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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!

[contact-form][contact-field label=”Name” type=”name” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Email” type=”email” required=”true” /][contact-field label=”Website” type=”url” /][contact-field label=”Message” type=”textarea” /][/contact-form]

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New Work Added

It was a startling discovery.  I had been painting alot since I closed the physical gallery (Angel Fire ArtSpace), but until I made the decision to make this site my “studio” plus Music From Angel Fire, and the occasional estate art sale, I really didn’t realize that I spent all my time updating the pages of every other artist…and not my own!  So, after the monster task of taking off most of what I spent a year putting on, I spent much of today adding in what I’ve been up to, and there is more to go!  It’s funny, I didn’t really realize that I’ve been on a tear with pastel!  I do love doing pastel, there is something that links back to the charcoal stick in my hand when I was 10.  I only posted one pastel, but there will be’s a matter of getting them framed.  It’s very dicey to sell and or ship unframed soft pastel, so I prefer to frame them before I put them here.  As  I look around my studio, I see at least 6 that are awaiting frames!  Egad!  All the more reason to get all the other works in acrylic online now, since they mostly don’t need framing since most of them are on cradled panel with painted edges.  Good to go, hung on the wall or set on a shelf, to brighten your room and and your smile!

Anyhoo…that’s it for today.  Eyes are tired and so am I.  More soon, so check back!

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SALE! Studio/Gallery Clearance!

Time to Clear it out and make room for new.  Ask me.  Ask Deborah.  It’s Spring Cleaning time for us, which means GREAT deals for you.  Some discounts a full 50%.  I don’t know how long it will last, but it’s here now and the deals are hot.  If you don’t want to use the PayPal link with the add to cart, it’s still easy.  Just contact me and we’ll work it out otherwise.  Seriously…look for the SALE stickers and note the original price…yowzers.  Time to redecorate!

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Music From Angel Fire Posters are HERE!

Well, I told you they were coming…and after some major image editing, and hours of upload, they are here.  Music From Angel Fire Festival Posters are here! We have posters from 1984 all the way through 2012, though we don’t have posters from EVERY year just yet.  A major inventory must be done by the organization before I’ll know if some years for which I have no posters are sold out, or if there are more hiding in the storage facilities.  I let you know if I add more though.  In the meantime, you can see in each poster product how many or how few are in stock right now.  And scroll to the bottom of the page for more info such as shipping and how i handle it.

Happily though, you’ll find posters by Amado Pena, Sherrie McGraw,  Albert Handel, Doug West, and a number of other artists of national and international repute.  Plus, posters by Angel Fire’s own Jennifer Cavan and Sylvia Avenius Ford.  The only pre-framed posters I have are by Sylvia.  All the rest are unframed and only a handful are signed.  The rest are not.

So, head to this page1984 Music From Angel Fire Festival Poster  2000 Music From Angel Fire Festival Poster 1986 Music From Angel Fire Festival Poster to see what we have and pay attention to how many we have of each.  If you love one and there is only one in stock, better add it to your cart pronto!  It will likely be summer before I know if there are any more. Unframed and unsigned posters are only $30.  Dimensions listed are all Height and then Width, or how Tall the poster is, first, then how wide.  The posters themselves are more than just the images shown.  They include the Season, the year and other similar pieces of information, as is typical of most any poster.



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Another group of items coming soon!

2012 MFAF Poster, Painting by Sylvia Avenius Ford
2012 Music From Angel Fire Poster (Painting by Sylvia Avenius Ford)

Yes, I’m still getting used to not having the physical gallery to go to most every day, but it seems I’m busier than I’ve been in a long time.  Here is some great news….I’ll continue to have Music From Angel Fire posters!  Wahoo!  And while I have many in stock even right now, they will take some time to get online here.  It’s more than logistics, though that is a piece of it.  It’s photos and identifying and uploading and … get the idea. In the meantime, if there’s a poster you’re looking for, let me know and I’ll find it for you if it’s to be found.  I recently sold two: one I had in stock and one took a round about trip to an artists studio to get his signature on the poster.  Lesson: I’ll do everything I can to get it done.  And with much gratitude for those who step up when I call for help! 🙂  (Thanks, Lee! :))

And I’m working on an operational chat window for help functional on this site.  It’s installed now, but I’m working out the glitches, like sometimes it doesn’t tell me when some has clicked for the chat!  woops!  It will all get sorted out soon, I’ve no doubt, but since I’m mostly doing this myself, it’s quite an education!

In the mean time, I’m working on the first group of jewelry to come online, some really beautiful jewelry by Barbara Shewnack.  Some know her work by the name of Catspaw Jewelry.  I hope to have that up by the first part of next week. so stay tuned.

So, test away if you wish, and help me out be letting me know what works and what doesn’t.  It’s weird when I test and it works for me, but then I have someone else test and it doesn’t.  hmmmm.   Figuring it out.

Onward and upward always!





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We’re here and growing daily! :)

You may have stopped by and seen the “This site is under construction” sign.  Well, it is, but it is finally “presentable” and that said, a great big “THANK YOU” is due my sweet husband.  I’m an artist.  I know how I wanted it to look and function but how on earth to get there in a complete re-do of the website.  Answer….pass the laptop to John.  🙂

So, for now, we have the following artists online here, with work available for sale:  Me (Katherine McDermott, Artist), L. Martin Pavletich, Deborah Flood and new to the Gallery…let me introduce Cathy McAnally Lubke.  Cathy was actually one of the most influential people in my artist past.  I took her watercolor class in 1996, in Eagle Nest, NM and essentially never stopped painting.  I’d been drawing all my life, but Cathy introduced me to watercolor and I fell in love!

Also on board right now is Roy Brown (ceramics/pottery), though his page is not quite ready to publish.  And coming soon, will be some fantastic unique and beautiful jewelry by Barbara Shewnack (Catspaw Jewelry).  Then there will be more, like Jennifer Cavan (Oil Pastel and Oils) and Pamela Kirk (Jewelry) and Nancy Angulo (sculpture and paintings).  Whew!

In the meantime, check for sale items because those will end soon.  So will the Free Shipping offers.  And if you haven’t done so already, be sure to sign up for our email newsletter to get news and specials advertised only in your inbox.

For now, it’s back to the studio.  In the midst of all this technical work, I must paint! 🙂


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