Monday, December 10, 2007

Stormy Weather Art

Winter is here in Oregon, and it has arrived with some very powerful storms. My thoughts and prayers to all the folks in western oregon and washington who have been affected by these events. These renditions of weather-related events are of the milder, enjoyable variety.

I created several 12x16 paintings for the annual Stormy Weather Art show at Dragonfire, my gallery in Cannon Beach. Six in all, three have sold ("First Frost" , "Weathering a Storm", and "Red Sky" pictured here, are still available, please contact

I have found I enjoy working in this smaller format, I can explore ideas quickly, and if I want to pursue a larger canvas, I can do that, and have worked through many issues that don't come up in my sketchbook. I have gotten into the habit of working large and singularly, so this is a helpful problem for me as an artist to create a series. It stretches me creatively, making the paintings relate to one another, while being complete paintings on their own.
I have a few larger paintings at Dragonfire, it you get a chance and are in the Cannon Beach, Oregon neighborhood, be sure to stop by.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Dog and Cat Show-The Casting Call Unveiling

Last February we had an event at Tails West Gallery in Sun Valley. We called it the Casting Couch, think of it as a "Casting Call" for paintings. Over 80 people brought in photographs of their dog(s) or cat(s), deposited them on the dog bed (casting couch) for me to look at and select for a painting. Being the nutty dog and cat lover that I am, I couldn't decide between all of them, so I brought home to my studio the ones that called to me, and decided to do several pieces.

Two of my most favorites were "Bella" a Portuguese water spaniel, and "Bergen" and "Yurich", two Bernese mountain dogs. These two were my star paintings. Bella is a large acrylic on birch panel, and Bergen and Yurick are pastel. The rest (10 more! yup) are small acrylics on board. It was a great way to meet people and hear about their critters, and to paint several different breeds that haven't come my way until now.

People often ask me, "Do you get tired of talking about people's dogs?". And the answer is "no". I love the surprising connection that comes about between creatures and humans. After you get past all the cutesy stuff, dogs and cats have a way or worming themselves into your heart, before you even know it. It is hard to qualify what they "provide", it is not just love and loyalty...they help us to be more compassionate (even if only in retrospect), and more humane. My first dog, Pu, would have been a model Cesar Milan dog. I leash trained her from puppy hood, and we went for long walks two times a day for years. She was the smartest, most entertaining dog I've ever owned. But most of this I found out in retrospect. I also treated her like a dog. Yes, she was my family, but she didn't get much special treatment (no scraps from the table, no naps on the couch (although occasionally I would find that warm, hairy spot on the couch when I got home from a long day at work). I just kept up my end of the deal. Two good meals and two long walks per day, and walk on the woods on the weekends, or a day on the river, so she could dive for rocks. Might be time to finally do her painting for myself. Eight years later.

Anyway, how did mentioning other people's dogs get me to talking about mine?

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Yellow Dog Art and Warm Ups!

I've just published a calender of my paintings that feature yellow dogs (which happen to be quite a few, since Chamois, my yellow lab, is one of my favorite models!). It has been featured on the website, where you can buy your very own copy! I've also been a featured contributor all week this week...a very nice benefit to being noticed on this site. If you've not been to, it is a fun way to see and purchase art/photography and clever graphics, and buy small cards and/or prints always at bargain prices. Here is the back cover, so you can get an idea of the pieces that are inside. If you are interested in purchasing one, please go to*I like to have a lot going on in my I currently have about 10 of my whimsical narrative style paintings in various stages of ready to paint and almost done. I love the chaos of all the ideas, the problems, the happy accidents, the beautiful areas that are working. I like the fact that when I hit a spot where I don't know what to do next, I have other options besides chewing on my paintbrush, I just move on to the painting that calls my name. Another thing that is really giving me some inspiration is my current obsession that I call "warm-ups"! They are basically small landscape paintings in very loose and brushy colorful strokes. Quickies. I don't spend any more than two hours on any one, and try to keep it at one hour. Just depends on whether I fuss with it the next day. I am learning alot from them and I am having a lot of fun. Nothing fabulous yet, but we'll see. I think it will give me painting a big boost overall to flex some different painting muscle. Well, this artist needs to get some sleep, so I can get up nice and early tomorrow morning and get down into the studio early, before the sun gets too bright!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Cooper Commission

I am in commission mode for a few months. If you've read my blog or visited my website, you will have noticed that I do a fair amount of custom paintings. All of them are enjoyable, some are more enjoyable than others. This one I just finished was of a cat named Cooper. His owners are almost as quirky as a normal cat which made the process and the painting very fun!

When I went to Cooper's home to take photos, he was nowhere to be found. Evidently he is a very socialable sort and has made friends with all of the neighbors, so he is often off visiting. After a lengthy spirited search, they found Cooper in a hideaway in the basement. I guess he knew the photo shoot was about to happen! Cooper was not at all pleased about getting his photo taken! According to his "mum" she wanted him to look normal, ie. possessive and somewhat annoyed, so that worked out just fine. She also wanted his cat scratches and armchair tears on his favorite red chair in the painting. The rest of the painting would be her favorite flowers-star gazer lilies, Cooper's family portrait, a red mini-cooper (how perfect is that!), and a view appropriate to their northwest home.

It now hangs in the foyer so you see it as you come into the house. The family loves the colors, and Coopers reigns supreme, as it should be.

It is nice to be able to take my own photos and see critters in their "habitat". That made this painting go so smoothly and it was so much fun to see how much they adored this little furry creature that adopted himself into their home. I learn so much about the family and animal by just visiting and taking photos. If a subject is too far away, I like to get a selection of photos of your animals and home so I can get an idea of what you surround yourself with on a daily basis. A companion animal makes a home more a home. I like to paint the whole story. Sometimes folks are sheepish about having their animal painted, but I say, "That's nothing, I paint my dog at least weekly"! Dogs and cats bring out an adventurous and creative side. There is often an openess to colors and patterns that would not be in "normal" portrait type painting. It is also nice to not have to hide a percieved flaw...I don't have to make them an idealized version of dog or cat, they are beautiful just as they are.

Well, enough rambling about my favorite subject. Dog and Cat painting!!!! Back to the easel!

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Order Cards of my Art!

I am pleased to announce the availability of cards of some my paintings. Easy to order and sent right to you! Zazzle produces cards, tshirts, mugs, prints, all that...for now I will have cards of some old favorites featuring colorful, whimsical paintings of dogs and cats. I will post new cards as I create new art. You can get to my Zazzle Gallery by clicking on any image below or from my website by clicking on the Buy a Card link in the navigation bar!

Here is the Zazzle flash screen.

Tell your friends!

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Solo Show in Sun Valley, Idaho

Since my work isn't quite ready to show, I will post some photos of one of my favorite subjects, my yellow lab, Chamois (pronounced Shammie). Here she is looking beautiful in our last snowstorm which had me studio-bound for almost a week.

If you've never made the trip up to Sun Valley, Idaho, here is an excuse! Come to my show opening on Feb 16th at the Tails West Gallery in Ketchum. Besides the usual arty opening type goodies, I am inviting each visitor to bring a good photo of your dog(s) or cat(s) and I will select one lucky "subject" who will be featured in a fun, cosy, colorful painting. The painting will be unveiled at the gallery in August....and then, you will have another excuse to visit Ketchum in the summer!!! when it is almost impossibly beautiful there. Come by, and see the show, and don't forget to include your contact info with your photo.

More Chamois photos! She might even be considered my muse...if she wasn't such a dope and didn't snore quite so loudly. I don't know, do muses snore? Well, if nothing else, she is a-musing! (sorry) She is quite the picture of refinement, unless you get her near water, or near a ball. Then she becomes psycho dog.

Now I just have to decide which paintings I can finish up in the next week. Commissions are on hold, and I am busy, mixing colors and enjoying the process of putting paint to canvas and seeing my ideas come to life!

Thursday, January 11, 2007


We have had about a half foot of snow up here on our hill in Oregon. This is our second snowstorm this winter...we usually get one in february, often none. My studio is downstairs and I get great light from the bank of windows on the side. A perfect time to hunker down in the studio and paint, paint, paint.

I just finished a group of dog commissions, here are two, five completed, ten more to do. My wintertime is full of dogs and cats to paint. I love hearing the stories and meeting them if I get the chance. People always think that I am just being polite when I ask more questions about their animals and how they are dear to them. Honestly, I am sincerely interested, and love hearing the tales, long and short. Not only to they provide fuel for the paintings, anyone who has had a dog or a cat know how many endless hours of entertainment and joy they add to our life.

Also I am starting on some small pieces for my show coming up in Ketchum, Idaho. I will be the featured artist for a month from Feb 16th to March 16th at the gallery "Tails West".

Lots to do...better git back to work!