Monday, December 01, 2008

Beginnings and Endings and Pet Portraits On Hold

Lori Levin's Studio
Lori Levin's Studio
Lori Levin's Studio I hope all my readers in the U.S. had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We enjoyed an 18lb turkey with a total of 14 loved ones at the table and everything was beyond yummy and joyful. However I'm sure you've noticed that in the time I've been on Blogger I've not gone this long without a post. Usually I can write and work through anything but this time I was at a loss.

Often my clients come to me after their beloved furry companion has passed away for their pet portrait. As we go over photos, they usually cry a little and we share pet stories. The process is very cathartic for most and they leave happy to have shared. It has occurred to me that perhaps my bigger talent is not the art but my ability to empathize with my clients. Sometimes people just need to be heard to feel a little better. I am always happy to be there and listen.

This time I'm the one crying over the loss of a pet. Sadly, despite all efforts otherwise, I had to have Miss Gracie put to sleep a few weeks ago. It was agonizing to make that decision but it had to be made nonetheless. I learned that sometimes the right choice doesn't always feel good. There isn't a day that goes by that I wish it didn't have to be that way. She was such a good dog in so many ways. She was my canine companion and the studio mascot. Nothing seems the same without her and I miss her brindle butt so much. This is the first time in my adult life that I am without a pet. It feels unnatural and cold.

My only hope is that this makes me a better pet portrait artist. I've worked on Buster's portrait a little and I do see an improvement in my vision and decision making. However, my work has stopped temporarily because looking into another dog's eyes and trying to render "his soul" is far too excruciating at the moment. My work usually brings me pleasure but right now it only makes me cry. Writing this is difficult and probably reading it is no joy either. So, for the moment I'm taking a break. I will have Buster's dog portrait finished by the end of the week most likely and will post it then. Other than that I am focusing on beginnings instead of endings to help me gather myself.

Above are photos of the beginnings of my new studio in Pilesgrove. The little garage is being converted into my work place. Originally it had a regular garage door until Joel installed the new French doors. The wood will be painted white with trim added when it becomes warmer. Also, a porch will be added onto the front so that I can enjoy the lovely view even more. The second photo is the view that I speak of. It is where the sun sets and the sky is just gorgeous there in the evenings. Joel and his good friend Dave are seen in the third photo installing one of my three windows. It was so good of Dave to sacrifice his Saturday for my benefit. I was truly touched. Those windows will allow the precious Northern light to illuminate my work. Outside those windows the bushes have been trimmed down and bird feeders and a bird bath will be put in because we have an amazing array of different birds that come to visit. Don't be surprised it you see me starting to paint cardinals and warblers since they are always in view. The new studio should be finished by spring and I cannot wait. It will be celebrated with an open house event and lots of work for sale. Stay tuned for more photos of the progress.

Speaking of events, make sure you check out the Open House at Alex Alampi's studio this Sat. and Sun. December 6th and 7th. Alex and Dot create a real holiday feel with their lovely home and the goodies on the table. Alex's art is amazing and it is very informative to see where he works. This is a great opportunity to invest in his watercolors as he is offering work at 10% off for this event. His paintings are highly collected with many repeat buyers making it a good bet that owning an "Alampi" is a worthy investment.

Finally, thank you to my family and friends who have been there for me during this difficult time. I couldn't have made it through without you. The healing has begun I do believe and I look forward to being productive again very soon. Please stop back shortly to see the finish of Buster's pet portrait. Thank you all for your understanding.


Anonymous said...

I have been thinking of you, Lori. Please call me if you want to talk.


Toni R. said...

Lori, I knew something was up when I didn't see a post for so long, and it breaks my heart to hear why. Gracie was awesome and I know all the fond memories you have of her will help get you through this. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

PhotoJoe said...

Sorry to hear that, Lori. But can't wait to see the new studio! Good luck!

KleoPatra said...

i'm so sorry, Lori...
*HUGS* and love to you...
Gracie had a wonderful friend in you. Bless her... and you!

Love and light,

Jennifer said...

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. I had to put my dog to sleep several years ago and it is a heart wrenching decision. But you did the right thing and hopefully you take comfort in that. You'll always have the memories.
Hugs and best wishes,