Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Another Dog Painting I just Finished - a Corgi - with a Ferret!

This is a commissioned dog painting I just finished right before Christmas. It was a Christmas present from a client for his wife. It includes both their beloved corgi and one of their several also beloved pet ferrets. It was such a pleasure to do this painting - and difficult, too! I had no idea how tiny little ferret's feet were! Obviously, it's already sold, but I wanted to show it off anyway.
I've mentioned it before, and I'll do so again. If you don't feel you can afford a commissioned painting, I do have another option. I don't promise you that I'll paint your pet; but if you want to take a chance, send me very good, clear, well-lit, etc., photos of your pet; and if it's something I like and think I can sell prints of as either a print alone or as an image on a clock or on my very popular pendants and earrings, send the images to me, along with a letter, giving your pet's name, age, and any other important information. When - and if -- I paint your pet, I will email you when the painting is finished and published on my website and on this blog. Most all paintings done in this manner are 8x10's, and the original sells for $100 plus shipping. After I notify you, you have one week in which to purchase the original if you wish. But you have no obligation to purchase anything at all, though -- nada, nothing, rien -- well, you get the idea. The upside for you, obviously, is you can buy a really low-cost original painting of your pet, or a print, or a clock or a pendant, or nothing, but can see your pet's painting online anytime you wish. The downside is that I can't promise you I'll do a painting of your pet (but I really, really try to get to them all), and I give you nothing free in return. The upside for me is that I get to paint yet another beautiful animal and then I also own all rights to the painting once I've painted it. You're more likely to get your pet painted if: number one, it's a dog; number two, it's a specific dog breed; number three, the photos are clear enough for me to use; it's a popular breed of dog; it's a really, really cute pose of your dog, etc. I think you get the idea. If you're interested and need more info, just email me at dottie@wildwildthings.com and I'll give you even more info. If you want just to take a chance, then send me your photos to me at that email address (at least 100Kb, by the way, each). I promise you I'll email you when the painting is done. Okay, nuf said. Hope everyone is having a wonderful, wonderful Holiday Season. I know I am!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

American Bulldog with Yellow Ball

This is a sweet little painting I did yesterday for someone who submitted her photo, hoping I would find the time to do a painting of her dog. I did. And it was a pleasure to do so. I do try to paint all the images submitted to me, and I let the person who submitted the photo(s) know when I've finished the painting and it's listed on my website. Of course, I make paintings of those photos that, one, are very well composed; two, have an adorable dog (or cat or whatever) in them; and, three, (sorry, but I have to make a living) those that I think I'll sell either the original, prints, clocks, or prints on my pendants/earrings. If you wish to submit photos to me, keep those three thoughts in mind. There's no obligation either to you -- or to me, but again, I do my very best to make paintings of as many of the photos submitted as I can. This little pup's image is on my website, www.wildwildthings.com, available as either an original, a print, a clock, or on a pendant or earrings.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Black and White Chihuahua - "Roo"

This is one of my favorite paintings in a while -- well, I say that pretty often, don't I. There was something about this one, though; it almost painted itself. It didn't hurt that the dog, Roo, is absolutely perfect. Anyway, I did him for a customer, so he's already sold.
I love my "work" more and more every day. And when I'm not painting, I'm thinking about whatever painting(s) I have in progress. I don't "just paint." I plan, look at problematic areas and search for solutions and study, study, study my subject. Some might say too much, but it's how I function. This little fellow, I did several drawings of him first, including one where I studied only broad value areas, using the several different photos sent to me by his adoptive mom. He seems to me to be quite shy, judging from his interactions with people in the photos, so I wanted to convey that shyness, too, in the painting. ---- Well, I'm going on a bit. I'll just say again, he was a great pleasure to paint!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Black Chihuahua Face

Well, I've not been adding my new paintings for a while I just realized! So here's one I've done recently, already sold, by the way. Her name is Lily, and she's one of five I'm doing for a very sweet customer who loves her little chi-chi's! The previous painting, a tan chihuahua named Biscuit, is hers, too. Next comes Roo, then Little Bit, and then Molly. But other paintings come in between all these chihuahuas, too, because I've been painting up a storm lately!

It's that time of year when everyone who has a beloved pet and who wants a painting from me decides it's finally time to get one done - now! Actually, though, I've had to stop taking more commissions/requests for the rest of this year because I have all I can manage for the rest of the month.

Speaking of, this has been a good year of growth and learning for me. There were so many times that I just wanted to quit, thinking I could never be good enough. And I still lack a lot of confidence, but I must be doing something right because people seem to really like my work -- which feels great! We artists, I'm afraid, are a narcissistic but often insecure group of people. But even with all the ups and downs I've gone through with this career, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world -- even money! And for a long time, I resisted doing "just dogs," but now, I've really come to appreciate each new dog I do as an interesting and exciting new challenge. Their heads and bodies really are just a different kind of landscape; and the more I learn about them, the more I know about them, the more I realize I've got yet to learn. So when -- and if -- I ever fully master painting dogs, a "dog painter" I'll continue to be!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

A Beautiful Chihuahua, one of Four I'm doing for a Customer

This is Biscuit. She's a beautiful tan and white chihuahua, one of three other chihuahua "siblings" in a loving family. Her painting will be followed by the other three as soon as I can get to them. As usual, this time of year is becoming really, really busy. Prints, pendants, and earrings bearing her image are available on my website, www.wildwildthings.com.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Haven't been getting much painting done lately

Well, I guess my title says it all. I haven't been painting much lately, but I am starting on a collie today, which I should be able to list in a few days. What I have been doing is making little pendants, using prints of my paintings as the focal point. I've shown a couple of items above. I think they're really cute, but I've got a lot to learn about jewelry-making before I can go big-time. They take me a really, really long time to make at this time. I'm taking a precious-metals jewelry-making class this next week, in fact, to start my new educational process. It's always so much fun to learn something new. Right now, I'm putting the prints onto wood backings that my husband Randy cuts for me on his laser cutter, and then I'm "floating" resin over the tops. The resin is the hardest part of all because it has to be absolutely perfect. Very, very difficult for me, plus awfully time-consuming, with lots of rejects per session. I'll develop a technique eventually, that will allow me to work faster and more accurately, though.
Well, I just noticed a few paintings I have done since my last post, so I have been painting more than I realized -- just not in the last week or so probably. I'll try to list the most recent ones in the next few days. It seems that no one is interested in more expensive paintings these days, though, so I'm doing much smaller versions now, mostly 8x10's on heavy paper or wood. A sign of the times, I'm afraid. But I still just looooove painting, so I have to do it whether they sell or not! Maybe sometime soon, I'll have a huge painting sale so I can reclaim my closet -- and start over filling it up again! What I make from the paintings would at least buy more supplies for me! Okay, that's all for now.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Britttany Spaniel Dog Painting

Okay! I'm on a roll now. I've been managing to do a painting a day for the past few days, and I can already see an improvement in my work. It's much looser, more "painterly," and just a lot more fun. It's still scary as ever, but I'm just forcing myself to paint, no matter what. I just have to do it -- and hope that it's something I can let the world see -- well, anyway, anyone who might see my works in the few venues that I show it, anyway.
This little dog is just beautiful to me. She didn't happen as easily as the previous painting did, but she finally came together. Took me most of the day, though.
I often wonder if other, more experienced, more schooled painters have to spend all day doing just a simple portrait like this. Maybe I'll learn some "tricks" if I keep up my daily paintings again this time. I think in a few days I'm going to try something besides a dog. I've got quite a few people waiting to get their dogs painted, but sometimes I just need to take a break and try something entirely new. I think it will help keep me fresh. I took some photographs a few days ago of some magnificent trees down in Corvallis, OR, that I really want to try my hand at. Yes, that's what I'll do, paint some trees. But not tomorrow or the next day because I really do have some people waiting for paintings of their dogs, and I want to get those out of the way first. I know how hard it is to try to wait for something you're really, really excited about seeing. And one of the paintings is for someone who's recently lost his precious dog. I did one of her already, but I want to do another one, too, before he sees either of them. I'm stalling on the second one. Maybe I'll finish it tomorrow.
Okay, that's enough.

Shih Tzu Puppy Dog Painting

Awwww! Isn't this one cute? I just love it. And I didn't let myself work it to death, either! That's what I usually do, work one until it starts to lose life and spontaneity.

It's a new (old, rehashed?) promise I'm making to myself: I have one job and one job only, to do a single painting a day. It doesn't have to be good; it doesn't have to be elaborate or grand; it just has to be done! I've got to get over this fear of failure, and this has got to work! If they're too awful, I can throw them away. If they just don't look good enough that I would want anyone to see them but not awful enough to throw away, I can put them in a stack and maybe work on them again another day in the indefinite future.

But this little guy, I'm happy with him. I think he's fresh, pretty, and has lots of personality -- just like my Henry Higgins (my shih tzu who's lying underneath me as I write this) after whom he's modeled. I had to do some guessing, though, because I adopted Higgins when he was already around six years old. He's a ripe old 9 or 10 today and going strong, too, I might add. As with all my paintings, this one will be available on my website, www.dottiedracos.com, or www.wildwildthings.com (both addresses take you to the same place).

Monday, August 11, 2008

Frodo the Magnificent, Part 1, a Border Collie

Okaaay! I'm finally starting to get this! I'm very pleased with this guy. And he practically painted himself. I think forcing myself to paint through my fears is working and I'm actually becoming a better painter. Funny, though, as always happens, in a few months I'll look at this painting, too, and see all the flaws. But that's a good thing, isn't it? It means I'm growing. Who woulda thought that at my age I would feel like a little child who is learning something new and is so very excited (but in my case, awfully, awfully fearful, too) about it.
And for those of you out there who think that "just painting dogs" isn't much of a challenge, I've spent a large part of my life in universities and graduate schools, studying what I thought would end up being my life career, neuroscience/psychology. That was really, really hard, but it doesn't even halfway measure up to what I'm doing now, both in difficulty and challenge but also in just the thrill of getting to do this marvelous "work" every single day.
Okay, nuts and bolts now: This is an acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas, 11x14x3/4", with the sides painted dark red, wired and ready to hang. It's $200, plus shipping, and may be sold. I'm doing two paintings of the same dog for a person who took my challenge to send me photos and let me do the painting and let her either buy or not buy the painting(s). As soon as she's made her decision (I give people one week to do so), if she choose only one, both, or none at all, I'll let the rest of the world know. But prints and clocks will be for sale, no matter what.

Friday, August 8, 2008

A Yorkie I Finished Yesterday

He's a pretty little thing. I found his "hairiness" to be especially difficult, though. I need to practice "hairy" dogs more to get more of a feel for how their abundant hair lies -- or doesn't!!!

Anyway, it was a pleasure and a challenge to be able to paint this little guy. He'll be up in about a week for sale on my website. He's on an 11x14 gallery-wrapped canvas.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

West Highland White Terrier Westie Dog

Well, I'm back to painting daily again -- and it feels good! Getting more confidence in my painting. This is a Westie, or West Highland White Terrier. I see why it's affectionately called a Westie with a long name like that! Anyway, it's acrylic on an 11x14x3/4" canvas, with the sides painted red, and is wired and ready to hang -- or frame if you wish. It's $200 plus shipping and is now available on my website, www.dottiedracos.com. I'm working on a couple of yorkies that'll be listed tomorrow and the next day.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Dachshund Puppy

This is a little 8x10x1/2" acrylic painting on gallery-wrapped canvas that I just finished. It's a sweet little dachshund looking up into your eyes -- probably for another treat, even though s/he just finished one -- or two.

I'm really trying to paint in a looser manner -- well, at least a know-when-to-stop manner! So I tried to keep the strokes much fresher in this painting. Hope I succeeded; I really like it.


Meet Fergie. She's an English Springer Spaniel, and she's getting up in years but wearing them well. She'll be 13 this August. Her painting was a commission, so she's already sold; but I wanted to show her off because I really enjoyed painting her.

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Mudpuppy" Golden Retriever Pup

(Sorry, this painting has already sold.)

I just looooove this painting! Her name is Riley, and she had just had a great romp in the mud. Her parents were smart enough to take photos of her before she got a bath. It was a great challenge to paint her, but I think I did a pretty good job. The hardest part of all was to make the mud good and gooey-looking. I have, of course, a print and a clock made of her at my website, http://www.dottiedracos.com/.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Golden Retriever Portrait

This is a beautiful golden retriever I just finished this morning. I saw him at Portland Saturday Market in Oregon one weekend recently and asked for permission to photograph and paint him. Unfortunately, I didn't get the "parents" names, so I am listing him for sale. Perhaps you're the parents? Anyway, he's on 1/8"-thick hardboard, 8x10", and is available for sale on my website, http://www.dottiedracos.com/. If you wish, I would be happy to add 1.5" black wooden sides so he can be hung without framing at no extra charge.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Papillon Portrait, Black Pap this time

Wow, I'm on a roll today! Finally getting a few paintings listed. I'm trying; really I am. This little guy is a precious little papillon submitted to me by a friend for painting. It is not a commission but just a photo that I allow people to send to me in hopes that they can get a painting done at regular rather than commission prices! I almost always get around to painting the submissions. Obviously, there's no interaction between the "submitter" and me; otherwise, it would become a commission! Anyway, this is an 8x10x3/4" acrylic painting on canvas, and it's available on my website, www.dottiedracos.com.

Airedale Painting

Well, I've been away for a while -- but it's not that I'm not working, I promise!!! I just haven't been able to get many of the paintings I've been doing uploaded. Some even sold before I got a chance to upload them!! That's good. It means I'm getting known a bit more, I hope. Anyway, here's a beautiful airedale portrait that I finished a few days ago. As usual, he's available for sale on my website. The painting is acrylic on 16x20x3/4" canvas, and is $210, plus shipping.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Newfoundland Landseer Puppy

It's been a while since I've added any paintings to my blog, but it doesn't mean I haven't been working! Well, that's another story . . .

Here's the latest little painting I've finished. It's a Landseer Newfoundland puppy, named Charlie. He's a beauty, I think.

I created this painting after someone sent me photos of her dog, not a commission, but just because I make the offer that if someone sends me photo(s), I may or may not paint their dog, depending on what I think of the photos. These photos I loved, so I painted the painting, let the owner know I had painted it, and sold it to her at my regular 8x10 price of $150, plus shipping (commissioned 8x10's start at $250 for a full body like this one). If you want to take the same chance, that I might paint your dog (or cat), and make it available for sale (to you first, only if you want it, though) email me (dottie@wildwildthings.com) and I'll tell you what to do.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

The Weathermen

THIS PAINTING HAS SOLD. Prints are available on my website. Okay, I've finally reached my saturation point with dogs and took a break to paint this wonderful painting of three crows I saw at a sleepy fishing village on the Gulf Coast of Florida (sorry, I don't remember the name of the village at this moment) when I was there back in February. They were hanging out, sitting atop a sign and looked for all the world as if they were checking out the weather. So this title has a bit of a double meaning: first, the obvious one, that they're looking at the sky to predict the weather; second, refers to a political/protest song by Bob Dylan in which he says something like "only the weathermen know which way the wind blows," speaking of changing times, which we're definitely going through now, obviously. Anyway, I really, really enjoyed doing this painting, and actually, I prefer to think of it in the lighter sense, that these guys know something we don't about upcoming weather and are just hanging out on a beautiful day!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Schnauzer profile 8x10x1.5 inch Original Dog Art Painting by Dottie Dracos

I love this painting. Hey, I'm actually getting better -- I think! This painting was spontaneous, not a slavish copy of the photograph from which I painted it. I photoed the dog, whose name is Smoke, some months ago and finally got around to getting it painted. I've done a couple of paintings of Smoke before, but I think this is definitely my favorite. He's 8x10x1.5" acrylic on hardboard, $150. This painting has sold. http://www.dottiedracos.com/.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Cocker Spaniel Dog Art 8x10 Original Painting by Dottie Dracos

This painting -- finally -- is a composite of several photographs I've taken of a few cocker spaniels who come to visit me at Portland Saturday Market (I've become quite the popular one for dogs to visit. Honestly, I think they tell their parents that they want to come to visit me!) Anyway, I love this painting. My work is getting looser in one way and tighter in another. I like the direction I'm going -- for now, at least. There's one thing that bothers me a bit, though, that has nothing to do with my painting; rather, it's the base on which I'm painting, mdf wood. I love the texture of it and how transportable it is, but I have the feeling that it's sapping brightness from my paintings. Maybe it's just me and I need to work with brighter, warmer colors, but I get the feeling that I put the colors on brightly, and in an hour or two, they've lost a lot of their brilliance. The painting I'm doing today, an English bulldog portrait, I'm also using the wood, but this time I sealed it with a very fine coating of varnish between the pencil drawing and the initial color "laydown." (Is that a word????) We'll see if that makes a difference. Anyway, this painting, as usual, is for sale on my website. It's an 8x10x1.5 on wood, with painted wood sides, and it sells for $150.00. I also have clocks available, as usual.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

German Shepherd Smiling Dog, Revised

This is a "redo" of a painting I did many months ago and was never really happy with. I am happy with this one, though. I won't say it's the best painting I've ever done, but I do feel that I'm learning so much more and much more quickly lately. I've finally gotten back into painting more than I was, and it's showing, I think. I can finally start to see beyond the photos I work from and put more of myself into a painting. It's a good thing. This painting is already sold.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Australian Shepherd Painting - Blue Merle

Well, I did get this painting finished today. I really, really enjoyed doing this one. It's again 8x10 acrylic paint on wood, with 1" black sides. It's for sale on my website for $150 plus shipping. www.dottiedracos.com

German Shorthaired Pointer painting

This is another painting I finished this past week. It's also 8x10x1.5 on wood, sides painted black. I think these are some of the most beautiful dogs to exist. And from having one of the best friends of my life be at least part GSP, I know what loving, intelligent dogs they are, too. This painting is available on my website, http://www.dottiedracos.com/, and sells for $150.00. Clocks are also available.

Australian Shepherd Painting - Tan

This is an Australian Shepherd that I just finished. I'm also working on a blue merle Australian shepherd that I should finish sometime today and will list just as soon as it's finished. This painting is an 8x10 with 1.5" black sides, acrylic painted on wood, and is available on my website for $150, plus shipping. Obviously, as usual, it's also available as a clock on my website, www.dottiedracos.com.
On another subject, does anyone read my blog??? If you do, please leave a comment just so I know someone is reading it. Sometimes I feel that I'm just writing a personal diary, one of those that no one else ever gets to read. But that's not the purpose of my blog. Its purpose is to share my artwork, try to make a living as a full-time artist, get feedback on my work, etc.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Not a Painting This Time - Just a little statement regarding music and art and snobbery

This entry has nothing to do with my paintings, just something that came to my mind that I just have to publish. It has to do with snobbery. While I've been working this morning, my husband has been playing his favorite radio program: KBOO, out of Portland, OR, every Monday at noon plays "Country Music Jamboree."

First of all, I consider myself to be quite sophisticated, knowledgeable, very well-educated, worldly (in a good sense), an over-all cool person -- and I love the music on KBOO's radio program, as well as blue grass, jazz, blues, New Orleans-style jazz, cajun, polka music, music from "musicals," traditional Greek, traditional French, etc., etc., and, of course, my very most favorite music, classical (no particularly favorite composers, just favorite compositions, including operas).

A couple of years ago I was having dinner with a group of fellow artists at a very high-end art show. Talk came around to music as one of our fellow artists had been playing some beautiful Hawaiian music cd's during the slow times of the show (by Ledward Kaapala if you're interested). We spoke of various classical composers for a few minutes, music which drives my art most days, by the way. I then mentioned the country music writer/singer Hank Williams, whose music I had only recently come to know, so I wanted to share one of my new "favorites" with others. Well, it was as if a pot of iced water had been poured over us all at the dinner table. Conversation pretty much came to a complete stop, and the after-dinner banter closed and we all left. I cannot help but think that my favorable mention of a country music legend is what stopped the conversation.

In my humble opinion, great music (and other forms of art as well) can come in many, many different forms, styles, levels of sophistication, etc. I found it so sad and disappointing that these "refined" people appeared to find themselves too superior to listen to, and even appreciate, music outside their customary comfort zone. I defy anyone to sit and listen and feel Hank Williams' song "I'm so Lonesome I could Cry" and not feel that this is a small masterpiece in every sense of that word. Okay, 'nuf said! My next entry will be back to my dog paintings.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Affenpinscher Portrait

This is an affenpinscher, which from research I did, is probably of German origin, and means something like "monkey face," and AKC says its face ought to be somewhat "monkey-like," or words similar to that. I don't see it myself. I think it's just a really pretty little dog with a very cute little bottom lip. Anyway, it's 8x10 on hardboard, with 1.5" black inset sides added for hanging. It sells for $150 and is available on my website.

Friday, February 29, 2008

A really, really special beagle painting

I loooove this painting! Sometimes paintings just don't seem to work for me. This one was an exception; the paint just jumped from the brush to the canvas! It's 24x36" acrylic on canvas, 1"-deep black lath-framed, and sells for $500.00, plus shipping. I've also attached a copy of one of my clocks that I make from prints of my paintings. All my clocks are $20 each, plus shipping. All my items are for sale on my website, http://www.dottiedracos.com/.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Rottweiler and Tennis Ball

This is a painting I recently finished and really enjoyed. It's not for sale except as a clock because I painted it simply on heavy paper. It was a difficult painting for me, but I think I learned a great deal by doing it. Hope you enjoy it.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Boston Terrier

I love this one! I just finished it last night. It's for sale, so here are the details on it. It's 24x30x3/4" acrylic on canvas, with the image extending around the sides, so a frame is not necessary if you don't want one. It's $400.00 plus $12.00 shipping.

Friday, February 1, 2008

This is "Cat" the cat

Here's a precious cat painting I just finished for a customer, who's giving it to her friend who is mourning the recent loss of "Cat" the cat. She was quite old and very much loved from what I hear. Cat is already SOLD, but prints (or a clock) are available from my website, www.dottiedracos.com. It was a pleasure to be given the honor to paint this memorial painting.

Thursday, January 31, 2008

A Mighty Bright Corgi Portrait

Here's one of the brightest paintings I've done of a Corgi named Pun'kin. She was a commission so is already sold. She's 9x12" acrylic on canvas, and she's available as a print or as a clock on my website, www.dottiedracos.com.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Yellow Lab Puppy

Here's my latest painting I've done. It's been a while since I've been able to paint due to the ill health of a family member, but now I'm back at it again!

This little yellow lab is a brave, exciting new direction for me: larger canvases. He's acrylic on 24x30" canvas and sells for $400.00. He can be seen "in dog" at Club K-9, 7427 N Curtis Ave., Portland, Oregon , 97217, Phone: 503-289-7472.

Prints are also available at my website, www.dottiedracos.com or www.wildwildthings.com.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

A recently completed commission - Bowzer

Here's Bowzer, a beautiful lab. He was painted on for me a rather large canvas, 24x30". He was a wonderful model, I think. He's already sold, but he's available as a clock on my website, www.dottiedracos.com.
For the next few weeks, in addition to completing more commissioned paintings, I'll be doing a separate group of what I hope are really fun paintings for a little showing at a great coffee shop here in Beaverton, OR, the Iron Mutt. It should be fun; they'll all be for sale. And some of the proceeds from the sales go to area animal shelters, such as Bonnie Hayes, where we adopted our most recent family member, our pomeranian, Harry P. Barker, Harry for short.