Monday, June 3, 2019


Stormy. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". ©2019.
I fell in love with this sweet face during my last visit to River's Wish. Stormy is a Pygora goat. He is older and arthritic and has been a loner until just last week, when he apparently met his goat soul mate.

This painting will be a study for a larger work for my show this September at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery. So, I will be holding on to it and some other of my small pieces for a bit.

Here's a time-lapse video of the painting of Stormy,.

Friday, May 24, 2019


Vegan. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". ©2019.

Vegan came to River's Wish after being rescued by SCRAPS (Spokane County Regional Animal Protection Service) in a cruelty case. She is a Yorkshire pig, who now lives surrounded by love and hanging out with her friends Valentine and Vincent van Pig.

I'm hoping to get more portrait-style paintings of the pigs soon. I got some reference shots of Valentine with great expressions, but terrible lighting. Then Vegan wandered by in the sunshine, giving me this lovely candid angle.

Here is a time-lapse video of Vegan's painting in progress. It too has terrible light, unfortunately. I must have bumped something as I set it up that caused it to look blown out. Oh, well.

Thursday, May 23, 2019


Moxie. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". ©2019.

Moxie came to River's Wish as a very young calf. He was taken from his mother, a dairy cow, at two days of age. Because he cannot give milk, he was of no use to the dairy industry and immediately headed for slaughter. His only purpose was to keep his mother giving milk. Fortunately for him and his bestie, Bob, activists rescued the pair and brought them to live their lives in peace at the sanctuary.

Moxie was laying in the dirt and straw while I tried to take his photo, so I sat down with him to get a better angle and share a hug or two. He is such a sweet, happy boy. If only all of the calves could be so lucky.

Here's a time-lapse video of the painting in progress.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019


Sunshine. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". ©2019.
I haven't learned this shaggy little goat's name yet, but it certainly did a nice job modeling for me. The lighting is so lovely in some of these photos; I've become addicted to painting the animals posing in it. This painting was a struggle despite everything the reference photo had going for it. Maybe it was the shaggy fur of the goat, or maybe I was just tired. It was still fun to capture the mix of warm and cool reflected light on the shadow side of the goat's face.

I will need to go back to River's Wish for more photos soon. I can't get myself to paint anything without this beautiful light.

Watch me struggle in a one-minute time lapse here.

Sunday, May 19, 2019


Angel. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". ©2019.

Angel might be the friendliest goose living at River's Wish Animal Sanctuary. He suffers from a malady known as "angel wing," which causes the wings to twist at the wrist and protrude at an odd angle, often with underdeveloped feathers. Angel came to River's Wish when his person died, and now has a permanent home at the shelter.

While I attempted to photograph Angel, he was all about sitting on my lap. Eventually, I gave up getting a regular photo and tried a video instead. I helped him climb up onto my legs as I kneeled in the pen, and he immediately busied himself with nipping at my arm. Meanwhile, a few feet away, a red-faced, apoplectic duck plotted my demise. Angel spotted the duck, jumped off my lap, ran across the pen, and literally goosed him. It was brilliant. That duck had it coming.

Here's a time-lapse video of the painting process.

This guy.

Friday, May 17, 2019

Bad Hair Day

Bad Hair Day. Oil on panel, 6" x 6". ©2019.

One of the things I looked forward to as I headed to River's Wish for my second photo shoot was getting more reference of the sheep with the glorious mane, Precious. It was a warm spring day, I was wearing a little camisole and rolled up jeans, yet somehow it never occurred to me that the sheep would be... shorn.

Precious was only recognizable by her spotted nose and intense gaze. This isn't her—she was sitting back inside a dark barn. This sheep was the only one adventurous enough to go out in the sun naked. Well, not completely naked, exactly. She still had random tufts of fur, reminiscent of one of those sad-looking Chinese Crested dogs. What a good sport she was, to let me take her photo!

Here's a link to the "making of" video for Bad Hair Day.

Thursday, May 16, 2019


Petunia. Oil on board, 6" x 6". ©2019.

Petunia came to spend her life at River's Wish after it was spared by a kind family—she was previously destined to become a Thanksgiving dinner. It is both mind-blowing and heartbreaking to think of the millions of turkeys who are not so lucky. But Petunia serves as an ambassador for her kind, showing that turkeys can be loving and sweet (not meat).

She will be featured in the River's Wish benefit show at Kolva-Sullivan Gallery in September. I see a much larger version of this painting in my future!

Here is a time-lapse video of the painting process.