Sunday, July 31, 2011

Sunday, July 31~ Zodi!

I hate to admit that I couldn't finish this one today, but man~  it is HOT out.  Whew.   I was pretty wiped out yesterday after sitting in the heat until after 7pm, oh yeah no it was later because we stopped at a friends' house on the way home, seeing as the neighbor was kind enough to listen in on our sleeping Max...  So it has been an incredibly long weekend, tho the Red Hot Art Festival was really fun with lots of great people and a number of new commissions!  But it was really hard to paint there, first because people kept wanting to chat, and because it was just so HOT.   It felt like my body would let me paint and concentrate for a little while, and then YANK my attention back to the fact that I was drenched with sweat and flies were biting every bit of exposed flesh, and it was almost too hot to breathe.   I wonder when it is too hot to be allowed to be outside?
THIS is ZODI, whom I will be finishing later this week~  i just wanted to get the post in so you could understand that I AM NOT superhuman. 

Saturday, July 30, 2011

July 30th- Buster & Bassa!

Wow- this was a bit tougher to do~  and I will be going back into Bassa's face yet, as his expression is just not quite fully available here... 
And believe me, I did attempt to get the plaid blanket behind Buster's face, but it just wouldn't go so I stuck with the emphatic shadows and the rather strong gaze, which reminds me of Vincent Price...  I hope that isn't an insult!

And we are at the moment loading up the truck to head over to Steven's Square, and Duane is cursing at the mess in the garage as he drags out tables, and there will be a birthday party down the block for a young friend that I will miss as I sit in the sun selling our ART!

I hope to see some of you out and about today!
And there is SO much going on!

And TOMORROW is the LAST DOG!!!!!!!

I'll sure miss them...

Friday, July 29, 2011

July 29- Ditto!

It is funny that I would do a repeat of a dog named Ditto...  I actually did THREE versions before I was happy, and now have two that look like completely different dogs...

Ditto is a very lucky dog, in that he is on his second set of owners who are close to his original owner who will be turning 92 next month!  What a great way to live~
And what a mischievous face!  Personality up the ying-yang on this one!

Sorry, I'm a bit pooped, and trying to get my stuff together for the Red Hot Art Sale tomorrow at Steven's Square!
I hope you are coming by!
It's been a VERY long day-  I dropped my piece off at the State Fair (wish me luck!) and was very happy with how quickly it had all gone and the conversations I'd had in line, and as I was shooting out onto Snelling, I had a call from the head art guys saying I had to come back and get the piece and frame it....  Now, I KNEW this, because I have entered work in the State Fair for a few years now, so I couldn't be mad at THEM, but this piece is painted on a gallery-wrapped canvas and therefore NEEDS no frame.  And one of the women who was helping there looked at it and said," I really like it like this!"  So, I took it home and Duane and Max and I went on a run to Home Depot, and Duane took it back to the studio while Max and I played in the sandbox with the mosquitoes and ants and Duane had to miter the corners twice or something but then he very kindly ran it back over to the Fair for me so I haven't seen it yet.  I hope it gets in.
thanks for letting me blurt...
See you tomorrow!
the two scotties I have on the list for tomorrow will be done in the morning... wish me luck with that too...

Thursday, July 28, 2011

July 28th- Goldy & Sota!


Yup, another two-fer~  and both sweet white Golden Doodles!

Here is what their loving sports-minded owner says about them~

"Goldy is six and I got her shortly after I moved into my house.  I got her for company, security and a running buddy. She is named after my beloved Golden Gophers.
Ultra social going to baseball games and all dog friendly event she also loves to swim, run and fetch. She exceeds the phrase “Woman’s best Friend."

"Sota is only a year old; I got her last summer for Goldy from the same breeder. Although not related they look very much alike!  She too is named after my favorite college team Minnesota. She is a little on the crazy side, likes to “fetch” which really means steal the ball from Goldy. A newbie to the lake she is still getting used to the idea of swimming.   A great addition to the family, she makes me laugh every day!"

I gotta admit, these two were awfully fun to paint, with the challenges of white fluffy fur~
Thanks Jill! 

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

July 27th~ Cody!

Darn John, you sent that e-mail just a bit late~  I got to work early today because of some plans later.  Cody's owner John was hoping I could take a photo of me painting the painting, as it is for his mom.  And actually, the space is a mess, and you really wouldn't want to see it anyway.  It's kinda like seeing the wizard behind the curtain-  takes some of the magic out of it... or maybe not.  Maybe you like to see the underpinnings of the business of painting... well, I'll include some shots of my varnishing rack with a buncha dogs spread out on it in the backyard yesterday afternoon while Max was napping...

And here is what John has to say about the sweetly concerned little pup~
"This is Cody.  He is my mom's dog.  My mom and I picked him out last July at a Petsmart adoption day event from the Last Hope organization.  He is a sweet little boy who loves to give stinky kisses.  My mom lost my dad about a year and a half ago and Cody has helped my mom to not feel too alone at home.  This picture was taken the day we brought him home.  He is a Chihuahua and Mini Dachshund mix."

Cody looks to me to be fully capable of providing as much loving as a person could need.

Thanks John!
And here is a crop of paintings, settling into their varnish...  gotta happen on sunny, coolish days with not so much humidity.  Been a great summer here for those...
I gotta admit, it is really fun for me to see them all together!  And this isn't all of them either!  Man, this has been SO fun and it is almost over!  I'll bring a couple dogs along this weekend to the Red Hot Art Festival at Steven's Square in Uptown! Come see me!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

July 26th- MOXIE! For Rob~

Rob doesn't know that I've painted this of Moxie.  Rob lives in Winona.  Rob is a very great man, and he and his wife and son and this dog Moxie were all incredibly supportive at a time when I really needed it, and when a dear friend of all of ours desperately needed it-  this is one of those paintings I've been meaning to do for a while, so thank goodness I finally made myself get to it!  Moxie is a Burmese Mountain Dog, one of the best, and I was fortunate to get to go winter camping with her once upon a time~
So thank you Rob!

Monday, July 25, 2011

July 25- Eddie!

At first, I was going to paint a puppy version of this sweet daschund/beagle, but after careful consideration, I was drawn to this amazing gaze.  I am so awed by the sheer intelligence, warmth, compassion, and gentle humor so often clear in a dog's eyes...

With that said, here is Eddie, in his own words!

"Hi, I’m Eddie. What’s your name? Huh? Wanna play? Huh? Huh? Did I tell you my name is Eddie? Let’s play! Ok? Ok!!

Sometimes I have other names: “Stop Barking” is one and “Oh No!” is another. I hear “What a Cutie” from strangers.

I was born the day after Christmas, the only boy in the litter. My mom is a beagle and my dad a miniature dachshund. I get my looks from my handsome dad, but there’s no mistaking my mom’s contribution! I can bark as loud as a hound dog…that’s because beagles are scent hounds and that’s what I was bred to do. The cats I live with don’t seem to like it, but it’s my job and I gotta protect the household.

The people I live with have rearranged their lives for me. I know that, but I have some issues. They want me to stop whatever I’m doing when they call me. They want me to pee on command and they want me to be quiet when I know the world wants to hear from me. What’s a dog supposed to do? I tilt my head and peer into their eyes, trying to figure it all out.

People come from far and wide to get their “Eddie fix.” I’m not sure what that means, but I love it when people come by.

Hi, my name is Eddie. Wanna play?"

Sunday, July 24, 2011

july 24- Sully!

This is SULLY!  A wonderful gentleman of a dog, a hound/St. Bernard if I remember correctly~  He lived next to Duane's house with Grace and Russ and then moved when they did, I think to California, and are now back in the midwest!  I remember most how sweet he was when Duane and I bought Star (a yorkie/poo who now looks more like a schnauzer/poo..) for my parents for an Easter present, and Sully just bounced around the backyard with that little scruffy black puppy, bowing low to the ground and acting as if HE were a puppy, although a much bigger, floppy-eared and more graceful puppy!  Such an incredible dog!  And now he has a human baby to hang out and drool all over!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

july 23- Basil~

And here is Basil, an incredibly intelligent dog, if I am to be any judge, after painting that face and those eyes....
We are enjoying the change in temp and air movement today, and I've been cleaning the car up for the Art Car Parade this evening!  Come watch the parade at Lake Harriet at 6pm!  All the cars will be lining up by the Rose Garden at 5 if you'd like to come see them up close~
Dang- I can't find the pic Ruthanne took of me and my car in front of the Weisman...  you'll just have to come see me in person!

Friday, July 22, 2011

July 22- Scout & Peeps!

Now, THESE two were a heckuva pleasure to paint!  Not that any of our other canines have been unpleasant, but this was quite fun!  All the HAIR involved, plus the incredible expressions....
well, you'll just have to tell me what you think!
Oh and while I'm at it, I would really appreciate all of your input on which five paintings should have prints made of them~  I will have greeting cards of all of them, but the prints require a bit more to do, and cost a LOT more, so I am only planning on doing five of the dogs...  if you have a favorite already, you can cast your vote!
And here is what Helen writes of her two canine companions~
"Scout is a border terrier mix and quite possibly the best dog we will ever have. She is the perfect dog that everyone hopes for - well adjusted, well behaved and sweeter than sweet. She came to us from West Virginia via Underdog Rescue. Scout is a true athlete. Her athleticism is  a beautiful thing. At almost nine years old, she still has an amazing vertical that lets her effortlessly jump up on five foot retaining walls as she casually walks next to them. When we first got her, she would jump up on the 4 inch wide railing on our back deck and walk around like a cat. She's 30 pounds of grace, love and fun."

"Peeps is a Brussels Griffon puppy mill rescue from Missouri (via Underdog Rescue). While four-year-old Peeps had a hard luck start to life, she is resilient. Thanks to lots of love from a great foster home and us, she is beginning to embrace life. She's overcoming her fears, and is not afraid to show enthusiasm. She's so enthusiastic sometimes it's like living with a cartoon character as she slides across the wood floors, moving too fast to make a turn or come to a stop. Looks-wise, she's a show stopper - snaggle teeth, big eyes and messy hair. When her tiny tail wags so goes her whole body, earning her the nickname Tiny Dancer. "Busta move, Tiny Dancer!"

Thursday, July 21, 2011


What is not to LOVE?!? 
And I got to meet this delicious velvety creature!  On a lovely day last week, and as I drove to my morning rendezvous, I swear I saw no less than THREE other bassets walking their owners!
Here is what Karen, Woodstock's owner, says about him~

"Woodstock is 10 years old and has lived with us since he was 6.  I grew up with Basset Hounds and have always loved the breed.  We have known Woodstock since he was a puppy.  He lived with friends on a hobby farm and hung out with kids, kittens and a pygmy goat.  He would lounge in his dog house and the goat would love to keep watch on top of Woodstock's house.  In the evenings the family would go on walks on the country roads with the dog and goat following along.  Woodstock and the goat would "wrestle" where the goat would head butt the dog and the dog would grab a hold of the goat's horns.  When our friends decided to move to South Africa, we agreed to adopt Woodstock.  He has transitioned to city life well, he particularly loves his walks and has many fans all over the neighborhood.  We are glad to have Woodstock be a part of our family."

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

July 20- Champ~

 Yes, this is Champ, who was an incredibly fuzzy, velvet-bristle-covered sweet-faced wrinkly fella who allowed children to crawl on him and was placid and even-tempered and loving.  He belonged to my friend Rosemary's siblings and it seems we all got to have him live with us for a time, as I remember having him saunter around my old backyard on Butternut off Shepard Road in St Paul, when Bingo was a pup...  I believe he was rumored to have some chow in him, though his fur and wrinkles suggested sharpei.  I don't know that I got the wrinkly-fuzzy feel right-  I may need to go back into this one too...

And I have also included a photo of me and Liz Sivertson (my favorite local artist since I was a kid!)  taken at the Grand Marais Art Festival!  It was SO fun!  And this other photo is of the German Shepard HONEY posing in front of the painting I did of her in May!  Of all wonderful reocccurances, she was at the Art Festival with her owner, and I recognised her as soon as she walked into the tent~  she was shy as ever and it took quite a bit of coaxing but she did consent to pose in front of her likeness for a few shots.  I gotta say, that really made my weekend!
Liz & me!

Honey with "Steady Gaze"

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

July 19- Afton!

I gotta admit, this was a difficult photo to work from, as it pixillated horribly when I tried to get it in closer.  So this is what I was able to come up with, and I hope it gives the sense of a delighted dog bouncing about in White Bear Lake~

And here is what the delightful Mary Jane has to honestly say about the enthusiastic Afton!  (You can tell writing is one of Mary Jane's loves...)

"Afton is a rescue dog of uncertain parentage.  Her jowls say schnauzer.  Her tail is a furry curl.  Her fuzzy back legs make her look like she’s wearing pajama bottoms. That, and her neck’s wooly cowl suggest that a husky might have been part of the mix.

Afton is my daughter Ellen’s dog.  We got her when Ellen was a ninth-grader.  Afton would wake Ellen up for school.  On those mornings when big tests loomed or a paper was due, I’d put a red bow around Afton’s neck before I sent her in to Ellen’s room.  “Oh, she is sooo cute!” Ellen would say.  Ellen never said that to me when I woke her up.

Ellen went off to Panama for a service trip one summer, to Portugal as an exchange student and now to Washington D.C. for college.  Afton stays with me, enthroned on the leather couch. Wherever Ellen’s life takes her, she’s always eager for a puppy report.  “Thank goodness for Skype,” says Ellen. “Afton is just no good on the phone.”

I am not a dog person. The unauthorized adoption of a dog was a minor factor in the break-up of my marriage.  I’ve put everything I had into raising three kids and keeping a complicated household humming along, mostly on my own.  I nearly made it through their raising-up with pets no more demanding than guinea pigs.  I was a complete fool to take on a dog so late in the game.

Foolish undertakings do bring silly satisfactions.  I love my kids. I love my mate. I do not love my dog. However, I am very, very fond of her and deeply grateful for the joy Afton brings to my nearest and dearest."

Monday, July 18, 2011

July 18- Spencer~

 This is Spencer, a standard poodle, who lives and loves Shawna, who tells an incredible story about him~

"Spencer was rescued from a puppy mill in southern MN by Second Chance, a non-profit animal group, in late August, 2005.  We had been looking for a second dog for quite a while, but with allergies in our family, there are only a few breeds of dogs that work for us.  We already had (and still have) our dog, Luna, who is also a black Standard Poodle.

When Spencer came up for adoption over Labor Day weekend, 2005, we raced to his foster home to meet him, with Luna in tow.  When we introduced Luna and Spencer in the caregiver’s back yard, it was love at first sight for the two of them.  They immediately began playing, running and jumping.  We knew Spencer was meant to be in our family.

Spencer had never lived in a home before, and I believe he was confined to a small space outside.  When Second Chance took him, he was matted so badly that he couldn’t lift his head up all the way (the hair on his chin was matted to the hair on his chest, and his jaw was pulled to the side as a result).  He also had a skin infection, and old scars from where he was apparently bitten in the face.  He was a year and a half old, and I don’t think he had ever had a toy, regular meals, or much love.  Now he is healthy (that means chunky) and is just about the sweetest thing you could imagine.  If he had his way, he would be attached to me (Shawna) 24/7.  We taught him how to “shake” and if you ask him to do it once, he will lift his paw up over and over again to get your attention. 

The nice thing about rescue dogs (he is our third) is that they just want your attention.  Spencer will let you brush his teeth, clean his ears, and pick burrs out of his coat without a fuss.  He just wants to be touched and loved.  Luna has to take allergy medication, and Spencer gets jealous when you have to stick the pills down her throat.  He will actually try to eat her pills.  So, I make him sit alongside her and then after I open her mouth and toss the pills in, I go to Spencer and pretend I’m putting pills in his mouth by just tapping on his tongue.  This makes him happy.  It’s the little things, truly.

Until recently, he really loved spinach stems as a treat, and cucumber peelings.  He finds all the acorns in the yard during the fall, and eats them, too.  But if you want to make his day, give him some popcorn, pretzels or wasabi peas.  Besides sitting on a lap, those are his favorite things."

I gotta admit, I wasn't expecting such great stories about these dogs!  Wow~  what an amazing bunch of people~

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Sunday, July 17- Coco!

Wow, what a scorcher-  we had a brunch today and actually had a number of people show up despite the heat- Duane set up the big tent in the backyard over the kiddie pool and we all ended up out there, with our feet in the pool, drinking Duane's punch while Dave cooked eggs and fresh-picked mushrooms on the grill...
Yup-  what a life!

And here is our lovely dog for today, Coco, whom I painted at the tail-end of the brunch with some on-lookers~  I enjoy painting with people around.   And here is what Bethany has to say about Coco, who happens to be her parents' dog~
"I know little about Coco, except that he brings my Mother and Father-in-Law much joy.  They adopted him a few years ago when he was surrendered when an older woman was no longer able to care for him.  He lives in Charlotte, NC and I know he loves ice cream.  I think it is funny that my in-laws denied a dog to their four kids when they were young and never considered themselves dog people, but now Coco is a major part of their family and among the four kids, each of them now have 2 dogs."

Funny how our families turn out, ain't it?  Coco looks like a sprightly little sweetheart of a pup~!

Saturday, July 16, 2011

July 16- Smokey~

 An apt name for a day like today, I guess... and I gotta admit, this one was really tough to paint and I am STILL not entirely happy and so some messing around with this image may happen before the final showing.

And here is what Smokey's loving owner has to say about this special dog~

"I just thought I would send you a little information about Smokey who I occasionally refer to as the Smokster.   I loved reading about Atticus.  I have had Smokey for around 8 years.  His history: My son and I received him as a Christmas present from my sisters.  I had decided it was time; I was ready to get a canine companion and mentioned it to one of my sisters and she jumped on the opportunity to get one for us for Christmas.  I really had only a few criteria; one to go with the Humane Society or a rescue foundation and second was thinking a beagle mix.  One of my other sisters got involved so there was a good balance and I trusted their decisions.  They got Smokey from a rescue foundation called ARF in Superior Wisconsin.  He had been abandoned with a cat in December.  The foundation said they thought he was a beagle mix, the vet thought he looked more like a hound, he does do hound speak once in awhile.  When I first get home and he is so excited to see me it sounds like he says heellllooooooo, so cute, other than that his coat has the texture and coloring of a German Sheppard and a little of their temperament.  
It took him a while to settle in to our house.  He was my first dog and because he was rescued came with a lot of issues; I learned a lot that first year, his fears such as thunder, fireworks, riding in the car, abandonment, things that make him crazy, bikes, trikes, trucks pulling trailers, the UPS truck is a big one and well, squirrels.  I had a cat when I first got him who he so wanted to be friends with, but Sammy never really warmed up to him, then I got Josie, two years ago now and they are the great buddies.  It really was fun to see him interact with a crazy kitten and now cat.  The other day all of us, my son Isaac in his wheelchair, Smokey helping me pull Isaac along and Josie the cat went for a family walk around the block.  It was entertaining for the neighbors. "

Sounds like a perfect family!

Friday, July 15, 2011

July 15~ Bitsy & Otis! Two fer One!

 Today I painted a pair of dogs again, and they were meant to both be in the usual square format, but I just COULDN'T crop the Boston's EARS for crying out loud, so she got painted on a rectangle...  It's my game and I can change the rules if I want to!  Speaking of changing rules, there is a shift in dogs- tomorrow I will be painting Smokey for Kelley, instead of the two Scotties for Mark, who asked for a later date because he says the dogs were out in the big backyard running around in the rain and he won't be able to get decent pictures of them til they are drier~  at least, I think that was the reason!

And here is what Krista has to say about HER lively pair of pups!

"Bitsy came to me from a friend, an old co-worker, who's sister's husband passed away, not allowing her to care for Bitsy and her two brothers anymore.  I had been thinking about fostering a Rottie, and got the call from my friend saying "I have a little girl for you if you're interested."  Of course, as a responsible parent, I immediately said yes, THEN decided I should meet her first.  It was love at first sight.  She hasn't stopped following me since.  She's my best friend, and we take care of each other.  She has many nicknames, Bitserella Psychedella, Ritzy, Farfle, Bit-Bit, and the list goes on.  She's a very happy dog.


"Otis came to my boyfriend Chris 5 years ago after he got kicked out of service dog school.  Not because he was naughty,  but because he was so independent and opinionated. =)  Before his stint in service dog school, Otis was found wandering the streets of Saint Loius and got picked up by a woman who transported him back to MPLS.  When Chris got Otis, the woman told him he had to always sleep in the bed under the covers.  And he does until this day.  I always say it's like putting a blanket over a bird cage...put a blanket over Otis and he falls right to sleep.  Otis has many nicknames too, Otiewan Kenobi, Otissima, Otis Lampinian, and so on.  He can be a challenge at times, but we love him dearly.

Otis and Bitsy have now lived together for 2 months.  They are the best of friends, and get into lots of trouble together.  They really bring a lot of personality and love into our lives.  Don't know what we'd do without them.  =)"

 I also wanted to mention that I have posted my Art Talk on my website under the "Welcome" page, if you feel inclined to read up on my background...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July 14- STELLA!!!

Honestly, I LOVE the name Stella~  I once had a great student named Stella, who drew an incredible iguana in 3rd grade and was the epitome of creative student...
I have had the honor of meeting THIS Stella, who has a great dignity and beauty about her, and an elegance that can be seen in the bearing of her head here... she is not beyond silliness and joy, however...
And I have to say it was difficult to chose a photo to paint from the selection Kari gave me, because Kari is an incredible artist herself and sees the world in a refined, elegant and dignified way, and many of her photos are beautiful works of art, which are nearly impossible for me to paint from as I need to feel my own interpretation in the painting and if the photo is already great, what do I have left to do?!?
oh and Kari titled this photo "Ear Wings" which just about explains it all~

And come tonight to hear me talk at Private Art 2 if you can~  I've been writing all afternoon~  I need people to read it too!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

July 13- Gucci~

What a fabulous name for such a FABulous face!!!  This is Gucci, with a lovely grin, and here is what his loving owner Megan has to say about how he GOT that great name!

"Gucci boy is such a sweet dog. I adopted Gucci on Labor Day weekend two days before my first teaching job. He reminds me of my great memories of Minnesota... Gucci  loves to play tug-o-war with his little sister Stella. She hand feeds him one doggie food nougat at a time. They are inseparable, but have their moments... While in Minnesota I nannied for a family who had a dog named Georgio...named after Georgio Armani... I loved the thought of naming him after a brand. So... being the shoe and purse enthusiast that I am, Gucci fit perfectly.  He may be the only Gucci I'll ever own, but I'm okay with that! :) "

Stay tuned for more!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

July 12~ Gizmo AND Blueberry!!!!

 Today I painted TWO dogs, just because I didn't feel I was challenging myself enough and I don't want to go soft in my old age...
Their owner Michelle is a painted herself, and came by to see us in Grand Marais this weekend which is where my mom and I met her in May at the Art Colony!  Isn't it fun how the world spins so smoothly?
And here is what she has to say about her two sweet pups~
"Gizmo came to live with our family about 6 years ago, when he was just a puppy. He grew up playing with our son and daughter and our 2 cats, and they all got along famously. One of Gizmo's favorite games was playing fetch with his squeaky penguin toy. "Penguin" was one of the many words the Giz learned over the years and whenever he heard that word, he was ready for action. One of us would kick the penquin and then Gizmo would run and get it, bring it back, and then crouch down, bouncing on his front paws waiting for the next kick of his favorite toy. One day when Jim and Gizmo were out for a walk, Giz walked smack-dab into a tree. That's when we ralized that Gizmo was going blind. We took him to the vet and to a specialist, but no one could figure out what happened to Gizmo to cause his blindness. It was permanent and irreversible. Gizmo seemed to lose interest in a lot of his favorite things, like going for walks, and because he couldn't see any more, playing the penguine-fetch game came to an end. Gizmo was a sad little dog and we weren't sure what to do for him."

"Then we found Blueberry. Blue had already lived with 3 other families in his short life of 7 months, and he was about to go off to his 4th--in Canada. Our neighbor, and the owner of Blueberry's mom, was worried about making plans to get the little guy across the border. What if things didn't work out at his new home? Soon someone made the suggestion that Blueberry might be a good companion for Gizmo maybe he should come live with our family. It seemed like a good idea. So now Blueberry has been with our family for just about a year, he and Gizmo are great friends and Gizmo likes to go for walks and play again. The puppy energy of Blueberry in our lives has been good (most of the time) for all of us, and as you can see, they make a very cute pair!"

Monday, July 11, 2011

July 11, ARWYN!

And this is Arwyn, a very special Chiuaua, found and loved by Sandy and her daughter Olivia~  Sandy has a beautiful art car, a VW bug (the newer ones) with a panopoly of fairies painted all around it, and in parades Sandy and her friends wear wings and wigs and glitter, and so here is Arwyn, with a bit of a purple glimpse of her lilac wing and a hint of a halo....
And just a bit of an amusing little glint in her eye~

And we are just back from Grand Marais, beautiful day yesterday!  Like UNBELIEVABLE day, the kind where you find yourself thinking, I would LOVE to live here!  And I got to see a few of my favorite local artists, my special incredibly cool favorite artist Liz Sivertson who has influenced my love of painting animals since my childhood, and Timouth Young whose trees showed me how to see the sky~  mom and I took a class from Liz in 2008 which is when I actually began painting dogs again, and ended up getting a commission right in class and selling two other paintings right off the wall...  yup, that's me...

Oh and I wanted to remind you to come hear me speak ever so eloquently of my life and philosophy of art on Thursday at 6pm at Private Art 2: Key North!!!!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

July 10 Sunday- Ike~ the Vizsla~

I did get sunshine and time to paint today at the Art Festival!  Here is Ike~   a very noble creature, with regal bearing~  and I actually met a vizsla in person today too!  I mean, wow!  It was like a Dog Show here, or at the best a Dog Parade!  So fun! and what a GORGEOUS day!   Yesterday we were all running to the thrift store to buy sweaters and scarves, and today we were all stripping down to tank tops and swapping suntan lotion!  Our spot was right on the square, looking out over the bay and there were tons of people and boats and SUNSHINE!!!!  I think all the vendors were pretty darn pleased with ourselves for conjuring up such a great day~
Especially after the depressing soak of saturday...

and I believe I will have a few more commissions coming in soon!  So fun to paint with an audience!  Oh and mom and I were on the radio yesterday, the local station, and I talked about the 30 Dogs Project and how it got started.  Maybe next year I'll turn in into more of a fundraiser, depending on where we are financially... and whether we ourselves will be needing a fundraiser!

Tomorrow is our little fairy dog, Arwyn!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

july 9, HUDSON! for Lianna~

This is Hudson, dressed for the Christmas Holidays, and he has that expression that most dogs wear when they are humoring you and your penchant for cute bows and ribbons and antlers and bunny ears and such-like....  That black-blue shine was SO fun to paint, as were those HUGE brown eyes~

We are up in Grand Marais- not a great day today, as it rained for most of it and we had to keep shuffling items around and half closing the front flaps... sold a bunch of cards and gave a ton of postcards and brochures away, had a number of people we knew show up and a lovely collection of new fans~  so hopefully tomorrow the weather will be more conducive to commerce....

Oh and it is my mom's birthday today, so Dad and Duane and Max snuck in with a cake and Dad and Duane enticed mom out of the tent for a minute so Max and I could jam candles in the cake and attempt to light the candles-  I mean, I lit them and Max attempted to blow them out~  then I asked anyone walking past to come in the tent and sing Happy Birthday when Mom came back and she did and they all did and she blew out the candles and everyone got cake!

and now, to bed,.....

Friday, July 8, 2011

July 8, CLOVER for Chris!

Ha!  Here he is, in all his glory, wearing his little red scarf...  oooo at least I think I thought Clover was male... Chris, you haven't sent me any little stories about him!  SO this is all I know- 
I may have mentioned in passing that we are heading up to the Grand Marais Arts Festival TODAY!  So Clover was painted early.... and I am anticipating painting Hudson and Ike while at the festival!  So if you will be in the area, please come on over!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

July 7, HENRY! For Abbie~

And this is Henry~  a sweet older dog, loved by Abbie, whom I met as Duane and I were rounding Max up to leave a friend's daughter's graduation party during which Max disappeared for a good five minutes while Duane was looking up a tree and I was chatting and he didn't appear again until I went into complete mom-panic and asked everyone I knew if they'd seen him and FINALLY our divine friend Shannon saw him in the next yard on the brightly colored play-equipment...   ANYWAY, Abbie hadn't told me too much about Henry, except that she was really excited to have a portrait of him as he is getting on in years, and it would be great to have a memorial~  I hope this does him justice!  I think it is one of my more Van-Gogh-ish ones...  and it was still wet when I took the photo in case you are wondering about the glistening bakground..
And Clover WILL happen tomorrow, possibly at 6am, as we will be traveling to Grand Marais all day and then setting up various tents and easy-ups and stuff....  wish us luck!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Wed, july 7~ Atticus!

Yes, he is named after THAT Atticus, he of the Mockingbird fame, oh our beloved Mr. Finch, both in book and movie, and I was delighted to paint such a distinguished name-bearer, though as I proceeded with paint and brush to attempt to depict this countenance, I felt I was looking at a visage more known for the discovery of many engineering feats but I don't have the tiny little "2" to carry it all off, you know "E=MC..."...
Enough of my ramblings~  I've been reading Douglas Adams again...  here is what Lauren has to say about Atticus~  and I must say his face bears wisdom far older than his years!

"Atticus is an nine month old Golden Doodle, half Golden Retriever half Poodle.  We chose this breed because of their exceptional cuteness.  When we went to the breeders to pick a puppy we had 16 pups to choose from.  Lucky for us Atticus crawled up in Eric's lap and just stayed until we had eliminated all the other choices.  My daughter Sierra named him after the wonderful lawyer and father Atticus Finch from To Kill A Mockingbird, which she was reading at the time.  Atticus is a dream dog.  He learns very quickly and was easy to train and he makes it really easy to love him.  He loves to be outside, especially in the snow.  In the winter he rolls in the snow and down hills like a kid.  He can entertain himself for hours at a time throwing balls for himself, chewing sticks, and he recently learned to swim.  He plays a fantastic game of fetch in the water and on land.  Atticus is the kind of dog who will put the ball right in your hand if that's what it takes to get someone to play with him.  If your hands are full that's ok too; he'll put the ball at your feet so you can kick it for him to chase.  There is nothing he likes more than to be social with humans and other dogs, although at nine months he is a very big puppy and can get overly excited to meet new and old friends."

What a great dog!  I hope to meet him at the Opening!  Back to packing for the GRAND MARAIS ART FESTIVAL this WEEKEND!!!!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

july 5, ADDIE!!!!

Addie is the kind of lab that is full of love and energy and will happily eat anything you give her off the table which is why Jane makes sure all her guests at the barbque understand that THEY will be the ones responsible for cleaning up the resulting mess.  Which was right next to the principal's flip-flip...  on the lawn...
But doesn't she look happy anyway?

Whew!  We are heading up to the Grand Marais Art Festival this weekend and I am SUPER excited and the kitchen is disheveled and full of rubbermaid bins and paper bags and cards and prints and paintings and I am trying to get price lists made and little signs printed up and we are trying to get organized to stay in the parents' winnebago (with them) and Duane chose today to haul a truckload of crap to the City Recycling station, concrete and metal and just stuff so we are both wiped out and Max is too and tomorrow is another day!
Thanks for following-  some days it is a CHALLENGE to get my dog done, I gotta tell you!

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4th! Cooper~

And THIS is our Red, White and Blue Corgi for the Fourth of July!  What a fireworks display!  I meant to do all the dogs as cropped in head portraits, but this seemed to call for a larger shot~  And here is what Mary, her owner, says about Cooper;

"My Cooper the cardigan corgi is an unusual looking dog that longs to be 
 Commander stumpy as she is sometimes called is long and stumpy with a polka dot blue coat, a few 
prominent black spots and if she lifts her tail with the proper surge of pride one can see a black heart 
out lining her 'stuff'. She is very athletic and a good listener with BIG pointy ears and a face that is 
kinda Dobermanish."
I had the pleasure to meet Cooper in person in Mary's backyard in "Whimsy On Thomas" or WOT, and 
that is an accurate description of her home because it is exceedlingly whimsical!  The area Cooper is sitting
is NOT the Grand Canyon as one may conjecture but one of two  enormous concrete sculptures Mary
made in her backyard around a firepit and Cooper's favorite place to sit.
I did actually paint another dog too, but that one is on my i-phone and I am not sure how to post
it...    maybe later!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

July 3, Jeremy for Lisa!~

Wow this was SUCH a fun face to paint!  If you go to the 30 Dogs 2011 website you can see some of the photos I am using and Jeremy's are SO fun!  I will have to get Lisa's story about Jeremy later and add it in to this post-  I think she said he's a Basset/Beagle mix?  What do YOU think?
Again, GREAT smile!
Really, I think I just love dogs so much because when they smile, they do it with their entire SELVES!!!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

july 2, Toby for Wendy!

Here is today's dog, a charmer for sure!  From what his owner says, Toby leads one of those lucky dog lives where he's allowed along to her workplace~

"Toby is a 7 year old Boston Terrier. During the school year, he is lucky enough to spend a couple of days a week in the office of Meadowbrook Elementary in Golden Valley. He has a special talent of covering himself up in his bed when he's chilly. He is a friend to all; people, dogs cats - he's not particular. He never passes up a ride in the car, a game of frisbee or a tennis ball. His favorite toy of the moment is "pig", whose nose he has sucked on so long it's starting to rot. When pig is finished, he'll choose another "baby" and start again. He's done this since the day I brought him home at 7 weeks old. He is, of course, a one-of-a-kind and we are lucky to have him in our lives!"

Of course, I love the ears...

And here are a couple photos of the Private Art 2: Key North Opening of Thurdsay eve~  thank you so much those few brave souls who ventured out in that life-sucking heat!  I'll be back again on Thursday the 14th of July to do an "Artist's Talk" so if you'd like to try and come again, I would appreciate it!  I don't often get the opportunity to see the big dog paintings in an exhibition space~  and you really do need to see them live!
"Backseat Opinions" and my favorite~

"Woeful In The Kitchen" with mom & dad in the background...

Susan, Trish & Jan

Friday, July 1, 2011

July 1, 2011~ MO! For Kelli~ & the LIST

This is Mo, my sister Kelli's dog in Columbia~
This is the first dog in the series of 30!

And I have the revised Official List at the end of this story, and also on my website for the 30 Dogs Project here!

And this is Kelli's story of how Mo found her, and took her in with those big brown eyes!

"It was May 2010, my first day back in Bogota after being out of the country for a month. Because it was dark and rainy, I decided to walk a different route home from work. On my way, I saw a cute little dog running down the street. I noticed she was not with any humans, but that she had a collar. So I figured I would check for the address and bring her home. She was shy, but came up to me and let me pet her. So I went under a light to look at the tag on the collar and there was no identifying info, except a number for a rabies shot five years earlier and "Motas" written on the back of the tag. (I later learned that the collar and tag, and name, probably weren't hers. But I digress.) I wasn't sure what to do, so I started to walk slowly toward home (hoping she might lead me to a house that was obviously hers), but she followed me the whole way. On my front steps, she stopped, sat down (wet, cold and shivering) and looked at me with her enormous, sweet doggie eyes. I had no choice. I let her come in, figuring we would find her owners the next day. Umm, yes, that did not work out. I searched for weeks, but never found an owner. So, somehow she ended up adopting me (yes, that is how it was; NOT the other way around) and I had a Colombian street dog for a roommate. She was the sweetest, most loving, funny, energetic dog ever. (And maybe one of the sheddiest, too, if that's a word.) Just last month, I had to give her up because I was moving to the Middle East. Fortunately, a sweet Colombian co-worker of mine, who has two dog-loving children, hubby and live-in nanny, offered to adopt her. Handing her over was incredibly difficult, but I know she is having a blast with her new family and I hope to see her on my next visit back to Bogota. Little "Mo" (who was dubbed "Moses," "Mojito," "Mo Mo," "Mosley," "Mona," and many other such monikers by my friends) will always be one of the best dogs and proves that you don't need a pedigree to be a big ball of love.  "

July 1- "Mo"  Kelli C~ (mixed breed)
July 2- "Toby"  Wendy (Boston Terrier)
July 3- "Jeremy"  Lisa A(mixed breed) 
July 4-  "Cooper"  Mary (Corgi)  
July 5- "Addie"   Jane  (Black Lab)
July 6-  "Atticus"  Lauren  (Golden Schnoodle...)
July 7- "Henry"  Abbie (mixed breed)
July 8-  "Clover"  Christine (mixed breed)
July 9-  "Hudson" Liana ( Basset Hound)
July 10- "Ike"  Julie  (Vizsla)
July 11- "Arwyn" Sandy (Chiuaua)
July 12- "Blueberry" (Havanese) "Gizmo"  (Papillon) Michelle
July 13- “Gucci” Megan (Shih Tzu)
July 14- "Stella"  Kari  (mixed breed)
July 15- "Bitsy & Otis"  Krista (Rottweiler & Boston Terrier)
July 16- "Bassa" & "Buster"    Mark (Scottie)
July 17- “Coco” Bethany (poodle)
July 18-  “Spencer/Luna”  Shawna (standard poodle)
July 19- "Afton" MaryJane  (mixed breed)
July 20- "Champ" Rosemary (Chow-mix)
July 21- "Woodstock"  Karen (Basset) 
July 22- "Peeps" & “Scout”  Helen  (mixed breed)
July 23- "Basil" Lea (Lhasa Apso)
July 24- "Sully" Grace & Russ (Hound)
July 25- "Eddie"  Carla (Daschund/Beagle)
July 26- "Moxie" Rob (Burmese Mountain Dog)
July 27- “Cody” John Gettler (chiuaua/daschund mix)
July 28-  "Goldy" and "Sota"  Jill (Golden Doodles)
July 29- "Ditto" Tabitha  (Schnauzer)
July 30- “Smokey”  Kelly
July 31- "Zodi" Julie  (Husky)