Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Wed September 20, Luna

 Wow- I've been really quiet since August!  This has been a trickier start to the school year than I'd anticipated, probably partially because we are still not in our house yet and it still feels strange, and also because a number of old friends and colleagues at Breck have retired, and we also have a new schedule that feels more different than I expected. So I've been painting but not posting as much.

And I do have a few events coming up too that should be mentioned- one is LOLA this weekend, from 10-4 on Sat and Sun- I'll be late to Saturday but Duane will be there with my stuff, and we'll be sitting on Anita White's fantastic front lawn at 4524 Minnehaha Ave~

I've also got Painting Lessons starting the last Saturday of September, the 30th, from 9:30-noon for six weeks and I'd love to have you join us! There's still room! Here's the link for more info and sign up-

This little sweet face is Luna, and there were so many great photos of her to chose from, you might see some more of her in the future!

6x6 acrylic on wood

Saturday, August 26, 2023

August 26, Muffy for Marley

 Well, it's been a week of workshops at school and I've been fighting a cold or something that I think followed us from camp and may have been the result of poor air quality as well- kinda like losing my voice and all, and I tested for Covid three different times with negative results each time, so here I am.

And my students, 3rd, 4th, 5th and 8th, show up next week.  Like a lot of teachers, I feel prepared and also a bit anxious. One of the awesome things about teaching is that we always start with a totally new year. The people who make up the class are never the same group, and nothing ever goes exactly the same way. In the art room, there are a lot of variables as well, like what materials I have on hand, what I remembered to order, if that order showed up on time, oh just so much!  And I like the renewal ever year, that there's a fresh start, a fresh page. And so much is up to my attitude and how I react to things.

We were supposed to do the Millstream Art Festival in St Joseph MN tomorrow, but I've cancelled because of how not well I've been feeling. I'm relieved that I did. I haven't cancelled an art show before, ever, but I've not felt this stressed about having an event the Sunday before classes commence. I did it last year and it was fun, definitely not a money maker, but fun for sure, and we figured it would be fun to do again. But I'm so glad I've said no.

I do need to learn to do that more often. I'm a terrible YES person!  My friend Lara is really good at a sweet rather evasive way of saying no! She responds so positively at first, like "of course I'd love to!" and then she says "Shoot! I can't fit it in my schedule" or something... I love it.

This is a small painting I did of my friend Marley's dog Muffy. Muffy is a bit elderly and I don't know how she's doing right now... and Marley is starting her first full time teaching job in Duluth! I hope her year goes great!

I hope your school year goes great too!

6x6 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, August 15, 2023

August 15, Forest Bathe

 Whew. It's Tuesday!

I taught two back-to-back Paint Your Pet classes at Wet Paint today, and I'm a bit tuckered out!  It's a bit like performing, to teach people. I had adults in the morning, and kids in the afternoon, and it can be a bit emotional for people to paint, in public... so there's some fun and some helping and some paying deep attention and trying to read what someone needs with their piece... Do they want me to help, by putting my brush in there, or not? It's all a bit of a trick, really.

And I think we all did very well.

I'm still not quite recovered from our month up north yet, though. And here is a painting of the walk I took daily...

I will probably have it with me on Saturday at the Carpenter Nature Center Art Festival if you'd like to see it in person!

10x8 acrylic on wood

Thursday, August 10, 2023

August 10, Time To Breathe

 I've been painting other things than dogs up here in the great north woods, and have just a couple days left, though our campers and staff are all getting packed up ready to go home. It's so lovely here. We have trees everywhere... and the air feels sweet.


This is an evening view of Lake Pokegema from the field~

I'll have it with me next Saturday at the Carpenter Art Fair just past Hudson on the Wisconsin side of the St Croix River! Sat August 19th from 10-5!

36x18 acrylic on canvas

Tuesday, August 8, 2023

August 8, Dogs #30! Zooley and Katie-Blue!

Duane's best friend from school, Bill, lives in Walker, not far from where we are right now in Grand Rapids, MN, and he invited us over one of the first days off we had. We went to his house and he graciously made us walleye, crusted with crunched up ripple potato chips because of my gluten-free-ness, and we had such a great time, chatting, the two of the catching up. Bill suffered a devastating tragedy this year as well, in his wife Diane's death in March. It was unexpected, a kidney infection, I think I understood, and Diane was an artist who left a lot of supplies behind. Bill kindly allowed us to fill a couple bags with her glass beads and fittings and all, and I've been using them here at Camp with the kids. These two pups are Zooley and Katie-Blue, and they both loved Diane as well and now are quite attached to Bill. They are a little older than Pom and weren't thrilled with her exuberance and energy...

So I'm painting them as a Thank you to Bill!  We'll send them on to him when I've got them varnished~

And this concludes our 30 Dogs in 30 Days!  I'll be wiring the pups up and varnishing them this week and I plan on hanging them at Diamond's this Sunday morning, the 13th. We'll have a Celebration/Pick Up Party on Sunday September 10th from 2-4pm!~

6x6 acrylic on wood
spoken for

6x6 acrylic on wood
spoken for

Monday, August 7, 2023

August 7, Dog # 29 is TIPPY!!!!

 Tippy belongs to our incredibly generous and kind neighbors, Andrew and Andrea, who showed up the night of our fire and offered us their "extra" house to live in. Which means we haven't had to really move anywhere other than across the street, and we've been able to keep an eye on our house as the work has progressed, and it's really been unbelievable how great a place it's been.  I've even been able to park in the garage!!

And this is Tippy, who is a sweet natured grumpy old man who tolerates Pompom in his yard as long as she isn't jumping on him, and who adores his owners to no end. He has the greatest little trot when he's walking out in the neighborhood, and he likes to let everyone know he's around!

8x8 acrylic on wood
spoken for!

Sunday, August 6, 2023

August 6, Dog # 28 is Choo Choo!

 Isn't this the greatest face? We had a beautiful brindled mutt when I was growing up, Rusty, whom my brother affectionately renamed The Beast, and he had a noble face as well. Something about that texture and the shape of the nose maybe, the eyebrows, the strong neck leading into the shoulders...

This is Choo Choo, and Mary is sending me a little story about him yet!

This had been a great session of painting for me, and now that I'm almost done, I'm finding myself looking around for more pups!  I do have two I'll be squeezing in at the end here, maybe instead of Pompom because I haven't found the iconic Pompom painting yet...

We are still up in Grand Rapids at Camp Mishawaka, and maybe I'll write another little post about the cabin and painting in it, because it's pretty sweet... though we miss Bunny in it terribly.

8x8 acrylic on wood

Saturday, August 5, 2023

August 5, Dog #27 is BEEGEE!!!!

It was hard to pick just one photo of this charming face!  Holy buckets!

Beegee is an amazingly fluffy and open faced sprite! I had such a great time painting him!

Here's what Donna his owner/best friend says about him!

He’s named Beegee because he is the spitting image of Barry Gibb. He is a playful and snuggly guy and his goals in life are to acquire more human friends and dog treats. If he could work a phone he’d be on Instagram and TikTok with thousands of followers!

8x8 acrylic on wood
spoken for!

Friday, August 4, 2023

August 4, Dog #26 is Jaco the Poodle!

 At the moment, we are at Camp Mishawaka in Grand Rapids, where we've been coming for a month for the past three summers, and we run with the poodles here! Marley is a 5 or 6 year old white poodle, and Rummy is a youngster, black and white, and Pompom loves to play "Race Race Chew on my Face" with her!

THIS lovely brown poodle is Jaco, who is with Mary, who says:

These puppers are Jaco(brown poodle) and Sophie (Brittany Spaniel) She is in charge and always has been but Jaco is trying playfully to chip away at the hierarchy.  Sophie is 5 years old and belongs to my neighbor and Jaco has been with us for a year now~

You'll have to see the photo after the painting!

8x8 acrylic on wood


Thursday, August 3, 2023

August 3, Dog #25 is BEN!

As in BIG BEN! And very Zen Ben, and such a joy to paint!

And he has a pretty amazing story, as told by Ann~

Zen Ben

Retrieve A Golden of the Midwest coordinates very complicated rescue missions to get dogs out of China, into U.S. foster homes and then, onto their forever homes. We signed up to foster a dog named Ben, who was in an over crowded shelter in Shanga, China. A shelter run by Buddhist Monks. Ben had been there since he was nine months old, and like the thousands of other animals in shelters, had little hope for a family to call his own. Surprisingly, Ben arrived to our home completely unscathed by his days long journey in a crate (traveling with tens of other dogs in crates) via shuttles, planes, cars and vans. When he finally did arrive, this foster dog Ben had nothing but wags and hugs and smiles for us. We fell in love instantly with this big, handsome, wildly affectionate boy and within hours we knew that Ben was home. Much like the Buddhist Monks that protected him, he is a quiet, calm and loving friend to all. 

20x10 acrylic on canvas
spoken for!

Wednesday, August 2, 2023

August 2, Dog # 24 is Mr STUBBINS!!!

 This is our delightful friends' rescue, and he's a sweet little guy! And here's what Zan says about him!

Our little Chihuahua-Yorkie, Mr. Stubbins, aka McStubbins, Stubbs, StubHub, came to us as a rescue from TX. He finds nothing more exciting than seeing us pick up his leash so he can go investigate the neighborhood and bark at any passerby. When he's not sniffing or barking, he can be found enjoying a sunbeam.

8x10 acrylic on wood
spoken for!

Tuesday, August 1, 2023

August 1, Dog #23 is MULLIGAN!!!!

 Oh my lord!  Yes, can you tell this is another of the dogs that I just had to paint?  I mean, seriously, look at those ears, those eyes, that knowing little smile... I LOOOOOVE it!!!

And here's what Erin says of this unique creature~

The Italian greyhound, Mulligan, is our high class man, hence the judgement in his expression. If he was human he would be riding a moped through Naples collecting the women with his charm. He is an old man now and wears a diaper but still charms with the best of them.

12x6 acrylic on wood

Monday, July 31, 2023

July 31, Dog #22 is Remi!

 This is such a noble looking dog. I couldn't resist painting this serious, attentive, open and aware face. Besides, I love painting black dogs and there hasn't been one since Stormy the black pug on July 14th!

Black short haired dogs have such great shine when they've got a healthy coat, and Remi is no exception to this fact. Look at that shine!

8x8 acrylic on wood

Sunday, July 30, 2023

July 30, Dog #21 is Goldy!

 I have to admit I had some difficulty getting quite the right color here for Goldy!  That wonderful mix of orangey-red with all the golden tones~ love it!

And here is Goldy's story!

Goldy, a golden retriever/Chow mix, was a stray that we were lucky enough to find and be able to keep. We think she was abandoned but can’t imagine why, since she’s the sweetest, most beautiful creature. She was well taken care of, though – spayed, house trained and socialized – so we got lucky on that front too. She provides our family with endless mellow fluffiness. 

8x8 acrylic on wood

Saturday, July 29, 2023

July 29, Dog #20 is Yukon~

 Yukon was an amazing soul-  here is Rob, his friend's love letter to him~



Thank you for being such an awesome dog, better than I could ever deserve.  You shared my joy for playing in snow and cold weather, and Beth’s love of cuddling on the couch or wherever else you managed to pin her against the cushions.  People said we spoiled you, but really it was you who was spoiling us.  How many people get to enjoy a canine companion who doesn’t need a leash simply because he’d rather hang out with his humans?  How many people can count on winning a bet that their dog is the cutest?


I basked in the reflected glory of your life whenever we were on campus or getting a puppuccino at the coffee drive-thru.  Students pronounced you as “chill,” their highest praise.  Everybody, even people who live with cats, thought you were awesome.  Friends and family accepted you and your “magic fibers of love and joy” into their homes, pining for more effective vacuum cleaners as we left.


Many people in town and on campus know me as “the guy with the dog.”  Remember last May, when we were walking on campus on Commencement Day?  Two graduates, to their parents’ amazement, called out your name even though they hadn’t seen you since before the pandemic.  I was just some anonymous professor, worthy of note only because of my connection to you, the most awesome dog.  A year ago, Beth, Walker, and I were at a restaurant in Saint Paul and our server asked if I taught at WSU and did I still have the awesome dog.  Last November we were at a Christmas event in Loring Park in Minneapolis, and a couple walked up and asked if I was Rob.  They remembered you from camping next to us at Boats and Bluegrass years ago. 


Now I am dreading the inevitable onslaught of questions: “Where’s your dog?  How’s Yukon?”


I love you dearly and will miss you terribly.  You will always be my bestest puppydog.


10x8 acrylic on wood
spoken for

Friday, July 28, 2023

July 28, Dog #19 Maggie for Shelley!

 And this is Maggie! On the beach!  Where dogs get sand everywhere they can possibly hold it until they are in the car or back home and then they shake and send it away from them and into every possibly crack and crevice available!

I love the beach! Especially with dogs!

I had fun painting the sandy colored background for this one. Making up those wandering grey is such a joy!

8x8 acrylic on wood
spoken for

Thursday, July 27, 2023

July 27, Dog #18 is BERT!!!

 Jenina sent me so many photos for these guys... and I chose these because of their eyes and the fact that they both had recent haircuts... but there are so many other options!  You could paint a WALL full of the same dog! I know I have!

Bert is such a sweetie~

8x8 acrylic on wood

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

July 26, Dog #17 is Ernie!

 This is Ernie! Oh my- that face. And this is the one I selected from several others- you do NOT know how hard it is to resist painting everything that comes my way!  This one is so special- and Ernie's brother, Bert, is set for tomorrow, but I may get him done to post later today just because...

Here's their story from Jenina!

Meet Ernie and Bert, the dynamic duo that captured a mother's and daughter's hearts, bringing joy and healing to their lives. Thier tale (or tails) became one of love, healing, and the power of unexpected connections.
It all started when the daughter stumbled upon an online rescue site and came across Ernie and Bert, two bonded Yorkies needing a foster home. She couldn't help but feel a magical connection, believing that her beloved big brother, who now resided in heaven, had sent them as signs of his enduring love.
The signs were undeniable. First, their names - Ernie and Bert, just like the lovable characters from Sesame Street. Memories of her son's Sesame Street-themed childhood came rushing back, filled with laughter and playfulness.
Second, Yorkies had always held a special place in their hearts. From when the kids were little, these tiny pups had been part of their lives, providing companionship and unconditional love. They were no strangers to dressing them up in adorable baby outfits and taking them for walks in a stroller, much to the delight of their neighborhood.
But it was the third sign that sealed the deal. Ernie and Bert needed a foster home on a significant date - February 18, 2023- their beloved son's birthday. It felt like destiny had intervened, bringing these two furry friends into their lives at the perfect moment.
As the days turned into weeks, Ernie and Bert's presence filled their home with laughter, wagging tails, and endless cuddles. The bond between the family and the pups grew stronger with each passing day. It was clear that these Yorkies had found their forever home. They had gone from being foster dogs to cherished family members, forever reminding this mother and daughter of the incredible love they shared with their son and brother in heaven.

8x8 acrylic on wood

OOOPS!  I'm realizing I didn't paint Ernie's little dog biscuit shaped tag!  I'll get that done and repost the image! Whew!


Tuesday, July 25, 2023

July 25, dog #16 is Sammi for Joan!

 Sammi is an old dog and she lives on a farm with my sister's friend Joan, and I didn't get much more of a story than that yet, but I hope to have a bit more for you!  We've all been out traveling a bit, which makes the scheduling and regulation of this project a bit more of a challenge but I do so appreciate the opportunity! I've also adjusted Apollo and added more highlights to Louie's eyes and will be reposting those soon!

Happy Tuesday!  It's supposed to be the day of the week we get the most done- did you know that?

8x8 acrylic on wood

Monday, July 24, 2023

July 24, Dog #15 is LOUIE!

 This is Louie, whose personality is as big as his ears! Louie recently experienced a scary health crisis, which is worrisome enough as a human who can talk and express what feels wrong, but when a dog isn't feeling good, that is just so hard!  He's much better now, and his older pack member Honey is still going strong. 

Such great dogs!

8X8 acrylic on wood