Honoring a Retired Greyhound...

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HermanPhotosHerman, a retired Greyhound, was among my most recent Pet Portrait Orders. I was told he is very shy…I hope he will make an exception for me and come with when Pat picks up the print – he looks so sweet…Picture 46

...with wings

Picture 44As I drove to clay class Monday night I decided this dog was asking for wings but being the neurotic artist, I worried it would hasten the departure of sixteen year old Izzy…then thought even if it does, maybe this means I’ll be giving her permission to go, in case she’s just been sticking around for me. (I know…welcome to the emotional crazy world of my mind and heart!)Picture 62Then Wednesday my Mom sent me an email regarding the previous post commenting that the dog looked like Snicker…her beloved big yellow lab that passed away over the summer…and I realized right away it was Snicker and not Izzy and how appropriate those wings were…and that’s the reason everyone who saw the sculpture called it a ‘he’ including me. So this is Snick. My Christmas gift to her and Bill is a portrait of him that I have yet to create but I gave them some drawings as a preview of my ideas:Picture 64 Snick was not the only family dog to go last year, Willie my brother’s dog (who I’m also working on a portrait of) and 2 dogs that belong to my Mom’s stepchildren’s families Pretty Boy and Nimush the 3 legged dog. That’s a lot of new doggie angels frolicking in heaven…and many broken hearts they left behind. Mom, a hospice social worker, has been on me for awhile to design pet loss sympathy cards, and/or a book. Perhaps we will pen one together, but not while my Izzerloo is still wagging her tail on this earth…and I’m happy to say she has been doing pretty darn well these past few months and doesn’t look to be taking on wings any time soon.

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My wonderful Mom with Snicker, the ‘Patron Saint of Stick Chewing’ last spring.


Tall dog…

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Picture 42 My most recent work at Lill Street…Hope this pup is still intact when I unwrap it tomorrow. I have been known to be a little too careless when it comes to clay appendages, but as my wise classmate, Haleh, commented "it really is about the process not the end product".


I have to apologize for the lack of content here these days. I'm busy trying to tie up loose ends from 2009, that includes finishing commissions, closing the books, paying sales taxes to 4 states coupled with all the art fair applications deadlines in January. The added distraction of all the exciting possibilities in my "2010 File", Facebook, and not being able to pull myself out of bed before 10am are wreaking havoc with me. I'm a night person, but especially so in the dead of winter. I would be happy to start my day at 3pm and work until midnight.Picture 19 On Tuesday my day started with a migraine, I then decided to take the afternoon off in light of the fact that I worked every single day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The problem is I don't 'schedule' a day off, so I feel guilty and don't do anything memorable. Need to nip that in the bud. Will add it to my 'list'. In lieu of New Years Resolutions I just wrote a hastily scrawled list of "Hopes for 2010". I read it before I go to sleep at night and when I wake up….think that will ensure my hopes become reality? I do, at least some of them. When I found myself refinancing our mortgage yesterday I added that to my list because it was on the 2009 list and I never got around to it. There is no better feeling than crossing something off a list! If you are still reading this, sorry for my rambling, thank you and it's time for you to get back to whatever it is you are really supposed to be doing  ; ) Picture 26 PS Images…TOP: a very early painting from 1999 titled "Icons". A friend had found a bunch of canvases in an alley and given them to me, so I had the courage to paint on what was a very large canvas to me at the time without the fear of 'ruining' a new one. I love some of these older pieces, my style was much looser back then. MIDDLE: Random Izzy & Alice… BOTTOM: Trifle production, made for last Sunday's Art Girls Brunch, sorry no photo of the impressive looking end result.

Pet Portrait Reveal #5…Buck and Bonnie

Picture 58This is Buck and Bonnie's Pet Portrait…I was given the beautiful photo below for reference.

Buck bonnie
If you think a Pet Portrait might be a good idea for a Valentines gift, get your order in SOON! Or consider a Pet Portrait Gift Certificate.


The trade is finally complete…

Picture 6Last weekend I had a wonderful surprise visit from my good pal and fabulous artist, Kerry Rolewicz. We did a trade at the 2007 One of a Kind Show, I got the gorgeous piece below from her and in return I agreed to create a painting paying homage to a road trip out west that she took with her husband back in the early days before kids and mortgages (the plan was to give it to him as an anniversary gift). I was glad to finally get this painting to her, and hope he thinks this gift was worth the wait! (She noted the 4 mountains I put in each panel and the irony of now having 4 little boys…then we had to speculate what the number of trees might represent! Any ideas?)Picture 31
PS I think I talked her into opening an Etsy Store…stay tuned for a link.

Pet Portrait Reveal #4...Sam the Cat

NewSamSam the Cat…who is deeply missed. This portrait was a memory gift from my client to his wife for the holidays. Sam loved olives.
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Chicagoland Tails Feature…

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I was interviewed by Agnes Jasinski of Chicagoland Tails last fall and am honored to be featured in an article she wrote that appears in the December/January Issue of the Magazine titled: "Pet Artist Uses Work To Promote Adoption and Rescue Groups", I have included it below. Our (tentative) first adoption event at the studio for 2010 will be on February 13th with Chicago Canine Rescue …stay tuned. If you know of a group that would be interested in having an event here, please send them my way!

Pet artist uses work to promote adoption and rescue groups

By Agnes Jasinski

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Leuck Feldhaus was still working a corporate job when she adopted Izzy,
the beloved canine who sparked her creative spirit and got her to leave
her job and pursue art full-time. Around the time Izzy came into her
life, she began doing dog images, paintings, and promotional art for
shows put on by rescue groups. Her images were “very funny bright,
colorful dog paintings,” she says, that started out as a hobby but
became a calling and a way for her to promote pet adoption.

“The first dog
images came from her, along with the whole awareness of how serious the
problem was,” Feldhaus says about her passion for adoption and Izzy’s
influence. “I went to a lot of different places to meet dogs and to
find the right one, and had two cats at the time from Anti-Cruelty. …
That process really opened my eyes.”

Feldhaus has now been donating art for fundraisers to rescue groups
like the Treehouse Animal Foundation and Young at Heart Pet Rescue for
the last 14 years. Her work with the rescues has been pro bono, but she
also does paintings of people’s pets. Her artwork has been hung up in
lobbies, sold to raise money for local rescues, and used on T-shirts
and posters to promote shelter events.

Earlier this spring, Feldhaus also opened a storefront studio in Roscoe
Village at 2040 W. Roscoe, where she hopes to not only have a presence
in the neighborhood as an artist, but to also invite local rescue
groups to hold adoption events there. The first event was held Aug. 8
with Chicago Canine Rescue. A portion of any sales at any of the
adoption events will go toward the rescue that day. The next event will
be held Dec. 12, with pets brought in from Young at Heart Pet Rescue.

“My goal and mission are to give back to our dogs and cats all the
unconditional love and devotion they provide us by spreading the word
about animal adoption through my art and designs,” Feldhaus says. “Also
I truly believe that our pets make us better human beings.”

For more information, visit AnnesArt.com.

Pet Portrait Reveal #3...Hank!

Picture 57 Another holiday Pet Portrait reveal, Hank is my first Leonberger. I was just given a little history lesson “The
original breed was created by taking a Landseer Newfoundland and
breeding that to a Saint Bernard. That dog was then bred to Great
Pyrenees. The original breeding took place in the 1800s in Germany.”
Stay tuned for more in the next week…



Generous Feature from artist, Marilyn Grad…

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Chicago Mixed Media Artist, Marilyn Grad wrote a very generous feature about me on her Blog titled Personal Artist Hero. I'm humbled by her words. I spend most of my time so caught up in the day to day, thinking I'm never doing enough and wondering what's around the next bend. Her post made me reflect on some of things that I have accomplished and appreciate that I am living my dream…then it occurred to me that in that dream, there are flowers and I should take more time to smell them.Thanks, Marilyn!