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Archive for the ‘Art Alley’ Category

It’s been awhile since I’ve written and I’ve been really busy doing HR, still painting pups, still playing tennis and trying to get some home improvement projects in from time to time. Let’s start with the pups. Here’s Timber, Director of Corporate Security at Purple Ink LLC, my real job! He is much bigger than he looks and quite the tackler. Watch out with cups of coffee or they’ll be flying. I did this painting last year for my boss’s husband for Christmas. IMG_2258

Below is Simba and he is the newly added Assistant to Timber. His painting was for this year’s Christmas gift.  Watch out or he might lick you to death! He’s seriously the cutest puppy and hardly ever really resting like he is shown here.IMG_4130

I’ve done more Dogs Playing Poker and will update my website someday! In the meantime, if you’re interested do check me out at HoganArtHouse on Esty. Or if you need HR Consulting, check us out at Purple Ink LLC.

 

 

 

 

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These dogs playing poker paintings are a lot of work for me. I have to figure out how to make dogs do things that dogs don’t really do. I look at a lot of photos and sketch a lot, erase a lot and paint, change, and paint again. The truth is that I still doubt myself in the beginning. It was no different my 4th time.

Which brings me to Zelda and Otto, two adorable Weimaraners, who live in Chicago. My client ordered this painting to give as a gift to his college friends from Cornell. To personalize the painting, I added Zelda’s favorite treat, green beans and gave her a big glass of red wine. Otto has a beer and is a stinker, trying to cheat at the game. While my client and his friends were at Cornell, someone pulled a great stunt, by getting a pumpkin on top of the clock tower, so we got that into the painting. I love doing fun little personal jokes and insights into the dogs’ personalities.

Thanks to my clients who trust me, despite not really seeing a lot of these paintings, when they order. Special thanks to my first client, Julie, who trusted me without seeing any dogs playing poker paintings. This time, my doubt faded as usual and I ended up being really happy with the result. The best part is that my client loved it and his friends did too! My clients are all REAL dog lovers and I am too. I love hearing about their past and present dogs. And, my clients are super fun, interesting people. It’s been fun connecting with people in Texas, Pennsylvania, Indiana and Maryland all about their dogs playing poker. What a strange world we live in but kind of cool too.

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I love summer.  I love the heat, the food, going to a lake house, sitting on the patio, and feeling the sand between my toes and the sun on my skin.

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I know it’s bad and I use sun block but I love being outside and seeing my skin turn a bit brown.  I love sleeping in and I’m so grateful that I can.  But believe it or not, I love getting up to meet my friends for early morning tennis on our neighborhood courts. It’s been a great summer.

So we are winding down; school has started and little signs of Fall are starting to show themselves.

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The kids have gone back to school and it’s time for me to go back to work too. I’ll admit, I didn’t get much done this summer.  My project list is still long.  I was going to devote my summer to “my art.”  Somehow, laundry, dinner, the dishwasher, driving kids around…and yes, tennis, got in the way of “my list.”  But boy was it a fun summer. I did do one painting, a tiny portrait of Maverick, a golden retriever, who passed away.  His family wanted to enjoy his image in art.

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I also haven’t done any blogging in awhile but thought I’d post a couple of drafts I had written before.  I’m not sure how those bloggers make careers out of it, although I’m sure it does involve a lot of time invested. It’s fun for me but probably not going to be a career.  Keep me in your prayers as I look for a job.  I’ll keep doing my art but am looking for something fun and fulfilling.  Of course time will be an issue. Any new endeavor picks time from another pocket. There is always too little. Those summers that used to seem to go on and on are blips on our personal timelines.  As stores set up Halloween decorations, I hold onto the hope of more golf, more outdoor tennis and more sun on my skin.

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Disclaimer:  Thanks to my better half, for letting me sleep in, understanding my tennis bug and letting me have a great summer! You are the best!

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 Cheater, Cheater Ballpoint Pen Eater

Kenny and Julie are dog lovers.  They’ve taken sick dogs into their home and volunteered at the dog shelter.  Julie contacted me to see if I could paint something very custom and very unusual as a gift for Kenny.

Kenny had mentioned to Julie that one day he’d love to have a man cave and in this man cave, there would be a painting of their dogs playing poker.  So with that in mind, Julie found my pet painting website and asked if it could be done.

This was a fun challenge and they were such great clients.  Julie sent me photos of all the dogs with complete descriptions of their personalities.

The primary challenge was not having pictures of the dogs in the right positions.  My dogs modeled a bit and Google is great for getting photos for reference.

We agreed that I’d do a drawing for Kenny’s birthday, so he could put in special requests and have the painting done for Christmas.

Inspired by the famous series of paintings done by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, I set out to do Kenny’s dogs.

Olive

There’s Olive, on the left, who’s bossy and likes fruit.

Rugby (RIP) was Kenny’s boyhood dog.  I only had two pictures of him to reference.

Dora, the lab is their current dog.  George, the “old man” was only with them a short time but they loved him immediately.  He came to them sick and lived there until he died.

Milo

Milo, is a little dickens, always chewing pens and scrapping with the other dogs.  He ended up having to move into a friend’s home, where he gets into less trouble.

Kenny and Julie seemed thrilled with the painting and I look forward to seeing a picture of it hanging in the man cave!  I loved the challenge of this assignment and I’m willing to try other special requests.

Do you have a dog, who you want see doing yoga, playing the violin or maybe surfing?  I’m up for it.  Check out my website www.custompetpaintings.com and send me a note.

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Not much in the way of blogging lately but I thought it was worth showing you my latest little craft.  My ADD brain was cleaning the house yesterday including the garage and I saw the empty door to the garage and decided to take an old racquet that was broken and make it into something new.
With my daughter’s graduation party coming up, her love and mine of tennis, and her school colors being purple and gold…this seemed fitting.
Too bad I don’t have a picture of my husband rolling his eyes as I finished my new wreathet.
I guess I should get started on the things that people will really notice like clearing off the dining room table  and actually having food in the house.
What’s the craziest or most inventive thing you’ve upcycled into something fabulous?

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Meet Vince.  He is a darling English Springer Spaniel and the apple of his parents’ eyes.  This painting was done from a picture taken at a photo shoot for our vet’s website http://www.hazeldellanimalhospital.com.
Vince is a beautiful dog who descends from a champion, James, aka Diamond Jim, who won at Westminster in 2007. 

I really enjoyed painting him. I love the pose of him in the photo but was told to take a little of the red out of his coat to more accurately capture his liver coloring.  I’m pretty happy with the result and I hope his parents are too…after all he is practically royalty.

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Seeing Snow

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     One of my old tennis buddies took a beautiful picture of this cardinal and posted it on her facebook. I thought it was beautiful and asked her if I could paint it. She said sure. I decided to do this little pencil drawing as a start for now. 
     It’s amazing what one sees in a picture.  I first saw this photo and what struck me was the bright red of the cardinal and the white of the snow. When I  started to draw the picture it became clear that the cardinal is really more orange than red and the snow isn’t really white at all. Art really does reflect life.  The closer you get something and the more time you spend with it, the more you understand it.
     So on this cold and snowy day, I am going to look at the “white stuff” a little differently and maybe those around me too.          Happy snow day!

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