Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Home, Home on the Range

Although I'm known for my paintings of domesticated animals, I am really inspired by all animals. In fact the first animal I ever drew was a Rat Fink! That's why I'm so glad that, although we live in the Phoenix metropolitan area, our house is located enough on the outskirts that we still see vivacious amounts of wildlife. Our neighbor is a great nature photographer and has captured some of the amazing wildlife sights around our neighborhood.

I'm going to share just a few pictures here, but to see the full album, check out my Facebook album, here...

Bob the Cat

Cactus and Ruiner - the Owls


Friday, April 17, 2009

My Week - In Review

First I want to thank Kelly and Victoria, two wonderful interior designers, who have a great blog called Design Ties, at Kelly wrote a great and flattering blog entry about my art and is sharing it with all her blogger friends through a community where people share what they're "hooked on" each Friday at This community is a great way to share with people across the country and even the world what is new and currently inspiring them, something I truly believe in and completely love! Please check out both sites, and support these wonderful bloggers!

My week started out pretty crazily with the Obama dog selection. With just one simple comment on my Facebook page, people started a heated debate about the situation right there on my profile! As I was in sort of down spirits about the whole debacle, a shining little spark of joy, hope, and beauty came when I heard about Susan Boyle. In case you're not among the 20 MILLION people who have seen Susan's You Tube performance on the British talent show, Britain's Got Talent, check it out here. I just think it's great to see someone who refuses to give up on their dream, and it inspired me to renew my dedication to my dream - that one day, there will be no more lonely and I-want-to-be-loved eyes from orphaned dogs and cats looking up at me from behind caged-in doors. What's your dream?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Obama Dog Debate Heating Up on My Facebook!

I had no idea the kind of reaction my simple status update on Facebook would garner this morning as I said, "debating this Obama dog situation." Within just a few hours, my Facebook friends were debating the issue as well.

A lot of people have really strong opinions on the subject. I will share just a sample (which for the record I am neither agreeing or disagreeing with). To see them all go check out my Facebook profile.
  • "I think that as long as you get a dog from a reputable breeder, you shouldn't be critized."
  • "There is no debate....He lied."
  • "I'm highly disappointed that instead of setting a good example by getting a shelter dog they made it seem like a pound puppy wasn't quite good enough."
  • "Obama gave a dog a loving home and every living creature deserves that."
  • "I am still amazed at how much the American people CARE what kind of dog this guy gets."
  • "I am thrilled that the breeder took responsibility and took the pup back."
  • "He should have gotten a pound puppy and saved a life."

Thursday, April 9, 2009

InsPAWration - The Funny Things Animals Do

As you probably know by now, I'm hard at work on my new book. My first book The Dogs of Ron Burns took a serious tone as it highlighted working dogs, like those that do search and rescue. This book, titled Rufus Rhymes, will be much lighter as the book's imagery is inspired by the playful and everyday humorous anecdotes everyone with animals in their home sees on a daily basis.

Here are a few of my favorite animal related funnies...

From The Onion: Dog Experiences Best Day of His Life for 400th Consecutive Day
"SANTEE, CA—Family dog Loki experienced the best day of his life for the 400th straight day Monday, the black Labrador retriever reported. "I got to go outside! I got to sniff the bush!" Loki said, wagging excitedly. "I saw a squirrel and I barked at it and it ran up the tree! Then I came back inside, and the smoky-smelling tall man let me have a little piece of bacon and then I drank from the toilet!" Loki will experience the best day of his life once again tomorrow, when he digs a hole, chews on a slipper, and almost catches his tail"

From an E-mail a Collector Sent: The Diaries

Excerpts from a Dog's Diary....

8 AM - Dog food! My favorite thing!
9:30 AM - A car ride! My favorite thing!
9:40 AM - A walk in the park! My favorite thing!
10:30 AM - Got rubbed and petted! My favorite thing!
12 PM - Lunch! My favorite thing!
1 PM - Played in the yard! My favorite thing!
3 PM - Wagged my tail! My favorite thing!
5 PM - Milk Bones! My favorite thing!
7 PM - Got to play ball! My favorite thing!
8 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favorite thing!
10 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favorite thing!

Excerpts from a cat's diary....

Day 983 of my captivity - My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects.

They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets. Although I make my contempt for the rations perfect clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength.

The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a "good little hunter" I am. Damn them!

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches. The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe. For now....

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Artists Need Vacation Too

View of an Oak tree and vines

Admittedly, I am very lucky to be able to do what I love, which is not only painting shelter animals, but helping to get them adopted as well. Sometimes though, it seems like I'm burning the candle at both ends, and I need to take a little vacation. And, that's exactly what I did this past weekend and thought I'd share.

Last Thursday, Buff and I headed off to a place that holds a sentimental place in our hearts - Napa and Sonoma Valley. We lived there for a few years, and each time I visit, it reminds me of the days that I spent with my best furry buddy Rufus.

We met up with friends from the opposite coast to relax, sight see, and of course do some wine tasting! The temperature was perfect and the sights of nature could not have been better - vibrant yellows, greens, and know how much I like vibrant color...were everywhere! The valleys were in the midst of mustard season, creating vivacious yellow fields wherever we went. I'm not sure what it is about the atmosphere in that particular region of the country, but it reminds me of the unique lighting that inspired Matisse in the South of France. It was the perfect setting to taste wonderful food paired with amazing wines, and sample olive oils as well. Buff and I could not have asked for a better vacation.

Buff and I sampling wines

Upon returning from the trip, Buff and I were left feeling an incredible sense of rejuvenation and joy. Unfortunately, today we heard the news that a dear friend, and the man who awarded me the title of Artist-in-Residence for The Humane Society of the United States passed away from cancer. With heavy hearts, we are reminded of just how blessed we continue to be, and have a renewed sense of thankfulness for our health and our opportunities to make memories with good friends like we did this weekend. It makes one appreciate the simple things in life, like a wet doggy kiss, a warm embrace, or the full bodied aroma in a glass of Sequoia Grove Malbec (my favorite wine of the trip).

Charlie and Linda with Buff and I at The Estate Restaurant

For more pics you can check out my Facebook album at