Christmas rush!

I just finished two small paintings for a lovely client who wished to create the perfect gifts for her two children:  table top original portraits of their two dogs. Each child chose a puppy fourteen years ago. They are now gray in the muzzle and a little slower, but otherwise healthy. The children, both in college, miss their pups. I spent a few hours one afternoon, photographing and getting to know the dogs, while also learning about the family and the mom. The photographs and expressions were chosen by her. We wished to capture each dog's personality in a tiny 5x7 head shot. This is not an easy task. In fact, a lot can be lost in one small tick of the pencil. I struggled with these. There was concern that the dog Ed, looking at the viewer and pleading to be petted, might appear to be giving dominant eye contact.  Thanks to my husband's suggestion, a  touch of dark to the eyebrow made the difference in the perceived expression. The other dog, Lucy held a strange pose which finally necessitated the inclusion of parts of her foreleg; otherwise her head would have seemed tipped over.

I decided to use colored linen mat as the surface to give these a painterly feel. Lucy, who is mostly black, is painted on a dark blue mat and Ed, who has a lot of browns and reds, is on a red mat. Using  colored mat board, even if  completely covered with pigment, is similar to an under paint wash and provides tone.

When my client finally saw the finished pieces she was completely satisfied. This is a blessing, because I never know what a client will think until they have the art in hand. Now I can relax for a bit and paint something new, something BIGGER.

Bragging rights

I'm tipping the proverbial "hat" to myself. The past few months have been quite successful: My painting "Waiting" was selected to be in Ann Kullberg's e-book Hidden Treasures. This same painting, which earned  CPSA Signature Status for me by being my third acceptance into the CPSA International Exhibition within ten years, was also purchased at a recent art fair and was my biggest sale to date. And let's be honest,  sales make the rest possible. For those of you interested, I am in the process of having the image printed in giclee form to be sold in my shop soon.  READ ON

My painting "Who Rescued Whom" was published in Strokes of Genius 6, by Rachel R. Wolf, Northlight Books, hitting the bookstore shelves as we speak.

My painting "Departing" earned second place at the CPSA District Chapter 119 exhibition, showing now until the end of the month at The Clifton Cultural Arts Center in Clifton Oh.

That's it for now, but there is always room for more.

Artists are poor for a reason!

If you have ever wondered why the real life artists aren't as happy-go-lucky as they are reputed to be, consider the expenses incurred in self promotion.  For instance, did you know that an artist pays a submission fee of $30.00 to $50.00 for every image submitted to a juried show? Did you know that if the piece or pieces are accepted, the artist pays for presentation requirements, shipping and insurance,  to and from said exhibition?  For example, some shows require plexiglass, which is nearly twice as expensive as conservation glass. (Don't even ask about UV blocking Plexi.) I recently sent two pieces to California.  My shipping plus return shipping total was nearly $400.00.  Expenses like these are a calculated risk against a possible sale or the possible lead. How many small businesses take that kind of risk? As I've said numerous times, being an artist is not for the faint of heart.

Accepted into book STROKES OF GENIUS, Northlight Books, F&W Publishing

Thursday I arrived home from a long day at the Vet hospital where I work as a vet assistant to good news.  As is my routine, I checked my emails and happily came across a notice that one of  my painting "Who rescued Whom?" was one of the 144 pieces chosen from 1500 entries to be published in the 2014 Strokes of Genius by Rachel Wolf- a Northlight, F&W Publications book.

Who Rescued Whom available in Giclee prints.

The overwhelmingly  positive reaction to this painting astonishes me.  Who Rescued Whom has been hanging in the library of LSU's School of Veterinary Medicine since the end of March, where it was exhibited in their annual International Exhibition on Animals in Art and won Judge's Award.  One person actually cried when she entered the library and saw it for the first time. She said it reminded her of her dad who had just passed. I knew the composition had potential, the day I came upon Willie and Tucker basking together in the afternoon sun of their first few hours together.   Their expressions spoke volumes to me.  What I didn't expect was that in capturing this moment, I was able to share it in a deep emotional way with complete strangers.

Upon the request of  family members I had a professional photographer make  giclee prints.  The original is awaiting its new home. If you took the time to read this blog and are interested in a print, comment back and I will give you pricing and dimensions.  Thanks for reading!





I am very proud to announce, Who Rescued Whom is accepted into the prestigious 26th International Exhibition on Animals in Art, LSU School of Veterinary Medicine, Baton Rouge LA.  Out of 426 pieces entered into this show, 75 were chosen. This is one of my favorite paintings. The lighting, the subject and a hefty sprinkle of luck came together to create this image.
Wish Willy and Tucker luck on their trip to Louisiana!

Who Rescued Whom wins People's Choice Award

This piece won Best in Show at the recent CPSA District Chapter 119 exhibition.  It also won People's Choice.  Sometimes I get it right.