I have a dream: to sell art and write stories, and to never have to go to a Day Job again.
I have a Mission: to create art that people love, and to create art that I love.
I have a lot of Why’s, but the first and foremost has to do with my Zoo Collections. It started as a bit of an experiment, and a way to work on improving a rusty flair for painting. I paused to raise children and work a real job, but now that I am an empty-nester and even the grandchildren live far away, I find I have a lot of time on my hands. My first attempts were posted on Facebook. A friend suggested an art venue for me (one that I will most likely not make it to now) that sounded plausible in the future: it was 2015 and the venue I was aiming for would be in 2017. I thought I’d paint an entire zoo of mini animal portraits.
Then I offered a small giveaway: send me your best animal photo and I’d recreate it & send it to the first several submitters. And I got requests to paint portraits for Christmas gifts.
Somehow, that wasn’t quite enough. I scanned through books and the Internet, finding unusual animals, nearly extinct animals, extinct in my lifetime animals. The Mission began forming in my head: paint animals to inform the world that these are a precious resource, not to be squandered. My own feelings about hunting and game regulation were challenged by the occasional photo of a trophy hunter standing over an endangered or threatened species: an animal that might have better served the world if the trophy hunter had chosen to invest in thousands of dollars of photographic equipment rather than high-powered rifles and unscrupulous guides. The Mission became a little clearer: to make people aware of the incredible diversity of life on this planet, and also aware of how much of it is currently threatened or endangered, or already wiped out.
THEN, the animals I was painting began to speak to me. They had personalities, hopes, dreams. A bear wanted to be Jesse Stone. An aye-aye wanted coffee. A sloth wanted to go to Mardi Gras.
I want to build pages that are little galleries of the different animals: Animals who do cosplay. Animals who want to “be” someone famous (I call these “tributes”). Simply animals. Animals that have a story to tell.
Meanwhile, I am still working on some larger paintings in oil, some sculptures, and other textile arts. But the main focus of my energy these days is the production of the mini animal portraits while balancing the Day Job.
Pet portraits (I need several quality photos, if possible) – these are strictly 3×3″ and cost $30, including S&H, and are done by request – I do take orders. You can message me here or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put Art Inquiry – TCFW in the subject line. I will provide you with a contract, a pricing, and updates as we go along. I work either in gouache (watercolor) and canvas or acrylic and canvas. I accept paypal & check (check must clear before shipping)(details will be hashed out when the request is made).