Saturday, August 15, 2009

Art for the Animals, Part II

Here are images of my other big dogs that are in the show:


The real Opal, one of our "puppies," who are over 5 years old now, has a big smile and curvy legs, like a Queen Anne chair.  So I made her legs here extra curvy and left some sharp edges, to suggest wood or furniture.  

The story of of the puppies is a good subject for another post.  Here I'll just say I named most of them after jewels.  Opal had spots that had different colored specs in them.  Now her spots are more uniform in color.  

The real Opal modeled for part of the time I sculpted, though she preferred to sleep under the slab roller.  She was not too happy about having various parts of herself measured!

Madge's Balancing Act

I wanted Madge to look very stable, like she could sit up forever.  So she has stout parts, but also sinewy muscly parts, as do most daschunds I have seen.  I worked from photos.

The show was great, as I expected.  When you arrived, a representative from Red Dog Farm was at the entrance to the building with Tallula, a black angus calf.    There was also a dog.  Inside were a kitten, parrot, bearded dragon, and, of course Netop, the painting dog, along with her companion Ruby, who is part Carolina Dog.  Our puppies' mother is a Carolina Dog and, coincidentally, one of our puppies is named Ruby.

Netop gave a great performance--he is a ball of energy.  Ruby was getting experience socializing. We had a great talk with their owners.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Art for the Animals

WOW-I am one of 7 artists invited to exhibit in a show called "In Our Care" at the Center for Creative Leadership, located on Route 220, just north of Greensboro, NC.  As I mentioned in an earlier post, when Laura Gibson, the art coordinator and an animal advocate, invited me, I was thrilled.  This is a very prestigious place to exhibit and I had the privilege of showing there a couple of years ago as a member of Alamance Artisans Guild.  I'm still yelling "WooHoo" out loud, but probably at this point the people in downtown Raleigh can't hear me, just those around the outer Beltline.

I got to see some of the exhibit when I brought my work to the Center--it is great.  The work is very diverse, but Laura knows how to hang a show.  

The other artists are:

Addren Doss-pastel and oil--wonderful!

Louise Francke--watercolor and oil--Exquisite!

Elaine O'Neil-beautiful and intricate textile collage

Rose Rosely-folk sculpture--she paints on wood and metal and you can't resist smiling when you see her work

Traer Scott--beautiful photography that really captures the spirit and sould of her subjects

Now, I mentioned 7 artists--the 7th is a canine.  Netop, the painting dog, will be at the reception--he loves creating art and makes excellent work!  Seriously, some of his work reminds me of Chinese watercolor--I took a class in that--it wasn't easy!

Doh!  Netop's got a website, too--so he's one up on me:

As you can see, I'm the only clay artist in the show.  Five of my big dogs will be there.  Here's a taste:

Fawn.  I gave her big paws because a pug owner told me hers was a big dog in a little body.  I got a visual image of a lion, then the big lions in from of the Biltmore House in Asheville, NC.  So I made Fawn's paws like those you might see on a lion statue.  There really is a method to my madness!

Roxie (the tennis ball is also clay, with underglaze).  I like the idea of the dog looking more toylike than her toy.

Also in the show are Opal (the only sculpture that looks like one of our dogs), Madge, and Pepper.  I'll post those photos after the reception.  There is one more big dog, Paisley (a pied brindle French bulldog), but she developed a hairline crack on her third firing, so she'll be staying with me.  That happens when clay gets fired multiple times, though I have to admit I have been very lucky.  I hated to see it happen, since she was a lot of work, but I'm happy to keep her.


When I took the dogs to Jason Dowdle, my awesome photographer, his dogs (Roscoe and Riley) started sniffing them.  Roscoe also got very excited when he saw the tennis ball--he wanted me to throw it!

The show runs from August 10 to November 19.   There will be a reception on August 28, from 5:00 to 7:00, and artists will bring smaller pieces to sell then.  (I'll be bringing my small dogs and llamas.)  

These rottweillers take a lot of time to make, so I have only a few at this point.  But I'll also bring some other breeds.  NOTE:  Also mentioned in an earlier blog, although there are realistic elements in my work, I do like to have some fun as I create and often include some anthropomorphism (often in the eyes or gesture), exaggeration, etc.  As these dogs say, "We don't meet breed standards, but neither do most people!"


A portion of every sale at the reception will help support Red Dog Farm, in Greensboro, NC.  They rescue and find foster homes for cats, dogs, farm animals, alpacas, you name it.  

For more information about Red Dog Farm, see

I hope you will check out their website and find out how you can help.  If everyone did a little something, it would make such a difference in the lives of these precious creatures!

If you'd like to see the show, but can't attend the reception, please call Laura at (336) 510-0975.  

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The MOST FUN You Can Have at an Art Show

Everyone says this, but I can't believe how past the time goes. Already, it's time for Debbie's and Eric's show, Come Out and Play.  This is their 8th year!  I am so thrilled to be a part of it.  

Every year, Debbie and Eric offer their beautiful farm as the venue. They invite artists to install work in the yard, around the pond, in the pond, on the porch and even in the house.  The list of artists gets larger and more impressive every year.  All mediums are represented--painting, sculpture (clay, metal, stone, wood, fiber, mixed media, you name it), glass, etc.  (I have to say that for fear of leaving something out.)

Opening night is usually the last Saturday in August, from Noon til Dark ("when the cows come home").  Artists bring covered dishes, Eric fires up the grill, Debbie prepared vegetarian and non-veg main dishes, and they provide drinks and eating supplies.  Then they have get-togethers every Saturday in September, from 4Pm until dark.  Many of the artists attend those days, as well.

To see their flyer, go to

This has become a huge event--attendance increases every year.  People get to walk around this lovely place (called JimGin Farm, after Debbie's parents), look and (and buy!) amazing art, eat fantastic food, and visit with artists and art lovers.  Debbie and Eric have been involved with animal rescue, and allow dogs on leashes to visit with the people and their horses and cats.

Every year we say, "Wow is it that time already?"  And then we're sad when it's over and we have to wait another 11 months.

It really is the most fun you can have at an art show.