Two tails in the house, again...

Picture-1We headed down to Chicago Animal Care & Control on Saturday, this is the city shelter, basically ground zero for pets in Chicago, they are open every day for adoption (see their site for hours). No animal is turned away from this facility, which means when the other wonderful rescue groups can’t take any more, the only way these pets find homes is for you and me to go down and adopt them. This would not be possible without the incredible volunteers who are responsible for taking the dogs outside, playing with and socializing them, as well as showing them to potential adopters – such important advocates, as they get to know the dogs and can offer feedback to potential owners. Sadly the city, does not provide enough resources, the volunteers are critical. It’s so tough seeing all these sweet, innocent dogs, waiting alone in their kennels just wanting a little love and a home.IMG_0105Several caught our eyes and hearts but the one that pulled the
strongest, for both Rich and I, was 11 month old pit mix, Poppy. She had been
there since early July, very sweet and quiet, yet quite lively when we
got her outside. We decided to go home and get Alice. The meet and greet went
well…not instant best friends but definitely comfortable around one
another and tails wagging. So we proceeded with the adoption, which only costs $65, and that includes the dog license and spay/neuter.  We had our
adoption interview with Charles Craft, an amazing advocate for
these dogs and the head of the adoption program for the city and
Fostering Program through Friends of Animal Care and Control. We had corresponded in the past when I did art work for CACC, so it was an honor to finally meet him. (You can see other adoptable pets on the drive home Poppy (who they told us was originally Pippi, and we just named Gracie!) draped herself over me and melted into my
lap with a sigh.IMG_0044It took a bath Saturday with a follow up shower on Sunday to fully remove the Eau De CACC perfume she was wearing.I’m sure she was relieved on Monday to find that bathing was not going to become a daily ritual in her new home!IMG_0074She is a very skinny little girl with a very LONG neck…so long that she can counter surf, this is new behavior to us. Izzy had a few episodes early on…but this girl, you have to keep an eye on! Did I mention we think she might have some Great Dane in her?IMG_0064_2We have some work to do with Gracie, she and Alice will need some time to bond, but soon, I’m sure she will fit in. This has all been a little bittersweet. It’s the sad realization that we are really moving on, left with only our memories of Izzy…as we open our broken hearts back up and make new ones with Gracie.

Family Portrait...

WalterportlrThe Walter family, from left to right: Tim, Isis, Meredith, Violette & Lee – with their custom family portrait. I had a lot of fun creating this for Lee who surprised Meredith with it, on her birthday. We included all the things they love including a favorite vacation spot, doggie beach, film, music and their beloved adopted pets and adorable daughter, Violette.
Picture 8This is a ready to hang 20×20 Float Frame Print with a UV protective laminate surface. Let me know if you would like me to create a custom one for you!

Sharp Art!

 Picture 30James Sharp and his wife Rosemary have been collecting my work for a few years now…it wasn’t until I delivered a painting to their home last year, in Evanston, that I found out James was an artist, as well! They also have a home in the UK where he creates and shows the majority of his work. I love this textile bag he created with a mixed media collage technique. It holds so much and has been my ‘go to’ bag all summer long. Please visit to see more of his wonderfully prolific art work. Picture 2Front and backsides of the bag:Picture 9

Not just a change of seasons...

StudiochangeHaving this storefront space has been an interesting experience…I’ve been here 1.5 years and kept regular open studio/gallery/shop hours for most of that time. I continue to get lots of commission work from people in the neighborhood but it’s difficult to get that work done during ‘open’ hours and it’s hard to commit to that during the summer when I have so many outdoor shows. So…I re-painted the “Gallery & Shop” sign to read “Art Studio”. For now I’ll be open on occasion, for special events and probably most Saturdays. Closer to the holidays, I may have set hours. It already seems to be working out, I’ve had a few appointments and even some knocks on the door this week. I’m happy to meet with you most days or evenings and you are always welcome to knock on the door if you’re in the neighborhood!

Speaking of being open…this Saturday, September 18th is Guinness Oyster Fest in Roscoe Village so I will be open from Noon-7pm. Stop in for a drink and some special end of the season deals!

A Tribute...

62026_425609237171_95919222171_5523587_3965945_nI created this painting on September 11 of 2002 in memory of 9/11.

Bear...My first Bernese Mountain Dog portrait:

BearAnother sweet dog from the neighborhood…I think Bear may be the largest dog I have created a pet portrait of…definitely my first Bernese! Many more commissions to show you that I’ve been juggling over the last few months while also doing art fairs around the midwest and several new ones in the works, stay tuned…


Sketchbook Project 2011…

Picture 32I just signed up for the Sketchbook Project 2011. Guess which theme I chose? Big surprise: 'It's raining dogs & cats'. You can participate too..just follow the links. Thanks to Kathy Weller for the reminder.

Picture 33

Dusty Rose...larger than life!


The initial sketch for this Pet Portrait Painting of Lapso Apso, Dusty Rose, was a gift from a wonderful neighborhood client, Ben to his wife Amanda (see below). It was very well received, Amanda then had the opportunity to have me tweak the colors, patterns, etc to her liking, before I created the final painting (shown above with Ben & Dusty Rose who is as sweet as she looks and often stops in for treats on her walk.

Picture 9

Twenty years ago today....

…I became a Chicagoan. I’m re-posting a blog entry I wrote on my 17 year anniversary of moving to this city of big shoulders:


Posted 9/7/07: “Seventeen years ago today, I moved to Chicago. 1990, age 23, no job,
knew 2 people, none close friends, with the exception of an ex-boyfriend
but that didn’t count except that he did introduce me to Rich…so I
guess that does count! My plan was to stay 1-2 years and then move out
to the west coast. I was so scared but also very excited to finally be
in a BIG city. I was so excited to live only blocks from Lake Michigan
(never mind that I was too naive to know how edgy my neighborhood was
back then) Rogers Park area Kenmore & Granville. I was filled with a
feeling of adventure not knowing what great things…and not so great
things, awaited. My 10 day stint at an art foundry (I thought this was
going to be my dream job)…left me frustrated and sad, the man I worked
for told me “you are never going to make it in Chicago”. So I’m a
little emotional…so what? I’M STILL HERE. I think it just added to my
resolve to find my own way. Then I became miss interviewee and corporate
temp…I had to buy a suit (I didn’t even own a skirt) and start
wearing panty hose and heels – killer, for a gal fresh out of art school.
I found a job by December as a convention and meeting planning
assistant. I worked there for 6 years. None that I regret, in retrospect,
as it later proved to be invaluable to running my own business. Which I
guess I better get back to…Happy Anniversary to me!”

Bucktown Wrap Up...

Bcktwn2010Had an awesome corner spot at the Bucktown Arts Fest this year…thanks, Maria! Met some lovely new customers and had a great time next to artists’ Danielle Crilly and Christie Chew-Wallace….across the aisle wonderful jewelers’ Veronica Riley Martens and Deanna Rose.Bucktown2010Did some fabulous art trades trades with Sara Lenart…my Number 3 Pendant made from a pool ball, so cool! 
Picture 41 And these lovelies from Veronica Riley Martens:
Picture 43

And bought this great coffee mug from Ed Brownlee
Picture 40
Hope you all have a great Labor Day Weekend!