Friday, July 20, 2012

My Sweet Iroh.

Iroh was our first pet. We adopted him as a kitten and he was about 3 months old and had a cold but we adopted him anyway. We were totally smitten from the git-go with this one. He had the biggest personality for such a little kitten. We brought him home and he became the BEST pet I have ever owned. He played fetch, loved to cuddle and regularly slept on Ben's pillow or in between us. He regularly had colds and respiratory issues but was still fun loving and would just tire easily when playing. He would have to take frequent rests. 

In about October of last year, after having him for a year and half, he developed a serious bladder issue. We took him to an emergency vet one night (where we learned about a heart condition he had all along), then to our regular vet the next. And then the next day he took a turn for the worse. Ben and I made the heart wrenching decision to put this little guy down because he was so so sick and would never really be able to lead a full life and wasn't much they could do for him. It was awful, terrible, I wouldn't wish that feeling on anyone. Together we had never experienced so much pain or sadness. I know my heart will always be a little broken because of it.

Luckily, we were able to adopt again and love another critter, Harley. She is very different than Iroh in every way possible and we adopted her when she was a little older than 1. So we're still getting used to her and she us, but she's a sweet cat and learning to love and slowly cuddle the way Iroh did.

With ALL of that said, I have never painted any of my own pets. With Iroh it felt too personal and too soon. But, I took the plunge this week to paint him, had a meltdown looking at all his sweet pictures and then gained my composure enough to finish this painting. It was a good healing step for me and I now more fully understand what pet portraits can mean to someone, especially once their critter is gone. I'm now painting Harley (so she won't be jealous ;) ) so hopefully that'll be up here soon too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Hazel Prudence

Our church every year hosts the Wiener Nationals, a day of hot dogs and wiener dog races with about 75 wiener dogs (last year's number approximately). This year as a part of the grand prize, the winner will get a free pet portrait done by me. I wanted to have some pet portrait as an example for that day so people could get excited and know my work. Which brings us to Hazel.

This is Hazel, as a puppy. She is owned and loved by Dean and Diane, two people at our church and they have two wiener dogs, Hazel and Abigail. Diane and I started talking about painting, had a painting day together and I used her sweet Hazel as the example for the Wiener Nationals.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Santa Cruz Pelican

This is the painting that sort of accompanies the seagull. Both of these photographs were taken on the same day on the Wharf in Santa Cruz. This pelican was very friendly and loved this man who kept hand feeding him fish. Once the man left, he posed a bit for some pictures for me. This one isn't as much a favorite like the seagull but was a good exploration in watercolor for me.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Santa Cruz Seagull

This has to be one of my favorite things I've done in awhile, especially since I'm still getting the hang of watercolors. I don't feel like the scan does it justice. I did this painting from a photograph I took while in Santa Cruz. The seagulls are everywhere and I feel like they pose for pictures just for me.  This one was sitting on the edge of the railing. I have one coming up of a pelican in the same look and then I'm currently working on a sea lion painting. Hopefully I'll finish it soon so I can share it here.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Sweet Karen's Birthday

The worst part of living in California is being away from friends and family - especially on their birthdays. I made this card for my dear friend and making it made me miss her even more. I really liked the style of it and hope to explore that a little more. (done with ink and watercolor)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Field Sparrow

One of the great things about living in a new place is new wildlife. I've been lucky enough to get some fantastic photos lately. Which have provided even greater references to draw from. I now fully appreciate my college professors telling me over and over to take your own photos to draw from.

This sparrow below was taken at the Baylands. I've blogged about it a little on the other one, but it's this cool nature preserve here that has a lot of neat bird life. These birds are cute and tiny and everywhere and have the prettiest little song. I've been exploring with watercolors lately and this was the first attempt. Enjoy!

Monday, July 2, 2012


I'm not sure if y'all remember the painting I did of sweet Zoe, but Max was her sibling in a way. Joan owned both of these sweet dogs and unfortunately Max became very old and blind and was put down. It breaks my heart but I love knowing these dogs brought so much joy and love to their family and were given such a great life. Max liked to play in the snow and I loved this picture of him so it's the one I chose. Also, Joan and her husband have since adopted a sweet new Great Dane mix named Peanut who is just as adorable as Zoe and Max.