Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Minerva's Kitchen

On my facebook page, I posted a contest for a free portrait to people who wanted to submit stories of amazing animals who had changed peoples lives.

I had many wonderful submissions, but one story imparticular had me staring at the screen for a while after I read it. It was submitted by Joe Steinfeld, a wonderful responsible dog owner, about his award winning Neopolitan Mastiff, Minerva.

Minerva's Story:

"On Labor day 1999, my mother called to tell me that my brother Jonny had lost his long battle with cancer. By then the news came as something of a relief, the news was not unexpected, and we don't tend to be over emotional people. So my tone of voice was matter of fact as we discussed funeral arrangements, etc. But my Neopolitan Mastiff Minerva stood and licked my leg during the entire conversation. She never did this before or since, she knew something was wrong. After the conversation I sat awhile and collected myself, surrounded by my three dogs before preparing to go to my parents house.

Now here is the part I don't expect people to believe. In 2003, Minerva succumbed to osteosarcoma. (Less than 7 weeks after her mother Juno died suddenly of heart failure.) I contacted an animal communicator. With no prompting from me, and apropos of nothing, she told me "Minerva didn't like the phone, because sometimes the phone brought bad news. And one time it brought very bad news. And you sat down and were sad for a very long time." True story.

Minerva wasn't done yet, I soon found out. When I contacted Joe to tell him he had won the contest, he sent me her pictures. I often know what size canvas I want to use when I see a picture. I was trying to take a nap one day, but Minerva wasn't having any of that. Those who know me well won't go NEAR me when I am sleeping..I resemble a BEAR!!! Before I knew what I was doing, I was on my feet, and went to my office and grabbed a canvas, and brought it into the kitchen. (I NEVER paint in the kitchen...) I realized the canvas was quite big, and wanted to check with Joe to make sure he had a spot for it. That evening, and before Joe could give me the green light, I found myself painting away...and Minerva basically was in my kitchen in under an hour. I told Joe the next day what happened, and he said "Thats weird...we used to call our kitchen "Minerva's kitchen", because she used to get chased into it all the time, then finally started guarding it from the other dogs!"

It hadn't occured to me until he said that, but I had never painted a portrait in my kitchen! So, when she is done being painted, I will miss her mug in my kitchen...but will be happy to give her to her Dad.

Thank you Minerva, and to Joe.

Thursday, May 20, 2010


This was a painting that I did for a challenge on the blog
The idea being for artists from all over use the picture as a reference to create artwork from. It is always fun to see what everyone creates.
What I loved about these two was that the bird on the right clearly had something important to say. And to me, the other bird is quite fascinated by what he is saying. Too cute.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


This is a portrait of my first horse, Shamrock. He taught me ALMOST everything I need to know about horses! Especially, CLOSE THE GATE!!!
Many times he would let himself loose, sometimes opening other horses stalls and letting them loose as well...
He was a character! I think everyone who has had a chestnut knows there is special brand of naughtiness and attitude that goes with the territory.
He didn't bite, but in the photo that I painted this from, he was stealing a carrot, all the while keeping a close eye on Mommy to see if she was watching....

I was.

Monday, May 17, 2010


This pot of tulips was our recent challenge on a blog that posts photos for several artists to tackle. Then we get to view the results, and link to one anothers blogs. It's great fun. Check it out...

Still trying my hand at water color challenges. This one I stayed as simple as possible. And it is. I really like it. Stay tuned.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

The color of water...

As I mentioned before, I mainly paint in oil. Watercolors scare the bejesus out of me. I love them...they just scare me!!! I mentioned this to a fellow artist recently, and was relieved to hear that I was not the only one!! Before I knew what I was doing, almost sub-conciously, I unpacked my water color supplies, and got to work. The very next day, I saw a bumper sticker that said "Do one thing a Day that scares you." there ya go!!

I have always admired paintings of glass ware of any kind. I tried my hand yesterday at a wine glass of water. I was happy with the result. I resisted the temptation to "overwork" it, and maybe quit it early...but I am trying to simplify in my watercolor lessons, and to get back to sketching. ALL I did when I was in school

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Starting Over.

A good friend of mine made me laugh recently. And unexpectedly has been a huge inspiration to me. She is a fabulous writer, and I have been encouraging her to start a blog. So she did. She mentioned that a couple of her friends had been heckling her to start one. Glad to be one of them!! Check it out!!!

I got to thinking about my blog after admiring hers. I had two, and both of them had cobwebs visually, and you could audibly hear crickets when you looked at them they had been neglected for so long.

I ignored it for a long time, and got disappointed in myself.


Why be dissapointed when you can just "Start Over"!! Sooo, I eliminated one blog and refreshed this one. My most recent venture has had me painting in watercolor. So, some fun dabblings, and trying not to take things quite so seriously.

So, thank you Kate!!! BLOG ON!!!