Monday, August 1, 2011

Sophie's Story

I was shopping in an upscale, clothing consignment store where I lived, in Columbia, MD. I noticed an adorable, white, toy poodle hanging around. When I went to the front desk to make my purchase, I asked Jane, my saleswoman, "Is this your dog?" She told me that they were watching it for one of the sales people there who had to go out for a while. Naturally, I told her that I did paintings of pets and asked her if she could pass on my contact information to the dog's owner. She was very enthusiastic and took my card. A few months later, about 3 weeks before Christmas, I got a call from Jane. The sales personnel decided to chip in and commission me to paint a portrait of the store owner's dog, Sophie, for her Christmas present. Typically, I ask for 4 weeks to do a painting, but they wanted it as a Christmas present. It had to be done a less than 3 weeks. On a day when the store owner wasn't home, I went to her house, met her husband, and took a bunch of photos of Sophie. Then he selected one of them and I got to work.

It was right before Christmas. The plan was that I should come to the store in the evening, towards closing and deliver the painting to Jane. I got to the store a half hour before closing. All the sales help were there as this night was their little holiday party. The shop owner's husband and Sophie were there too. They asked me to pretend to be shopping so when the owner came in, she wouldn't think it was unusual that  a stranger was hanging around. Even her husband and Sophie pretended they didn't know me.

The owner arrived and all the sales help gathered around her and presented her with a gift-wrapped present. When she unwrapped the box and saw the painting, she was surprised, delighted and touched so deeply that she cried. She could not get over the likeness of the painting. She commented that the colors of Sophie's fur in the painting matched the dog's coat perfectly. It was such a beautiful moment. Then Jane called me over and introduced me to the owner. We all hugged as if we were long lost family. Even Sophie got a few extra head rubs and hugs. It was a Christmas, I will never forget.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

Another opening, another show

On Wednesday, July 13th, from 4-6, we had our artist reception for 4 Artists - 4 Journeys. It was a great success. I have 8 of my recent works with their poems in the exhibit. Guests responded well to both paintings and poems. We had lots of conversations. It is always rewarding when a guest really takes time to look at your work, reads the poems and tells you their responses and thoughts. It feels great to know they "got it." Since the show is right next to the mayor's office in Danbury City Hall, I met the mayor. He shook my hand and told me he loved all the paintings and wanted to buy all of them, but he didn't have any money. Oh well, that's life in the little city of Danbury. I got a chance to catch up with my artist friend, Elizabeth, which was really fun as well as my former dance classmate, Richard. I also met some new people. After the reception, I followed Elizabeth in my car to a little restaurant on Main Street so we could chat some more.  It was an enjoyable, stress-free event. Now onto the next paintings....

Saturday, June 18, 2011

It's been awhile

Since I first posted this blog, I haven't written in it because my first post is intended for everyone to get an idea of the quality of my pet paintings and how I work. A lot is happening in my artistic life. I paint allegorical stylized landscapes when not painting commissioned work. These works are exhibited in juried, gallery and museum shows when I am graced with that opportunity. On July 11 through August 4, my recent landscapes will be in a 4-person show at the Danbury City Hall in Danbury, CT. The artist reception is July 13 between 4 and 6pm. If you are in Danbury, please stop by and introduce yourself to me at the reception. At this time, I am finalizing the 5 or so paintings that will be in this show and finishing these paintings' poems which will also be in the show.

I have just been commissioned to paint a portrait of my long time, best-friend, girlfriend. I have done drawings of her before and have painted 2 of her cats. This commission will be fun because I haven't painted a human face in a while!  She has great confidence in me and I really appreciate that. Stay tuned to see it when it is completed.  If you want to see my landscapes please visit my website: If you want to check in to see what I am up to with these paintings, visit my Artist Project blog: