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Custom Pet Portraits Preserve Precious Memories

I have been doing pet portraits for about 30 years.  Like most things, it started with my pets.  Then when family members saw what I had done, they wanted portraits of their pets.  My Dad’s cats.  My sister’s dog.  And it spread from there.  I’ve lost count of how many I have done, but I can say they are hanging in homes across the country.  As time went on I expanded the media I employed.  First it was all watercolor.  Here are some the earliest ones:

This was my first one.  My two cats, Jessica (the grey

Jessica and Gizmo stole my chair

one) and Gizmo (the Tabby).  I really loved those two.  Jessica was with me for 24 years.  Two weeks after Jessica crossed the Rainbow Bridge, Gizmo passed.  He died of a broken heart.  I realized just now I did a second painting of them.  It is the second one below.

Playing Hide and Seek

They were always chasing each other around. When they weren’t napping, that is.  When my parents saw these, they wanted one of their cats.  They were the funniest pair I’ve ever encountered and capturing photos became the biggest challenge.  They were litter-mates and always together.  Cutie Pies.  I called this “Better Water Here”.

Better Water Here

 

 

As I mentioned, they it was my sister.  She was crazy about her rottweiler, Rip, and when she lost him, it was time to paint my first dog.  Fortunately she had quite few good photos, and she mailed them to me.  This is the result:

Krissy’s Rip

 

From this one, word spread.  I began to take orders from her friends, and my friends, then friends of our friends!  Since then, I’ve done portraits in Acrylic, Soft pastel and Scratchbord (TM).  Scratchbord portraits are some of my favorites, but are best with the pet is white, or mostly white.  Here are a couple of samples:

Ceasar: Ink and Sratchbord Black Pet Portrait
Little Bear: Ink and Scratcbord Black Pet Portrait

So, what is Scratchbord? It is actually white clay, baked on to Masonite, then coated 32 times with black India Ink. The manufacturer is Ampersand.

So that is how I buy it.  I then use a tiny knife, steel wool and various other specialized tools, to scratch through the ink, down to the white clay, leaving as much ink as is needed to create depth and texture.  Then I use ink to paint in features such as the eyes, and the pinks and blues visible in Ceasar (the cat).  I’ve done hundreds.  I have never had one rejected.  I know the owners love their paintings as much as I love to recall the antics of my cats when I look at those paintings.

Most pet portraits take a few weeks to complete.  Pricing is based primarily on size, but if you want a scratchbord piece remember it is really only good for white or mostly white animals.  I can use paper, canvas, panel/wood for watercolor, oil pastel, soft pastel or acrylic.  You can view how various media look on the pet portraits page here.

I need 5 or 6 photos of the pet.  You can choose to have me paint a particular photo that you love, or ask me to paint a composite with fully realistic impression of the pet.  I require a 50% deposit, with balance due upon final acceptance of the piece.  You can contact me with the form below to get a quote.  Standard sizes are 8 x 8, 8 x 10, 10 x 12, 10 x 10, 12 x 16, 12 x 12, 16 x 16 or 16 x 20.  I can go bigger but it starts getting expensive and takes up alot of wall space.

Save those precious memories!  Order a Pet Portrait!

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Tech Savy and Art: An awkward combination?

So, after a year or so, okay, emphasis on the “so”, I moved my old blogspot blog to this site, en toto.  I did the first steps all by my not so big self, though it did require an hour and some minor cursing from my tech guru husband.  At any rate, it’s done! Wahoos are in order for me, as I left the old blog unattended while I was working on this website. So, for those of you who were following the old blog via RSS, the links in RSS will now bring you right here, and you can even look at the old posts and photos contained in them.

Now, with a few more tweaks, I can return to painting.  Yes, being an artist is hard work. While skill and passion is a known requirement, these days, so is discipline and marketing savy.  Ouch.  It’s a work in process.  Of course.

There will be some notable changes coming here.  While the emphasis of being a gallery has lingered, it will be changing soon, to my personal work. However, there may be “popUP” times when I’m promoting someone else.  We’ll just have to see how it goes. I get it, you follow me for me. For who I am and what I do, and from here, I’m beginning again, starting anew. I hope you’ll come along.  And let me know what you’d like to see?  I’d love that!  Thank you!

 

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Can’t believe it’s November

Cerulean blue sky and brightly lit clouds float along like candy cotton in the air.  Beautiful.  Most of the Aspen are bare now, but it was interesting to me as I drove from Albuquerque to Angel Fire this weekend (following the delightful week in NYC) that many areas along the way are still green.  Kinda weird, but maybe attributable to the rather warm fall here.  While it is a scant 34 degrees here right now (10:31 am) the only sign of coming Winter is the snow on the highest peaks around us.

I loved our time in New York, but I must confess I was ready to come home.  The bright lights and constant sounds of the city made me appreciate the dark skies and silence of home.  Forests of trees in place of forests of buildings is a stark contrast to the way of life we enjoy versus life in The City.  That said, the multitude of choices for dining, shopping and entertainment were certainly refreshing.  Since we had an apartment, we actually enjoyed shopping for groceries and cooking.  The wide variety of produce, deli items and prime aged beef were a gastronomic delight.  We won’t eat that richly again for a who knows how long!

Does make me long for a first class grocer though.  Not that our local market doesn’t try, but the availability of the items is surely a factor.  In New York, imagine it and you’ll find it.  Fresh seafood, Fresh produce, beautiful bakery goods and prime aged meats all carefully laid out in tiny spaces tucked into the corners of vast buildings.  Don’t pay attention as you’re out walking and you might miss it. It’s mind boggling in a way.  Here, there are wide open spaces.  Can’t really walk anywhere and even in urban areas the distances between shopping areas require a car.  You can see for miles.  There, you can see across the street, or down the street, but you have to stand on the coast to see any big distance, or perhaps from the top of the Empire State building or the Sears Tower.  It’s so totally different.  In the end, for me, it’s a great place to visit, but I wouldn’t want to live there.  I guess it’s true….

there is no place like home.

 

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Glorious Colors of Fall

The color here is stunning now. I took some photos, but don’t have my camera with me here at the gallery so can’t upload them just now. Perhaps I’ll add some later. Maybe it’s me, but it seems to me to be more brilliant this year.Either way, it’s beautiful. And though the air is crisp, the bright blue sky is the perfect accent with light spraying the leaves, inviting them to sparkle.

I’d love to be out taking more photos…but not yet. I’m here at the gallery. I don’t know how Sundays will fare as we move into November, but so far it’s been one of my busier days of the week. Here’s to hoping it continues!

I haven’t posted much over the course of the summer. Been too busy with other things, not the least of which was the move in the middle of July. Thank God that’s over! Life has settled back into a familiar rythym, though I’m eager for more studio time. It’s coming! Now the gallery is closed Tues/Wednesdays so I should get more work out in the coming months. To see what I’ve finished of late head to my facebook pages.

In the mean time, I’m headed outside with the phone to see if I can snap more photos while here. cheers!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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The Color is coming…and fast!

I know, it’s been a very long time since I posted. Life has been crazy! And though it’s likely to continue fr a while, I figured I better get back to it or it will pass me by altogether! Yesterday I had to fly to Taos and the changing color in the canyon slowed me down. The scrub oak is turning red, the chamisa is bright yellow, the cottonwoods are taking on their characteristic varied hues of gold and the dark blue-green of the evergreens make a vivid background for all the changes. And it’s only just begun. At the tippy top of the mountains that surround our valley, the aspen have gone from the deep green of summer, to the bright green that makes the mountain sprinkled with varied color. At the very peaks, there are peeks of bright yellow that will morph to gold and then red and gold. The morning air at a scant 27 degrees is the not so gentle warning that the season is changing, though the afternoon temp of 73 (which is what it is right now) is wonderful. I love this season. If I could choose it year round it would be the one I’d pick.

August whizzed by even faster than July. I didn’t think it was possible. One highlight was getting my new Miche bag. I’d been waiting for it for nearly a year, and birthday money from moms and husband brought it to me. Not that it is expensive…just me learning to live in my budget. If you don’t know about it, you really must check it out. There is a link at the top right of this page, and yes, it is an affiliate link. If you click through and buy, I’ll be able to get more skins! Wahoo! The Miche bag is a handbag with multiple varieties of outside “skins”. Change the outside without dumping out the contents and rearranging it into a new bag. It’s a new bag every month, every week or even every day! I got 5 “skins” and I’ve used three of them so far. I love it! 5 skins and two kinds of straps, with the main handbag set me back $112. Look at it this way..5 handbags for $112. That’s a deal I can live with!

What else. Hmm..oh I’m getting a new phone. My poor blackberry is giving up. The scroll bar only goes one direction. Try navigating with that! If the phone rings, I answer, then hear static, then the phone shuts off. Completely shuts off, and won’t turn on again unless I plug it in to power. Ugh. So, my AT&T account says I’m eligible for an upgrade. wahoo! I’m going Droid! I can hardly wait! I should have my new Samsung Captivate in a couple of days. Technowiz I’m not, but watch out, I may be shortly! Thumbs way up to the really helpful guy Julius at AT&T who worked it all out for me!

Let’s see, there’s a bunch of stuff going on, of course. Tonight is the grand opening of the new building at the High School. Awesome!

And real soon it’s the first Angel Fire Peak Challenge. Read more about that here. I know they’re looking for participants and volunteers to help out too. You can find all you need to know about that at that link.

For a full list of all that’s coming up be sure to check the Visitor Center out. Or head to the Resort page to check out the live cams and the daily leaf report! (yes, they change daily).

Fall is in the air and the world is turning at the speed of life here in Angel Fire. Come up, catch your breath and relax. Take a spin on a mountain bike, ride a horse, learn to paint…or all of it!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Unexpected Visitor

here I was sitting at my desk, laptop on my lap, chair twisted so I could see out the doorway and window, up popped a prairie dog not 5 feet from me. I lept up and shouted “get out!” (like it speaks english!) and whoosh it ran between two jewelry displays and curled up in a ball.

Good grief. I ran to close the other gallery door, and whispered “thanks” to God that there was that hidden pocket door between the “office” part of the gallery and the front part of the gallery. Then I bravely placed the ladder next to the display where he lay terrified. I climbed up the ladder and began swishing at him with the broom, trying unsuccessfully to dislodge him from his hiding place.

Brother. Now what. I went outside to see if there was another soul in the building. Yes! Don’s vehicle was there at the end in it’s usual place. And so down to the end of the building I marched, watching backward to see if it ran out on it’s own. I returned with Don and Brinn in tow. We carefully blocked off access to any other potential hiding places and then Don went at it with the broom, it ran out, and tried to head to another spot, Don caught him swept him across the floor and it ran right behind the door.

Time for plan C. Brinn went to get the fireplace gloves while Don stood guard, the poor traumatized rodent now huddled behind the door. Gloves on, Don picked him and took him outside where it ran away, glad for it’s life. Behind it left wet spots from the release of his terrified bladder and yes other stuff too. ugh. So much for leaving the out side doors wide open. At least when I ‘m the only one in this part of the building. I’m sure it looked like a good safe place to wander and look for scraps of food. I’m afraid he didn’t get the best of the Art Gallery, and I hope he learned his lesson. The lady at the Art Gallery has a big broom and lots of Friends. Be warned prairie dogs, squirrels, chipmonks and all…enter the Art Gallery at risk of terror.

Enough excitement for me. Anyone have some wine?

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Tons of Fun Stuff Coming Right UP!

The Calendar is PACKED with fun entertainment. Theatre (Tonight, tomorrow night and Sunday Afternoon), Classical Spanish Guitar concert on Wednesday (6pm, August 4th in the Rotunda at the Community Center) and SummerFest 2010 begins on Friday. Balloons, great Music and it’s FREE!

Here’s the scoop:

Theatre: The Real Inspector Hound by Tom Stoppard. Friday/Saturday July 30 & 31, 8 pm Curtain at the Frog Jelly Art Studio in The Cove Arts Center. Sunday Matinee at 2pm. Tickets are $12 and available at the Gallery, or at the Visitor Center.

Classical Spanish Guitar: 3 Fabulous Guitarists, Live in Concert. In the Rotunda at the Angel Fire Community Center, 6pm on Wednesday August 4th. Tickets are $15 in advance, $20 at the door and Students are $10. Also available at the Gallery and the Visitor Center.

Then, get some rest on Thursday, so you are ready to party on Friday, Saturday and Sunday! It’s SummerFest 2010!

Check out http://www.angelfiresummerfest.com/ for great information and the full Schedule!


Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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March 20th and 0 degrees

Brrrr. March 20th, 0 degrees and a foot (or more) of new snow!

Take a look.
Ice fog is heavy in the air. The snow has stopped falling…at least for now.

I doubt I’ll make it to the gallery today. Not a really big deal, Saturdays are slow anyway. Once the Post Office closes at noon, it’s snoozeville. Good for me…I can be where I’m happiest, in my studio! I have a painting to finish and it’s coming along nicely. I’ll post it when its done.

In the meantime, it’s still, quiet and I’ll pour a cup of Joe and watch the fog lift. Happy morning to you.

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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Miracles on Christmas

Well I’ll be. So, I’m sitting (or was) at the dining room table, eating home made dark (very dark) dark chocolate ice cream. In the back ground was some guy singing, “I’m my own grandpa” when arose a barking from the dog…and before my very eyes, I beheld a trash truck, emptying dumpsters into it’s belly! On Christmas Day! A trash truck, picking up trash.

And they say there are no miracles any more!

Angel Fire ArtSpace,
3469 Mountain View Blvd, Suites B2-4 Angel Fire NM
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