Monday, March 10, 2014

Wishing for Spring.

"Cherry Blossoms"

For years, Springtime entered my world with cherry trees lining our street - each resembling parade floats of tissue paper pinks. It was a glorious sight, made somewhat more spectacular as the blossoms began to fall. As we walked under the branches, we would be showered with confetti petals of pink.

Saturday, March 1, 2014


Jasper is one of those blessed little creatures who is a work of art in himself. There was not one photo of this boy that didn't show his 'best angle' while illuminating his adorable personality. I sought to capture his intelligent and sweet nature by focusing on the alert brown eyes and their steady, confident gaze, his relaxed expression and lolling, bubble gum tongue. Even in repose, he looks ready to sprint at a moment's notice. The ears are slightly cocked forward reflecting his curiosity, his back legs thrust behind him suggesting a dog who is completely relaxed and comfy in his little universe.

Jasper's mom was the winner of the portrait auction to benefit the Stratford Animal Rescue Society (S.T.A.R.S.) annual event held October 2013.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Icy Paint

Blue is another sketch in progress, focusing on the eyes of this beautiful paint horse residing at a local horse rescue farm. His demeanor fits his icy blue eyes - cool, distant and frosty. There's no gentle nuzzling from this one's nose, seeking carrots hidden in my jacket. He doesn't want any part of me, and that's fine. I'm told to keep my fingers away from his muzzle. I keep my distance and admire those pretty attributes from a safe place behind the fence. Safe for him - he's the rescue and needs to feel he is out of harms way. The way he was treated before his rescue probably explains his suspicion of strangers like me, and I pose no threat. He knows it now, but still chooses to give me a wide berth. I must get my glimpses and sketches quickly before he moves away. At some point I hope to become at least trustworthy enough that he will remain close for me give him a carrot!

The Black Friesian

Working on a small painting of two horses I met at a local horse farm. I am enthralled by the large black  friesian, a regal and gentle giant. He is tender with the other horses even as he towers over them. He poses without trying - there's not a position he assumes that isn't flat-out gorgeous. When I come by to study the group, he comes to me at the fence and studies me. There's a familiarity about him. He reaches his long velvety nose through the fence to check me out for treats (I must remember to bring carrots next time), nuzzling my camera, my pads, my backpack. Then he pulls back and studies me - honestly, it feels as if he is communicating.

Watching the dynamics in the corral could entertain me for an entire day. The donkey, Jango, is bonded to Brody the draft horse, but he stands watch over the herd with his tiny little stature... as they circle to protect him when a stranger is in their midst. The black beauty has his favorites in the herd, the chestnut above and a silver mare. The striking sight of the silver mare next to the friesian is art in and of itself.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Watchful Pair

A pair of rescue horses at the Live and Let Live Farm in New Hampshire giving a watchful look. The horses at this farm are so well treated and very curious about everyone who stops by. These two came right over to me at the fence to check me out, sticking their long noses over the wire to see if I had a treat hidden in my coat. (Sadly, I didn't - missed opportunity to bond!). They live a peaceful, natural life here at this sanctuary. Thick coats keep them warm in their paddocks and shelter, and volunteers make sure they are socialized and tended to. 

I love the color of horses. The gray horse has a brindle coat - a bit of brown mixed in with the predominant black white and gray. Notice his tail is blonde!

Friday, March 8, 2013


These two babies were taken to a local wildlife rescue rehab center for care, where they were successfully rescued, nursed to independence and returned to their natural habitat. One of the babies looks as though he is wrapping a protective wing around his brother as he peeks over his shoulder. Wounded animals and abandoned babies like these two are brought in to wildlife rehab centers where, as in the case of the our local York Wildlife Center, they get 12,000 calls a year. Interns, volunteers and trained staff work to rehabilitate these animals and return them back to the wild.

I was charmed by the protective wing around the brother bird, and the look over the shoulder provided such a sweet perspective of these two little souls. Knowing that these babies were properly and lovingly cared for makes this a portrait is a tiny tribute to the of kindness and hope these shelters bring.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Belgian Grazing

Driving 2 minutes out of the Portsmouth town proper in any direction will take you past a horse farm. I like that about New Hampshire and missed it when we lived in CT. Granted, I usually see the horses as I'm driving and they're usually grazing, head down and neck one long line to the grassy landscape. This day as I drove down a country road past homes tucked in the woods, I passed a small farm with a hilly pasture and two draft horses grazing below the road and I just sat and watched them for a while. The farm owners are elderly and werer very generous about allowing me to roam their farm, taking photos of the animals. They have two black cows and a barn full of kittens who were spooked by my presence and spent most of the time peeking at me from under a tractor. The setting, the animals, the old couple - such a charming, simple slice of heaven.