Thursday, May 28, 2009

Profile: Denise Picanco

Denise Picanco

Denise's photograph "Majestic" can be found on page 25 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book. Denise tells us about herself:

I’ve been around animals all my life, from chickens, cats, dogs, birds, and fish – my goldfish died at the ripe old age of seven (years) – to rats, gerbils and mice. Having worked at a pet store many, many moons ago, the “runts” or “rejects” often found a cozy home at our house. Having the experience of seeing these living beings suffer so much led me to become more proactive. I avoid pet stores altogether and encourage people to adopt a pet from either the local shelter or rescue groups like Aussie Rescue & Placement Helpline (ARPH), Hopeful Hearts Dog Rescue, and the Ferret Rescue Society of Ottawa & Area (FRSOA).

As a volunteer for Responsible Dog Owners of Canada (RDOC) I get to be a part of something that’s very important to me, and that’s education. I’ve seen the result of puppy mills and pet stores first hand, unfortunately, so if I can help educate just one person on the importance of prevention, animal safety and being a responsible pet owner, then I’ve done my job.

By now you’ve probably realized that I am as passionate about animals as I am about photography. Our two Aussies keep us entertained and out of trouble, and they are often my main models. Our majestic boy, Logan, found his way into the Paws for Charity Art Book this year. He’s very proud and excited to be a part of something so important!

The idea of combining the things I’m most passionate about together and bringing them to life is simply incredible to me. To physically see the love in a mother’s eyes when she looks down at her little girl, playing with the polka dots on her dress; the gentle touch of a little boy’s hand petting the spot between his puppy’s eyes while that little puppy sleeps; the tender touch of a grandfather’s embrace as he sings his granddaughter to sleep in his arms; the serenity of a newlywed couple, snuggling in the grass with their arms around their puppy, around each other as they watch the colors on the trees change, it’s those memories, those emotions, those moments that I love to be a small part of. It’s the feeling of catching those memories as if out of thin air and placing them in a bottle for all of time. Sounds cliché I know, but that’s the feeling I get. That’s why I love doing what I do.

My name in itself, “Denise”, means: “Follower of Dionysus, the Greek God of wine, joy, and theatre, and lover of peace.” My parents named me well. I love making fine art & environmental portraits; I am a vegetarian, animal loving, tree-hugging free spirit. This Portuguese-Canadian girl has passion in abundance, and I firmly believe in the saying “Pay it forward”.

I hope that when people open the book and see the beautiful, wondrous creatures that adorn the pages they not only see the story, feel the experience that each artist is portraying in their piece, but they see the animal, that unbeknownst to them, is helping another species in it’s will for survival, the human. Funny how the tables turn.

Here’s to: “Making Photographs, Making Art, Making Memories, Making a Difference… One click at a time.”

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