Sunday, January 30, 2011

Signage at the Veterinary Hospital

Recently, I was asked to do some signage at a local animal hospital ( for our personal veterinarian). They have two waiting areas. One area is specifically reserved for cat clients and one area for dog clients. There was some informal signage, but nothing that was really visible.

At first my plan was to free style paint directly on the walls. I thought about stencils but wanted something a bit more original. There was a small dilemma for me while I was planning out the spacing and direction of the wording. Thinking ahead, what would the clinic do when they decided to repaint the walls? If I painted directly on the walls then the painters would have to paint around my lettering. That made my proposed lettering perhaps not a permanent fixture in the clinic.

So, I went to a local craft store to check out options. I found some raised lettering which was perfect. The lettering could be nailed on the walls so it could be removed if and when the clinic decided to repaint the walls themselves. The letters I chose were painted white. It made sense to leave the sides of the lettering white so if the painters were to repaint the walls, they would not need to worry about getting the white paint of the walls on the sides of the lettering.

I sponged the faces of the lettering with brown acrylic mural paint. Then, on the larger letters, I free hand painted paw prints. The clinic manager was very happy with the out come.
The photos show the lettering on my floor before painting, after painting and then being mounted on the walls in the clinic. It was raining today and mounting the letters in the clinic was a perfect way to spend a rainy Sunday.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Secord Dogs out having Fun

Our dogs were busy today. Rich took Drew to learn to work in the field. Drew took to it like a duck takes to water. Rich let Drew loose in the field and Drew immediately took off with his tail up and wagging like crazy. That dog started working the field like he'd done this before which he had not. This was his first time out. The trainers were surprised at Drew's confidence and drive. Rich said he was impressed with how keen Drew's instinct was. They were gone for hours. So, the boys had fun being boys. I bet they both sleep well tonight!

I took Monet out to a conformation show. She showed her little heart out and received lots of compliments from fellow exhibitors. Monet hasn't been shown in a while and boy did she have fun. I could not have asked for anything else from her. I really felt we had some great team work. She picked up another point towards her Grand Championship by going Select. The girls had a fun day too! Monet does not want to be a couch....ooops....."studio potato"!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Jewel is 12 years old today!

Jewel, our little princess, is 12 years old today.

This photo is from last month when we were in Palm Springs. Jewel doesn't lay on the ground don't cha know. She is a princess. She has to be on a chair, even if she doesn't fit, or on a sofa or the bed or anything that she deems is appropriate. Jewel is my special girl!
She and I have had so many memories - we've done a commercial for Animal Planet, a dog reality show that aired - through Fox TV, been my spokes model for several TV appearances, she's won a Best in Show, Best in Specialty Show and Best of Opposite Sex at the 2003 AKC Eukanuba Dog Show as well as a therapy dog.
She is my constant companion, my Velcro dog, a trash stealer and if given too much freedom wreaks havoc in the household. I love her with all my heart.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY JEWEL! aka "BIS BISS CH Rendition Treasured Moment CGC TDI"

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Krista: Gordon Setter

This is Krista. Her painting has been in process for awhile. Krista passed away a number of years ago and her owner had been trying to find more pictures of her for reference material.

Her photos were before the "digital" camera age so most of the photos were small snap shots. Krista was also blind so many of the photos did not show her true eye color. Her owner was not quite sure how the eyes would turn out.

Krista was a fun and comical dog. There were some conventional photos of Krista that showed what one would expect for a head shot portrait. However, the reference photo chosen allowed us to see the side of Krista that was so special to her owners.

When she came to pick up the painting in Palm Springs, she was teary eyed. She told me the painting looked just like Krista and the eyes were correct. It is always such a humbling experience to paint someone's beloved pet. Thank you to Krista's owners for this honor.

The Girls of Tuesday

This is a painting of three litter mates - Irish Setters. The theme of this litter was New Orleans. I have shown against these dogs for a few years and have enjoyed getting to know them. When their owner asked me to paint the girls I was thrilled.

We took quite a few photos. The hard part was choosing which photos we collectively liked best. And...there were a number of them!! My goal is to not reproduce a photo - my goal is to make a painting using a photo as reference material. If you look at the photos and the final painting you'll see shadows in the photos that are not in the painting, colors in the painting that are not in the photos, high lights in the painting that differ from the photos and most importantly - the eyes have a life like quality.

For the background, the owner of the dogs wanted something to do with New Orleans. We toyed with making the background the French Quarter and having Mardi Gras beads around their necks. (well....the beads were my idea - over zealous with the theme!)

Ultimately, we both felt a gentle landscape was the best choice. As a surprise, I added the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. When I've traveled through Louisiana, the hanging moss has always fascinated me. It gives the trees a very gentle dreamy quality.

Thank you for taking a peek!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

It is FREEZING in Southern California

Yesterday morning we woke to ice on our cars, ice on the grass, and an outside thermostat that read 32 degrees.

This morning it was a bit warmer - maybe 34 or 35 degrees outside. Baby Faith is ready for the weather. We have her in a fleece jacket. She now has three jackets. Two fashion jackets from my mom and this fleece hand me down from when Monet was a pup.

Hope things warm up quickly or I'll think I'm back in Texas!