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

Monday, July 14, 2014

Donatian to SHAID

I made the first donation from the 2014 Paws for Charity Project to SHAID in June....$880!

I'd like to give a HUGE THANK YOU to all the artists and photographers who participated in this year's project, and heartfelt thanks to everyone who has purchased a book.
Harold Rowsell accepts a $880 donation from Sara Harley
It's not too late! There is a link at the bottom of this post if you'd like to support this year's project. All proceeds are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (shaid.ca), an animal shelter in Bridgewater, Nova Scotia.

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 5, 2014

Artist Profile: Susan Garriques

Susan Garriques joined our project for the first time this year, and I'm glad she did! Not only is her art featured in the book, but one of her paintings was selected to be the back cover of the 2014 Paws For Charity Art Book! You can see more of her art on her website (www.susangarriques.com), or her facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/SusanGarriquesArtGallery)
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

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Artist Profile: Kat DeLap

It's my pleasure to introduce you to Kat DeLap, who joined our project this year. You can view Kat's facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/KatPaintsPets
Kat DeLap (KatPaintsPets)
What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?  
My inspiration mostly stems from two sources; visual and heartfelt. Visual inspiration for me comes from photographs (mine and others'), being out among nature, networking and sharing with other artists, working with rescue dogs, a long drive, etc.  Heartfelt inspiration is harder to explain; it is more of a "you know it when it happens" sort of feeling. This is usually prompted from an emotional or soulful response to something not necessarily visual; music is a good example of this.  
Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?     

My pet portraits are all different in style and I vary the medium used on each. Some portraits may work best with minimal details and others are given fine details. My other works, non pet/animal, happen similarly wherein I let the references or my sketches tell me how to proceed.  

Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry spell? What do you do to get yourself inspired?   
No, never. I jump around in mediums and in different styles or I would get bored and I think this keeps me from getting into dry spells. My problem is making time to be creative. I'm really bad about letting other things monopolize my time and energy when I should be working on my art. Art is one of the things that makes me feel happiest and feeds my soul so I want to get better at carving out time for it.  Ideally, I'd like to work at my art full time.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?    

I'm currently working on a commissioned memorial portrait for a local Vet who's beloved pet dog passed away. Also, I've working on series of acrylics:  Each piece is of statuary that I've in one way or another altered visually in my painting to give them each a strong sense of emotion or soul. I have 7 of a planned 10 in the series completed or close to completion. They range in size from 16"x20" to 36"x48".

Tell us about a future project you have in mind? 

I'm collecting tesserae for a large mosaic piece made from either found objects or wine corks; the final subject of which is yet to be determined.

Thanks for joining our project Kat!

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