More and More Minis!

Evolution of a Custom Mini Pet Portrait

Happily, I am still busy with custom pet portraits! Around Christmastime there were quite a few minis, which I must admit do make great gifts, and now I am working on a larger, 12″x12″ piece also for a gift. In today’s blog I would like to share a bit about the evolution of a mini painting. In this case it is a custom pet portrait of a cat. It is for a young lady who is giving it to her friend and roommate of her cat who has passed away in remembrance of him.

First, a bit about the history of my creating all these what I now fondly simply call “minis.” I started painting them over ten years ago when I first saw a painting of a mini beach scene on the cutest 2-1/2″ square canvas on a wooden easel for sale at LeMoyne Arts Gift Shop. Although beach scenes don’t speak to me, I felt compelled to also create a super small canvas but with a cat–my favorite subject!

Years went by and I began selling the mini cats around town, then started creating dogs and even sea life which I sold in Panacea at the Gulf Specimen Marine Lab. Fast forward to today…I now even create pigs and have tried a sunflower or two which I found to be very popular.

Shown in this particular blog, I am featuring Meatball (as I said, a painting for a young lady to give as a gift). First I print out the photos the customer provides, then I do several sketches on paper. Feeling more comfortable with the image, I sketch the cat on the small 2-1/2″ square canvas then paint the background in a bright, cheery and contrasting color. After it dries, I paint the cat and take a reference photo of it for my archives. Voila! Then I MUST take a picture upon delivering to the happy customer!

I enjoy doing these “minis” very much because they are super cute and the size makes them challenging. My current regular venue for selling these small paintings is Fat Cat Books in Railroad Square Art Park, Tallahassee but feel free to contact me for a custom pet. Thanks for checking out my blog, stay safe and stay tuned for more art news soon!

‘Tis The Season…For Minis

Hello folks! Christmas is just a week away and I’ve been busy with custom orders. Not just custom orders…custom minis! These cute little paintings make great Christmas gifts and I’ve had a whole bunch come in at once. This cute little French Bulldog, above, Peaches was my first of the season. The background was done in a peach color and the customer requested it be done by Christmas break for Florida State University, which was a bit of challenge.

Then right into Indy, who looked kinda looks like a Border Collie, and is being delivered as a surprise at the time I am writing this (so I can’t post the photo as to not spoil the Christmas present!) Then, I’m pleased to say, I got TWO orders in one day! A friend who had seen my minis for sale at Fat Cat Books in Railroad Square Art Park requested a mini of her good friend’s Calico cat. BUT…before that another friend’s friend has a new pup, pictured below, named Maple and she is next. So, during the busy Christmas season I am happy to be socializing and exchanging gifts while I’m busy in the studio with this seemingly chain-reaction of mini-to-mini. When someone sees one, it just leads to a gift idea whether its for Christmas, birthday, or just anytime!

Here’s a photo of my table-top tree I wanted to share with my readers, both regular followers and occasional readers, and would like to wish you Happy Holidays to people of all faiths from me, Stripedie and Oliver. If you look closely on the tree you can see ornaments of Stripes and Oliver (and even my cat that passed away, Calli) as well as other handmade ornaments I have collected over the years. My newest Christmas decoration addition is the snow globe on the right inspired by the Hallmark Christmas movies!!! Good clean fun for this special time of year.

RRSQ Gallery Representation

I now have GALLERY REPRESENTATION in the popular artists’ colony Railroad Square in Tallahassee, FL. I am very proud to be represented here with many excellent artists; painters, photographers and potters as well; at this fairly new gallery. This is a neat, professional space is in the Breezeway Market across from Mickee Faust Theatre. This photo shows the welcoming front area of the gallery/studio space/music venue.

Here I am on a First Friday waiting for the crowds sporting a SideTrax t-shirt which Wendy has on sale at the gallery. Wendy Morgan is the owner of the gallery and is an artist herself as well. She enjoys painting abstracts and has only been painting for a short time but has certainly embraced it. Shown below is her colorful work, which also hangs and is for sale at SideTrax, which gets its name from the proximity to the railroad tracks in the appropriately named Railroad Square Art Park.

As my regular blog readers may know, I paint in brightly-colored acrylics and create several genres. I paint cats (also, other animals) both for exhibiting and custom pet portraits, and still lifes, but my favorite is cityscapes of taken-for-granted subject matter that I am pictured with here along with my newest venture, mini abstracts. This covers what I have been up to lately, but I want to give you a glimpse of what’s coming up that I have been having so much fun with lately: MIXED MEDIA!!! I’ll post more about that soon, but in the meantime, please have great holidays. Enjoy yourself, eat lots of turkey, do a bunch of Christmas shopping, stay warm despite the cold weather and please stay safe and, of course, stay tuned!

Support the Cats!

Yes, I support the cats. No only my own, but the cats and kittens at Feline Advocates of Leon County (FALC), Fat Cat Books and Fat Cat Cafe. There happened to be a fundraiser for these cats a few weeks ago held at the American Legion Hall in Tallahassee called “For Cats’ Sake.” This silent art auction fundraiser is one of my favorite annual events, where I not only donate art, but I enjoy attending and rubbing elbows with the “cat folks!”

My piece, pictured above, is called Wild & Crazy Oliver and is the very first mixed-media piece I ever created. Also pictured above is Oliver, subject of the painting, sporting his angora sweater with the fake fur collar that “he” won in the gift basket raffle that night. Lucky cat!!! I was also lucky to catch Michelle Hartsfield to pose with at this popular fundraiser who is the fabulous lady behind all this. She is the owner of Fat Cat Cafe on E. Park Avenue, Fat Cat Books in Railroad Square and Board of Directors President of FALC. These organizations help; among other things; adopting out orphaned kittens, adopting out senior cats, medication for all the cats when necessary, and the Trap and Neuter program for the feral cats.

Shown above I am pictured with friends and cat lovers (proudly wearing cat ears) Lynn and Sharon having fun at the event. Also, at the end of the night, I am holding the gift basket I surprisingly won in the gift basket raffle. Then, there’s Lynn Smith shown with Ann Kozeliski’s attractive donations of sumi-e flamingos. Everyone wants to help the cats!!!

Finally, the volunteers and employees at the greeting table at the entrance collecting tickets and funds to help the cats as well as giving of their time, on what I was told was a very long day for the girls. Then, as a little history, pictured is Jan Collier who introduced me to this event approximately 12 years ago. This is when she found my email and contacted me (since she apparently found out I was a cat lover after I had an all-cat solo exhibit at Renditions, An Art Space a gallery in Railroad Square) and asked me if I would like to donate to For Cats’ Sake. This is when I first learned about this great organization and have happily donated every year it’s been held since. So, everyone, support the cats and if you see feral cats out there, maybe you can buy them a little food and help this excellent cause!

So Very Proud to ANNOUNCE!!!

If you read the above plaque on the appropriately painted yellow bench (the color of 621 Gallery’s logo), you will see the name Nan Boynton. And also noted, she was the original founder of Railroad Square. I am very, very proud to say I have been chosen to exhibit in the “Nan Boynton Gallery” section of 621 Gallery in Railroad Square Art Park, Tallahassee. 621 Gallery was established in 1981 and is the largest contemporary art space in North Florida. On a personal note, it has been one of my artistic goals to be chosen to exhibit there and I must say I was surprised when I received my acceptance email!

So folks I have chosen the first day of autumn to make this announcement via my blog/website (and a little self-promo, if you are reading this and have not subscribed to my blog yet, go to where it says “follow” or “subscribe”, enter your email address, then respond to the confirmation email). As the weather goes from the long, long hot summer of Florida and turns colder, things start happening around town. One is the silent art auction fundraiser for local cats and kittens called For Cats’ Sake (more about that great event in my next blog!) but what I will be doing will be hanging in my at-home studio on the west side creating my latest, and I must say, most creative and well thought out series.

Below is a sneak peak of what you folks have in store for you when you attend my acrylic on paper exhibit entitled “Significant Signage” in July of 2023. The sample, a finished painting which is on Canson Mix Media paper with acrylics, is of the Leon Iron and Metal work truck. This company is located near my house and I kinda enjoy going by and seeing what these recycling guys are up to as well as checking out the colorful semi-trucks. Anyway…here’s my most recent painting called “Heavy Metal”. Although the show is next year, I will be thinking about it quite a bit and I hope to see you at the First Friday opening in July of 2023. More about that next year!!!

Heavy Metal, 18″x24″, acrylic on paper, 2022

Fun While Learning

Yes, we had fun! The students painted still lifes while I taught them color theory and composition. I have taught two classes at Feeling Art Collective so far, and am going to teach another on Saturday, September 17th. The class in September will be Paint Your Pet but the classes I taught in August 2022 were called Absolute Beginners Acrylic Painting, which was how to learn to paint for the “absolute” beginners: someone who has no painting experience whatsoever.

At first, the still life the folks painted was an apple. I had painted this several years ago myself for another class which got canceled because of the pandemic. I’m happy to say I am teaching again since this problem is waning. Pictured below is my first group of students painting, as well as them proudly holding their finished products.

One of several things that made me very happy was that the three students that participated in the “Apple Class” decided to come back in two weeks and give it another try! (I believe they must have enjoyed themselves.) The next class I decided to facilitate was a flower still life, which is a bit more complicated, to challenge the folks more. One student for the “Flower Class” was new and decided to make a more primitive, simplified image and concentrate on color. Everyone does their own thing as long as they have FUN WHILE LEARNING!

My Art News, News, News!

Goings-on in my art life in Tallahassee

So many things are happening in art in my area right now! Which makes me very happy because I like to remain busy. I first would like to sadly say the virus is getting worse again, but everyone seems to be forging forward. I am anyway…

The news I’ll start with is, as stated in my last blog, I am exhibiting at the FSU College of Medicine. I am very proud to have a chance to show my work at this prestigious university, and I have my friend Maria to thank! The exhibit runs from Friday, August 5th to September 30, 2022 and is being held in the first floor hallways.

Also of note, Fat Cat Cafe and Fat Cat Books are holding their annual upscale art auction fundraiser called For Cats’ Sake. I have participated in this great cause since it started several years ago. The cafe is located on East Park Avenue and the bookstore is located in Railroad Square and, of course, the event will be held at the American Legion Hall on beautiful Lake Ella in October. But more to come on that soon (and I must say, I am creating a special mixed media piece for the auction).

Also coming in October, I will be changing my gallery representation! This is a big one for me. I am sad to be leaving Feeling Art Collective and love Anna and all the folks, but it is time to move on. I will be staying in Railroad Square Art Park, a location which I love. The new venue is called Side Trax Studio. Please see the photo below. Stay tuned to my blog for more info on this.

And finally, although I’ll be at Side Trax soon, I am teaching an art class at Feeling Art in August. Yes…that’s right! I haven’t taught a class or workshop in several years and am looking forward to it. It is called Absolute Beginners Acrylic Painting and is for art lovers of any skill level, from those with no knowledge of art to intermediate artists who want to brush up on their skills. Have fun while learning!!!

This is the still life the students will be creating in the workshop I am teaching in August at Feeling Art

So as you see, I am very busy and there are even some things which I haven’t even mentioned! (Spoiler Alert: I am experimenting with collage and in addition to that am participating in Drawing Tallahassee on zoom every week.) Anywaaayyyyyy I am very excited to share this with all of you. I have been very inspired lately and I hope you are inspired in what interests you guys as well. Stay tuned and stay safe.

Proud to be Exhibiting at FSU

I very, very proud to be exhibiting at the Florida State University College of Medicine coming up in the months of August and September 2022. First of all, I want to thank my friend Maria for making it possible. I have surveyed the space and decided upon my Tallahassee cityscapes as the subject matter for the show. I will be calling the exhibit “Hanging with the Locals.” This highlights my love of city living as well as my fondness for the town I now call home, Tallahassee.

Below I am including a time-lapse YouTube video I did of the above painting, Westcott Fountain Fun, which is 22″x28″ and done in acrylics…this video is fun to watch! Check it out:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lEnDVna0eB8

I am also including the sketch I did for this piece, not only on the pad as a preliminary view, but on the canvas as well. And now, I’ll attempt a little joke: if you think the person at the fountain in the painting is me, it’s not, I believe it looks like Rod Stewart!!!

Stay safe and stay tuned…

Cat Mom aka Patches

Evolution of a Cat Painting Commission

Good morning folks…or good evening…wherever you are in the world. But to start off, what I must say, in my part of the world it’s spring and time for new beginnings. I’d like to veer off the subject matter of paintings for a second and say I’ve planted flowers in my yard for the first time this spring and they are coming up. It’s a miracle!

I can also be happy this spring about the increase in commissions of people asking me to paint custom paintings for them. The first one this year, is “Cat Mom” who I have also affectionately called “Patches” just for fun. (I thought I’d name the kitten!) This painting was requested by Marie from Westminster Oaks in Tallahassee, where you might remember I had a solo exhibit the end of last year. As you might image it went very well. I say this because I sold two paintings at the exhibit as well as receiving this commission a couple of months later. To start off, I go by a reference photo then I make a basic sketch (below).

This blog is not only dedicated to spring (which I am enjoying) it’s also to show the evolution of my painting process, which I think may be interesting to some of you. As you can see from the photos I’ve included, I go step-by-step. I take it one like section at a time and I’m including a couple more shots of the painting in progress. To see the final product, it’s at the top of the blog, along with Marie who I’m very happy to say loved her painting and I also had to pleasure of helping her hang it in her home.

So, whether you are decorating your home this spring with new paintings…or planting beautiful flowers in your yard…have a great time/a creative time/a rejuvenating time. Do a little something for you (including staying safe and staying tuned to my blog) from me, Stripedie, Oliver and Patches (lol)!!!

History of Downtown Trolley Logo

Hey folks! This image might be familiar to you. Yes, it’s my logo! Below, I will show you a jpeg of my actual logo with the type and everything, but this is the painting and reference photograph it was based on. I call this painting “Downtown Trolley.” I painted it in 2017 and it was sold right away to a City Commissioner and now hangs in the Tallahassee City Hall. I would like to share with you my inspiration for the painting, or should I say, give credit to the person who gave me the idea.

I was painting minis on the sidewalk of downtown for my friend Ann Kozeliski when she worked at LeMoyne Arts for a promotion of art in public of some sort. She stopped by to see how I was doing and the trolley that takes passengers around town for free was parked on the side of the road waiting for people to board. Ann had said it would be a good image for me to paint…and I agreed…and this started my current fairly-long-running series I have been enjoying painting of Tallahassee icons/landmarks/cityscapes.

I am proud to say it was one of my first paintings to sell, and as I said, I am also proud it hangs in the City Hall. I decided to created my logo out of this painting, as it is colorful, graphic and has meaning to me. Shown below you will not only see my logo, but applications I have used it on.

Be on the lookout for my logo on business cards around town, or maybe Facebook, YouTube or Instagram; and stop by Feeling Art Collective in Railroad Square to check out my current Tallahassee landmarks.

Stay safe folks, but get out and enjoy that beautiful Spring weather!