Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bearded Dragon I

A friend of mine wanted a bearded dragon with wings for another friend's birthday. I spent some time sketching pictures of bearded dragons.

What I gave my friend were two pen and ink sketches, one of a face, and one with wings and showing a bit more body. I didn't feel done with it, so I sketched another on heavier paper, painted a little color on it, and realized it was fun even without the pen on top of it. (I'll add the picture with the pen and ink on top.)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Yellow Lily

My friend Mimi Torchia Boothby and I have talked about doing a few events together.

Last year, we did the Renton Art Walk. This year, we signed up again (me just last weekend) but talked about getting up early and standing in line to be a vendor at the Fremont Sunday market.

In preparation for these two nonanimal specific events, I've been experimenting with some non animal little tiny paintings. Not that I ever want to move away from animals, but now and then I get the urge to paint some flowers, or a canoe or something, and these little canvases are a fun way to experiment.

This is actually a 1 x1 inch painting. I did another that I will post soon of a 2 x 2 " paintings.


Gidget is a sign of balance in my life.

When I last posted, I had just finished 3 commissions. They were all rejected. I thought something was wrong, that perhaps I lost the grace that I feel while painting.

And I realized I had slipped from my purpose. I was spending too much time being angry rather than a conduit of creativity, so I quit the community board I was on.

The decision was a little harder than that; I did feel I had made a commitment and I struggled over it. But, what really got me was the lack of time I felt and the feeling that I should be doing something more productive.

As a reward for getting more time, I bought a bike, which I have taken out on a few fair weather spins. But, what's more important is that I am painting again, and liking it. The bonus is that ,folks who have asked for commissions are liking the paintings.

I feel on the right path again.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

I was really happy about this painting, until I scanned it and saw an error with the eyes. I must get back and fix it, but I've been busy.

I've been involved in this community organization and then I realized I wasn't having any fun. I woke up stressed, went to bed stressed, was stressed at meetings, etc. I wasn't happy. I quit.

I celebrated on the day I quit, I went for a walk around Seward Park tonight, followed by a lovely dinner at St. Dames. But tomorrow. I begin painting in the evenings again. And the first thing I'll do is fix the eyes.

I've also deliberated over going to a few dog events in the past couple of days. We'll see.

Thursday, June 02, 2011


I am so used to painting full face portraits that I forget about the joys of painting bodies, profiles, and paws. I like to see sparkling eyes looking at me.

But perhaps I needed a challenge. Or perhaps the gods were smiling. The first sketch I did of this little retriever, on canvas, was perfect! I knew that it would be just as easy to paint.

I still have a little eye work to do, but I am very happy with this little 5x5 painting.

Even the fangs.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

The Chosen

See previous post. This is the painting that the customer chose after seeing two paintings I did of one of her mother's cats. Very aristocratic kitty, but doesn't necessarily look like the sweetest girl ever. (And I see I need to clean my scanner.) It was fun painting the tag, too. Part of me wanted to get some silver foil to put on the collar, but I refrained. This is Emily. My friend Diane's mother's cat. Diane owns KittyStar Services. If you live in north Seattle and need a cat sitter, I highly recommend her. She is ultra reliable, resourceful, and great with the kitties.

Emily on square canvas

Every so often, I create two paintings of one commission. Sometimes I want to experiment with the color. Sometimes I want to experiment with size. Sometimes, I just want to. It usually takes me as much time to paint two as to paint one, even when I'm playing with color. Something about concentrating on the paintings and feeling the way the face is structured makes it quick. I created two paintings of this cat, Emily. This cat has a sweet expression, but I should have made it a little smaller because the cat is actually one of those longer faced, aristocratic looing cats. It needed either a bigger painting or a smaller rendition on the canvas. I like her eyes and her collar. And her slightly undefined features. Compare this one to the one I post next and let me know which one you like.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Victoria's Dogs

So, I've been working on this painting for much too long. I forget that paintings of more than one animal take longer than if I just did one painting of each animal. There's composition to consider, as well as how the colors relate to one another.

This is as good as it's going to get. Thanks to for the lovely picture.

It doesn't fit on my lettersized scanner.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

A Favorite Place to Sleep

Meet Loomis. He's every bit the character that he looks, and the painting doesn't even show that he's polydactyl.
I was thinking about naming this Luminescent Loomis because I used some luminescent paint on the faucet and on Loomis' tag.
A little about the Loominator: He was painted because his people were the highest big for a Seattle Animal Shelter auction.
They said they wanted a picture of him in the sink. I asked whether they saw that most of my portraits was of just the animal's face, but they said yes and said it didn't have to be realistic. Perhaps that gave me the freedom to play a bit. Some of my commissions sometimes seem arduous cuz I hear my husband asking whether it's realistic or not. Argh! Really, much of my best work is when I relax just a little bit.............
It actually came together really well. I was happy with the sketch and equally happy with the painting.

Sunday, February 06, 2011


Remember when I said that a friend of mine's mom helped me bake for a fundraiser I was having? And that I would paint her cats? The first one I finished was Buck, and you heard about what a character he was.

I don't know much about Kali, except she is sweet and shy. I think she wants to trust you, but. may never quite do so.

Kali's mom's son in law named Kali for the Hindu god of destruction, or that was his interpretation of the goddess. But, my quick research shows that that is a superficial interpretation. She is the goddess of energy and change and has many guises.

Perhaps this Kali is really named Bhadra Kali, who is gentle. Bhadra in Sanskrit means blessed, auspicious; fair, beautiful; good; fortunate, prosperous. She is indeed fortunate to have landed in Fern's household!

Friday, January 28, 2011

The colony

They come in an assortment of colors and sizes. Some are ear tipped, the universal identification method used by Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) programs. The males are notched on the left ear, while the females are notched on the right ear.

I thought this would be a fun painting to create. But, I had so many choices for great cats to paint. I've even inserted a couple of my rescues into the mix!

Who's your favorite?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011


What can I say about a cat who's named Buck? One whose pictures showed him with his ears flattened to his head?

Yet, his mama says he's the sweetest thing, and I imagine he is. Plus, with that hair, I imagine he's soft and fun to pet, once he trusts you.

Tina, the woman who took the pictures that this painting is based on, has never experienced that trust. That's why his look is the way it is.

Mr. R. calls it grumpy (and ,Fern, if you want me to make him sweeter looking, I can try), but I call it questioning. Are you coming closer to pill me? Do you really want to come closer? Perhaps I need a preemptive strike?

Why did I paint Buck? Because his mama helped me bake when I was raising money for Feral Care to help three little kitties who needed to be relocated. When a home with humans wasn't available, and the cats were needing to leave their current location, Feral Care stepped in. I offered to help raise money. And, Fern, out of the goodness of her heart, and perhaps her love of baking, offered to help me make things for a bake sale.

Thank you, Fern.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Here's Lucy!

Early in December, before I received my last minute commissions, I was asked to be the guest artist as a fundraiser for Feral Care.

Feral Care is close to my heart because my dear Willow came from there. I of course said yes, but then I realized it would be better to be working on something that was close to being finished, rather than starting from a blank canvas, or even a sketch.

Yet, all I had in the wings was two dog paintings. So, I put on my Facebook page that I would offer a 50% discount for any cat portraits in 48 hours. My friends Erin and Theresa responded. Lucy their cat was getting older and they wanted a little painting....

So, here's Lucy.

Right around the time I started painting her, (Erin provided me with three rather out of focus pictures), I had the opportunity to meet her. She sat on my lap and pressed her little paws into my upper chest. Adorable. So, while I thought the pictures did not do her justice, I knew she was very sweet and wanted to capture that sweetness.

I was happy with this, until I showed it to Mr. Rick. This painting did not pass the Mr. R test. When he saw it, he frowned and said it looked like a caricature. I worked on it for a little longer before I remembered that all my paintings are whimsical caricatures. What I aim for is personality.

How'd I do?