Custom Portrait Work

rosalie.june222013
I find it pretty stressful to paint portraits of dogs, but in the long run, it’s very rewarding and worth the time spent. The problem always is that the dog owner knows and loves their dog(s) very much, but I only have a couple of photos to work with! The process is difficult but the end result is usually worth all the anxiety!

Head Shots and beyond!

marioblog

My new venture is called “head shots”…featured on our website, http://www.bellacompany.com. I have received some great dog pictures to work with. As it turns out, this particular project I dreamed up is deceptively difficult…but, when the painting is finally finished, folks who purchase these canvas paintings are happy with the results. I sometimes think I want to get back to painting the landscape (as in my “looking down” paintings) and, I have some great camera shots taken while I’m walking Lola, (our new now a year old) dog.
This is the time of year I spend dreaming up the new year. What new designs or popular past designs will be on a new t-shirt? What kind of painting would I like to explore? Should I open some new paint colors and wander down some unexplored subject? I began painting by painting landscapes and seascapes…should I go there again? It’s nice and disturbing too when ideas are up in the air!

Art History lesson


I have wanted to share some artists who inspired me and set me on this art path…so, here goes!
My grandmother was very creative and the person who raised me when I was very young. She gardened, made her own hats, made movies of her travels to Mexico and Hawaii, and painted dishware. She also worked full time!
When I went to live with my mother I was in the 4th grade. There was a lot of adjusting to do. I was moved from a rural home to an apartment in downtown Seattle. I attended public school for the first time. My mom figured out that butcher paper on the wall was necessary or I was going to draw on the wall paper! So I had a place to create from the start. I also had a great 5th grade art teacher. One day she showed a movie about how to create a watercolor…I was mesmerized!
When I married, I seemed to have lost my art self. We lived in Corvallis Oregon and my husband was going to Graduate School. I worked in a small bank. There was this small book store close to work and I’d go there sometimes on my lunch time. One day I came across this book about Nicolas De Stael. I was mesmerized again! Even though we had little money, I had to go back and buy this small book. Nicolas woke up my buried desire to paint. I’ve never been the same!

Night Life with Dogs


Give Me That Dog story painted and written. This long hot summer has been a great encouragement for staying in my studio and painting more of the great dog stories we received last year. We hope to publish another small book this fall.

Hominy and Buster

Hominy and Buster

It’s a pleasure to paint in summer because it’s too hot outside to do much else. I’ll bet many artists pray for hot summers and cold snowy winters! Nothing like being trapped inside ones studio to get some paintings done! This is my third painting on the journey to 12 stories for a new small “give me that dog!”book. The photo I received of Buster really did show him with rabbit ears….What a great dog …just the

the “out of control” room

Every day presents new content to my life. The garden is the mediator of the turmoil of every day.  There’s nothing like removing a weed and planting a flower, or placing a big rock just where it should be to provide some balance. Some of life’s problems just have to exist!

Meanwhile, I’ve had time to paint another “living with dogs and cats” painting.  …its a way of dealing with turmoil…

Painting Large, Painting Small

It’s great to have the time to experiment with a new idea. One thing that winter allows more of is time to think about where we might be headed and what new paths we might explore. When I say “we”, I mean a blend of my art and Bellacompany.com which features my art on t-shirts. I’ve been growing this business for about 14 years and it certainly has expanded and evolved. We have lots of faithful followers who enjoy the t-shirts and also my art. I’ve just been thinking that I would like to reduce the t-shirt sales and increase the art sales. I’m not sure if folks would like a small “head shot” of their dog or not, but it’s certainly worth a try! The small portraits would be more expensive than a “Luna Toon”, but less expensive than a full scale portrait! Doing only head shots also will relieve me from the concern about the “landscape” around a full dog as well. The examples posted are of our two dogs, Noodle and Dot. I will also do at least one cat portrait as well so that my style will be apparent to all. Enjoy and comment if you would!

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.

Leaping border collie!

Every time I attempt to organize my studio a little more, I find some painting  that I think  someone else might enjoy!  I have worked with the MOKan Border Collie group in Kansas City  for several years. They usually have a get together in the spring…or is it fall? I’ve designed t-shirts for them from time to time.  The leaping dog has not made it to a t-shirt yet, but I  think it’s worth sharing here. It’s great to watch these border collies in action. They really do float above the ground.

As I have started to paint on canvas again, I realize how addictive painting on paper can be.  Canvas work just takes much longer to build the paint on to get the rich painted feel.  Paper is more absorbent and can suffer from overwork.

Border Collie agility

Agility dog