|Susan Garriques (susangarriques.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 the mountains in western North Carolina. I’ve been donating proceeds from my commissioned animal portraits to animal shelters for about 6 or 7 years now. I belong to HeARTSspeak, a group of artists dedicated to helping animals by promoting animal adoption. It was in the HeARTSspeak online forum that I saw the announcement about Paws for Charity. It just so happened that I was in Nova Scotia for the first time last fall. I was visiting my cousin who lives in Pleasantville, which is just down the road from Bridgewater. When the stars align like that, it always amazes me.
Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots/painting commissions?
Usually, the commission I’m working on at the moment is my “favorite”. But, my painting of Blitz, which is on the back cover of the 2014 book, is definitely one that will remain a favorite. When I took the photo that inspired the painting, I was actually shooting photos of a different dog for a commission. A young boy there kept asking me to “come see the dog out back”. He finally convinced me to follow him and I took some photos of the boy and the dog. When I downloaded the photos to my computer, I could see that painting right away.
Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
I don’t usually think about painting in any certain style. In the past, I’ve experimented with different styles, but now I pretty much just paint what I see. Most of my paintings are from photographs - or combinations of photographs - since animals move too much to paint them from life. When I paint from the photo, though, my goal isn’t to make it look identical to the photo. I want to capture the likeness, but more important the spirit of the animal.
Do you have any creative mentors?Michael Haykin, a good friend and a talented artist, has been my mentor for about 10 years now. His thoughts and wisdom about art and being an artist have been indispensable. Also, I paint weekly with a group of local artists in a large studio. It gets me out of my studio and allows me to share my struggles and successes with other artists.
Thanks Susan...I'm so happy you joined the project this year!
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