The Sleepy Pup
Susie E Caron
The sight of a sleeping baby touches almost everyone’s heart. A sleeping infant, or animal brings out our tenderness and quiets us. Photos and videos of sleepy or sleeping animals and children appear so popular we encounter them frequently on social sites. Because I enjoy seeing them, I created this painting of a Sleepy Pup. I enjoy looking at this Puppy and I find it brings back some of my fondest memories.
I remember our infant son. After he’d fall asleep in my arms, warm and well satiated from feeding, I’d lay him down, press my index finger into his tiny palm and say to myself, “Remember this forever.” And I do. I also remember our baby daughter and the ringlets of dark curls, which formed around her face each time she napped. I treasured those moments I watched her sleep right before she would awaken.
Whenever I look at this Sleepy Pup portrait, I recall these memories as well as the many pets and animals we enjoyed throughout the years. Kids and pets all gave me moments of joy in their activities and soft pleasure when at last quiet sleep overtook them.
Now our kids are grown and over the years our pet population has receded. Truthfully, I’d love more kids and animals all around but at this stage in our lives that’s not a reality. I’m glad I discovered that painting pet and animal portraits gave me a way to surround myself with them and recall many of my own memories, as well as to share them with you.
Do you have some favorite memories of pets or children?
What items or keepsakes help you recall precious times?
As Vermont residents and visitors know, Lake Champlain remains one of our major attractions. Preserving its history, recreational possibilities and beauty becomes the responsibility of us all.
I recently joined with other artists in the Northern Vermont Artist Association's and the Village Frame Shoppe, host for this event, to create an art exhibit that reflects our passion and hope for ‘Preserving Lake Champlain.’
As a member of the NVAA and actively exhibiting in the Village Frame Shoppe, I wanted to contribute. To reflect my feelings about the beauty of Lake Champlain, I created two 8x10 acrylic paintings on canvas, titled “Sunset Sails” and “Early Winter”. My paintings hang in the VFS with other artists’ reflections on Preserving Lake Champlain.
If you haven’t stopped by, there’s still time to visit the Village Frame Shoppe, Main Street, St. Albans, and check out the beautiful art in this exhibit and more!
This exhibit runs from July 20, 2019 and ends August 24, 2019.
For more information about this exhibit, NVAA, the Village Frame Shoppe or my Twee’ Art LLC art check out these links.
People often ask me, "Why do you choose pets and animals as primary subjects for art?”
The quick answer is that I love painting pets and animals. I love to see them in my home and I love handing a newly finished pet portrait to its owner. However, their appeal as art subjects grew throughout my lifetime.
As a toddler I had a little dog I adored, I called Blacky. He died before I turned 5 and I guess I cried for days, so my parents didn’t want any more pets. I think I felt a bit pet starved after that. I married after college and began to gather a pet family around us. Over the past 48 years of marriage many breeds of dogs, cats, chickens, rabbits, fish, birds, turtles, goats, and horses filled our home and barn. As a result, I became familiar with their coats, colors and contours and loved them all. Of course, life patterns do change.
After retiring, and in our ‘golden years’ we discovered the difficulties of caring for so many pets. Then, as each one sadly passed away, we lived with fewer and fewer around. We decided to become a one pet family. Currently we have our bouncy Boxer rescue girl named Josie. However, I also missed the others and wished for the liveliness & ‘life’ they’d brought into our home.
Within a year of retiring, I started painting our pets on coasters, which gave me an idea. I decided to paint as many pet and animal portraits as possible; to keep me surrounded by their wonder faces and presence. Now our walls drip with their presence and I love them all over again. Some pet portraits are of our own pets. Others perhaps illustrate wishes of pets we’d love to have. Some remind me of very special pets who have passed on. Once again I feel surrounded by their life and unconditional love. I enjoyed this so much that I could not have predicted what happened next.
As I created pet paintings for myself and showed them to my friends and family, they began asking me for portraits of their pets and for those of family and friends. This became my delightful addiction as I discovered the happiness my pet portraits brought to these pet families. As a result of all these things, pets and animals remain my primary art subjects.
The sad truth about pets is that they rarely outlive us. While they live with us they bring life, joy, some craziness and unconditional love into our homes. When they pass away, we miss them. I continue to paint pets or animals for myself and others because I hope to offer happiness for those with living pets, and warm memories that will last a lifetime.
If you are interested in a pet portrait for yourself or a loved one, please think of me. I’d love to help give you the lasting memory you’ll cherish forever.
For more information click this link: https://bit.ly/2TH1csh.
To go directly to my contact me form click here: https://bit.ly/2SULKZT
Wishing you warm hugs and wet sloppy pet kisses.
Think you’re too old for this?
Susie E Caron
Do you ever think like this: “I’m too old to start something new.” I want to encourage you to change your mind and launch the next thing that’s in your heart.
Our daughter surprised us with a new thing one recent Christmas day - she played “What Child Is This” on the violin. We found this exciting because she is a beginning violinist at 38 years of age. We’d had no idea she’d begun taking lessons. She’d kept her newest adventure a secret so she could surprise us with her gift at Christmas.
Perhaps the Apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
I’m guilty of starting new careers and hobbies too at different stages of my life. The list is long and includes teaching elementary school, directing church choir, performing a solo concert singing to benefit a school for the deaf, owning and operating a riding school, sewing trendy hats and bags for craft fairs, going to grad school at 50 years of age then becoming a licensed psychologist, and recently retiring to become a full time acrylic artist.
I’m not the only person who has started over, learning and engaging in new careers or occupations. Many others in history continued to reinvent themselves, sometimes after being blessed; sometimes after tragedy, sometimes after simply responding to a quiet ‘message’, which replayed over and over in their hearts.
Why not listen? God created you with many talents. Why not immerse yourself in the next adventure and follow your dream. You’ll never know where it may lead you.
Would you like some encouragement? Share what you’ve been wanting to do in the comments below. Perhaps we can encourage each other.
Hugs and Blessings.
Quick & Elegant DIY Silhouette Art
Susie E Caron
When I was about 13 years old, my Mother made me sit still in front of a strong lamp with no shade. Next she traced my silhouette onto a paper she taped to the wall behind me. She repeated this with every family member. My Mother later transformed those tracings into DIY elegant art. I can still recall the black construction paper silhouettes of each of us, carefully mounted onto white paper with red trim all around and displayed above our breakfast table windows. I didn’t realize as a teenager that years later I’d want to teach you how to create art much like those.
You can repeat what my Mother did for your own family. All you need is a strong lamp, paper and patience. (You’ll need it when you try to get a child or teen to ‘sit still’ so you can capture their profiles.)
Alternatively, I have an ‘elegant art project for you to do’ on Freebie Friday. This project gives you or your child an opportunity to do some fun, quick, inexpensive art. The variations are endless for DIY ‘elegant art.’ You may want to hang one or more up in your own home, or give some away as gifts.
What ever you do…..have fun. Art is fun and we all deserve a little fun now and again.
Questions or comments? Let me know.
Hugs and Blessings,
Alligators & Applesauce
Susie E Caron
I love cartoons
As you may notice on my Facebookpage , I use them often. I spent days coloring cartoons while growing up. Coloring, drawing, painting and using scissors are all ways that I learned fine motor skills and contributed to my artistic talents. Coloring recently became popular even among adults as a way to relax. I like that about art too. It’s relaxing but it’s also fun.
All my life I’ve had fun with differing forms of art. I used art skills to sew, cook and decorate. I even spent a period creating and selling handmade hats and bags for women and kids. Now I’m a full time artist painting animals, pets and selected scenes. Some paintings exhibit regularly in galleries. Some go to homes of beloved pets.
I love to teach.
You may have guessed this week’s Facbook Twee' page theme is built on the letter “A”. Tomorrow I’ll post a challenge for you regarding that, but right now I encourage you to prepare for Friday’s Freebie.
As I said I love to teach and coloring, using markers, crayons or paint is a good way to begin. Friday’s Freebie is a fun and easy project for you and or your child.
What you will need
You will need crayons, markers or paint and paper plus a computer and printer if you want to make copies. (Go ahead and make as many as you want.)
Alternately, if you have a painting app on your computer or tablet you can use that to complete this art project. ( I use photo editor on my iPad.)
Then I'd love you to share. After you finish, take a photo and share with us on my Twee’ page in next week’s, Truly Yours Tuesday thread.
I can’t wait to see your creations.
Any comments or questions? Please post below. Thank you.
Hugs and Blessings
I enjoyed a welcomed surprise, or two this past week.I received a 2nd place (red) ribbon for my acrylic painting Belgian Team Ready at the 2018 Champlain Valley Fair Art Pavilion, in the category "At The Fair". This felt good, as you can imagine. Then, as I walked around looking at the wonderful art all around me, I discovered another ribbon. This one was purple and titled "Staff's Choice Award". It dangled from my painting titled G"Night Horse. This painting depicted a girl and her horse, forehead to forehead in silhouette against a sunset sky. On the reverse of this ribbon the staff person/judge had penned this note:
"You've captured the love between the two perfectly, and the sky is phenomenal."
I treasured this little note more than the two ribbons combined. It meant a lot to me to understand what another person actually saw or felt when she looked at my painting. Of course I'm not unhappy about getting the two ribbons. Its just that the note added something more - the human to human connection we all crave.
Think about it. When you go to a meeting, picnic, or party, what's the first thing you do, especially if you arrive by yourself? You look for somebody to connect with. That's what I appreciated most. That human to human connection, even if only in a note.
After I returned home from picking up my unsold artwork, I discovered a message from a friend. She contacted me to inquire about this painting. She said she wanted to buy it and she told me why: "It brought tears to my eyes by bringing together the three things I loved the most - sunrise/sunset, children and horses." This pleased me and we worked out the details together.
I love this painting because it does illustrate the warmth of a good relationship. It touched at least two people who then enriched my life by connecting with me. Relationship, making contact person to person really matters. This can be forehead to forehead, in a tiny note, on text, by phone, or in person. Taking the time to reach out even for a brief moment can make a difference in our lives. Days later, I still feel good.
PS How do you like to reach out? Share your ideas in a comment here.
I often laugh and say to myself "I paint funny", when I start a new painting, like the kitten portrait below.
I had an idea for a mostly white kitten from a photo I'd selected. She also lay on a pale carpet
So what did I do?
I looked for any hint of color in the otherwise white presentation. It's funny that I paint those colors very dark at first, only to lighten them up after.
I do this, to the best I can figure out, for 2 reasons.
First I learned to paint in oils. That process involved starting with dark colors and layering on lighter and lighter colors to develop the subject. So I just continue to paint that way using acrylics.
Second I discovered I paint more freely this way and don't get bogged down with the details.
Below you can see 3 steps in my process.
For this kitten portrait, to begin I sketch-painted the subject, and indicated the background and foreground.
During the 2nd step, I applied darker values of the color in the subject and surroundings. In the 3rd step I add white or light colors to brighten the light areas. I also add dark colors to enhance those areas that need to appear darker. This brings the subject 'to life'.
Each step may take a couple of hours or may be spread over a few days.
I painted this one over a few days. However, I like to let a painting 'sit' on my art room wall for a while to see how I feel about it. Sometimes I work on it later if I find it needs some finishing touches.
Finally, when I am satisfied, I sign the painting.
What do you think of this portrait? Would you paint her differently or use a different process?
Tell me in the comments below. It's fun to swap ideas.
Hugs and Blessings
This title: My First "Splash" actually means two things: Splash is the name of an acrylic painting and the first painting I've offered for sale in the beautiful Bryan Memorial Gallery, Jeffersonville, VT. (11/9/17-12/23/17). This is my debut!
Up to this date, my acrylic paintings have been gifts for my home, family members and friends. I also painted pets on commission, sold some of my prints, and taught in a recent paint and sip. Frankly, I hadn't created my art with a thought to sell them. I enjoy the process. I also got much delight from seeing the faces of those I gifted with a painting of a favorite scene or pet.
However, I began missing the paintings I'd given away. So off I went to St. Albans to the Village Frame Shoppe & Gallery http://vtframeshop.com/ . where I could get my paintings photographed and prints made. That solved my problem because I planned to keep at least one print of each, for myself.
Dan and Christianna at the Village Frame Shoppe, were so encouraging that pretty soon I found myself asking about artists groups I could join. Dan mentioned the Bryan Memorial Gallery, Jeffersonville VT, among others. I applied and after receiving my membership I asked to become part of the GEMS show coming in November. When I delivered my first ever for sale painting, I was received warmly. The gallery is beautiful, with its high white walls and big windows above. It seemed to be everything I wanted to represent my fine art along with the works of other fine artists.
So, if you are near Jeffersonville, Vermont, and want to see some beautiful paintings of all sizes, I know you will be welcomed at the Bryan Memorial Gallery. If you visit the GEMS show, 11-9-17 through 12-23-17 make sure you see my acrylic painting "Splash". That is unless it's already sold!
If you are interested in any of my paintings for sale, or the matted print of my paintings, feel free to email me: email@example.com You can find all my paintings under the ART tab above.
Thanks for reading. Leave your comments or question below. I love to hear from you.
My Frozen Waterfall Painting
I Love birthdays. My grown up kids all had birthdays recently and I gave each one an original 12 x 16 inch acrylic painting on canvas. In this one I learned a new 'how to' and something about myself.
Last December my son and his wife came upon a frozen waterfall while snowshoeing. They loved the scene and took a photo of it to show me. I believe they experienced it as much more breathtaking than the photo illustrates. However, I could tell they loved their spot and I love them, so I decided to see what I could do for them in a painting. Here is their photo.
In preparing to paint, I covered the 12 x 16 inch canvas with black Gesso. This ensured the waterfall had a good dark back drop. Then I used a scrunched up paper towel to paint the sun, sky and land mass. I indicated the trees with the back of my fingernails, by dragging them upward. Later I added more detail.
I was surprised to find the waterfall presented a dilemma. As you can see in the photo the waterfall looks uneven at the top. When I attempted to paint it this way, it didn't 'make sense'. (God has much more liberty for creation than I do). As I worked, I discovered that I prefer my paintings to 'make sense', at least, to me. So I reconfigured the waterfall to appear more level at the top. Below is the result. What do you think?
If you are wondering why the water and ice are not just white, it's partly because water and ice take on the colors of their surroundings. It's also just fun to take artistic license and put blues, pinks, greens and even yellow in the ice and water.
I titled this one "Winter Icing" for a few reasons. The kids appeared visibly excited to share a photo of what they'd discovered on their snow shoeing adventure with me. I felt happy to create this painting to capture their moment in time, the feelings they'd expressed, and my love for them too. So, I hoped my painting would be like 'the icing on the cake.' It seemed right for all of us.
Tell me what you think about this in the comments below. Do you paint? What are you discovering?
Twee' Means You & Me
Susie Caron, acrylic artist, creates realistic paintings of pets, animals, and selected scenes. Her love of and experience with many pets and farm animals throughout her life, enables her to capture the unique feeling and expression of each subject. In her commission pet and livestock portraits, Susie also works with each customer to discover and then reveal the personality and special bond between pet and human.
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