Monday, April 24, 2017

Visiting Castle Hill Lighthouse - a new painting and limited edition prints.

Each year I come out with a new painting that is released at the time of the Irish Setter Club of America National Specialty.

This year the National is in Rhode Island.  I'd visited Rhode Island 12  years ago and photographed a lighthouse for this very purpose.

An unexpected vacation came up last summer and all of a sudden ... I would have better photos than I'd taken 12 years ago.   But, before I give away the entire story .... there is a page dedicated to the painting with reference photos and all the details.  Please click on the photo of the painting below to be taken to the page - or put this in your browser:

The original of this painting is sold.  If you are interested in purchasing a reproduction - click here:

As always - thank you for taking a peek at my work!

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Hummingbird Painting - Part of my work to be exhibited in San Dimas, California, the end of April
The annual art exhibit at the San Dimas Festival of Arts is April 28th thru 30th.  If you live in Southern California, would love to see you there.   This painting is available.  If interested, please email me at

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

A Painting of Polo

This painting of Polo was heartbreaking to paint.  Polo held a special place in his owner's heart.  His life was cut way to short by illness. 

Sometimes just a few words can say so much.  Here is what Polo's human mom told me when I asked her to share about her boy...

Avon Farm Polo Ralph Lauren
December 7, 2009 - October 18,2016
He was a sweet and gentle boy who left too soon. 

I can't write anymore Dawn. I am crying
When I read her response to my question asking her to share, I just had to sit and digest her answer.  How many of us have lost a pet too soon?    How many of us have wondered what memories we've lost because we didn't have the time to experience them?    How many of us have lost seeing those gentle eyes that warm our souls and somehow, miraculously, make any hurt a little more bearable?    For me, losing an old pet who has attained their expected life span is tough.   But with losing a younger one, you are filled with that feeling of unfairness - being robbed.   One thing I have learned for sure - no matter how long we have our pets, it is never long enough.

Below is the reference photo of Polo.  At first we were just going to paint his head and shoulders.  The more I studied the photo, the more I realized having more of his body in the painting really complimented the gentle expression in his eyes.   For the sofa, I wanted something that wasn't a pattern.  I asked Julie if a leather sofa could be substituted for her floral one.  She was agreeable.   The softer background really lends to accentuate Polo and unquestionably make him the main focus of the painting.

Hoping this painting helps Julie with the healing process.

Thank you, as always, for taking a peek at my work.

Monday, March 20, 2017

A painting of Tobie the Yorkie and Murphee the Maltese

This painting was really awesome to create.  The owners of Tobie and Murphee had the perfect photos for our project.  Both dogs had passed away and and fortunately their owners had a number of them.  

There was a great photo of the boys laying on the back of the sofa.   Their expressions in that photo were not ideally what the owners wanted reflected in the painting.   However, there were some other photos that had the dogs' expressions that really showed "the boys" personalities.

Usually I stay away from moving body parts like this.  Since the dogs had so much coat, it was not as big of a transition as it would be on a short coated dog like a Frenchie (for example).  I didn't have to worry about muscle or tendons being off - all would be covered with their hair.  For the background, I was a bit concerned the darkness in the photo would over power the dogs.  This was discussed with the dogs owners, Kim and Eric, and they agreed.

The photos are all shown below and you can see how the painting came to life.

I asked the owners to share a little bit about the dogs and this is what they told me:

Tobie, our Yorkie, was born August 26, 2004, and Murphee, our Maltese, was born December 26, 2005.  They became brothers in the Spring of 2006 and played a tremendous role in our family for the years to follow.

In their relationship with each other, Tobie was the “big brother”.  He was very smart, spirited, and welcoming; we considered him an “old soul”, as he was very intuitive in his mannerisms.  Murphee, the baby of the family, had a very affectionate and playful character.  He carried himself in a regal manner, and was a true and sweet companion to all he trusted.  “The Boys”, as we affectionately called them, shared a loving bond and were always together. 

This painting, on the back of our sofa, depicts their favorite spot in the house.  It gave them a collective, comfortable view over their home, and more importantly, over our family.  We are so grateful for our time together, and remain appreciative of their lively spirit – they will be in our hearts forever.
Thank you again for truly capturing their spirit.  We are so grateful for this keepsake and your effort.

Eric & Kim

Thursday, February 23, 2017

A painting of Easi.....Multi BIS, BISS Am/Can Ch Ashton Peaceful Easy Feeling

This is a painting of Easi.   Her owners tragically lost her a few weeks ago.   The painting was being finished at that time.    When they received the painting today - and opened it - I think it was like getting a little piece of her back.   That is how I feel when I look at the paintings I've done of my pets that are passed.   Having their painting allows me to feel I have a piece of them here in my home - something special in which to pay tribute to them.

Her owners gave me permission to use the information they had about her on their website - here is what is posted under a beautiful photo of her:

Multi BIS, BISS Am/Can Ch Ashton Peaceful Easy Feeling
(Am/Can Ch Mijean's I Fooled Ya X Ch Pin Oak's Secret-Lee Ashton)

"Easi, and that totally depicts her, is our Homebred Star. Finishing her AKC, and Canadian Champion title just months before she won the Irish Setter Club of America National Specialty in 2008 , then only to follow the next year by winning Best of Breed at Westminster "The Garden" in New York City. All of this before she was 4 years old. Throughout her career extending  2 years, always piloted by Jennifer Holmberg Baggenstos, Easi garnered 50 + Group Firsts, Numerous Best In Specialty Breed Awards and Five All Breed Best In Shows."

In 2008 I was at the Irish Setter National Specialty where Easi had gone Best of Breed.  It was an exciting show - and personally an emotionally exhausting show.  It was there I'd retired my special girl Jewel.  She was in the show and made it to the final round as a veteran.   I remember walking towards the ring after the show (like usual, I'd left my brush or something at the ring and I was on my way to retrieve it).   My path was on a course to intersect with Janet who was walking my way.   When I was about to pass her I saw she was crying - her face was flushed.   Stopping and filled with compassion towards this woman who was having something very emotional going on I asked her, "Are you okay?"   She wiped her tears and with a huge smile told me she was okay, that it was her girl that won.   I congratulated on her.  I'd been in the ring with Easi.  She was breathtaking.

Now, years later, I was honored by being asked to paint her.   You know they always say good things come around.    This has been a full circle for me.  Being able to share in the glory of this dog and then being able to paint her.    Thank you Janet for having me paint your special girl as a surprise for Gary. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

This is a painting of Jade - an Australian Cattledog

This painting of Jade was recently finished.   Her family saw my art a few years a go and spoke to me about painting her.  They put down a deposit and a place on my waiting list.

We made arrangements for the painting and then life got in the way.   They would contact me, then I would contact them.    They sent me a number of photos of her a few months ago.    I finally was able to "see" Jade.  Until the photos arrived, I simply knew I was painting an Australian Cattle Dog named Jade.

When I saw her photos my heart jumped.  She was not only lovely, but you could see in her eyes that she loved her family.   There was "that look" that I could see in the photos - the look that she was lovingly looking into the eyes of the person taking the photo.  It was time to get to work.  It was their time on the waiting list and I had a beautiful girl to paint.

Thank you to her family for having me paint your special girl, Jade.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Painting in process

My work is in a show this April.  The theme of the show is California Images.

This is an oil - subject is an egret.   There is an under painting solely of burnt sienna.  Most of the background will be completed with a palette knife.

Having fun~

Monday, January 23, 2017

Pembroke Welsh Corgi painting is completed

This was such a cool painting.   The dog featured, Annie, is no longer with her family.  So, this was a very special painting for them.   It sounds like Annie had a nice long life.   For those of us who are animal lovers, no matter how long an animal is with us - it is never long enough.

They were going to be in Palm Springs traveling in from Arizona.  We planned for me to have the painting finished by the end of the show so they could take it with them.

Due to my waiting list, I only have a booth at a show twice a year.   It is always fun to paint in public and talk to people.   Such a huge and welcome change from sitting at home and painting alone.   While I LOVE to paint at home, it is a nice change to get out in public sometimes.

Thank you to Denisa for having me paint her special girl.