the rescue of an aging dog
I received this great story from a couple who only adopt older dogs they find in shelters. Our 2nd “give Me that Dog” book will be published this fall. Many of the stories sent to me were a little more difficult to paint for one reason or another. As in any great dog story, many of these 2nd edition stories have brought sadness and joy into my studio. People who work to make a dogs life better, are an inspiration and have some amazing stories to tell. It is an honor to share their stories.

repainting a painting

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Sometimes a visual idea, when transferred from the brain to the canvas, can go south! I’ve been gazing at this one “leaping” dog painting I did last year. Everyday when I come into my studio…there it is on the wall. And, every time I’d focus on it, I felt that it needed work but could never come up with a solution.  Sometimes, the only solution is just paint over an idea that doesn’t work… and sometimes there is just a small clue that spurs me on to make a change.  And, as in any change one makes,  all changes require faith, courage, disappointment and finally, a solution that works! so, here is “Dogs in Tall Grass” acrylic on canvas.  Enjoy

Good Intentions

Fall seems like a good time to take a breath. It’s not hot, and it’s not cold.  The sun comes in at a slant and lights up all the summer dust in every room of the house. Papers and drawings are just lying around waiting to be organized.  It’s a mess!

As a small business owner, I’m pulled in many directions.  There is management of Bellacompany and the t-shirts and caps and on-line customers, and then there is also working on paintings!  Today I reviewed all of the stories and photos I received last fall for our “Give Me That Dog” project.  I did manage to complete 10 stories and paintings and we did publish a small book,  called “A Chair for Helen”.  We also auctioned off some of the paintings on our facebook after giving the story teller first dibs!  In my imagination, these projects are never as complicated as they turn out, but I think the end result was worth the work!

I always imagine that I can accomplish a lot more in a little bit of time than is even realistic.  That’s where my imagination hits the wall of time available (sometimes called reality)! There are quite a few great stories and pictures in a folder waiting for my attention.  It feels good to get the files all straightened up and review the future work to do. I hope to get back to this in January of 2012! Winter is a much better time to do studio work.

Meanwhile, my original goal in creating this blog was to talk about some of my favorite artists!. Call this my reminder blog!…or, my nag blog.  I know if I write it down, it will happen sooner or later!  If I don’t write it down,  whatever project I have in mind will just probably not get done anytime soon.

Drawing cartoons of dogs has expanded my portfolio

A recently drawn Luna toonA few years ago I decided that it would be more fun to take a pad of drawing paper and some nice ink pens to a  dog event in Weston in our small downtown park,  rather than haul our Bellacompany t-shirts and caps into the great out of doors. That way, I could just try to so some “luna toons” of dogs who attended with their “parents”. I wasn’t sure how this would work or if I could even manage it at an actual event. I practiced drawing a “toon” of our blind lab, Helen,  and it seemed to go well, so I had some hope that this new idea would work. I took paper, pens, and plastic envelopes to protect any “toons” I might complete. As the event began, a line of dogs and their owners formed so I was kind of stuck trying out my new idea.
The greatest draw back to doing a “live” cartoon  is that gazing at a dog intently is not so popular with the dog!  Because there was so much going on with dog agility and just the general chaos of dogs, children and adults, most of the dogs were very patient while I worked on my new idea. They were calm and mindful!  . I drew about 14 toons  over a  3 hour time period before the line went away and my ability to concentrate disappeared. Perfect timing! …and I discovered a new avenue for my drawing abilities.  Since that initial experience, I’ve enjoyed doing Luna Toons in my studio from photos and stories that dog owners send with their orders.
The Company of Dogs catalog sold our toon concept in their catalog the next year and I received some great photos and stories about people and their dogs. I find that it is easier to do a “toon” with a few photos and a description than to actually gaze at the dog. I’ve done a few live  toons in my studio, but the models were a little nervous with all that staring and no distractions! In the park, they were too distracted to notice.