There’s a hole in my heart where my dog used to be.

Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

Lily Lemon Carney, beloved furry daughter, protector, snuggler extraordinaire.

We had to tearfully say goodbye to a member of our family recently. Lily was our 12 year-old pit bull mix. She was the most empathetic, nurturing and beautiful creature I had the privilege of knowing.

We called her “Nurse Lily” because she could sense when you were sick or sad, and would curl up next to you, or if there was no room for curling up, put her head in your lap. As a puppy, she stayed in bed with me (except for potty breaks) when I got a bad case of food poisoning. When a migraine would hit, she would be curled into my side in the darkest room of the house. When my husband had shingles, she stayed on the floor by the couch, as he was in too much pain to snuggle. (She knew.) And when I was pregnant, she was my protector. If any person or dog was too exuberant, she strategically placed herself between them and me. When we brought our newborn daughter home from the hospital, Lily moved wherever the basinet was, so she could lay at the base of it, and “protect” Rosalee. Bandit was “her” puppy…she picked him out at the doggy adoption day. She cleaned his face and put up with his silliness. Lily let him get away with all sorts of nonsense. Now Bandit is five and misses his adopted mother.

We all miss her so much. She has, of course, popped up in my work over the years, my first furry muse. I found that I needed to draw her again. I hope it does her justice.

Lily Lemon Carney, beloved dog, Nancy Lemon ©2016

Creating the Universe

Le Grand Portefeuille, Sketchbook

I have been creating portraits for the 100 day project on Instagram, and I’d like to share a few here.

The 100 day project is an initiative to do one creative thing, be it drawing, painting, music, sculpting, digital art…some people just take happy pictures. The point is to commit to bringing some creativity into your life each day.  It began on April 19th, on Instagram, but they encourage you jump in at any time. I did it last year and it really challenged me to create a new little story each day. The challenge is currently on day 22, but I am playing a bit of catch up. (I’m on 19.)

I’ve been using Instagram more than my blog, as it is really easier, takes less time and is more convenient. Also, I’ve spent some time revamping my website and have an additional blog over there. However, I miss the camaraderie and little community blogging brings. I hope all of you fine folks will feel the pull of the creative challenge and join me on this journey of 100 steps. 😉 I will try to be better about regularly posting!

“If you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first create the universe.” -Carl Sagan

Pet portraiture and Happy New Year (finally!)

Business of Art, Le Grand Portefeuille, Pet Portraits

Hello Friends.  Happy New Year.  I’ve been a bit busy, and have neglected blogging.

Here are some of the pet portraits I created for people who needed gifts this past holiday season.  I create these (and other custom work) all year, so if you need a Valentines gift…or Presidents Day gift (?) or an anytime gift, let me know!  You can even order online.

I’ve revamped my website, if you have time, take a gander.  Any feedback is appreciated, if you feel so inclined.

I am excited for 2016…it has started off on a pretty great note, with lots of possibilities! I hope you are having a great one so far, too.

Bunnies, bunnies, everywhere…

Digital

Good Monday, everyone.  These bunnies have been sitting in a sketchbook as a quickly scribbled idea, so I took them out and brought them to fruition.  One of my teachers once told me, “You should always have a default animal, object, etc. to draw when you can’t think of anything to draw.”  Apparently, my default is silly bunnies.  You’re welcome, Mom.

Painted with gouache, ink, and Photoshop

Mildred and Lucille

Le Grand Portefeuille

MildredANDlucilleWP

Although I like the idea, the execution of this piece is not my favorite. I’ve been playing with line and experimenting with different mediums, in the search for improving my style.  As always, there are peaks and gutters.  It’s hard, when there are so many great artists and styles out there, to stay true to your own way, and not “acclimate” someone else’s artistic vision.  For instance, I love the simplicity and line style of Serge Bloch, and I love the dreamy world of Isabelle Arsenault.

So the search for my own truthiness of style continues.  I’m not totally happy with this one, but a teacher once told me that if you are struggling with your art, that means a breakthrough is nigh.  (The sheep in fishnets is pretty hilarious, if I do say so myself.)

I always love to hear your thoughts and comments on my art or thoughts here.  Is style something you struggle with in your own art?

 

William the Horse

Le Grand Portefeuille

WilliamHorseWP

William is such a trend-setter; or maybe he’s just trendy…in this one I used more of the paint to create than ink and pencil.  I found a great dry-brush technique to play around with on this piece.

This original painting is available (9″x12″ watercolor & gouache on paper, unframed)

Or, find prints here.

Edward the Rabbity Argyle Enthusiast

Le Grand Portefeuille

EdwardRabbitWP

Edward is so very right; argyle is the way to go if you must wear socks.  Thus continues the thread of animals and clothes…or, fashionable animals.

The original is available (9″x12″ gouache, pen and ink on watercolor paper).

Prints can be found here, along with shirts and things.