Stray Dog Arts

The Art of Philanthropy

Animal Rescue donations GALORE!! Yep, it's that time of year again! These boxes, filled with artwork and prints, will be sent to 501(c)3 organizations across the nation in order to help raise funds in support of the necessary and good work being done for animals in need.

I get hundreds of donation requests a year. The extent of need is staggering. This is about so much more than simply painting pretty pictures.

May All Dogs Be Happy!!!!

with love from the Stray Dog Arts studio,

"Big Picture" Planning, Stray Dog Arts Style....

"The quieter you become, the more you can hear." ~Ram Dass

Today I'm doing some "big picture" planning for my travel, project and painting schedule in 2013. Getting quiet so that I can hear the pull. Entirely new ways of being, doing, creating and doing business are opening up. This is a photo I took last summer while in Wyoming and I'm excited to return again later this year to photograph more wild horses in preparation for later paintings. Mostly though, I'm simply hungry to infuse my spirit with their presence.

There will be lots more travel ahead of me in the coming year--both national and international. Mexico, Spain, Morocco, New York City, Wyoming, New Orleans, New Mexico... + the fast simmering and unfolding of several new projects. Making some bold decisions through the act of simply listening. I'll be posting updates on recently completed paintings in the near future, but for now I just wanted to share an image that contains the energy of my day. This is business planning, Stray Dog Arts style. ;)

with love from the studio,

Creating from the Center of the Universe...

The sunset, at -14 degrees F, is enough to take my breath away. There isn't much up here, but what there is, I love. 

:: Northerly Painting Retreat 2012/13 ::

"In the Realm of Magic" :: {a photographic series}

Over the past few days I have given myself over to new territories and the multi-faceted tools of my trade. Although I most often create my final works of art with canvas, oil paints and a paint brush, I find myself becoming increasingly interested in how photography influences my journey towards a completed piece. I have dedicated the second half of January to experimentation and a sense of discovery. At times, I become frustrated with the limitations that separate me from the internal visions that I am striving for. There are the technicalities of the actual camera, lenses, winter temperatures, light, limited maneuverability and knowledge of the 1,000 pound beasts that I'm working with, editing processes and then, of course, realizing that I don't really know what I was even striving for in the first place. There are usually at least a dozen obstacles between the initial idea and the actual creation. It can be a bit disorienting at times! However, as a good friend and creative cohort recently reminded me: "If you don't try, you'll never know what could have happened." For a moment, I was doubtful, but she wisely jogged my brain cells on the importance of being open to new discoveries. And so, every day, that is what I've been doing. Tromping out into the snowy woods in negative degree temps with boots and scarf, long johns and my warmest jacket. My hands freeze and the camera occasionally fogs up. Colorado, the largest of the two horses, thinks the camera is incredibly interesting and keeps trying to stick his nose in the lens. Horse snot immediately freezes to the glass. There are shadows falling in all the wrong places. I'm freezing cold and fighting a fever...but, you know, despite everything that's not working, I am having the time of my life! I am lost, completely in the moment. I play with the camera settings; I convince the horses to follow me to a different area. I warm my hands in the black fur of their manes and muscular sun-warmed necks. The wind picks up and plays with the tendrils of their hair in a way that excites me. I keep trying. I keep wondering what will happen next. I remain in a state of curiosity, all of this while continuously taking a step or two or five outside of my comfort zone. I stumble upon intoxicatingly wonderful accidents. The horses move. The light shifts. An entire nexus of ideas take root in my brain, making my heart beat a little bit faster.

And this is why I do what I do. This is why I get swept away by the passion of creating art. I'm not so much creating art as I am creating a life. And, these days, it all seems to be taking place in the realm of magic. Believing in the words of Rumi: I let myself be silently drawn by the strange pull of what I really love, knowing that it will not lead me astray.


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