As I'm doing my usual Friday morning catch-up, it occurs to me that you might be interested in knowing a few things about me. You see me posting my art work fairly regularly on Facebook and my Pepper Portraits blog, but did you know that besides being a completely committed artist, I hold two part time jobs? Winning a few awards and getting published, does not guarantee a regular pay check. Nope, I go months sometimes without a sale. I'm married to a wonderful guy who pays most of the bills, but by no means makes enough money for me to do art 24-7. I have to at least cover groceries and vet bills, which with 2 older dogs and three cats, adds up, believe you me! So I continue to work as a vet assistant in a small animal veterinary practice. I've been working with vets since 2011- started in my 40's and still doing doggy yoga as I near 60. I feel like a thirty year old with no time to get old! My other job is a gallery portrait artist- picture framer -Girl Friday for a lovely little gallery, in a haunted brick building, in the small river town of Milford Ohio. There I teach portrait classes, frame picture, assist hanging shows and whatever else they might need of me.
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.
With one painting awarded Best of Show, Judges Award and People's Favorite; the same painting reproduced into giclee with four prints already sold; another painting used on the cable show BAR RESCUE; an artist demo on landscapes published in Ann Kullberg's Colored Pencil Magazine, and yet another painting to grace the cover of the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, one could say that things are going well for Pepper Portraits LLC. Yet, I've been doing this long enough to realize that a cluster of good fortune usually comes after months of drought and grueling work. Maintaining momentum is the trick.
Pueblo is a Strawberry Roan Appaloosa. This recently finished commission measures 14x18" and is painted with colored pencils on 4 ply mat board. The reference photos were taken by the client. Lighting and attitude were a challenge in this piece. I had to work closely with my client to develop an understanding of this horse, especially as I have never met her in person. The other challenge was photographing the art-something I need to take time out to learn properly!