Paintings With Soul

Since October 2006 I've been a daily painter, creating a new pet portrait at least 5 times per week. Over the years I've expanded my offerings to include a variety of animals, pets, race horses, children and other treasured heirlooms. In addition, I accept a limited number of commissions each year.

In 2015 I am honored to be the Kentucky Derby Artist.

You may use the links below right to receive my daily paintings via email or to follow my blog with a feed. I post additional info, including in-process jpgs and other related information, on the studio Facebook page as well.

Meanwhile, thanks
so much for your continued support of my artwork.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Untitled, Bay Mare

WORK IN PROCESS, "Untitled," acrylic on Raymar panel, 11" x 14", available for purchase. Inquiries and title suggestions may come to me.
I started this painting yesterday and continued to work on it all day today. It's quite a bit larger then the paintings I normally try to complete in one day and the composition is also more complex. However I found myself reveling in the challenge it presented. It is so key for artists to push the envelope - how else are we to learn new things?
The mare is close to being finished, however the rider needs additional attention. I'll gray down the jacket and add additional details to the tack and shift a few values one way or the other. It shouldn't take me too long, but it most definately will take me longer than I have this evening.
Tomorrow I will be stepping into new territory as well. Another artist friend, Linda Shantz, and I will be having our own Kentucky Derby pARTy. What's a pARTy you ask? A pARTy is where multiple artists create work using the same reference materials. Tomorrow Linda (an equine artist who paints daily several months a year) and I will each be painting from the same photo.
We are debating having our own Triple Crown pARTy this year, painting simultaneously for each of the spring classics. I'll keep you posted as to how you may follow along with the artwork.
But that's it for tonite. I'm off to knit a little and then read a bit before tucking in early. I'm whipped, and will need all sorts of energy for tomorrow.
Thanks for sharing my artwork and daily journey.
See you soon,

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Two for One - Bay Mares

FROM TOP: "Illy," 4" x 8", equine portrait, private collection (THANK YOU!) and "Bay Mare," 5" x 7", horse painting, $249. Both in acrylic on canvasboard. Inquiries may come to me.
The brushwork in both these paintings makes me happy. I've learned to say more with less, and I very much like this style of painting.
There's new paintings added to my Etsy store. This is a great location where it is easy to browse through unsold Dog-a-Day artwork, and there is a mess of other wildly talented artists and artisans over there as well. Enjoy your time on Etsy, and pick up something special for Mother's Day.
For that matter, if you tell me your purchase is for a Mom, I'll give you 10% off. What the heck, let's include newly booked commissions for Moms in that as well - through Mother's Day, all purchases intended for Mom's qualify for 10% off. Sound good? hope so!!
Meanwhile, I'm headed back to the easel to work on another painting. Can't get enough of it today!
Thanks as always for sharing my paintings with your friends and family.
Will see you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009


"Go!," 8" x 16", draft horse portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, private collection. Inquiries may come to me.
I did two paintings yesterday of Tony, and my friend has chosen this one to hang on her wall. I think I have now painted every one of her animals at least once..... (I know she'll correct me if I'm wrong).
I wish it were otherwise, but this was one of those days spent focused on the business aspect of studio operations. There is a myth that artists paint all day and do little else - it's actually the opposite. I'm lucky to paint 2-3 hours 5 days a week - it's a constant balancing act and battle to carve more creation time out of my work days. But both sorts of tasks are absolutely necessary in a thriving business.
Today was spent (or rather still is being spent) corresponding with clients, following up on inquiries, wrapping and shipping a number of paintings, touching up another portrait, starting a studio deep-clean, and getting some layout work done on the new book.
Speaking of books, those new to Painting a Dog a Day may not know that there is a book recapping the first 15 months of the daily dog portraits. I'll be happy to personalize or inscribe your copy - please email me to place your order.
Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing these paintings with your friends and family.
Can't wait to share another horse with you tomorrow!

Monday, April 27, 2009

It's Derby Week!! how's about a little "Afternoon Sun"

"Afternoon Sun," 6" x 12," acrylic on canvasboard, $359 to the first one raising their hand. On your mark, get set, go!!  ....inquiries may come to me.
As tradition in Painting a Dog a Day, the week before the Kentucky Derby is turned over to the horses. This week is an excuse to indulge in my lifelong love - I don't specifically paint Thoroughbreds during Derby Week but revel in all equine shapes and colors. 
So here's your first piece, a draft mix lazily grazing his way into the picture plane while the sun glances off his flanks. This is Tony, a huge lug of a sweetheart belonging to a good friend of mine who also happens to be a brilliant equine photographer. Check out Juliet's work at her website, including her newly published book.
Tony's piece is a lovely quiet painting that would make a nice accent to a variety of interiors. Email me if you have any questions about how to get this one on your wall. 
I can squeeze in one or two more equine paintings this week, if you care to nominate someone. Send your ideas to me via email.
And a big warm tail-wagging tongue flashing welcome to all the new Dog-a-Day readers, many of whom I met at Orion Oaks Elementary Fine Arts Night last week. Here's the lowdown - one painting each workday, emailed to subscribers usually mid-afternoon, then posted to the project blog later in the day. Unsold paintings are added to my etsy store every couple weeks. Studio proceeds benefit animal shelters and rescues, and I am always open to hearing your rescue stories and any other thoughts you have.
Thanks, as always, for sharing my artwork with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Out of the Dark, Beagle Portrait

"Out of the Dark," 4" x 8", beagle portrait, acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me.

Busy day today - I've got an event this evening. It's an Arts Night at an elementary school. I'm given a classroom, which I turn into a pet portrait gallery, complete with a digital slideshow, finished artwork and pieces in process, including preparatory sketches and studies. For 4 hours tonight I will lead short drawing lessons and talk about the faces you have all seen as part of Painting a Dog a Day, encouraging children and young adults to consider their love for art as they plan for their futures.
It's always a great night, and I return home exhausted yet painfully energized. I'm looking forward to it.
And exercising the option of not painting tomorrow, should I feel like I need a little down time.
So perhaps I'll see you tomorrow, perhaps it'll be come Monday. Either way, make it a good time!
Thanks for sharing the Dog-a-Day paintings with your friends and family!

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

A Stiff Wind

"A Stiff Wind ," 4" x 8," dog portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $249. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will go to my local shelter, the Oakland Pet Adoption Center. Inquiries may come to me.
I would love to slip this painting in a deep frame and delight at the illusion of the little dog straining on tip-toe, trying to peek out at the viewer!
Thank you to Paige at The Equinest for a great article on my art. If you have the time, browse through her interviews with other artists - they are wonderful!
I finished the Brittany painting today too, and added the image and some notes to yesterday's posting. You can view the in process and final versions here.
Thanks so much for sharing my art with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow,

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

In Process - Brittany Portrait

FROM TOP : in process and bottom completed painting. "Cody," commissioned 8" x 10" portrait of a Brittany Spaniel.
I love my wet palette box - it works wonders with acrylics. The setup is a shallow plastic box with a sealed lid. A thin sponge rests across the base of the box, and you lay a piece of specially prepared paper overtop that, upon which you can then lay out your acrylics and mix your paints.
The beauty of a fresh palette is inviting, with the neatly lined up rows of color waiting to be introduced to each other. But there's also an incredible lure to a palette that's hosted a wild party, with hues and tints racously lying about.
It's hard for me to roll up that piece of palette paper and say goodbye to the remnants. I can see the next 12 shades I'm going to mix right in front of me. And I don't want to waste the paint. Yet I should have done that tonight.
My paint was forming a skin on it, and while the puddles of flesh and violets were indeed gorgeous, they were also gummy. Of course, by the time I consciously realized this, I was also in the flow of the process, and had to choose either to break that rhythm and build a fresh palette or tough it out and make the most of a poor situation.
I tried to tough it out, and almost had the painting done, but realized the eyes were uneven. I fixed those and then the nose didn't match the center of the face. Then one ear wasn't the right value. I began fighting with the painting's surface. So after rubbing this poor boys face out multiple times, I'm going to call it a night.
I'll toss the gooey mess inside my palette box, let this painting dry, and start anew in the morning. 
For every nice painting I do there are at least 5 like this. It's just that those 5 usually happen earlier in the day, and I don't have to share them on the blog. And they almost always happen when I try to extend my palette's life a little.  Serves me right for playing hookey today and then trying tonight to rush through things in the studio.
But it was worth it!! It's nice to get out into the real world every so often.
And I'll get this painting fixed and looking gorgeous in the morning.
Thanks, as always, for looking at my art!
See you tomorrow,

PS NOTE FROM 4-22 Can you see the things I fixed? the color is softer, the nose and eyes aligned properly, and a number of other minor shifts that take the piece from ho-hum to a stronger likeness. Now to see if the client likes it......

Monday, April 20, 2009

Purpose (Terrier)

"Purpose," 8" x 16", terrier portrait in acrylic on canvasboard, $529. Inquiries may come to me.

It's gray and miserable and damp and downright yechy outside, but here in the studio, all is aglow from the light emanating from this little terrier. She has set the tone for the week - despite the weather, I, too, will step forward with purpose and get much accomplished (I'd better, as there's a lot on my plate in the coming days, and I ain't talking turkey, either).
Did you remember the painting I am auctioning off for Best Friends Animal Sanctuary? It is an octo-portrait of the pit bull Theresa who you might have met via last week's television episode of Dog Town. The painting is on ebay, and the sale ends tonite. Please please please share this ebay link with any animal lovers you know!
One of my goals is to work on improving my writing and earn the opportunity to be published. I've already had one article picked up by a magazine and I've got drafts of others going. Meanwhile, when my friend and fellow artist Linda Shantz asked if I would be a guess blogger on her Equine and Animal Art blog, I jumped at the chance. My entry ran today, and you can read it here; I hope that it will start a good dialogue about commitment and discipline, and maybe even fear.
Ok, back to the easel. Have a Brittany Spaniel taking shape - I'll share him tomorrow!
Thanks for following my daily pet paintings,
See you later,

Friday, April 17, 2009

Happy Sunshiney Friday

"Sun Salutation," 20" x 10", acrylic on canvasboard, dog portrait of an Australian Cattle Dog. Proceeds from the sale of this painting will be donated to my local shelter, The Oakland Pet Adoption Center as well as Best Friends Animal Sanctuary. Inquiries may come to me.
After a gorgeous walk with Finnigan (my dog) this morning, I came home wanting to paint something that was all about sun worship. This piece is much larger than how I typically work, but my love for the sunshine today was enormous and could not be contained in a smaller painting.
This isn't Finni but another cattle dog rescue named Arrow. Cattle dogs are an acquired taste (I think that could safely be said about a number of breeds), but once you are owned by one, you are seriously hooked. Arrow's family and ours are both caught fast. Thank you to Judy Wood (she's an artist too) for sharing Arrow's photos with me.
I need to also extend a big thank you to Best Friends Animal Sanctuary and Pat DeWald for running a beautiful article about my paintings on their website this week.
Next I will offer a warm welcome to all the new Dog-a-Day readers that have discovered my paintings because of BFAS. I hope that you enjoy seeing the artwork each day.
The entire 3+ years worth of daily dog paintings are viewable on the project blog, and any remaining unsold paintings are in my Etsy store. There's some basic commission information on my main studio website, and other random information in the sidebar on the blog. I welcome your comments, questions and participation in the project.
Everyone have a marvelous weekend!
I'll see you Monday,

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Ms Puffer Pants

Meet Puff, beloved little troublemaker #2, from a busy household here in Lake Orion. I haven't titled this painting yet - am trying to figure out what she might be thinking - but it is 10" x 12" and on a beautiful Raymar artist's panel.
This is the beginning of a number of new paintings starring Puff. The day we did her photo shoot, she played hard to get, lounging in the sunshine and paying very little attention to the camera. I got marvelous shots of her stretching, preening and pretending she had absolutely no interest in getting her portrait painted.
I am especially drawn to Puff's shape and how it plays out across the sun and shadows. The next paintings will contain lines of mullions and repeated windows motifs. However this first piece was essential because it allowed me to step into Puff's mindset, focus on her little face, and better learn her lithe body.
Puff's family may choose this painting as a companion piece to hang alongside older sister Coco's more playful portrait (shown above). But chances are they will need more time to make up their minds - we'll see if the other Puff portraits, which are so intriguing to me, will be enticing for them.
If you are interested in this first one, though, please email me and I'll keep you posted.
Thanks as always for looking at and sharing these paintings with your friends and family,
See you tomorrow,

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sly Guy

"Sly Guy," 8" square, commissioned border collie dog portrait, acrylic on canvasboard. If you would like to commission a pet portrait of your own, please email me!
I have been working with a new color system (those of you who are curious, check out Elin Pendleton's website for her ideas on color), and I see lots of improvement in my recent pieces. Working in a different fashion slows down my process tremendously (a BIG challenge when one's creating a painting a day), but it allows for more careful decision making and more conscious effort. I think those are part of the reason for the strength of this week's paintings.
Tomorrow I will start a series of paintings starring a dear little siamese kitty. They will put all I've learned to the test, as I plan on pushing my knowledge of light and shadow and purrs to an entirely new level.
Thanks as always for sharing my paintings with your friends and family.
See you tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Painting (Two) Dogs-a-Day - Meet Abbey

BOTTOM'S UP: "Mmm, Good Stick! (Abbey)," 8" x 10" and "Bleached Blonde (Abbey)," 6" x 8." Both portraits of a Yellow Labrador Retriever done in acrylic on canvasboard, both headed to a new home. It's super easy to commission a pet portrait of your own - inquiries may always come to me.
Sometimes I get so caught up in the actual painting process that I lose sight of consciously striving for that physical likeness. It's tougher for me to gauge this when I'm working from compellingly gorgeous photos of a dog I've never met.
That was the case today - I started with the smaller landscape, and became absorbed by all the lavenders, oranges and blues in the shadow of Abbey's neck and shoulder. I love the atmosphere in the painting, but the painting itself seemed more about the setting and not as much about the personality of the dog. I wasn't certain this was what my client wanted.
That's ok, I thought - I'll try the stick on the beach composition, where the focal point IS her face, and I'll really concentrate on nailing it and keeping Abbey forefront. A few hours later, when I emerged from the juicy brushwork and layers of inviting paint, I realized I had done it again - been painting for an extended amount of time without once measuring my drawing or checking for a likeness. Thankfully I hadn't gone far off track, and was able to reel Abbey in with a little concentration.
My client loved the paintings so much that she has opted to take them both, and for that I sincerely thank her. 
I'll be back tomorrow with another endearing face.
Thanks, as always, for your time following my paintings and sharing them with your friends and family,

Monday, April 13, 2009

Dog-a-Day Painting #650 - HAH!!

"Hah! (Arly)," 6" square, commissioned pet portrait, depicting a mixed breed dog in acrylic on canvasboard. (And  yes, Arly does have a funky blue-violet streak on his tongue.) My client's on vacation for another couple of days, but I suspect Arly will be headed to his new home shortly. Meanwhile, inquiries on how you can commission your own special dog (or cat) painting may always come to me.
And remember, return clients get 10% off newly booked portraits - so don't be shy, seize the moment and flaunt your collection!

I spent a good amount of time this morning going through my references trying to find a Portuguese Water Dog class I photographed years ago at some dog show. I couldn't find any shots I hadn't already painted (see above Dog-a-Day painting "Bumblebee," from last July, which is available for purchase through Etsy). Alas I am stuck with Porties on my mind (I wonder why?). That creative itch is lingering.
So, if any Dog a Day readers have PWD photos they can share with me, I'll squeeze in a Dog-a-Day presidential nod this week  in honor of Bo-Bama. Photos may come to me.
And here's a treat - a great write up on the Best Friends network about my Theresa Dog-a-Day paintings from last summer. Theresa will be starring in this week's Dog Town episode (check your local listings for air date and times). I have a few Theresa paintings for sale in my Etsy store. I'll also be listing a special one - a large gallery stretched canvas - on ebay later this week.
It's good to be back. I hope that you enjoyed your break from my ramblings and had a wonderful weekend.
Thanks for following my paintings. 
See you tomorrow!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Bunny Kisses

"Bunny Kisses," 9" x 12", acrylic on gallery stretched linen. This is what the Easter Bunny brought me last year - and no, she's not still around. The kids polished her off about 5 minutes after I told them I had finally finished the painting. You should have seen them eyeballing the still life setup like savages!!
This painting will make for a great springtime decoration in your home. As my Easter gift to the most loyal Dog-a-Day readers who are checking emails and blogs on a holiday, I'll ship her off to the first one who wants her for a one time price of $199. This is a large painting, on linen, gallery wrapped so there is no need to frame her (the colors go around the sides of the canvas to the back).
I think I've had my share of too much candy today!! Meanwhile, a round of chocolate rabbits for all!!
Inquiries about "Bunny Kisses" may come to me. I'd also love the opportunity to talk to you about any still life ideas you may have - I would welcome the chance to create a special still life painting from objects in your life.
I wish you a blessed day spent with those you love.
Back to the dogs tomorrow,

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Winter lingers, Journal Pages

You can read about my latest journal page, titled "Winter Lingers" on my studio blog.

Hope this is the last snowfall of the season - and that the sun is shining in your neck of the woods -

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Juried Equine Exhibition!!

FROM TOP:  "Chestnut Plains," 6" x 8"; "Lashes & Corkscrews," 6" x 8"; and "Black," 8" x 16"; equine paintings, all in acrylic on canvasboard, each available for purchase.
I received notice that the above paintings were juried into the esteemed Third Annual Dancing Horse Farm Equine Art Exhibition. The exhibition will be held at the world class Dancing Horse Farm in Lebanon, Ohio from May 2nd through May 10th, 2009. This will overlap with the farm's Spring Fling Weekend, a horse show with Dressage, Combined Test and Fun Classes. For more information, please visit Dancing Horse Farm's website.
These paintings have been exquisitely framed in custom moldings and will be available for purchase through Dancing Horse Farm. Inquiries may come via email to the exhibition coordinators.
Meanwhile, per Painting a Dog a Day rituals of year's past, I will be creating new equine paintings during Derby Week, which is the first week in May. Want to nominate your horse for inclusion? Please do! Photos (non-flash please) may be sent to Meanwhile stay tuned to the Painting a Dog a Day project for your Kentucky Derby dose of horse art and virtual mint juleps, no fancy hat required.
Thank you so much for your continued support of my artwork!
Now, back to vacation mode -

What Happened to Spring?

I feel jipped - there's no "Spring" in my Spring Break. We've got 6" of freshly fallen new white stuff, and the remainder of the week's forecast isn't looking springlike in the least.
So, we were trapped inside today (wet and windy, with heavy snow on limbs and electrical wires). I managed to steal a little bit of computer time from the kids, and got a couple things done.
There are new paintings listed on my Etsy store (including Frisky, pictured above).
And I uploaded a slideshow of images from Friday's solo show opening onto the blog (over to the right, up near the top).
Hope the sun is shining on you, wherever you are, and the sidewalks are not beckoning to be shoveled.
I'm off to throw snowballs for Finnigan to chase,

Thursday, April 02, 2009

Seeing Double - Connor

FROM LEFT:  "Coy (Connor)," and "Sentinel (Connor)," each 8" x 10", portraits of a chihuahua mix, in acrylic on canvasboard, each $449. My client will choose one, and you can bring home the other. Inquiries may come to me.

Sentinel is SOLD.
I painted Sentinel yesterday, and did Coy this evening. Each painting involved a highly saturated underpainting, with paint laid down and worked wet-on-wet overtop the dry base. Consequently the brushwork is very raw on the surface, and adds an exciting element to the otherwise static poses. I love painting this way!
I do not plan on painting tomorrow, hence the two pieces this evening. It'll be a busy day of errands and other tasks, followed by my solo show opening in the evening (Flint Street Gallery in Lake Orion, from 7-9pm, 248-314-8697). I hope that those of you in the area will be able to stop by and visit.
I'm also going to take some time off next week for Spring Break. They'll be lots of bike rides (weather permitting), cookie baking (I've stocked up on chocolate chips), gardening (gotta get the beds ready for the fairies to move into), basketball (Go Michigan State!), and family time. I may check in periodically (you know I can't stay out of here!), but don't worry if a day or two goes by and you haven't heard from me. All is well, I'm just kicking back and rejuicing.
Meanwhile I hope the Easter bunny brings you something wonderful in chocolate.
Happy Spring,

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Another Black Lab

"You Owned My Heart (Lucy)," 6" x 8", pet portrait of a black lab mix, acrylic on canvasboard, $324. Inquiries may come to .

Lucy's saga continues. Here is another portrait of the same dog that inspired yesterday's painting, but this one is a more literal likeness.
What makes this painting hum? The tension between the orange and blue - opposites on the color wheel, that, when placed alongside each other, amp up the others' presence. Experiment with opposites at home and see the great combinations you get - this can work with a centerpiece built of limes and eggplant as well as it can with paint.
Thanks, as always, for looking at and sharing my paintings with friends and family.
I'm looking forward to painting again for you tomorrow,

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