Monday, July 27, 2009


My dog, Hazelnut, definitely needs some representation here. She is our sweet, 7 year old mixed-breed pooch that we rescued from the Westport animal shelter when she was 4 mos. old. As the story goes, she was rescued from a puppy mill in Kentucky and given the strangely discordant name "Bingo" when she arrived in Westport. I took my son who was 14 at the time to just "look" at the dogs there. I guess in my heart I knew we'd end up with one (or two, or three). We had rescued kittens and cats from this shelter, and this was the first time we even remotely considered a dog. Amidst all the barking dogs we found Hazelnut, sitting quietly in a corner looking at us with a gentle, forlorn gaze. I held my hand out to the cage so she could sniff it, and she gently, sweetly licked my fingers before resignedly walking back to her corner. Needless to say, she became a member of our family 24 hours later.

Hazel is a wonderful companion and an entertaining member of our family. She's fiercely protective of her home against those who dare walk their dogs a bit too close to our sidewalk - barking is a thing we're still learning to start and stop on command. (Where's that dog whisperer when you need him?!) Her gentle brown eyes and expressive ears are pure, signature Hazel, and I tried to illustrate those wonderful characteristics in this painting.

Thursday, July 23, 2009


Moose was in the first litter born into the Stratford Cat Project. His mother, Haley, was rescued into the project in March 2007 on a very snowy cold day. She was pregnant and alone. On the morning of April 9 2007, Haley gave birth to a litter of 4 balls of fur. Moose, named for his size, was the biggest puffball in the litter. He grew quickly, resembling the beautiful Maine Coon breed of cat with his large size, gorgeous coloring and lush coat of fur. He was the leader of the litter and became the favorite at SCP with the volunteers for his loving nature. He was adopted by SCP volunteers Dave and Fran who fell for Moose's handsome features and his sweet, social personality. Now two years old, Moose loves his family, and greets everyone who comes to the door with the air of a perfect host. When I met the cats in Fran and Dave's household, Moose was my guide - he stayed close to my side and planted himself in front of my camera - this is a boy who loves to be photographed!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Upcoming show/fundraiser

This is Kringle, a beautiful tabby with double paws who was rescued recently and awaiting adoption. He's very sweet, not much more than a kitten and has a playful, yet shy nature. He is one of several at the foster home that loves to play "chase the laser dot", but tends to enjoy wrestling with the kittens most of all. Kringle is somewhat shy around humans, but he is warming up to us as he finds nothing but kindness, food, and doting attention.

Coming up this Saturday, July 25th, the Stratford Cat Project is having a fundraiser/art show event at the Perry House near the library. My artwork, both portraits and still life, will be part of the event that runs from 12-4pm.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Sweetie Pie and GhostWriter

My friend, Mary Beth, is a writer of young adult novels and lives in Texas with her family and a menagerie of animals (including fainting goats!). Sweetie Pie, her chestnut and white paint mare, gave birth in May to Ghostwriter. Ghostwriter is a visually reverse copy of his mother - a white paint with splotches of chestnut, and blue eyes.

I love this portrait of mother and colt taken just hours after he was born. The nuzzling of noses, the sweet face of Ghostwriter combined with the contrasting coat colors and hints of color in their bridles all made for a stunning portrait.

Some of my first memories of drawing were of horses. They are gorgeously eloquent animals to paint, with their lean, muscular lines, shiny coats and flowing manes and tails - the perfect artist's muse.