Sanhill Crane Quartet

Sanhill Crane Quartet
OIl on 18x24 inch canvas

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


When I was approaching my second birthday, I got into an altercation with a cat. I was traumatized. I feared all things furry. Since that time, I’ve worked on overcoming this fear--and now I am very obviously a dog lover. When I lived with my brother and sister-in-law, I even managed to survive the presence of six cats. Cats and dogs, however, are not the only animals with which I have issues. 

When I was a child, my family and I visited a farm in Tewksbury, Massachusetts, for a week every summer. The owners, the Berg family, were friends my parents made when they were newly arrived in America. The Berg's farm was a pig farm, but they had dogs and chickens, as well. (If they had cats, we never saw them.)
But back to the chickens. 
During the farm visit the summer I was six, I was sitting on the side porch of the farmhouse, on one of those metal, two-toned chairs, just enjoying the fresh air, the quiet, and the view. Suddenly, the Berg's collie puppy came bounding up to me--and I ran screaming into the house. 

Finally, I gathered my six-year-old self, and returned outside to stand with Sonja, the farmer’s wife, who was tossing seed for a few of the chickens. I stood and watched and felt content in the moment. Suddenly, a flash of red feathers rushed upon me and talon-ed feet scratched at my arms--and I ran screaming and crying into the house. 
After that I was afraid of all things feathered (even though that red hen was roasted for dinner that evening). Back at home, my older sister, Rose Marie, allowed her pet parakeet to fly around the house when she cleaned his cage. After the red-hen incident, every time she opened that cage door, I would pull the covers over my head. 

So, this series of chicken portraits is my way of making peace with my fear of feathered ones--especially chickens. I can’t imagine myself getting friendly with a chicken or plucking eggs from her nest, any time soon, but I have come to appreciate the beauty of these birds. Chickens are so varied in their breeds and coloring and feathering, that I am truly inspired when I draw them--and am losing all appetite for fowl.

Buff Brahmin

Buff Laced  Chicken

Chestnut Ridge Rooster

Polish Chicken


Silver Laced  Hen

Jersey Giant and Kauai Rooster

Sunday, August 9, 2015


Meet Wiley, a truly American mixed-breed fun loving pup. Pup? He weighs in at 95 pounds, can wipe out a room with his powerful tail and will lead you with his Lab soft mouth.

Sunday, July 26, 2015


Of late I have taken commisions for the ever-enigmatic feline. These are not my first but my most recent.



Toothless Fairie

I decided that my blog needed a new and whimsical name, and something fairy-like seemed just right. I thought, "Tooth Fairy," and corrected it to "Toothless Fairie." Below is my Toothless Fairie.

She's lost her bite, but not her wit, as she sits safely among the thorny wood-rose shrubs.


Of late I have been involved in an affair with tropical fish. I'm drawn to (no pun intended) their organic lines and magnificent palette. That they rarely touch ground (underwater) makes them ethereal, and their eyes hold secrets we may never know. Below is a sampling of my fish portraits.

Box Fish and Octopus
Butterfly Fish


Tropical Fish Meeting

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Fiona in Peach

Fiona a Chorkie, dressed in peach.

Princess Fiona is standing at the storm door, paw on glass, daring you to come in. Will she dash out the door and make you chase her through the neighborhood, or leap on you, all the while trying to drown you in kisses?  She's a spirited nymph and a true fashionista, selecting her own outfit each morning. She also likes bubble baths and walks in the moonlight.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

I'm going to be a German Shepard ...

Fiona the puppy, now available on Fine Art America 

I'm going to be a German Shepherd when I grow up. I'm going to be big and strong and have really long teeth and scare all the other dogs with my low, slow growl. I will eat my weight in steak and just walk up onto to any piece of furniture with my long legs. I will lie down anywhere I want, whenever I want. Just look at me, at my coloring and markings. It's obvious that I'm going to be a purebred German Shepherd. 

Fiona looked like a German Shepherd puppy, especially when her floppy ears went erect. And she grew quickly, but stopped at nine pounds. Her muzzle never grew long, and her teeth, though sharp, are not long. She's a princess with a wardrobe larger than that of many humans. She has enough toys to last a hundred lifetimes, and she loves the squeaky toys, the louder the better. And she kills them. Yes, in spite of her size, Fiona is a warrior princess and has even killed a mouse. Well, she discovered a dead mouse and made sure it was dead. She watches the neighborhood, alerting her people to the approach of strangers. She is nine pounds of physically fit, beautiful Chorkie, using her long legs to jump onto all the furniture. Well, most of it. She lies down where ever she wishes, whenever she wishes. 

That was then and this is now. I am a Chorkie, a damned sexy, well dressed, smart Chorkie. I am pretty sure if I ever run into a German Shepherd, I'll be able to take her. I am Fiona, the Warrior Princess.

This is my bed

Renard Reclining is now available through Fine Art America

I am Renard, and this is my bed. My cousin Fiona's girl gave it to me for my first Christmas in the family. It stays under my girl’s desk, and I lie in it to be near her when she writes, like she is right now. I don't stay in it as much as I used to, but that's because I'm pretty sure she can't get out of the room without me seeing her. I looked really hard and long for a new home. It must have been years or months, and, now that I have her, I'm not going to let her go.

Renard is my muse. He inspires my work; he sits at my side when I meditate, read, draw, write, and eat. Renard doesn't like dog beds. He has a sofa, a love seat, and a people bed. What would he do with a dog bed? But the pretty bed with the plaid, dog-bone-shaped pillow and matching blanket that rests under my teacher's desk is different. It's where my canine buddy rests, watching my feet and legs for any movement. If I get up, he's out of the door just ahead of me, leading the way to the living room or bedroom or bathroom, turning his head back toward me, making sure I'm following. 

I like living with my girl. I would like it better if she would let me run around outside without a leash, but we go out hunting together several times a day, and she feeds me really good food, and she finally found me some treats that I really really like--duck jerky. I don't eat treats every day, but I really like them. And she rubs my belly. And she schushys me every day, sometimes three and four times a day. Oh, I'm sorry. "Schushy" is when she rubs my head and scratches my body and kisses my nose and says, "Schushy, schushy, schushy," over and over, all at the same time. I love my girl, even if she does bark a lot. Humans do that. They bark a lot. Not loud. More like a mumble, but still. 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Saturday, January 10, 2015

I'm George! Let's play.

Now Available at Fine Art America
Hi! I’m George! This is my toy. I love my toy. I take it with me everywhere. You can play with my toy, if you want to. Do you want to? Also, I like to swim! Do you like to swim? We can swim. I’ll carry my toy so it doesn’t get wet.

This is George. He’s a golden retriever mix of an advanced aged. He’s been with his people for some time and just loves them and going to the dog park and swimming in the lake or the pond or the stream—or even in a big puddle. His boy and girl picked him because they wanted a big, loveable dog with a big bark to be their friend. George does bark when strangers come to the house, but if he ever caught one, he would smother the bad guy with kisses after knocking him down. When George’s boy and girl found him, he was about three years old. He had had a home. Sort of. But his people never fed him enough. They never took him to the vet. They never let him into the house. And they never played with him. Animal Control picked him up from the front yard where he was chained.

I was scared at first. The men had a long stick with a loopy thing. They picked me up and put me in a truck. They took me to a place with lots of people, who poked at me and probed my private places. Then they made me take a bath. But all the time, they petted me and talked to me, and then they gave me food and something called a “treat.” I like treats! After a while, my boy and girl came to get me. I was in a place with other dogs. We all had cages. I didn’t like the cage, but at least I was inside so the rain didn’t get on me.

My boy and girl looked at some of the other dogs, just to be polite, but I could tell they were really there for me. They must have been waiting since I got there. I guess that was a long time. One of the bath people put a soft chain on me. He called it a leash. Then my girl and boy kneeled down in front of me and scratched my head and petted me, and the girl gave me a soft thing that made a squeaky sound when I bit it. A toy! I never had a toy before. Now, I only put it down when I eat and sleep. 

Thursday, January 1, 2015

I'm Jasper. I love to dig!

Now available at Fine Art America 
I live to dig! Just give me some dirt. I smell them, those stinky things, and unearth them! I love to dig . . . dig . . . dig holes, looking for stinky treasure. You never know what you’ll find. Yep! That’s me. I’m Jasper.

Jasper was a rescue. Now he’s a much loved, overgrown puppy, just a little over a year old. His “boy,” a man of a certain age, sits while his buddy Jasper runs and plays. Jasper’s boy keeps an eye out, afraid there might be a bit of a bully in Jasper. When he picked this Ridgeback mix out at the shelter, the then-unnamed dog was underweight but filled with love and energy. The pup wagged his tail so fast he nearly fell over. Jasper had chosen his boy. By the time I met Jasper at the dog park, he was a strong, well-fed, loving adolescent.

When the people with the truck picked me up, I was having breakfast at my favorite dumpster, behind the place where other people eat. Some people throw away perfectly good food, back there. But whenever I went to talk to a human around there, they would turn their backs or shoo me away. It hurt my feelings. But the men in the truck, they were nice. They took me to the place where my boy found me. When I saw him, my boy, I knew something good was going to happen. And it did! The boy took me home, and when we got there, he let me come in to the house! My new boy didn’t make me stay outside.

Now, I have my own bed. I even have a toy, a round fuzzy thing he calls a ball. I have everything: a boy, a ball, a bed, and lots of food. And I even get treats sometimes. I used to have another home, I think. I don’t remember. But it’s okay, because now I have my boy.