Friday, December 28, 2007

A wonderful printmakers blog.

Every once in a while, I come across a blog I find interesting, informative and full of beautiful work. I've always been fascinated with printmaking, and screen printing, but not done much of it myself.

It's something I'm going to explore someday! When I finish about 10 million other projects....not to say that I won't get to it, I bought supplies, and I did some work to create a little print. I had a great time doing it. I will get around to it!

I hope you enjoy seeing Amies work .

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Waitin' for Aunt Martha's fruit cake.....

I was playing this morning, while thinking about Christmas.

I drew this pig, looking at the mailbox, and I kept getting the giggles, wondering what he wanted out of Christmas. It finally came to me, 9 times out of 10, he'd get the fruitcake!

You can't help but smile when you look at this painting!

8X10" prints, with double mat and foam core backing-frames out to 11X14". $35 includes shipping, mats and foam core.

Hope you enjoyed this pig! There's more animal art on my website, a lot of it horse art!
Hope your holidays are happy.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Complementary Cow

Named because she's orange and blue, which are complementary colors. This is a simple line drawing in blue, on gessoed mat board. I then filled in the shadow areas with French Ultramarine Blue, and used cad orange over the entire cow. I picked out a few details on the eye and nose. I love cows noses.

She's varnished for protection, so she's very durable. The matte varnish gives the painting such a soft, glowing effect. She's aprox 8X10 in size.

I suppose it's because I've been painting cattle lately but I had the strangest dream last night. I was trapped in an extremely steep concrete stairway with a herd of holstein cows. Like most milk cows, they're so used to people, they get right up close to you.

In the middle of this staircase, was a hand rail, and there were hand rails on the side. It was so steep, I had to use the hand rail to pull myself up as I went along. The rail was covered with cow manure, the stairs were slick from the cattle being there. I was trying to get us all out.

As I climbed the stairs, cows would follow me with their noses at my back. Once in a while, a cow that made it to the top, would slide back down and come shooting by. It was a very weird dream! In my dream, they got dirty and wet, but they didn't get hurt.

I finally made it to the top, and opened a door. On the other side of the door, was a huge pit, it was only about 2 feet across it, but I was afraid if the cows jumped the pit, they might fall in and break legs. At the top of the stairs, two cows had calved and the calves were huddled on stairs, about to fall off. I knew I had to get them all out so I opened the door, jumped and held the door open for the cows.

The farmer who owned the cows was on the other side, when we all came out from the stairway, he looked so surprised, and he said, "So that's where they were !"

I told you this was a weird dream. I think it was prompted in part by Daisy, our donkey. She follows us so close when we're outside, if we stop, she bumps into us. I love to go walking along and stop about every 10 steps. She thumps into my back every time. It always makes me laugh that she doesn't pay better attention. So climbing that staircase, and feeling the cows noses at my back, had to come from the way Daisy follows me.

Years ago, I milked cows for a guy who had 300 cows milking. It took me all night to milk them, then the day guy came on board and the milking of the herd started over again. One night when I went to work, a cow was missing. I told my boss about it and asked if she was in a sick pen . He said he didn't think any cows were missing and if there were, how could I tell?

I was off work for two days, and came back to milk again. The cow was still missing. So I told him again, you're missing a cow. He told me again, he didn't think he was, and he doubted if I would know. So I didn't say anymore about the missing cow.

A month later, I came to work and my boss met me at the barn door. He said, "Do you remember that cow you told me was missing?" I said, "yes,", he said, "Well, I found her, she got locked in an old shed, the wind must have blown the door shut on her and the latch came down. She's dead."

So I think my dream came partly from that memory also, of knowing the lost cow was locked in a shed and couldn't get out. It was 30 years ago when that happened and I still think of her.

This painting sold.

Friday, December 21, 2007

An update....

I updated this painting. I gave it some medium tones on the horse, a better face to the jockey, changed the score board.....I like it better now. This is 12X16, acrylic.

Just a note, I was painting away one day in the studio, not paying attention where my paint was going, and spatters flew all over this painting, ruining it completely! That's the life of an artist! ;)

Old 34, red angus cow.

"Old 34". The cow everyone's wary of! Watch out if you're tagging her calf, watch out when she's in the corral...there's at least one on every ranch. They're a little high headed, they're always watching to know where you are, they run when you enter the pasture.

But we keep them, because they raise the biggest calf in the herd.

I loved painting this cow. She's done in watercolor on a gessoed mat board. She's aprox 8X10 inches in size and I'm asking $350 for her (the original) professionally framed. It was invited to the Grand National Celebration of Western Art, at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. I shipped it there last week!

I thank you for stopping by. I 'd like to hear your comments or questions, it's real easy to leave me a comment....just click the comments link below.

Stop by my website for horse art and Montana scenery.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


The Mystery of Practice

The following article, somewhat revised, is from one of my first newsletters back in 1999. It is still one of my favorites. Enjoy.

For my 40th birthday (yikes! That was 14 years ago.), I gave myself voice lessons. It was a rude awakening. I had always loved to sing, and now I discovered that I couldn't open my mouth properly, articulate vowels correctly, or make my tongue lie at the bottom of my mouth. I wanted to quit.

Fortunately I didn't, and that is how I realized the mystery of practice. I had always thought that practice meant repeating something correctly. (I used to believe that I was not competitive, but then I realize that it's just that I avoid things I can't do well.)

It is humbling to encounter one's limitations on a daily basis. Fortunately, it is not fatal. Bit by but I became more present when practicing, if only because there was no benefit in looking at my past performance (mediocre) or anticipating future progress (entirely theoretical). With no alternative, I practiced for the sake of practicing.

Eventually, my vowels emerged with some clarity and -- wonder of wonders -- my tongue began to obey. But best of all, I had learned to practice without knowing if I could succeed. In fact, I learned that letting go of the results was the secret to improvement.

What can you practice today that you are not already a master of?

This article originally appeared in the Authentic Promotion e-zine and is reprinted with permission from the author. Molly Gordon is president of Shaboom Inc., a coaching and training company that delivers hope, help, and hilarity to Accidental Entrepreneurs so that they can build a business that fits just-right. For more information, visit Copyright 2007, Shaboom Inc. All rights reserved.

See more posts here on Molly's site.

In light of the fact I've been practising the 2 hour paintings, this article seemed extremely appropriate!

"NOW" Thoroughbred race horse and jockey.

I call this painting "NOW". In the actual photo, on the score board, the word now was written. What I liked about seeing it there, is how it helps you see, this horse and this jockey in this given point in time. The race is done. Win or lose, it's over. All that matters is the effort you made and the way you feel at this instant...right "NOW"....

The fact this painting was done in two hours adds to the moment, you can tell from the fast brushstrokes, it was a now moment for the artist also.

This is a little more work on it. This was the point at which the two hours was up. After this, I put in another 15 minutes to finish it off. So I can't say I was done in two hours, but I was close! I wanted this horse to have a mane, so you could tell he was still moving swiftly and I fixed a few little things on the jockey. Gave him eyes, thinned down the fat part of his arm, and kind of fixed his leg.

I switched to acyrlic paints here. This painting was done as part of the two hour challenge in an art group I belong to. It's so interesting to know you can create most of a painting in two hours. I think if I keep practising, I'll become more adept at this. I also think, I'll get some better colors going as I continue.
This photo was the beginning of this painting. I laid in some shapes and colors with watercolor. This painting is on a stretched 16X20 canvas. You can see where I stood the painting up to take it's picture, before the last strokes of paint were dry, it ran down the shoulder of the horse!

As always, there's more horse art on my website...Thanks for stopping by and I hope you're enjoying your Christmas season. I like remembering this is Jesus birthday.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Black Arabian study.

I don't know what to say about this one. I think I need more practice!
You can see more horse art on my website.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Dressage horse, 2 hour challenge.

Here, you see the beginning of the painting. This is the first 10 minutes or so. I'm painting with watercolor on a stretched canvas. They look pretty funny at first! I'm using a big brush and putting in some main shapes. This is a fairly large painting, 16X20".

Now, I'm drawing in some lines and defining the image a little better. This is about 25 minutes into the painting.

This was about 45 minutes into the painting. The horse's head was to small, so I added onto it.

Here's the finished painting. I used acrylic on the background, and the painting will be varnished to finish it and protect the surface. You'll be able to find it for sale on ebay.
Thanks for stopping by! I hope your holiday season is happy and your New Year Happy!
There's more horse art and equine art on my website.

Hunter/jumper, sport horse art.

Still working on painting horses with riders. This rider looks to small for the horse! But who knows how they'll turn out when you're doing these two hour challenges. You dive in and paint , hoping for the best. :) And have fun while you're doing it. If you're lucky, you learn something along the way and your next painting is better.
You can see more horse art, equine art and Montana Photos on my other websites.
Thanks so much for stopping by!
If you wish to purchase art from this blog, email me at

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hands Off, Porcupine t-shirt for sale.

When you wake up feeling grumpy, and you want the world to know it, wear this t-shirt! It says "Hands Off!" This little porcupine will get your message out.

Clicking the link will take you to the zazzle store where you can purchase the shirt and more of my gift items.

There's also horse art, equine art, and Montana photos on my other sites.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Civil War Soldiers, 2 hour challenge, 3 and 4.

Here they are at 2 hours. I had to quit and post the painting at this stage.

I'm calling them finished now, but I suppose tomorrow, when I look at them again, I'll work on them some more! It's really hard to stop.

I had major fun working on this project, I had no idea, I could get these looking as much like real people as they do. So from that standpoint, I feel this was a success, even though I put an extra half hour into this painting.

You can see more horse art, equine art, and Montana nature photos on my other websites.

Civil War Soldiers, 2 hour challenge, 2

Here are my soldiers after another half hours work. I rarely paint people, as I'm no good at it, and I rarely paint anything with so much detail on it! This is a real departure for me.

You can see more horse art, equine art and Montana nature photos on my other websites. Thank you for stopping by.

Civil War Soldiers, 2 hour challenge

This is my first lay in of shapes and colors working from a photo supplied by a member of an art organization I belong to. The idea is, to create a painting in two hours. If the painting isn't finished in the alloted time, you must stop painting and post what you've done to the group. You can later finish the painting if you wish.

There's more equine art, horse art, and Montana photos on my other websites.

Thanks for stopping by. The follow ups of the two hour challenge will be posted soon.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Montana Christmas Present for you.

I've posted some Montana photos from our last two photo shoots. Hope you enjoy them, and have a Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Paint horse photo, Christmas gift item!

I took photos of this beautiful paint horse this week on a photo shoot near Belt, Mt. He's the perfect Christmas gift for someone who loves horses.

Photo is 8X10 inch, on archival paper, using archival inks. Purchase with your credit card by clicking the paypal button below. Shipping is free on this item. You can see more equine art on my website.

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful holiday season. Donna

Saturday, November 17, 2007

How to begin your painting.

This is the easiest, fastest way to begin painting. Place your primed or gessoed support flat on a table. Dip a large round oil painting brush in your turpentine or odorless thinner. Dip your brush into any color of paint on your palette. I like to use colors that will be complimentary to major colors in the painting. This gives the painting a glow you don't achive otherwise. Smear the paint and turpentine around the canvas. Your goal is to cover the support with some color. You want this color to be loose and what a painter will call "washy". The color doesn't need to be dark.

Beginning your painting, by DAW

While I'm finding my image on the board, I'm constantly thinking. How far away from the edge should this line be? How does this shape curve? Where does it meet the next shape? Is this line half way across the painting horizontally? Where does it cross this vertical line? You can see in the image above, you might call this a complicated painting. It really isn't. While you're drawing, never think about horses. Don't say to yourself, is this horse's neck long enough? Is his head big enough? Gosh, I don't know how to draw horses. I can never get the eyes right. Toss all of those thoughts out of your head and think about your lines and shapes and where they need to be on the painting. You'll be surprised at how easily your drawing will appear.

Coming along with your painting.

This method of drawing the image right onto the support will save so much time and energy for you. You don't have to bother with drawing an image on paper or transferring it to canvas. It's there on the painting as you go along. When you make a mistake on your drawing, dip your brush in some more paint and turpentine, and smear paint over the area you wish to correct. Dip your brush back into the turpentine and begin to find your image again. Keep the drawing light in color and you can paint over it and redraw it over and over until it looks right. When you grow used to this method, you'll find it easier and easier to create each painting.

I read many books on how to draw before I found one that made perfect sense to me. I didn't like methods where I learned to draw circles, put the circles together and try to make them form the shape of a horse. I didn't like other methods I found. Nothing seemed to work for me. Then I took a drawing class put on by an artist friend of mine. She used the Betty Edwards book "Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain". It was like a light came on in my head! After I studied this method of learning to see, I could draw anything!

Save on Art Supplies at

I hope this lesson was helpful to you. You can see some of my horse art on my website. I've also posted pages of Christmas gifts there. You'll find gifts you can't get any where else for a horse loving person.

The Support Beneath your Painting

The support is what you actually paint upon. Some artists use prepared canvases. You can purchase them in online stores, craft stores in your town, and from art supply catalogs. If you want longevity in your work, use the good, stretched canvases. They come on wooden stretcher bars. For practise, the canvas boards are fine. Gallery wrapped canvases are wonderful as they don't require framing! As soon as your painting is finished, it's ready to hang on the wall.

Other artists prefer to use mdf board or masonite boards. Unless you're planning on doing very large paintings, 1/4 inch board will work for you. Lumber yards will cut 4X8 sheets of this board into sizes you require. They usually charge a small fee for this. You can also cut your own boards if you have the tools.

If you want to get extremely creative and find your board at the best possible price, (which is free) find a friend who has a cabinet shop, a contractor, or woodworker who throws the scraps away. They'll be happy to have you pick the scraps up so they don't have to haul them off. You'll also find this material in dumpsters where general contractors have thrown excess materials away. Choose only the good fresh boards that are clean.

Once you've aquired your board and cut it to size, it needs to be gessoed. Gesso is a special kind of paint that covers boards, sticking to them and giving you a safe surface to apply your paints. I use several coats of gesso on my boards. (4-6 coats) I paint both sides so the boards don't warp. Some artists like to sand between the coats of gesso to get a smooth surface. (Let it dry thoroughly between coats.) I like the texture of my lines and lumps to show through, so I tend to slap the gesso on with abandon. Many artists use house paint or primer for this application. There are pros and cons to this line of thought. You might want to do more research on this method and decide for yourself which way to go. I've done it both ways and it hasn't seemed to make much difference. Gesso can be found in art catalogs or art and craft supply stores.

You can also gesso mat board and other surfaces before you paint on them. Don't be afraid to try new things. If you watch House and Garden television, you'll see how any surface can be painted! A word of caution. To create fine art, use only the best methods, materials and preparations. For other painting, you can get as creative as you wish.

When I purchase supports, I like to use the Fredrix Stretched Linen Canvas I find on Mr This canvas is so smooth and rich! When you see it, you can't wait to start your next painting. I've bought supplies from Mr Art for less money than I'd pay buying them in a local craft store and I saved the gas it takes to make a trip to town.

Save on Art Supplies at

You can see horse art on my website and purchase Christmas gifts on the special pages I set up for the holidays. Thanks for stopping by....

Creating Equine Art

The first things you need to know about becoming an equine artist are some basic rules about image use. As an artist you must learn to work using live subjects to capture your scenes, or using a camera to take your own photos. Your unique way of seeing the world of the horse shines through when you use reference materials you've gathered yourself. Another way to create an image, is to call upon your imagination. Let it flow and see what appears on the canvas or paper.

Artist's also find images, by purchasing the rights to photos or pictures that belong to someone else. It's perfectly acceptable and legal to use images if you purchase rights. You may also ask permission when you find a photo you like, some people will allow you to use their photos for free. Becoming a member of certain organizations and contributing to their member reference libraries gives you the right to use other members reference photos. Two such art related organizations are the Equine Art Guild and Wet Canvas.

There are other sites on the web, where you can receive help in your quest for learning to paint, these two above, happen to be the two I belong to at this time. At both organizations, you'll have help with any problem that arises. Artists there are happy to assist you with information about supplies, mediums, techniques and encouragement. There's a fee to join the Equine Art Guild, Wet Canvas is free at this time. Both organizations accept you at the skill level with which you paint at this time. You don't have to be famous or skilled to join.

If you choose to paint human subjects with famous horses, be sure to obtain a model release. Images of some people and horses are legally protected against use. It's wise to ask permission before you begin to paint these subjects.

Copyright law might seem complicated. It becomes very simple if you remember this basic rule. Don't copy another person's work. Use your own reference materials! You'll hear from some sources it's permissible to copy a work if you "change it 10%". Don't do it. It isn't legal. Use your own materials! I can't stress this enough. Think of it this way, would you want someone else copying your work? You won't be considered a serious artist, if you don't gather your own sources for your work.

You don't have to own a horse to become a great equine artist. Perhaps you work with horses and have endless ideas coming your way for your art. Many artists I know go to the track, parades, rodeos or other equine events to gather material for creating their paintings. Perhaps you have a friend or neighbor who's willing to allow you to photograph their horses. I like to drive around the countryside taking photos of horses I find along the way. I'm careful not to disturb the horses or try to get close to them, I take the photos from a distance. This method gives me natural looking poses of horses in their environment.

Many factors enter into becoming an equine artist. First and foremost, is the image you create and how you come upon it. In following articles, I'll post lessons, with examples, on how to draw and paint horses.

Thanks for stopping by, I hope you enjoyed this article on learning to be an equine artist. You'll find horse art and gifts on my website. I've put up some special pages for Christmas gift giving.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Another quick draw.

This project was a 40 minute drawing. Such a cute baby. I didn't use anything special, just copy paper and a normal pencil.

Remember there's great Christmas gifts on my website, horse art and more. Sign up to have this blog delivered into your email box while you're here!

Thank you for stopping by and please recommend this blog to your friends who love horses.

I'd love to hear from you, feel free to leave a comment.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Quick draw

One of the online groups I belong to is having a weekly drawing event where we choose a photo from one of 12 posted by a different member each week. You can choose your medium. Then you have to limit yourself to two hours and quit, then post the image as it is.

We've been doing so many shows lately, we haven't been home much. And tonight it was late when we got here...but I decided to spend some time at this as it's so relaxing to sit and draw a subject you love. I chose this horse as I liked the look in his eye.

I didn't have two hours to work on this as headed for bed instead. :) But I did spend an hour drawing and although it might need some corrections, considering we've been spending 10 hour days at a show this last week, I'm happy with it.

Stop by my website for some horse art Christmas gifts, I've set up two pages of quick and easy shopping!

Thank you for stopping by!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Yard Bunny and other things.

This little cottontail sits in our yard eating grass all the time. I tell Robert we have more than one long ear, with Pedro the donkey and this rabbit and it's family!

I'm still working on this painting, I have a few places to fix then he'll look like he does when he sits in the sunshine near my feet. I'm painting him in this position, because this is how he looks, to me, when he's sitting there.

We're set up at a show in the West Gate mall in Great Falls at this time, and I painted this while sitting in our gallery at the mall. I belong to the Studio 706 Art Guild and all of our members who have work to display, have filled a 2400 foot space with wonderful art. If you live in Great Falls, Mt. be sure to come out Friday and Saturday, the 26th and 27th of October, 2007 to see the exhibit and buy some paintings for your home.

There was a guy who walked around looking at the art for a long time. When he came by me, I said, "Say! Your wife just called, she said for you to bring two of my paintings home for her to hang on the walls..." He laughed so hard. But he didn't buy any paintings. Come to find out, he's an artist and he was interested in joining our guild, but at least I broke the ice and got him to talking.

We did sell several paintings this last week so we were happy about that. Our guild provides a scholarship for a Cascade County senoir each year and the money we raise from our sales goes toward that scholarship.

Some other news, I did sell the Jetty kitty painting and the Havre, Kitty Keepers shelter recieved their share of it.

This little rabbit will be for sale for $350, professionally framed. He's 8X10 and done in watercolor, he'll be varnished with a soft matte varnish to give him wonderfully soft, glowing, protective cover. But he isn't finished yet, so I'd better get back to work.

As always, thanks so much for stopping by. Sign up now to have this blog delivered to your inbox. There's a text box to your right for your convenience....

There's more horse art on my website.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Cooper's Story

(This story is what happened to the dog of one of my friends. I'm passing it along in memory of Cooper, and hoping something can be done so this doesn't happen to any more pets.) Here is Cooper's Story, as told by his owner, Marti Adrian....

I’m writing this to all pet owners so that they might be aware of what could kind of horror story could happen to them and to their pets. If I can raise awareness of what is still going on out there under the guise of legal actions, then perhaps we can do something as a group to change things for our beloved companions.

On September 12th, 2007, it had been raining all day and Cooper, a registered, tattooed male Airedale, was restless. At least 5 or 6 times that day he came and begged with his big, brown, expressive eyes, for me to let him out and to play with him. At five p.m., it finally quit raining, and the sun came out. It was beautiful outside now, and I let him out by himself since I was just starting supper. I didn’t worry too much about his safety since the farm where we live is isolated, a long way from the road, and at least 12 miles from town. We never hear any vehicle traffic unless it is on the yard, and our nearest neighbor is three miles away. The perfect spot to raise animals, we thought, and Cooper never left the property. Cooper was an unusual Airedale. He was everyone’s friend. He shared food with horses that normally would have killed any dog they saw; he romped with calves while tolerant cows kept a close eye; he would run into the bull pen and tug on the bull’s tails until they got up, asking them to come and play. Even the pheasants (which he supposedly had been bred to hunt) were targets of his game; he would catch them, carry them gently in his mouth, and then let them go, (not their idea of fun, I’m sure). He was such a gentle creature and greeted everyone and everything that came on the yard with equal enthusiasm.

I suppose all of this was the reason I never thought anyone would hurt him. But he didn’t come back to the house that day. My husband came home at 5:45 p.m., and Cooper wasn’t there to greet him like usual, even though I has seen him out the window just 10 minutes before. We went out to try to find him, calling and walking the property until it was too dark to see. That is when I knew something was wrong, because Cooper always came to the house when darkness fell. He was only just over a year old and still nervous out there by himself.

At 4:30 the next morning, my husband got in our truck and drove all around the countryside looking for him. He found tracks – tire tracks leading down to the back part of the pasture. They showed where a vehicle had stopped, then turned around and headed back to the highway, and back to town. Cooper’s tracks, clearly visible in the mud left by the rain, were also plainly there to read. He had made his usual round of the pasture, but then the tracks disappeared.

Over the next sleepless night, and through the next day we drove around and searched everywhere – with no sign or hint as to what might have happened, although we were 99% positive someone had picked him up. I made up posters and hung them everywhere I could think of, including neighboring towns, offering a reward, and told everyone we came in contact with in the hopes that someone would spot him, or know who took him. We really didn’t think he would still be in the area because there had been a rash of dog thefts in the area and we suspected that someone would take him far away. We heard nothing until two weeks later, when we finally received a phone call from a man in town who had seen our dog.

Cooper had been wandering alone in the town of Raymond, Alberta, nervous and afraid. Obviously, he had gotten away from the thieves or been dropped off. We will never know the real reason for that.

John and his wife were going for a walk around 8:30 p.m. that Wednesday, and found him. They tried to entice him to come into their home, but Cooper was unsure, came in as far as the porch, and wanting to go home, turned and ran out again. When John opened the back of his truck, however, Cooper jumped right in, probably thinking he was going to go home. John didn’t know what to do with him, so he did the one thing that most people would do in this situation – he called the town’s bylaw officer and dogcatcher. The dog was picked up and taken to the place where dogs are held, so we were told – an old abandoned building on the outskirts of town. But from there the story becomes something out of a nightmare – for me anyway.

John had told the bylaw officer that he wanted to be notified if the dog was not claimed, as he would gladly keep him rather than see him put down. He was so friendly and was obviously a valuable, purebred dog and had been well taken care of. His coat was healthy, and well groomed; his eyes clear and teeth good. Anyone could recognize that this wasn’t just a mongrel, abandoned and alone, but a well-loved pet of some quality.

One week later, John received a call. It was the dogcatcher saying that the dog he had picked up had not been claimed, and if John could pay him a fee of over $300 (the actual price varies according to whom you talk to), he could come and get the dog. Sadly, John couldn’t pay that high a fine, and told the officer this. So on the 19th of September, one week after his disappearance from his home, Cooper was put to death. Rather than bringing him to someone who would gladly have taken the dog into his home, the officer chose instead to put him down. Had the town used a vet to put dogs to sleep, Cooper would be here at home with me now, because I had alerted many of the vets in the area to the fact that the dog had been stolen, and to watch for his tattoo number. The fees this dog catcher was asking were exorbitant, and killing the dog did not gain anything financially – so why? Why was he killed in cold blood? The town of Raymond will not answer these questions for us, and they won’t admit to how Cooper died – if he died. In fact, they did not respond at all to our letters that expressed our concern about how this case was handled. The town administrator would do nothing, even though his bylaw officer abused his authority in the fees he tried to charge, and neglected to properly inspect the dog for a tattoo. The Animal Rights and Protection Act states that if an animal even looks like a purebred, the officer must wait 10 days before putting the animal down, but they waited only seven.

We are fairly new to this area, and to Alberta. Not knowing where to look, or who to contact, I had called the Lethbridge Humane Society in my search for Cooper. They advised me to call the county bylaw officer – which led me to assume that he acted for the entire area, including the town. One should never assume anything, and so it is partially my own fault that Cooper was not identified while the town of Raymond had him in custody.

Raymond does not make its dog pound facility easily accessible or recognizable – or easily found. Had we been aware of the existence of the dog pound, this whole thing would have avoided. As it is, my husband and I drove by the place in our search a few times while my dog was still alive, with no way of knowing that this was an animal-holding facility, and that Cooper was inside. It certainly does not look like a dog pound. There are no signs, nothing to identify it. The building is boarded up, and sits on the site of the sewage disposal facility on a back road far from the main traffic area. A brand new sewage pump station sits on the site, and beside it the ramshackle old building that serves as their animal holding facility. There are no runs for animals, and no ventilation in the building. We are completely horrified to think that our happy, well-cared-for pet was kept prisoner in such inhumane conditions for seven days. The very fact that Raymond even has a dogcatcher and a dog pound is not made clear to anyone who is not a long term resident of the town, never mind to newcomers who live far from town. No one, of all the people I talked to about this, mentioned this fact.

No notices went out to try to find his rightful owners and advise the public of the fact that a dog was being held. The tattoo (plainly visible on the inside of his left flank to anyone who was really looking) was not checked with the Canadian Kennel Club to trace the people who loved him. In other places we have lived, the dog would be kept for 10 – 30 days (10 days here according to the Alberta SPCA) and be kept in a public facility, or, where the funds were not available to keep a facility, kept in private volunteer facilities, and notices put into the local paper – or some other method used to alert people to the presence of an unclaimed pet. No proper inspection took place to find a tattoo on an obviously well bred dog. Why? Instead all we are left with is a lot of questions: Did Cooper suffer before he died? Did he die instantly? There were no witnesses, so I don’t know. Was he sold to the highest bidder? Is this humane? The brutality of the way this was handled is beyond my comprehension.

Cooper was a family member who helped me through a fight with cancer this summer. He was such a comfort through the long days that I was bedridden because of the fatigue and illness after a chemo session, cheering me up with the antics that Airedales are well known for. My children called him an ‘animal whisperer’, and I just thought he was an angel in disguise. If there was anything at all that would bring him back to me, I would do it. I would have paid as much as I could to have him back.
The fact that a town has the right to kill at their own discretion, with only such a short waiting time; that they have not bothered to put into place some better plan of action for missing, lost and stolen pets, does not say a whole lot about the people who run these towns. It does say a lot about people who have lost their connection with nature and animals, and are concerned only with their own small world. Had an individual kept a dog prisoner in a building like that for any length of time at all, they would be reported and charged. Why is the town not willing to discipline one of its employees when he so obviously overstepped the bounds of his authority, and neglected to do his job. It cost Cooper his life and I for one, could not let this pass without doing something, and for the sake of ‘Skydales Flyin Cooper Special’, I WILL do all that I can.

Marti Adrian
Box 196
Raymond, AB, T0K 2S0

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Ebay widget

I think I don't like my ebay widget. It only works half the time. It takes forever to load. If you click the box, where it says it has a misformed api or something like that, it will take you to my auctions. Dumb thing.

I'm still worn out from the gun show this weekend. We were so happy with the way it turned out. If you're an artist, consider gun shows for a venue!

Hope I'll be back to painting tomorrow, I have requests for another painting in a series I have started.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Jetty Kitty, finished.

I finished Jetty. His people said it looks like it's supposed to. I think I'll mail this to them so they can put it in a gift basket or raffle. Remember, Jetty lost an eye in an accident.

We're at a gun show in Great Falls this weekend. Wish us luck!

Remember, there's more horse art on my website. On the first of October, I'm hosting a special member show for WWAO. You'll have to come by and see the wonderful art work.

Jetty Kitty, Work in Progress, Kitty Keepers cat.

You'll notice Jetty has changed colors. I looked through the photos and descriptions of the kittyies and figured out he's grey instead of creamy brown! That's the difference you can get in photos sometimes.

Jetty has only one eye. I'm going to paint him like he is. He looks like a nice friendly cat as he's standing next to a person in his photo, looking up like he loves her. I'm not finished with his portrait yet! I'll let you know as soon as the final version is here.

I wish I could take them all, but we have two rescued cats and want to be able to take good care of them, so I guess that's the limit. I'll paint pictures of them instead, and hope some nice person near Havre, Mt, can give them homes. Until then, they have a safe and happy life in the shelter.

See the Kitty Keepers website. Check out my ebay auctions where portions of the sales of paintings is going , through Mission Fish, to Kitty Keepers. I had a request to also help the shelter at Cut Bank, Mt. I'll be working with them also.

As always, thank you for stopping by. More horse art on my website.

I'm proud to be hosting a member exhibit for World Wide Women Artist's Online. WWAO. This exhibit will begin October 1. I'll be posting the link to the show when it's live. Come back to see the "Anything Animals!" show! We included all animals, pets, fish,'s going to be a wonderful show! With links to all artists, websites.

Monday, September 24, 2007

A kitty from the shelter. Kitty Keepers

This painting is of one of the residents of Kitty Keepers at Havre, Mt. Here's his information.

Jetty Domestic Medium Hair-gray and white, Tabby - Grey, M, Adult CN 202-1
Jetty knows one of the perils of letting your cat roam. His previous owner allowed him to and now Jetty only has one eye due to cat scratch from a cat fight. He is wonderfully warm and affectionate. Jetty would like to find a home where he could get lots of play time and exercise. Can you love him as much as he would love you? DOB 2002

I'll post more on this painting tomorrow.
As always, thanks for stopping by. Remember to sign up to have this blog whisked to your inbox. You can see horse art on my website.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

!Pet Project!

This is Marmalade. Actually, I used my cat Scarlet for an example. She has the funniest, most adorable little face. This ACEO card is another of the Kitty Keepers Kick-Off cards. You can purchase this card for $15 and one hundred percent of that will go to Kitty Keepers. Email me at that you want to participate. Send your check to Kitty Keepers, their address is on their web page, right at the top. Or it's also right here, Kitty Keepers, 600 23rd Avenue West,Havre, MT 59501

Write ridgway donation on the memo, and when I hear from Penny your check has cleared, I'll send your card to you. $15 buys a bag of cat food! You gain an original artwork, which you can keep, or give to a friend or relative for a gift. After all, Christmas is coming!

This !Pet Project" is getting wheels and taking off! One of my friends in WWAO has posted this on her blog, a nice widget to the Kitty Keepers auctions! Thanks Betty! See Betty's paintings.

ACEO stands for Art Cards, Editions and Originals. They must be 2.5X3.5" in size. They fit into baseball card sleeves and can be stored in albums, used like coffee table books or they can be framed, or displayed on tiny easels. They're extremely fun to collect. I do hundreds of them.

If you wonder about my credibility, email Kitty Keepers and ask them if I really work with them. Or check my ebay feedback to see what 200 and some happy customers have to say about me. Purchase this aceo card with confidence and be the first to donate to !Pet Project! The kitties will thank you with all their purr-fect manners! You'll become one of their Purr-sons! :) Ok, enough with the puns...

If you like horse art, check out my website.

Thanks so much for stopping by.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Kitty Keepers

I've been looking around for a long time to find an organization to work with, where animals would be helped by my efforts. I wanted to find a place close enough to Vaughn, that I could go there and see the organization and meet the people who ran it.

I finally found a place called Kitty Keepers, in Havre, Mt. I'm donating 30% of selected paintings to Kitty Keepers, through my ebay sales. I'll also be donating paintings outright to Kitty Keepers for raffles and fund raisers.

The reasons I chose KK were:
They educate about spaying and neutering cats.
They don't believe in declawing and they educate the public about how this affects cats.
They do believe in good, solid, local adoptions.
They provide long term homes for cats who need them.

Horses and cats have always been my favorite animals. I hope I can help to provide funds for the cats at Kitty Keepers. In this blog, I'll mention which paintings will be going to help the cats.

Your purchases of those paintings will be much appreciated. Beyond raffles and gift baskets, if you have any fund raising ideas where an artist can help an animal shelter, could you leave a comment with your idea?

I'll donate 100% of the ACEO card (2.5X3.5") at the top of this post to kick this off. Send $15 to Kitty Keepers with Ridgway donation on your check. Let me know at when you do this. When I hear from KK they have the check, I'll mail your card to you. Their mailing address is at the top of their web page.

I have two ebay auctions going now with donations to be made through Mission Fish to Kitty Keepers. Help us help the cats!

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Tail, wip of a horse.

I've got a little more done on this. I decided to do a landscape with clouds. Of course, once I try to do the clouds, I might change my mind. Possibly he's eating grass at the side of the trail....I have a lot of thinking to do on this one.

If you like seeing horse paintings, there are more on my website. Sign up to have this blog whisked to your inbox! Thanks for coming by.


Wouldn't you know it? I'm starting my next painting! I drew the horse on with pencil. Then painted over it with orange paint. I'm using acyrilics again. For some reason I'm beginning to like them.

My laptop lost it's hard drive this week, I sure miss it. This computer is slow and takes a long time to make a post. The key board is shot too. But it's working so that's a good thing. When I can, I'm going to buy a mac book.

Thanks for stopping by! Don't forget to sign up to have this blog whisked to your inbox. And remember, there's more equine art on my website.


I think this one is finished. It's 7X9.5. I named it Boston. I liked the transition between organic form and graphic form. It was fun to do.

More Dog Art on my website. Any painting can be purchased by emailing me at montanahorse painting is for sale for $100. You can make me an offer on it, or trade me for something of equal vaLinklue, if it's something I can use. :)

There's cow art on my website, wildlife art, and some silly critters too.
Thanks for stopping by!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Black and white dog, 2

I've been building and layering colors. I like to glaze acrylics over each other to build depth and texture on a painting . My scanner doesn't scan these with anything like the bright colors they really have.

There's more dog art on my website.
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Black and white dog.

I'm working on another Framed painting. This one of a dog. We found this little guy in either Tracy, Mt or Stockton, I'm not sure which. He was sitting along the road giving us the funniest look. I suppose he wondered why we were taking pictures of him!

You can find more dog art on my website. If you'd like to purchase any painting you see on this blog, email me at Don't forget to sign up to have these paintings whisked to your email box!

Thanks for stopping by and come again!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Framed 2

A friend of mine, a black and white equine photographer, Juliet Harrison, said I should call these paintings, "Framed". I thought that was a good idea, so framed they are!

This is the second one. I'm getting quite cross eyed painting those designs. It's no where near finished, I'll probably spend several days on this.

There's more equine art on my website. Paintings can be purchased by inquiring on my email link. Thanks for stopping by to see the paintings.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Foal painting, work in progress.

Here's the finished project. "Foal in Graphic Land". You can tell, I don't know what else to call it! This is 5X7, Acrylic on gessoed mat board.

Thanks for stopping by. Don't forget to sign up to have this blog delivered to your daily mailbox! It's in the top right corner of this page.

More equine art on my website.

You can get some Christmas gifts out of the way by purchasing them now, let me know if you want a print or original painting.

Foal painting, work in progress.

This painting is taking a twist. I decided to have some pure fun. I'm not caring if lines are straight, if they make sense or not, no perspective, I'm just having fun.

Thanks for stopping by! I'll have an update in a few minutes, as I've actually finished this. I was having so much fun, I couldn't stop to post!
Horse art at my website.....

Another foal painting, wip.

After much ado, I'm painting again. We took two weeks to get ready for a show, it was outdoors, and we got rained out. Then we went through medical crisis and now we're back to normal again!

I started this little guy, thinking he'd fit into a 5x7 frame with a mat, he's all ready outgrown the space I'd given him so he's going to be a little bigger.

This is another two color painting. Using cerulean and orange with white. I guess I'm hooked on this for while!

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Monday, August 27, 2007

Scratchin' It, update, work in progress.

This is slow going today, must have to many things on my mind. I can see Robert working outside my window, he's grinding off the cattle panels were turning into our outside display as we're getting ready to do the Chokecherry Festival show in Lewistown, Mt. We liked that town and they invited us back so of course, we have to do it!

We haven't updated the display for so long, it doesn't fit what we're doing now.

So in the middle of painting, I'm trying to think up ways to spruce up the exhibit. It also has to be fairly wind proof, we don't want it taking off and wiping out someone else's display. Most of that, I leave to Robert, but I will have to think up how we're going to decorate the inside and make it look nice.

We bought quilt tops from my aunt who's in her 80's. She makes wonderful quilts so we thought they would make a great display on the tables. We now need some black table cloths that hang down the front of the tables to the ground....might have to go purchase some black fabric. That will show off the quilt tops to advantage. I just hope they aren't so wild you can't see paintings on them, everyone will be asking to buy the quilt tops instead of the paintings!

Some nice denim curtains will create our backdrop. They should look nice with the quilts in front of them.

So now, this painting is coming along. I got the colts' legs untangled, that was quite a job, to make sure you don't paint the right leg, the wrong color!

More equine art on my website, thanks for stopping by!

Scratchin' It, Foals scratching each other's backs.

Got this started last night. I'm using cerulean blue and orange, acrylic. It's 8X10". On gessoed hardboard.

This two color combo has got me intrigued right now. It's so simple to go from cool colors to warm colors, to dark to light. And the range of colors from these two is quite amazing, yet you have such harmony in the colors. It's quite fun. :)

This painting goes very well with Stretchin' It as they're kind of the same theme of foals and what they do when they're in the pasture. They also fit together because they're the same size and the same coloring. They'd look great hanging on each side of a larger painting of a western theme.

Since these paintings are created with complementary colors, the eye perceives them as being a neutral grey, so they'd look good in almost any setting.

Of course, as you can see, Scratchin' It is still a work in progress, I'd better get busy on it and get it finished!

As always, thanks for stopping by, sign up at the email box to your right to have this blog delivered to your inbox, you'll have first chance to purchase paintings as they appear.

There's more foal paintings and equine art on my website. You can also order the buckskin horse prints there with your credit cards and easy paypal payments.

If you know someone who loves horses, pass along this blog or my website...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Big Baby got a make over.

Here's the big baby again. The white manes just weren't working on this painting and I knew it all along but it took me a while to get brave enough to come in and change them. So my Haflingers have become buckskins and who only knows what breed they are now! I guess you can take your choice, they could belong to a pack string and have a little draft horse in them....

To see more buckskin horse paintings, go to my website, you can purchase prints for $25, free shipping and use the easy paypal buttons with your credit card, even if you don't have a paypal account.

Thank you for stopping by, I appreciate knowing you were here if you feel like leaving a comment. If you have a blog here, it gives you a great link to your blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Goosey Goosey Gander 1

What else could you call this one except Goosey Goosey Gander! My Grandma Allen used to tell us the nursery stories by the hour. This is the start of this painting...

You can find other farm animal paintings on my website. Drop a comment if you wish, I like hearing from you.

Thanks for stopping by!