Diary, musings on life, people, interests. Posting my poetry

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Location: Lacey, WA, United States

I have a Certified Artist/Teacher degree with the National Society of Decorative Painters. Taught decorative painting, color theory, calligraphy and other art related classes for 12 years. I enjoy using my artistic talents, especially to update furniture and repurpose found items. I am married to the world's most wonderful husband. We celebrated our 48th anniversary this year (2016). We have raised six children, three boys, three girls. Have 10 grandchildren. Through the NSDP I have paintings in the White House, Blaire House and Smithsonian Institute. I was given the honor of being the Chair of the Pacific NW, "Breeze and Brush" Decorative Painting Convention. What fun we had! I like keeping healthy and enjoy life. I love humor and people. God has been good to me!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Dog/Cat Paintings for the Olympia Veterinary Cancer Center, 4/2014

The completed French Bulldog/Black Cat. This is at the beginning because I forgot to add it where it belonged below.  Enjoy the journey!

Canvases have been given two coats of Gesso and two coats of an off white acrylic.  Time to transfer the drawings and start painting

The dining room table is protected by a plastic Christmas tablecloth and an overload of supplies for every need has been added :D

Lots of colors to experiment and work with, pre-mixed acrylics, my preferred  brand is Ceramcoat by Delta

The veterinarians for OVCC are a husband and wife team.  They have a Bernese Mountain dog so that was the first painting I did.  Based in some of the fur and am working on the paws and nails

The Bernese is pretty much complete at this point and I have applied the base color to the Maine Coon cat on the eyes and body.  I take pictures as I paint, the ones posted here are just a few of the hundreds taken.  Sometimes you can see things that need to be changed in a picture better than looking at the actual painting itself.  It's always nice to have the pictures too.

The completed painting. The cat is our 'Mylo', he is now 19 years old.

Close-up of the Bernese Mountain dog face.  I discovered that I really enjoy painting tongues, eyes and noses.  I think it's because they were such a challenge.  I try to get the eyes painted early on, they tend to bring out the 'soul' of the animal and it inspires me to get the painting done.

Mylo's head up close.  He is a sweet boy.  We shave him when the weather warms up, so he will be comfortable in the summer.  He looks like a white lion!

The Shetland Sheepdog and Abyssinian cat were, by far, the biggest challenge of all. So much fur of different colors, overlapping on the dog.  The subtle changes of color depicting the muscles and curves of the cat's body was hard to achieve, especially maintaining the softness I wanted.  Acrylics dry in ten to fifteen minutes, you don't have 'working' time to blend colors.  It is achieved with layer upon layer.  I painted out the dog's face three times before I was satisfied with how it looked.

The completed painting. I love the soft eyes on the dog and the perky, curious eyes of the cat. Lots of color mixing too.

I want to kiss this handsome face!  They are such gentle and fun animals!

The Abyssinian's face in progress

Almost done, I'm sure I tweaked it up a bit here and there as I went.

I had such fun painting this little guy.  He just looked like he was waiting for a hug.  I absolutely loved painting the ears, all of the different shades and mottled skin colors, such fun!  Look at the difference having the eyes finished makes (between this picture and the next)  They just bring the animal to life.

Cute little French Bulldog eyes.  Painting all of the folds, highlights and shaded areas of his wrinkly skin was a challenge.  At this point he still doesn't have a muzzle or nose.

Hi Andy! I painted this guy in honor of our wonderful black cat Andy, we lost him to cancer years ago. He was such a character and so loving and fun to have around.  With every animal we've had, our hearts have expanded and we have so many great memories.

Thought you might like to see Andre' (as my husband named him) in his Jockey briefs.  When I first drew the patterns for the paintings, I was taking care of my Granddaughter, Ashley, in Oregon.  My goal was to complete all five of the drawings before I went home.  I was so happy to reach my goal and when my Daughter-in-love came home she was looking over the drawings and commenting on how cute they were.

Then she pointed to the rounded lump between the French Bulldog's legs and asked what it was.  I responded that it was his scrotum, to which she replied "you mean, right out there in public for everyone to see?"  I laughed and responded "Well.....yes, he's a dog!"  So, after I finished the painting I got out some watercolor paper and painted some Jockey briefs on it, cut them to fit the dog and double-back taped them to the canvas.  Then I posted them on her Facebook page, lol  I picked briefs that would compliment his coloring.

Andre' and Andy, they make a great pair!  I missed getting the final painting included of Andre' and Andy, so I'll add it at the end.

Here are the painted briefs

On March 15, 2014 I had completed the first three of the five paintings, so I had to take a picture for my Facebook page. In the meantime, we were eating our meals on a 3"X3" square at the other end of the table.  Of course, in between painting, I was also cooking, cleaning, laundry, shopping, sleeping, all of the things that have to be done to survive.

Big sigh! Only two more paintings to go.  This looks funny, starting the Border Collie.  I typically work from back to front, so I started by basing the mouth and eyes, doing the details on them, then painting the teeth and working my way out to the fur.  On all of the paintings I did the ground first and darkened it before starting each painting.

Most of the fur is based and I have added shading where needed so the over-strokes of fur will look more detailed, you also work your colors from dark to light.  I start with a grey for the white fur, you only use pure white for highlighting on the very outside areas.

Here is the completed painting. I didn't add pictures of working up the cat, too many.  We lost our beautiful Orange Tabby, Kirby, to stomach Lymphoma in June of 2013.  He was my buddy!

Close-up of the Border Collie head.  The nose and mouth were fun to paint.

Close-up of the Orange Tabby, his wide-eyed look reminded me so much of Kirby. He had been abused before we rescued him and was afraid of so much, it took us a while but we finally got him to actually sit in our laps and enjoy being loved and petted.

Beginning the last painting, Mr. Chihuahua.  Now those were some 'big' ears'!  Acrylic always looks so dull and 'blah' during the painting process.  It isn't until the painting is complete and you apply a finish spray, like Matte or varnish, that brings the colors to life and gives the painting depth.

I had to work and re-work the fur around the eyes and on the forehead to get just the right degree of brown tinting and texture, it was worth it.  It was a lot of work, but it turned out to be one of my favorite paintings.  I love his smile!

About half way through. Still have some work to do on him and I'm beginning to add the shading and striping on the Tabby.  I painted out the cat's forehead about four times until I finally was happy with the pattern I painted.  It is so important, when adding stripes, to curve them in the correct direction and make them the right size for the area they're in.  I was very happy with her stripes.  I dedicate this painting to our two wonderful Tabby's....Mama and her little girl Samantha.  They've been gone for years but never, ever forgotten.

The last of the five paintings completed.  For those of you who paint, always check the internet for supplies, you can find things very inexpensive. These 24"X30" canvases were listed at $30 on sale locally, I bought them on Wholesaleartsframes via the internet for $6.00, five to a case. I also found 1", black matte, Polystyrene frames at the same place for just $12 each.  They are embossed to look like wood and are sturdy and well made.

A close-up of the sweet couple.  I was really happy with the striping on her forehead, I think they make a grand couple.

The final five, protected with Matte spray and a UV protective coating, framed and ready to hang.  What timing, I finished the last of the paintings and the frames arrived the same day.  The Open House was scheduled for 4/18/14 at 4 p.m., we hung the paintings that morning and had plenty of time to go home and get ready for the Open House.

Beautiful Olympia Veterinary Cancer Clinic. The first one to specifically treat cancer in animals.  Congratulations to Tom and Lisa and their Staff.

Back area of OVCC with covered and enclosed deck where animals are transferred to and from the treatment facility on the left, from the reception/office area on the right.

Open and treating lucky animals

The Bernese/Maine Coon painting hangs in the Reception/office area where people drop off and pick up their animals

Andre' and Andy hang in one of the consultation rooms

The Border Collie/Orange Tabby hang in the other consultation room

The Shetland Sheepdog/Abyssinian and Chihuahua/Mature Tabby hang upstairs above the treatment area in the conference/training room.  Husband Don, blue shirt, enjoying the food, conversation and Open House at OVCC


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