Monday, June 29, 2009

Profile: Melanie Hughes

Melanie Hughes

Melanie's photograph "Frolic And Play" is on page 13 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here's a bit about Melanie, in her own words:

I'm an amateur photographer who was born outside of Cleveland, OH, grew up in Charlotte, NC, spent a few years in LA and is now back in Ohio in Columbus where I hope to stay for a long time! Except for a black/white photography class in college, I'm self-taught and love taking photos of nature, architecture and especially my pets (2 dogs and a cat). Macro shots of flowers are also some of my favorites. I love spending time on creative activities and when I'm not taking photos, I'm usually either sewing, making jewelry or knitting. Aside from my creative activities, I love spending time outside, enjoying the fresh air by going for walks/runs with my dogs, working on my yard or hiking at local parks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Profile: Michelle Campbell-Zurek

Michelle Campbell-Zurek
Etsy Shop

Michelle's photograph "Dogg the hungry kitty" is on page 4 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.A little bit about Michelle, in her own words...

After working in TV as a graphic designer and a promotions producer, I decided to pursue my love of art, primarily painting and photography. I’m originally from the east coast and I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband, our dog and our 3kitties. Along with urban areas, architecture and nature, my sweeties are some of my favorite subjects to photograph.

My main website:

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Profile: Kecia Deveney

Kecia Deveney

Kecia's artwork "Blossom Playing In The Garden" is on page 28 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here's a bit about Kecia, in her own words:

Originally from California, I am a mixed media/jewelry artist/photographer, who now resides in New Jersey. Drawing inspiration from my life experience as the mother of a severely disabled child, I have channeled that energy into learning and creating art.

I've been known to go to a flea market on the hottest days in the summer or 17 degrees in the winter to see what I can find to play with. Experimenting with "reclaimed discardia" results in many unique pieces of storytelling art. You can read more about my artistic journey on my blog at .

Monday, June 22, 2009

Profile: Gigi Leonard

Gigi Leonard

Gigi's photograph "Dog Days Of Summer" is on page 30 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.Gigi is a native Midwesterner and Chicago-based self-taught photographer. She has had a latent passion for photography since she was a child, but only recently has taken the steps to express herself creatively, and to the public, through her digital imagery. Gigi regularly traverses city streets and country roads searching for the poetry that is everywhere around us, and striving to visually capture the challenge of finding hidden allure, joy and movement in our everyday lives.

When she isn’t behind the lens, Gigi curates an eclectic blend of art and design finds on her blog,

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Profile: Julie Magers Soulen

Julie Magers Soulen
Julie's Blog

Julie's photograph "Golden In Snow" is on page 38 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Since moving to Colorado more than 20 years ago, Julie has been an avid hiker, camper and skier. In the late 90s she moved to a house in the forest of the Rocky Mountain foothills where she lives off-the-grid. Her love of nature is reflected in her photography and she has traveled the length of the Rockies, from New Mexico to northern Canada, seeking to capture the endless beauty of the West.

Julie's photography was featured for over eight years on in "The Colorado Journal". She has also been featured on the Daily Ray of Hope published by the Sierra Club. Her blog link is :

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Profile: Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie Schwartz

Bonnie's photograph "All Cleaned Up" is on page 32 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

A few words from Bonnie:

My name is Bonnie Schwartz. I live in Asheville, NC. I have only been interested in photography for the last few years. Now I am never without my camera! I especially enjoy taking photographs of all animals (especially my dogs and cats). I also enjoy nature photography. I have started selling some of my prints and note cards on Etsy.

My work can be viewed at my Etsy shop:
My blog is:
You can also view my photography at:

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Profile: Rachel Parker

Rachel Parker
Rachel's Blog

Rachel's painting, entitled "Applehead Lit", is on page 7 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Rachel Parker is a self taught artist who works mainly in watercolors. As the daughter of artist Gretchen Parker, she was raised going to art lessons and watching her mother paint. She has been drawing since she was old enough to hold a pencil, and began painting in 2000.

Her motivation for creating is to capture what may otherwise go unnoticed, to reveal the beauty in simple moments and objects. Making an image come alive on the paper is her inspiration. Rachel has sold her work nationally and internationally through She paints at night and during weekends and works full time as a school social worker.

Rachel does commissions. She sells most of her work online; she maintains a blog and enjoys interacting with her patrons on a daily basis. She often has contests on her site for people to have a chance at winning free prints or a painting of their pet. Visit her blog at to participate!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Profile: Cait Wade

Cait Wade

Cait's photograph entitled "Companion" is on page 33 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Cait is a freelance photographer based in Chicago who specializes in night, low-light, and macro photography. She operates a music and photography blog called M45.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Profile: Benedetta Bozzo

Benedetta Bozzo
Benedetta's blog

Benedetta's painting "Hope" is on page 20 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book. Benedetta created this piece of art specifically for our project, and sold the original on Ebay with 50% of the proceeds benefitting the Avon Breast Cancer Crusade.

Benedetta was born in Sassari, an Italian city located a few miles from the beautiful Mediterranean Sea. Her passion for art was evident since an early age, when she would participate in local art festivals for young emerging artists.

She moved to the United States when she was seventeen to spend time with her father who was living in North Carolina. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro with a B.A. and later earned an M.A. from the University of Baltimore.

Benedetta's unique paintings and art dolls reflect her admiration for the warmth and simplicity of folk art, the whimsical and the eclectic, and the peace and purity found in sacred art.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Profile: Leslye Wilkins

Leslye Wilkins
Leslye's blog

Leslye's painting "Queen Kodi" is on page 37 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Some words from Leslye:

Throughout my entire life I have been happiest when creating some form of art, and was encouraged by my family, teachers, and friends, who felt that I had a special talent. I earned a degree in fine art from Berry College in Rome, Georgia, and was soon hired by an advertising agency as Art Director. I have continued in that field and derived much satisfaction from my work.Aside from that I continue to be involved in painting, pottery, metalsmithing, and photography for pleasure. I derive the most satisfaction when something I have created can benefit a worthy cause. Several of my paintings have been sold in connection with community fund raising projects One of the most exciting was our Town Turtle Project for the city of Sandy Springs, GA. I painted 2 of the 72 fiberglass turtle sculptures, each 5 ft tall, that were placed throughout the city and later auctioned off, raising more than $700,000.00 which was used to purchase eleven parks to create greenspace for our community- making it one of the most successful urban art projects ever.I am so happy to be a part of this "art book" project and hope it, too, will be successful in raising money for a breast cancer cure.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Profile: Zulayra McKim

Zulayra McKim
Etsy shop

Zulayra's photo "Are they home yet?" is on page 12 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Here is the bio Zulayra sent...short and sweet!

I am an aspiring photographer and enjoy viewing life through my viewfinder. I have a strong passion for photography and want to share my vision with all who care to see. I studied digital photography at the International Academy of Design and Technology, Tampa, Florida.And here is Penny, checking out her photo in our book:

Saturday, June 6, 2009

A bit more PR

Art Book participant Sabrina Helas has received some PR for herself and our 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book recently.

Funky Finds featured Sabrina and our book in the article at this link.

A big thank you to Jessica at Funky Finds for her continued support in our 2009 Art Book!

Sabrina was also featured by LA Tails in the article found at this link.Way to go Sabrina!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Profile: Vanessa Sam

Vanessa Sam

Vanessa's photo "Dad and I" is on page 36 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

Vanessa tells us a bit about herself:

I grew up in Hong Kong and moved to Vancouver, Canada for my high school years. Subsequently, I moved to Berkeley, California for college and have stationed here ever since. I live with my husband and our miniature schnauzer Bach, who's been our wonderful companion for 10 years. My full time job is in a field that is devoid of creativity; I am a healthcare finance consultant working for corporate America. Despite my career choice, I feel that deep down inside I am a creative soul. There are 2 channels where I express my creativity, both as different from each other as my full time job and my hobbies. First is knitting, I won't dwell on how I became a knitter but I have an Etsy store for that as well: The second obviously is photography.

I believe because I have lived in different places and have been exposed to different cultures and the fact that I love traveling really open my mind to new ideas and new perspectives. When I travel to new places is when my creativity flows. There is so much beauty in this world. In the traditional sense, we have sunsets, natural landscapes, amazing architecture, all of which I love to photograph. But I also find beauty in the mundane, be it the flicker of a candle, a single rose, or even a cup. A good photographer can also turn something ugly in the traditional sense into a meaningful beautiful image capture. So really, I am inspired by the world; if one would pause for a moment or two everyday, one would begin to see beauty in everything.

Not unlike other photographers, I have always been interested in photography ever since I was a kid but without proper guidance and exposure, there were more disappointments than success. A big part of it was also that in the old days good quality photographic equipment was much less accessible to the general public because of price and technology; nowadays with the advent of digital photography and falling prices, it is relatively easy to get hold of reasonably good equipment, which in turns enables me to improve at a really fast pace. It has only been several years since I rekindled this interest of mine and officially I have had my Etsy store since February 2008. I am still trying to find my own style and niche. At the current stage, I find myself interested in a wide range of subjects and am constantly exploring different styles. On the whole though, I tend to gravitate towards minimalism and simple geometry and lines within each frame. I also love the sense of peace and serenity that nature provides us, so you would often see me photographing zen style subjects as well.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Profile: Brooke Churchill

Brooke Churchill

Brooke's image "Truman and Emma" can be found on page 19 of the 2009 Paws For Charity Art Book.

People wonder where Brooke Churchill’s Signature Mosaic Technique came from. What inspired it? And why is it so darn fun?

It started as a side project for Brooke, a fine artist known in art circles from Los Angeles to London as a modern abstract expressionist. Her Signature Mosaic Technique using colored pencils on paper began as an outlet from her fine art pursuits. Switching to pencils gave her the freedom to just have fun.

Soon everyone wanted portraits in her colorful, whimsical style—especially parents and pet owners. She has a special way with children and animals. She really takes the time to get to know them.

Her work is in private collections worldwide, New York to Los Angeles, Chicago, Geneva & Rome. Brooke’s Signature Mosaic Technique has been prominently featured in
New York Magazine, The New York Dog Magazine, The Hollywood Dog Magazine & on
CBS Channel 2 News NY.