Tuesday, December 30, 2014

2014 Summary

As 2014 comes to a close, I'd like to thank all the photographers and artists who participated in this year's project, and helped make it a success. Thank you to everyone who purchased one of our books! 

All images are donated by the participants for use in this project, and all my time is donated as well. That means that every cent that is raised from the sale of Paws For Charity products is donated to charity. Yay! 

This year, we raised $1,655 and donated it to S.H.A.I.D. (an animal shelter in Nova Scotia)
"Safe Now" © Claire Garrett (petography.com.au) - title page from the 2014 Paws For Charity Art Book
I've been creating art books and raising funds for charity for six years.  I'm not sure what 2015 will bring, but stayed tuned!

Friday, December 19, 2014

Donation to SHAID

Yesterday, I stopped by S.H.A.I.D. to give the final donation from the 2014 Paws For Charity Project. $775 was donated, bringing the total donated this year to $1,655.
Sara with Harold Rowsell, SHAID Manager
A HUGE THANK YOU goes out to all the participants from this year's project, as well as to all the people who purchased the coffee table books, notebooks, and 2015 planners. Thanks for helping to make this year's project another great success!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Article

Many thanks to reporter Robert Hirtle who put this article together. Published in the Progress Bulletin - November 18, 2014 edition.




Friday, October 3, 2014

Notebooks

Our Notebooks are ready to order!  All funds raised from book sales are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal shelter in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

****************************************************************************************
Until October 31, 2014
you can get a 25% discount by using coupon code OCT25% (case sensitive)
If that doesn't work try out one of these....
20% discount by using coupon code OCT20% 
OR....
20% discount by using coupon code CELEBRATION (all codes are case sensitive)
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This book is 162 pages of blank and lined pages, black and white images of dogs and cats printed on cream non coated paper, and quotes about dogs and cats. The notebooks make great hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, journals, or just tuck it in your bag to keep track of things when you're out and about.

The Paws For Charity Project creates books using images of dogs and cats submitted by artists and photographers (professional and amateur) from around the world. Copyright of the images remains with the artists.

Notebook by Paws For Charity | Make Your Own Book

The front cover image was provided by Sabrina Moore (www.DirtyPawPhotography.com) The back cover image was provided by Madelyn Caranci (www.CityDogPhotography.com).

Thursday, October 2, 2014

2015 weekly planners are ready!

The Paws For Charity 2015 weekly planners are ready for ordering! This is a two page per week planner for the year 2015. The book contains 136 planner pages, 8 blank pages for notes, approx 75 black and white photographs and art, and approx 75 dog and cat quotes. They make great hostess gifts, stocking stuffers, or just tuck it in your bag to keep track of things when you're out and about. 

****************************************************************************************
Until October 31, 2014
you can get a 25% discount by using coupon code OCT25% (case sensitive)
If that doesn't work try out one of these....
20% discount by using coupon code OCT20% 
OR....
20% discount by using coupon code CELEBRATION (all codes are case sensitive)
****************************************************************************************


All profits from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal shelter in Nova Scotia, Canada.
The photograph on the front cover was provided by Elaine Tweedy (www.igottheshotphotography.com). The back cover photo was provided by Hannah Michalski (www.howaboutpictures.com).

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

customized weekly planners

Weekly planners for 2015 and blank notebooks will be available in the next couple of weeks, and will contain images contributed by the 2014 Paws For Charity Project participants. They make great stocking stuffers....hostess gifts....or just something for yourself to pop into your bag to keep track of things when you are out and about.  All profits from the sales are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals In Distress (shaid.ca), an animal shelter in Nova Scotia, Canada.

New this year! I am offering custom weekly planners to all the 2014 participants. You can have a weekly planner printed that contains only your own images (instead of images from our 70+ participants). Get this.....There is no charge for creating the book! But...you must purchase (or have your customers purchase) a minimum of 10 copies of your book. The books are $15 each, but you can almost always get a coupon for 20% off the price (making them $12 each). All profits from the sales are donated to SHAID.

Peta Santoro (100loyalfaces.com) volunteered to send me her images so I could set up a sample for you to view...check it out! Now picture your own images....

Monday, September 8, 2014

Artist Profile: Karen M Berisford

Karen M Berisford has been involved with the Paws For Charity Project for many years. To see more of her work, please visit her website (www.karenmberisford.co.uk). You can also find her on Facebook here.
Karen M Berisford and Survivor   (www.karenmberisford.co.uk)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I have just moved up to live on the coast at Newbiggin by the Sea in Northumberland but am originally from Chesterfield in Derbyshire (UK) very close to the Peak District.  Being part of the Paws For Charity Art book is a great honour as I know it is helping to raise funds for the SHAID shelter and any animal shelter in every corner of the world works so hard to get much needed donations, how could I not wish to help, even though I only play a very small part in it. Every animal deserves a loving home. 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
I just love creating realism in my work, after over 30 years of being an Artist, you continue to improve, I do not think you ever stop really. I need challenges in my work to feel a true passion for what I do. As I do a lot of Pet portraits, many who have sadly passed over the Rainbow bridge - to me, it is important that I capture their 'spirit' and that 'look'. I really work from the heart when I am producing something very special for someone - I will spend time simply looking at a subject or a scene, thinking about what that subject means or meant to the Commissionee and deciding what I could add to make it just that little bit special for them.  I do not know if 'from the heart' is a 'style' but I'd like to think so! 

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
Nature inspires me - birds singing, dogs playing, cats snoozing, the wind blowing through a horse's mane, watching and listening to the sea - simply anything in Mother Nature continues to inspire no matter how many times I see it, I'm home in Nature. I would also say that other Artist's definately inspire and encourage me to want to do more Art - I love looking at different styles of Art, different creative types, bright colours and reading how passionate others are about what they do too, Art is all I ever wanted to do in life - I feel very lucky. 
Karen's artwork and involvement with the Paws For Charity Project are featured in this month's Coloured Pencil Magazine.
 
I want to thank Karen for being involved with the Paws For Charity Project year after year...her generosity is much appreciated!
All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Artist Profile: Jewel Mathieson

Jewel Mathieson is an amazing artist, and she has generously participated in the Paws For Charity projects for years. You can see more of her wonderful art on her website: www.petportrait.co.nz or on facebook: www.facebook.com/petportrait
Jewel Mathieson    www.petportrait.co.nz
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I’m from Nelson, New Zealand. When I was first contacted by Sara about the Paws for Charity project I jumped at the chance and was truly honoured to be included! I am lucky enough to connect with rescue groups and clubs from all over the globe and I always love to contribute and support them when ever I am can. I have also discovered that Rogue’s owner, (my main portrait that’s included in this year’s book) is actually Canadian, so it meant a lot to her that Rogue could be part of a project that supported a Canadian shelter.

Tell us about one of your favourite commissions?
I had a date with ten Huskies, which was an amazing and memorable experience in itself. But the real fun began when I tried to do a photo shoot with six of them for a portrait commission. Armed with three helpers and lots of treats, things were going pretty well and we managed to get five of them lined up nicely with a formal, posed portrait in mind. However, no amount treats, kind persuasion, or gentle manoeuvring would convince the old boy Fen to co-operate with us. During a stand-off between Fen and his owner, I took a perfectly timed photo of Fen defiantly sitting looking towards me while the other five sat a few feet away, lined up perfectly, all looking over at Fen to see what he was doing. We did eventually get a few perfect posed photos of them all, and when I sent through the best photo options for the portrait, I included that one. Much to my delight he loved it too and picked it for his portrait, which I drew as a diptych with the five on the left looking over at Fen, who I drew in a separate portrait to the right. To this day it is still my favourite portrait!
Where's Fen? by Jewel Mathieson   www.petportrait.co.nz
What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
I find inspiration in a lot of different places. Animals, particularly dogs, fascinate me. They have such unique and individual personalities, and I love really capturing the expression and the soul which makes each animal so distinctive.
I also really love texture so I am drawn to places like old farmsteads, historic sites and abandoned relics. I love weathered wood, shaped by rot and painted with moss and lichens. As well as rusty old iron, vehicles and machinery which was once so essential to daily life, now laying almost forgotten in the grass. And of course, I love the texture of fur!

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
I have quite an individual, highly detailed style with which I love capturing all of my subjects. Each portrait is painstakingly drawn using dozens of colours and layers, quite literally drawing in every hair and every possible fine detail that I can see. Often it is the little things that can make something so easily recognisable so attention to detail is an essential attribute for me. I also achieve all of this while using quite a vibrant colour palette so my portraits are all bright, uplifting and full of life.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
I’m currently working on my second book, to be titled “Indomitable Spirit”. It looks at the early working breeds of the Arctic regions as well as their modern day descendants. Through my art I want to express their immense spirit and unyielding determination and the very special bonds that they form both with each other and with their owners. It is a rather ambitious two year project which will see me draw more than fifty portraits for the book, but one that I am incredibly excited about! I’m hoping to have it published late 2014/early 2015.

Thanks Jewel...we wish you the best of luck with your project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Artist Profile: Carmen Owen

Carmen Owen is a repeat contributor to the Paws For Charity Project...I was happy to welcome her back again this year. Visit her on facebook:  
https://www.facebook.com/WildatheARTcreationsbyCarmenOwen


Carmen Owen and Summer
What is your favorite art piece and why?
My favorite pastel portrait is the one I did of my 12 year old border collie "Sorcha". (Her name means "Bright, radiant, light" in Gaelic). This close-up portrait of her sweet wee face captured her bright and fun loving personality exactly as I had hoped it would. "Sorcha" was the model for my first pet portrait back in 2005 and this was the last portrait that i completed of her just a few months before she died at age 12, so it's very special to me for that reason also.

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
Rather than drawing a classic posed portrait, I prefer to zoom in and do close-ups on sections of the face (especially the eyes) as I feel it gives the drawing a more modern look.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
At the moment I am taking a break from pet portraiture and I'm working on a series of artworks about wolves.   


Thanks so much for participating in the Paws For Charity Project again this year, Carmen! Wishing you all the best with your future projects. 

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Monday, August 18, 2014

Artist Profile: Derek Johnston

Derek Johnston is a personal friend of mine...a talented photographer and generous contributor to this project year after year.
Derek Johnston with Scooter
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for this project?
We are still living in East Chester, Nova Scotia. We have a special affinity for SHAID since that is where we found our first wonderful dog.  Because of that relationship with SHAID, when the occasion arose, I jumped at the opportunity to do my bit as a thank you.

Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots.
One of my favourite photo shoots happened accidently. I noticed a raccoon emerging from a window of a rather dilapidated house near our cottage. I showed this photo to the owner/ proprietor of the Raven Art Gallery in Tatamagouche. She said that inspired her to take up painting again and led to an agreement whereby I was able to show and sell a number of my  images from her gallery.

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
Most of my inspiration for photography comes from my association with the Bridgewater Photo Club. Because of the structure of the program, I try to enter all the contests and so I am constantly on the lookout for subjects that are applicable.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
Of all subjects, nature in the specific and broadest sense is my favourite photographic subject. Currently I am particularly interested in discovering and photographing waterfalls.  

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
When asked if I have a certain style, I unabashedly “borrow” from photographers whom I admire and I also find inspiring.

Thanks Derek...it's great to have you involved in the 2014 Paws For Charity Project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity



Friday, August 8, 2014

Artist Profile: Jeanne Taylor

Photographer Jeanne Taylor (www.jtpetpics.com) supplied the cover photo for our 2013 Paws For Charity Project, and I'm so happy she donated her images again this year! You can follow Jeanne on facebook here: Jeanne Taylor Photography
Jeanne Taylor  (www.jtpetpics.com)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Fairfax VA (just outside of Washington DC) and also frequent the Charleston SC area for seasonal appointments. When I first heard about Paws for Charity in 2013, I felt compelled to participate – it is such a great idea and geography really doesn’t matter when you are trying to help a shelter in need.

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
I am always inspired by natural light and colors, but my work inspiration really strikes when I meet and connect with the client pets or rescue animals I am about to photo. There are also some very special animals I know who continue to inspire me every single day!

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
Style-wise I just like to focus on expression or mood as much as possible – and the animal-human relationship when people participate in the session with their pets.

Tell us about a future project you have in mind?  

I LOVE senior pets – my own Bandit is coming up on 16 this fall and he and I have a couple of senior pet projects in mind for 2015. Stay tuned!


Website:www.jtpetpics.com

Thanks Jeanne! 

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Artist Profile: Jen Bergren

Welcome back, Jen! Jen Bergren (www.fetchlight.com) participated in the Paws For Charity Project last year as well.You can find links to see Jen's photography at the bottom of this post.
Jen Bergren   (www.fetchlight.com)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in San Diego. Paws for Charity not only raises money to directly benefit an animal shelter, but it also raises awareness in Canada, the U.S., and beyond for pet rescues and shelters in general, because of the publicity created by Sara and all the caring artists who contributed to it. I am proud to be a part of any project that raises people's awareness about pets in need and gets them thinking about adopting instead of buying pets, or thinking about fostering and other ways they can help.
 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My style is happy and colorful, often taking advantage of all the beautiful and varied locations that San Diego has to offer (beaches, parks, mountains, deserts, downtown urban...). I want people, especially the pet parents, to smile when they see their favorite images!

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
Last year I completed a creative project featuring dogs near San Diego neighborhood signs (including another installment this year), so the next personal project I am working on features San Diego area stairs and dogs. I have noticed an interesting variety of outdoor staircases around the area, and I think the hard geometric lines of stairs contrast nicely with furry round dog shapes, something similar that I discovered I liked last year when working on a San Diego Bridges (with dogs) project.
www.instagram.com/fetchlightphoto

Thanks Jen....it's great to have you involved again in this year's project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Artist Profile: Dianne Bouchard

Dianne Bouchard participated in our project again this year. It's so wonderful to have people generously donate their images year after year! You can find out more about Dianne through several links listed at the end of this post.
Dianne Bouchard    www.fluffermutterrescuephoto.com
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Vermont and I am always willing to help homeless animals in any way that I can. This is my second year of participating in Sara’s book and it’s awesome! It’s also an easy way to give back. I currently photograph the rescue dogs for Random Rescue in Williamstown, VT.

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My style is to always try to capture the animal’s personality. It is my hope that by capturing their unique personality that it will get them adopted.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
I am strictly a volunteer photographer and work full time in the mental health field. Starting in July 2013, I began taking a group of four teenagers to Random Rescue every week. The initial group went so well that in January 2014, a second, larger group was added as well as another mental health clinician. In May 2014, we started a third group. The kids volunteer at Random Rescue once a week for two to three hours. The kids help out by photographing, fundraising, leash walking the dogs, cleaning crates, floors and kennels; bathing dogs, training, socializing and feeding the dogs. While it is apparent that both the kids and dogs gain a lot from the group, it is impossible to tell who gains more.

Here are some links to find out more about Dianne:

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Artist Profile: Elaine Tweedy

Elaine Tweedy is a newcomer to the Paws For Charity Project this year, and I'm so glad she donated the use of her photographs! Her website is www.igottheshotphotography.com.  Her facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/IGotTheShot.
Lilah with Elaine Tweedy (igottheshotphotography.com)

Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Factoryville, Pennsylvania.  Factoryville is about 23 miles Northwest of Scranton, PA, just to give a better perspective, and is considered part of Northeastern Pennsylvania, home of the Pocono and Endless Mountains.  The Nova Scotia shelter project interested me for many reasons.  I have done photos for our local animal shelter as part of being a member of HeARTs Speak, an international non-profit and consortium of artists dedicated to helping homeless animals.  I love shelters that are proactive and do all that they can to not only get the word out about animals in need, but continually seek strong fiscal viability. I am so proud to be included the Paws for Charity project.

What is your favorite photo/art piece and why?
I have a large, framed black and white of a bygone day estate on the coast of California.  There is a woman dressed in black riding a white horse on the beach, a team of horses drawing a carriage, and a serene feeling that transcends the photo itself.  It is my favorite piece.  It is the piece that makes me want others to get that same "feeling" when they look at my photos. 

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
I am completely inspired by the sea or bodies of water in general, and the facial expressions of dogs.  I am inspired by those who rescue animals daily, even when it seems impossible.  I am inspired by people who knock your socks off with their creativity and don't do things like everyone else.  I am very independent, and I don't take direction well, so I am always off doing my own thing and respect those who have a need for strong independence.

Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry spell? What do you do to get yourself inspired?
While I don't believe my mind ever stops working, and there are loads of ideas mulling around inside of it for projects, a key element--TIME--is elusive.  Sometimes I get frustrated by not being able to move quickly enough into an idea, but I never put my camera down.  I just keep snapping.  I snap 40-50 photos a day of just my world when I am not engaged to snap someone else's world.  We have a small horse farm and eight rescue dogs, plus we grow an extensive organic garden, so the summer is not only a great time for photos, it's a busy time and can take me away from other projects.  My animals and the beauty around me in the woods where I live keeps me inspired.
 
Tell us about a current project you are working on?
I am currently working on The Route 6 Project, a scenic documentary of the small towns found along Route 6 in Pennsylvania.  The little burgs are rich in history and unique architecture.  You can find the series on my blog as part of my website:  www.igottheshotphotography.com.

Thanks Elaine...it's great to learn more about you!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Artist Profile: Karen Weiler

I got a chance to meet Karen Weiler (www.poshpetsphoto.com) in December 2013, when she helped create a feature film about Paws For Charity with Blurb Books in Toronto. (view the video here). You can get in touch with Karen several ways...they are listed at the end of this post.
Karen Weiler    www.poshpetsphoto.com

Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I currently live in Toronto, Canada with my husband and our 2 kitties who came from the shelter that I volunteer with (the cats, not the husband!). I first heard about Paws for Charity through social media and when I found out that it was based in Canada, I jumped at the chance. 
Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots/painting commissions?
Every pet and his/her family has a story and I love to hear them.  I am often amazed at how often an animal comes into our lives to fill a need.  I had the absolute pleasure to photograph a young woman and her 'puppy'.  They had found each other when the young woman was diagnosed with cancer. That puppy saw her through rounds of treatment and was her rock as she faced the fight of her life.  During our session, we celebrated the bond she and her dog share.  Yes, a dog.  For, he was no longer a puppy and she was in remission! 
What is your favorite photo/art piece and why?
I have always been drawn towards photography. I remember looking at Life images and loving the black and white documentary photography and trying to understand how the photographers knew to take the picture at that exact moment.  Annie Liebowitz and her ability to capture groups of people without the standard posing fascinates me. These things are not necessarily pet photography centric, but I use them in approach to pet photography.
What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
There is something about Europe. The richness of the history, the architecture and the landscape. It is my dream to photograph a dog and cat series there one day...
Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My goal with any commission is to create timeless wall art.  So, I pay a lot of attention to the locations where I photograph.  My subjects need not be looking at the camera in every image...in fact, I absolutely adore the pensive, looking off into the distance look an animal will give you.
You can find out more about Karen at these links:
All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Artist Profile: Jan Swan

Jan Swan has participated in the Paws For Charity Project for four years, as well as another project I put together in 2011 called "Love From Me".  Her continued generosity in donating her images (art and photographs) is absolutely wonderful! You can view some of her paintings and photographs here: www.zhibit.org/janswan or follow her on facebook: Jan Swan Paintings and Photography
Jan Swan   (www.zhibit.org/janswan)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  When I was first involved with Paws For Charity, the Nova Scotia shelter was not the charity the book supported.  Nevertheless, I am happy to contribute to any organization that helps animals, no matter where it is located.

Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots/painting commissions?
I had a large painting of horses commissioned by a family in Canada. They had seen my miniature paintings on ETSY and commissioned me to do a large version.

Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry spell? What do you do to get yourself inspired?
I have been in an artistic dry spell this year.  Sometimes other aspects of life demand all ones attention and energy, and it has been that kind of year for me.  When this happens, I just wait it out, knowing that my muse will return when I'm ready.

Do you have any creative mentors?
My sister Mary, who is a very talented fiber artist, is a mentor to me.  She has encouraged me to try new things and to keep creating.

Thanks Jan....for your continued support in this project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Friday, July 25, 2014

Artist Profile: Amy McPherson

Today we travel to Missouri and meet photographer Amy McPherson. Pop over to Amy's website to take a look at some of her work: www.amymcpersonphotography.com or visit her on facebook by clicking here.
Amy McPherson   www.amymcphersonphotography.com
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?   Independence, Missouri  - Our entire family are devoted animal lovers who spend almost every weekend at our local animal shelter volunteering.  Not only is it a chance for us to spend some quality time together, but we are able to touch the neglected lives of our four legged friends.  In doing so, they have touched our lives so much, for us to give back to them is the least we could have done.

Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots?
One of my high school friends asked me to take photos of their country wedding.  I don't know if it was the groom riding down the aisle on his Harley or the bride and groom's riding off into the sunset in the scoop of their tractor, but is was one of the most fun moments I was able to capture on film.

What is your favorite photo/art piece and why?
My favorite photo is actually one that my dad captured of my late brother fishing off the banks on the Missouri River. 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?

I would describe my style as natural in terms of both lighting but more importantly in setting.  My intent is to ensure that I create images that  places my clients in a relaxed and casual comfortable background.  I don't like taking pictures that poses people in uncomfortable positions, making them look and feel awkward within the pictures. Many of my best shots are those in which they are not even looking directly at the camera.


Thanks Amy...I'm so glad you participated in the 2014 Paws For Charity Project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Artist Profile: Cynthia Brassfield

Cynthia Brassfield has participated in the Paws For Charity Project two years in a row. She paints more than canvasses...check out her website to take a look at her other accomplishments: www.crbrassfield.com or click here to go to her Facebook Page.
Cynthia Brassfield   www.crbrassfield.com
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Knoxville, TN. I donate work to rescues all over the United States so  why not Canada! I read about Sara's book and thought it was an awesome project. I am thrilled to have been included two years in a row!

What is your favorite photo/art piece and why?
One of my favorite pieces is of a rescued Springer Spaniel named Riley which I included in this year's book. I painted this boy just for me! It was one of those overhead poses that most artists shy away from. I couldn't resist that happy face and it has actually turned out to be one of my most popular pieces as well.

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My style is always the same. I call it "Realistic and Colorful". I have been trying new mediums of late and I paint on objects other than canvas so I think that keeps me challenged. I'm never bored!

Tell us about a future project you have in mind?
I have so many future projects in my head that it's overwhelming at times. I would love to write and illustrate a children's book one day. I've toyed with several ideas over the years and hope to make it happen at some point. There's just not enough hours in the day!


Thanks Cynthia....it's great to get to know you!


All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Monday, July 21, 2014

Artist Profile: Becky Willuweit

Photographer Becky Willuweit joined our project for the first time this year, and I'm so happy she did! Read a bit about her, and then you can visit the links at the bottom of this post to look at her images and get more information.
Becky Willuweit    futureframed.com
Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots? 
My favorite photo shoot just took place a couple of months ago. We have some really great friends that live nearby and have known them and their family for years. Meaning, I have been around their dogs for years as well. Sky, their 7 year old Golden Retriever, was having a hard time getting around. Long story short, they found out Sky had cancer. They found out it was cancer for sure on Saturday. We did a shoot on Sunday and she passed on Tuesday. I think this one stuck with me more then others, because I had known Sky for so long.

Shooting a session like this, well, it made me so sad. But at the same time, it makes me want to photography everyone's pets. It makes you realize that this life does not give you second chances.
So, yes, Sky's session is my all time favorite!

Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Sturgis, SD. I help a rescue that is located 4 hours away from me with photos. And brushing, walking and petting dogs. (When we are back that way). I love animals and think they all should have a home. When I saw this project, it was a no brainer. Submit photos to help animals in need. If all of the photographs and paintings/drawings can sell a book to raise money for a pet, why not help? 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
Going into a session, I don't think I have a style set in my mind. If I am shooting in Sturgis, I can pick my locations out ahead of time. I do love textured places. (Old barns, back alleys) And every session is different with what my client is wanting.So really, I can go into a session knowing I want it to look a certain way. But by the end of it, that 'look' might me a whole new 'look'.

Here are some links to find out more about Becky:
Web site: www.futureframed.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FutureFramedPhotography
Blog: http://futureframed.blogspot.com/
Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/b/110380359677190325038/110380359677190325038/posts


All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Blurb Books - Video

Blurb Books flew me to Toronto in December 2013 to film a segment about the Paws For Charity Project. The video has finally been released!

I'd like to thank Karen Weiler from Posh Pets Photography (poshpetsphotography.ca) for helping with the filming. Karen was a project participant in 2013 and again this year.



And...of course...a HUGE THANK YOU to the team at Blurb Books for giving me an experience of a lifetime!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Artist Profile: Carrie Jacobson

Artist Carrie Jacobson has generously donated images of her art to the Paws For Charity Project for many, many years. I love her bold style. You can see more of her work on her website:  http://www.jacobson-arts.com/ and you can read about her painting adventures on her blog "The Accidental Artist".
Carrie Jacobson     www.jacobson-arts.com

Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live on the Eastern Shore of Virginia, and have traveled to and painted in Nova Scotia. I contributed because I do what I can to help animals in shelters, and also because I have had the good fortune to be included in Sara's books previously, and I know how beautiful they are. 

Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots/painting commissions?
I donated a gift certificate for a pet portrait to a non-profit group that was helping to run a show I was in. The couple that won the certificate, in the silent auction, came to me after the show and told me that their daughter's dog had died that morning, and that's why they wanted the painting. 


I made the piece, and we set it up so that I'd hang the piece at a show, and they would go to the show with their daughter, and make their way over to me. They came, and the daughter - who knew nothing about any of this - looked at my wall and at that painting, and said, "That looks like Chance!" And indeed, it was. She started crying, the mothers started crying, I started crying - it was pretty amazing and very moving.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
I am working on learning to paint people. This is in part because it is a goal I have set for myself for 2014, and in part because I've been hired to be an event painter at a couple's wedding reception.

Thanks Carrie!!
All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Artist Profile: Jenna Wilke

I'll continue to introduce the participant of the 2014 Paws For Charity Project throughout the year. Today, we hear from Jenna Wilke of ImagineAllTheArt.com. You can also find her on facebook: https://www.facebook.com/imaginealltheart
Jenna Wilke  ImagineAllTheArt.com
Tell us about one of your favorite painting commissions?
One of my portraits was commissioned by a White German Shepherd breeder not to far from me.  I got to meet the breeder and the "daddy" dog, and snapped a few reference photos. I tried some new media on that portrait, and a new technique. The portrait was a BLAST to do from start to finish, and is still one of my favorite portraits to date. It was a huge turning point in my career as an artist.

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
People watching never ceases to inspire me. I also like to head out driving through the county right around dusk, when the sky is full of crazy colors and everything has this brilliant warm glow around it. 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My style is "life" - as I aim to imitate the colors and textures that you can feel and touch in real life. Those elements really give a portrait a heartbeat.

Tell us about a future project you have in mind?
I have been dying to get back into oil painting. I have several reference photos I've been holding on to, waiting for that opportunity to pull out my paint box once again. My skills as an artist have expanded so much since the last time I picked up a paint brush. 

Do you have a "life's embarrassing moment" you can tell us about one of your assignments?
One time I ran into one of my portrait clients when she was walking her two dogs (who I had JUST done a portrait of). I never met her in person before that, but I should have recognized the dogs after doing a HUGE portrait of them. It took me a few minutes of random conversation before I realized she was talking to me because of that. It was awkward and embarrassing!

Thanks Jenna...I'm so glad you participated in the 2014 Paws For Charity Project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity