Thursday, May 29, 2014

Artist Profile: Melissa Langer

It's my pleasure to introduce Melissa Langer. Melissa has been involved in the Paws For Charity Projects for five years!!  Here's where you can find out more about Melissa:




Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Louisville, CO USA


I love being a part of your wonderful art project that raises funds for needy animals.


I am honored to be included in your beautiful books along side such talented photographers and artists.


What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
My pug Archie inspires me everyday.
He spreads love and smiles where ever he goes and I try and share that through my art to help spread happiness to everyone who sees it.

My pug and dog paintings embody the toothy grins and wagging tails that happily greet us throughout our lives.
I know I have succeeded when my artwork lights up the viewer's eye with a spark of recognition of an old friend. Whether the connection is from childhood or current day, that kind of smile is always contagious.
My passion is working with acrylics on wood.  I love how the paint glides across the wood, often revealing a subtle natural grain of the surface below.
Capturing the spirit of each dog for people to deeply connect to and enjoy is the true focus of my efforts.


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

I am often asked how I create my paintings and capture the expressions in my characters.  The answer is, I am not exactly sure how I do it, or where the creative energy comes from.  I do know that I cannot create one everyday.  It is a energy that builds, and I can actually feel a painting coming on.  It is a fun and creative process.

I am a self taught artist.  My passion is working with acrylics on wood.  I love how the paint glides across the wood, often revealing a subtle, natural grain of the surface below. I documented stages of the painting process to show you how I do it.
 
I start with a 8 x 10 x 3/4 piece of hemlock wood and sketch my subject in pencil. Then I decide upon the colors I will use, mix my paints, and start painting the head and body. I work on the shading the fur as I go. I often add a bit more detail at the end of the process but most of it is put down in this stage. I then move on to the ears, eyes, muzzle, nose and mouth. I usually paint in the background before I put in the final touches and wrinkles.
 
Voila! A new Pug or Dog is born in the Pug Notes family. 

Thanks so much, Melissa, for supporting this project year after year!! 


Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity
For a 25% discount on your purchase, input coupon code P4C2014 (valid until June 30, 2014). All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity


Thursday, May 22, 2014

Artist Profile: Patricia Eldridge

Artist Patricia Eldridge has participated in Paws For Charity Projects for a few years...I'm so glad she continues to contribute her art for this project! She finally has a website, so you can view more of her creations: pattiart.blogspot.com

Patricia Eldridge (pattiart.blogspot.com)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I’m from the Florida Panhandle, but I live in Huntsville, AL now.  I always like to help with animal welfare projects anywhere I can.  I have a problem being very ‘hands-on’ with animals, because I get attached in about 5 seconds and want to keep every animal that I try to help, so if I can help raise funds for them and leave the rest to the professionals, that works better for me.  I have been blessed to be able to paint for a living, so any time I can pay back with my art that works for me! 

Do you have any creative mentors?
One of my mentors is a watercolor artist here in Huntsville named Jean Wood.  She’s in her late 80’s and is a lot of fun to be around.  We have both been on a yupo paper painting kick lately.  We’ll have a glass of wine and get together to see what the other has created.  We think alike on most topics and never run out of things to talk about.

Tell us about a future project you have in mind?
My next project is going to be a series of dogs and cats done in a very loose, very ‘watery’ watercolor style (if I can pull it off!) I had a dream that I was looking at a dog painting done this way and wished that I had done it myself….then was happy to wake up and realize that it hadn’t been done – at least that I’ve seen – and that I can still do it myself!

A big THANK YOU to Patricia for continuing to contribute to the Paws For Charity Projects!

Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity
For a 25% discount on your purchase, input coupon code P4C2014 (valid until June 30, 2014). All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Monday, May 19, 2014

Artist Profile: Sabrina Moore

Today's featured artist is Sabrina Moore...learn more about her on her website: dirtypawphotography.com or her facebook page: Dirty-Paw-Photography
Sabrina Moore (dirtypawphotography.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 Alexandria, VA. I wanted to contribute to help raise funds because every animal in a shelter needs the basics for a comfortable stay until they find a home.

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My style is to capture the character. The expression that captures the personality of that one animal. 
Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots?
I can't single out just one photo shoot as a favorite. I enjoy sessions for the rescues and shelters the best because I get to meet a bunch of new faces that always make my day better. 

What is your favorite photo/art piece and why? 
My favorite images are the series of Oliver. He breaks down the stereotypes of "the pit bull" in all his photos. 

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you? 
I am inspired by all the people who dedicate their time helping animals in need.
Thank you so much, Sabrina, for participating in the 2014 Paws For Charity Project!

Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity
For a 25% discount on your purchase, input coupon code P4C2014 (valid until June 30, 2014). All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity 

Friday, May 9, 2014

Artist Profile: Sophie Cayless

Meet Sophie Cayless, an artist in Ohio, US. You can learn more about her at her website sophiecayless.com. As well as being an artist, she teaches art to children and adults.
Sophie Cayless    (sophiecayless.com)

1-What are my favorite pet portraits?

I have two--one of a cat and one of a dog. When I saw the photo of the young black and white cat, I was struck by his personality. He rests regally on the chair cushion, as if in charge, and lives up to his dignified name--Oliver Antonio!

Just recently I enjoyed creating a colored pencil portrait of a "blonde" labrador retriever. I built up her soft and subtle fur colors gradually, with tones of golden, peach, mauve and beige. Then after drawing the funny little clump of snow on her nose (as in the reference photo), I indicated snow in the background with a bluish haze...a nice contrast.

2-What inspires me?

In general, beauty. Specifically, nature, in landscapes, flowers, wildlife, the night sky...with all its richness of color, variety of lighting, and graceful lines and patterns.  Though domestic, pets also fall into this category.

I am also inspired by certain paintings and drawings, especially the Impressionists and similar. I find some children's book art remarkably lovely, for example the soft look of Frances the badger as illustrated by Garth Williams, the expressive yet realistic animals of Marcel Marlier, the color and design of Barbara Cooney, and more.


3-What are some of my current projects?

I am drawing a series of ephemeral spring wildflowers on site in the woods, to get the best look at their subtle colors. I am also reviewing proofs of a picture book for the Cleveland Museum of Art, about a butterfly (from a still life) who tours the museum (Belle's Wild Ride). I finished illustrations for this book earlier this year.


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

Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity
For a 25% discount on your purchase, input coupon code P4C2014 (valid until June 30, 2014). All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Monday, May 5, 2014

Artist Profile: Theresa Swain

Meet Theresa Swain, one of our participants from Canada. You can learn more about her at her website www.thousandwoofs.com or on her facebook page facebook.com/thousandwoofs.
Theresa Swain      thousandwoofs.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 Calgary, Alberta.  I enjoy helping dogs through photography and I wanted to help SHAID after reading their story.  They sound like such a dedicated group of people, working hard on behalf of the animals year after year.  It feels good to contribute in some small way, even from afar.  As part of HeARTs Speak, I know that working together can accomplish so much.
Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots/painting commissions? I tend to get to work with many puppies (and usually their moms who are also brought in to the rescue), but my favourite subjects are senior dogs.  I really want everyone to have lovely photographs of their dear pet, and I encourage people to do professional photos, whether through me or another photographer.  It's so important and comforting to have those lasting images. There is something about  the wise old face of a dog that just melts my heart.
What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?    I'm inspired by colour, line, light and texture.  I enjoy seeing well designed spaces that incorporate these and even better when it happens in nature.  I get way too excited about the colour wheel!  I enjoy my daily dose of photography and colour at http://design-seeds.com/.  
Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry spell? What do you do to get yourself inspired?  When I'm feeling a bit uninspired, I like to go through my photo archives and try and find something new in a previous set of photos.  Often, during the initial rush of culling and editing, a good image can be overlooked.  As my style evolves, something might appeal to me that didn't before.
Tell us about a current project you are working on?  I've started to try to recruit more foster homes and awareness through photos presented as a public service announcement.  I'm starting with a daily posted image showing the benefits of fostering, with cute or funny images on my Facebook business page. This is not a new idea, but something different for me! 
A big THANK YOU to Theresa for donating her images to this project!

Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity
For a 25% discount on your purchase, input coupon code P4C2014 (valid until June 30, 2014). All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Artist Profile: Sharron Okines

Meet Sharron Okines, an artist from Australia. You can learn more about her at her website sharronokines.weebly.com or on her facebook page Sharon.Okines.Artist.
Sharron Okines (sharronokines.weebly.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 Rosebud, which is on the rather lovely Mornington Peninsula in Victoria, Australia.
I have a rescued dog, my lab Lulu, I donate to rescue shelters locally, but delighted to be able to help raise funds elsewhere in such an innovative way. (thinking I might have to "borrow" this idea to use locally)......

Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry spell? What do you do to get yourself inspired?
I was in a massive dry-spell last year.  Doing something, anything is the key, without expectation. I decided to see if I could manage to do 1 small drawing a day. So far I am up to day 144 and counting. Turns out my best subject matter was my dogs, so I am doing a daily dog drawing from life for as long as they stay still.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
I have just been invited to take part in a print folio exchange based on my daily dog drawings by a very well known printmaker  here in Australia. (Rona Green).  It will be an edition of 40 prints with 39 other artists who I deeply admire and respect.
 
Thanks Sharron...I'm so glad you participated in the 2014 Paws For Charity Project!

Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity
For a 25% discount on your purchase, input coupon code P4C2014 (valid until June 30, 2014). All proceeds from the sale of these boks are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity