Stray Dog Arts

my little ella bean...

No words needed.


There are certain dogs with certain names that I just fall in love with. Truman is one of them.

Lately, I've been meeting some really great dogs. I mean really, REALLY great dogs. I recently did a photoshoot with Truman in preparation for his portrait that I'll be painting in celebration of his mama who just turned 40. He is loved beyond words and the whole family knows it. They know it so well that Mama Truman's dad and siblings commissioned his portrait as a gift. It is an extra treat for me because they just happen to live in Minneapolis which means that I was able to meet Truman, the wonderful, in person.

Truman reminds me a little bit of a dog I once met while hiking in the Himilayas of Nepal. The hike itself was nearly a month long. But one day I met a white dog who was laying on top of his home's low, earthen roof. That dog felt like a being from another world to me. He was so peaceful and alert all at once. Like Truman, it was a light colored lab. Most likely, it was a mutt. Perhaps a puppy from an unwanted litter, this was one of the few dogs that had actually been taken in by a family. I could tell that dog was loved--it was obvious in ways that are both felt and seen. Like Truman.

I've learned a lot about dogs since my wanderlust days in the Himilayas. And, yet, I never cease to be amazed by the beings I meet. Each dog is so unique, so full of their very own character. It just about bowls me over. I start to understand something that I never understood before...something unspoken, something very hard to explain but that makes me feel closer to myself and, therefore, the world around me.

I look forward to starting Truman's painting. I think it is a really cool way to celebrate a person's life journey. Sometimes it just doesn't seem fair that I should get to have a job that I enjoy so much. But, I'll tell you, I am thankful for it every single day.

Happy Birthday, Mama Truman! You are a lucky mama, indeed. :)


One of my favorite animal rescues in the Universe is "A Place to Bark." It is run by a woman named Bernie Berlin, a woman who I only know through her blog, but who is an endless source of inspiration for me and for many others. I love this video and just thought I'd share! Enjoy. Then go find an animal to love. xo

Movie created by the fantastically creative Suzi Blu.

On the air!

You know that feeling you get when you go to a great big water park or go swimming in a new lake? That feeling of excitement and uncertainty all rolled into one?

Yep, that's how it felt to be on the radio for the first time. It was a lot of fun! I've had the wonderful honor of doing plenty of podcast interviews, but never LIVE and never on the radio!

Radio holds a place that is rooted somewhere deep in my childhood memories. It brings up a feeling of fascination for me. When I was growing up, my parents owned a flower shop and so, as a child, much of my time was spent riding around with them in the car making deliveries or running errands. The radio was always on. My child-mind often pondered: How do they make that magic happen?! You can imagine how I felt stepping into a room filled with headsets and microphones! Oh, the beautiful under-belly of radio! My immature self immidiately made herself present as I giggled in wonder at all the chords and paraphernalia used to make a radio show come to life.

Three. Two. One! The music starts and any nervousness I felt just sort of fell away. Sage is an expert radio personality! How would I know? Because I got to watch her in action!

You can listen to the show for yourself via podcast here.

Thank you, Sage of Dancing Porcupine, for having Sarah Ernhart (of Sarah Beth Photography) and me on your show!

You can listen to The Pet Playground
every Sunday evening at 6-7pm on AM950-KTNF
or catch up with archived shows here.

While you're at it, check out Sage's incredible book, JAVA: The True Story of a Shelter Dog Who Rescued a Woman. This book captures every bit of Sage's authentic, passionate, and radiant spirit.

My favorite books are the ones that help to remind us that the best place to live from is our heart. Sage's story is an incredible reminder of just that.

Be well.

May all dogs be happy!

Ridin' the Airwaves: Radio Interview tonight!

It's time to play with Sage Lewis, The Creature Teacher! The Pet Playground is an entertaining and educational call in show for pets and the people who love them.

Tonight I have the great honor of being interviewed by Sage Lewis of Dancing Porcupine. I will be joined by the wonderful Sarah of Sarah Beth Photography as a fellow guest. Sarah and I love collaborating with each other when given the chance. To be interviewed on the radio together with Sage, well, that's an added bonus!

I look forward to sharing a little bit about my life and work as a pet portrait artist. Let's connect over the good things in life!

Please join us tonight!
The Pet Playground - Your Place to Play
Sunday, August 9th, 6-7pm

Pour yourself a nice tall glass of lemonade and head out to the front porch to relax and listen in. Not a Minnesota listener? Technology is a wonderful thing! Audio stream via KTNF's website here.

Busy out playing in the sun? No worries! A podcast will be available for your listening pleasure here.

Have any burning question for me, Sarah, or Sage? Call in! We'd love to hear from you!

Listener Call in #952-946-6205

Meet Henry...

6"x12" Oil On Canvas

Ladies and Gentlemen, meet Henry. Henry is hereby the very first portrait that I have completed in my new studio space. He's also a gift from a set of siblings for their parents' wedding anniversary. I love painting portraits that will be given as gifts.. It always amazes me that there are such thoughtful people in the world who go out of their way to have such personal and meaningful gestures of love created for the important people in their lives. Art is love--and so is Henry.

These past several weeks have felt more than a little overwhelming with our recent move along with summer events and projects. There is one thing in the world that puts me right back to center and that is painting. No matter how much I have going on...painting makes me feel calmer in a nano-second. Of course, painting a really great dog makes it even easier to breathe deeper and be inspired.

Thank you, Henry, for making me feel good. :) You were painted in the company of 3 great dogs, double espressos, and some really great music in a fresh, new, and not yet unpacked studio space.

You were a perfect beginning to all that is to come.

Happy Anniversary Mama and Papa Henry!!!

with love,


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