Thursday, September 28, 2006

Rottweiler and Finished Horse Portrait

horse portrait
rottweiler portrait

More heads! I promised you a better photo of Bud and this was the best I could do. The large pencil works are nearly impossible for me to photograph. Maybe I need a professional. The rottweiler is Max. I have a real fondness for this type of dog. The strong head and stoic look gets me every time. However, every rottie I ever met was a big baby.

Speaking of big babies, I have some troubling news to report on my pup. Miss Gracie has a torn ligament in her hind leg that requires surgery. The good news is that after surgery, with 8-10 weeks of rest and making me crazy, she should be able to resume normal activity. The bad news is that there is a 50% chance that she will tear the other one within a year or so. I am a tad stressed over this news but know it could be worse. Gracie is the most expensive "free dog" I've ever had. However, it isn't about the money and I still feel lucky to have her as my fuzzy friend. I need to have my head examined.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Quick Dog Pet Portrait

This little pug drawing was done as a sample for a future business partnership with Posh Pet Parties. I will keep you posted as we progress with our business plans. I have great hopes that that our idea will take off so that I can spend all my time creating pet portraits and someone else can work at promoting them. Marketing creates such a frustration level for me that I am looking at as many creative solutions as possible. Like most other artists, I just want to make art and leave the business stuff to the business people. That is why most artists starve. They just don't want to do the business end that will afford them the ability to be artists.

You can click here to visit the site of my friend and fellow artist Carl B. Johnson. There you can see photos from the Phantom Gallery. His tone is very "frank so be warned! His lady Liz Nicklus is also an awesome artist and you can see her site here. I feel so blessed to have met them and call them friends. You will be hearing more about them I'm sure in the future.

I also want to send a big "CONGRATULATIONS" out to my friend and food policeman, Dave Pulcinella, for his big win at a national level body building competion. If you want to know how to eat properly and get in shape, Dave is the person to go see. I'm wearing the same size I did when I was 20 (not so long ago...ha) because of his help. This guy is the ultimate pro. Way to go Dave!

Finally a quick "GOOD LUCK" to Vicki Nixon for this weekend's pro body building event in Atlantic City. I'll be there cheering for my dear friend and bun buster. Go get 'em tiger!

Next posting I will show you the final image of Bud.

Have a great weekend everyone and Happy New Year to my fellow Jews!

Friday, September 15, 2006

Horse Portrait - Graphite Drawing of Bud - 4th Step -Marination

Horse PortraitLast night I showed my work in a Phantom Gallery with other local South Jersey artists in Pennsgrove. It was a nice turn out and the free wine tasting took care of my upset when one of my pieces went crashing to the floor and the frame bit the dust. I met some great people and had great response to my work. I hope to get the pictures of that soon to share with you. Tonight I'm going to Millville to their 3rd Friday event to hang out with some artist friends and drink more bad wine. Tomorrow I will run 6 miles to try to make up for my evil ways. One never makes up for the other though and I will never learn.

Anyway, here is the 4th installment of Bud and his portrait. (Sorry for the dark photo, it is raining today.) This is the stage where it looks done but the picture must sit for 4 days or so without me looking at it so that it can "marinate". When I come back to it with a fresh eye, I will be able to touch up any last issues that stick out to me. Already I see the left side needs to be softened and more subtle. More things will rear their ugly heads in a few days. Also at that point I will turn the piece upside-down to find more things that need a little love. However, no matter what, I am not allowed to touch the piece for more than an hour so that I do not kill the beauty of the work. "Stop me before I kill again", I will repeat in my head over and over. It works for me...or is it the wine talking?

Oh yeah, Gracie is feeling better. She ran with me today and was a trooper until she went to greet a sweet little boy and tripped me. I won't be wearing a skirt for a long time. Also, I learned the hard way that her sensitive stomach could not handle the medicine the vet gave her. We won't discuss that. Let's just say we were both up all night.

Have a great weekend.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Canine Partners for Life Open House and Cow Bingo

 horse and cart
service dog
motorcycle service dog
cow bingo
Soulful Studios booth
Soulful Studios Booth
working service dog
black lab service dog
cow dog
cow bingo 2

What an incredible day! These photos were taken yesterday at the Canine Partners for Life Open House and Cow Bingo. Though I was there with a booth (see the two photos) to promote Soulful Studios, that seemed to be the least important part of the day for me. Never have I seen an organization of people that were more determined, focused and positive than the folks of Canine Partners for Life (great photos on this link). Everyone worked so hard and made me feel like part of the family. I felt so cared about and I was only a vendor! I've never seen so many positive individuals working their butts off without a complaint in all my life. I'm still going today from all of that great energy (or is it the sugar from the homemade ice cream and cookies...I'm so bad)!

Ok, so a little explanation. Canine Partners for Life trains and provides service dogs for all sorts of folks for all sorts of jobs. The recipients of these hard working canines come from many different states and truly appreciate the gift of a 4-legged working partner. It is an amazing thing to see people and animals working together doing daily tasks, with both the humans and the canines getting something out of it. This is something you must see for yourself to truly appreciate. They have many events to educate the public and to raise money (it isn't cheap to raise/train one of these pooches). I urge you to come out to one of these events (I will post the next one) and check it out. If you can't do that they will happily schedule a tour as well. I cannot recommend the experience enough.

So what's going on with the photos you ask? Cow Bingo? Ah yes. The cow was the main event. Uma the cow stood with the Dairy Princess in a field of 3,000 squares, representing a purchased raffle ticket. You know where this is going don't you? We all stood waiting for the cow to um, well...pooh. The first cow patty was worth $5,000! (That is a bit frustrating because I struggle to get a few hundred dollars for my art and somebody else makes $5,000 off of bovine fecal matter.) Other prizes were awarded after that. You can see in the one photo the actual $5,000 moment. There is someone in the background even raising their arms as everyone else cheered for cow pooh. It was a hoot. Other photos show some of the activities that were there and the great people that were involved. You have to love the lady in the motorcycle and her service dog with shades on. (I believe her name is Lori as well.) The dog even had polished toenails to match the blue shirts! Now that is style.

Sorry for the disjointed sentences. I just have so many images and thoughts in my head that I can't get them all down fast enough. A quick thanks goes out to Janie, Jennifer and dear Melanie from CPL for all their help and caring. Even their families helped. CPL not only needs donations but host families for dogs and people to help raise puppies. Also, if you are thinking about getting a dog, check with them first because some dogs that have gone through training don't make it as a service dog but they make a wonderful pet that comes already trained. Really, if you want a furry companion contact CPL.

Again, thanks everyone yesterday for all your help. Thank you!

There will be more about CPL in future posts so come back often.

An update on dear Gracie will come later this week. I promise.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Horse Portrait - Graphite Drawing of Bud - 3rd Step

Horse Portrait by Lori Levin
This one is maturing like fine is getting better VERY SLOWLY with time. Sometimes I can really work quickly and other times, with pencil drawings as large as this one, its seems to go at a snail's pace. This photo is really dark (consider that the paper is white) but I think you get the idea. It looks as if I am moving from top to bottom but I still consider the values of the whole before I commit to any area.

Off to buy "stuff" for my booth at the Canine Partners for Life Open House on Saturday. I figure by next year I should have my act together. Right?

Oh, a quick note on Gracie. I will get her blog together...looking to do it on the new Blogger, the Beta version. She is doing really well with her training. My "viscous" pit bull is getting compliments everywhere we go for her perfect behavior. Check out the site for where we are taking classes. The gang at K-9 Basics is the best! Unfortunately between getting ready for the booth and Gracie's recent "limping" issue, we have missed class this week. Hopefully we will both be back to school next week. I'm sure I'll have plenty to tell you all about with that!

Monday, September 04, 2006

Quick Cat Pet Portrait

cat portrait by Lori Levin Still working on Bud's portrait but had to finish this before I could horse around again. I was asked to do a small 8x10 inch drawing for Posh Pet Parties as a sample for a possible future product. Thought I would just give you a little glimpse of that. There will be more information about this possible business venture in the near future.

Big news! I just opened my own Cafe Press store. I have a few items showing now and more will be added each week. This store will feature lovely gift items such as tile coasters, gift boxes and mugs featuring my art. You can check out my store at or you can visit my Squidoo page and purchase the items there as well. This week I will be adding some horse and feline images as well as a coffee mug option.

Well, I spent the afternoon learning to set up my EZ-Up tent. Hmmm...not so easy by myself. Thank goodness for my cousin Frank lending a helping hand. This Saturday at the Open House for Canine Partners for Life will be my tent's big debut. I plan to do many charity events, dog shows and art fairs this spring. Now that I have the equipment I need to build my inventory of art. This is really exciting. I hope some of you can visit me this Saturday the 9th. Anybody want to help put up a tent? Ha! Just kidding.

Happy Labor Day everyone.