been known to sit in front of her painting staring at her image.
At the First Anniversary event at The Barkley Pet Hotel and Day Spa, two Saint Bernards made a beeline for my painting of the same breed. I think they recognize themselves. It’s quite flattering!
I strive to capture that moment when animals are trying to cross the species’ communication barrier.