About Me

My photo
I have studied art throughout my life starting at a young age being taught by my father, a book illustrator. I then went on to study at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia, The Art Institute Online of Pittsburgh, and the Academy of Art University of San Francisco. I recently completed a Liberal Studies degree with a concentration in another of my passions, Environmental Science. I created art that I printed on cards and commissioned to local gift shops, but it was not until I started my pet care business in 2010 that I was inspired to do pet portrait art. Our fur babies are as much a part of our families as our humans, and I enjoy capturing not only their likeness, but their character, humor, and spirit. My portraits have been done in charcoal, oil, and acrylic with my present works being done mostly in pastel.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Year of the Dog: Keep Your Soul Healthy

Year of the Dog:Keep your soul healthy! It looks like winter is sticking around awhile. I was born in a year of the dog. Instead of short term new years resolutions, I look at life as a long journey and good health (physical, intellectual, spiritual, and social) are daily goals, but I am in it for the long haul. So go hike in the snow, eat a healthy meal, work/learn with passion, and keep your soul at peace. Blessings.
Pastel Painting 12x16

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Faith, Gratitude, and Love

"Faith Gratitude, and Love" Pastel Painting
Happy New Year!

This was originally meant to be posted for Thanksgiving, and was on my social media sights in November, but it is certainly still relevant for the new year. As I try to keep up with my own art demands, my pet care business and the other hats I wear, can slow my progress. This painting is a good reminder that all things will get done if we have faith, are grateful for what we already have, and keep love in our hearts.

Many blessings to everyone for the new year!

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Country Heart

"Autumn Coon" 12x16 Pastel Painting
Even though I live closer to a city now, my heart will always be in the country. Honestly, the country is where I plan to be again someday. For now, I love taking lots of photos while I am out exploring the many parks here. I am never short of creative ideas when surrounded by all the crisp golden leaves damp with morning dew, smells of apples and pumpkin spice, and squirrels and chipmunks scurrying over the dirt paths as they work hard on this years harvest. I love this time of year!

This kitty is another cutie I have cared for through my pet care business. He is a very regal, affectionate cat and I was able to get some very majestic photos of him to work from for this painting. So this is a rustic, yet sophisticated, country autumn scene. 🎨😊

Black cats are traditionally used in Halloween art and the superstition behind them finds them in more cat shelters than other cats. In reality, their color is just the product of genetics, but their image still goes beautifully among the golden hues of the autumn season. So here I included in my autumn cat series, a regal black cat who would prefer to play in the leaves, eat some treats, and snooze in a pumpkin patch. 🐈🍁🍂

Friday, September 22, 2017

Autumn Play

"Autumn Play" 12 x 16 Pastel drawing

"Autumn Play" Happy Autumn Solstice! Here's my newest pastel drawing inspired by one of my pet care client's kitties. I enjoyed the mimicking of the bark and the cat's fur pattern. It's warm this week here in Ohio, but the cooler weather is just around the corner, and I can't wait! Autumn is my favorite time of year. Not only is the food the best this time of year, but the landscape is beautiful. So get outside and catch some falling leaves, jump in a leaf pile, and then have a slice of  pumpkin bread and a mug of warmed apple cider. 🍎🍂

All of my original drawings are for sale. I am also now taking orders for custom pet portrait drawings for the holidays. Enjoy the season! 🍁

Friday, September 15, 2017

Garden Inspired

"Garden Inspired" 12 x 16 pastel drawing.
Summer is coming to a close, but the garden still has plenty to give. Our first Ohio vegetable garden gave us more than we anticipated! All those tomatoes coupled with all the kitties I pet sat for during the summer, inspired me to combine passions; gardens and my love of fur babies.

I take many photos while I am out taking care of my client's fur children. They make great reference photos for my drawings and their natural poses are genuine moods of the animals. This sweet girl was in a playful mood when I caught this pose. I knew it would be useful somewhere down the line. Once our tomatoes turned into a jungle of colors, I took photos of the garden and inspiration set in.

This drawing was so much fun, but took longer than I had hoped. Summer is a tough time for me to sit and draw as all those fur babies take up much of my time. I love every moment of it though and am grateful to be able to do what I enjoy.

One more week until Autumn, my favorite time of the year! As the colors change and the days grow shorter, I will continue to be out taking care of fur babies and finding inspiration for my art. They say to write what you know, but I think the same applies to art. 🎨🐈🍅😁 -Sandy

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Inspiration Without Those Vexatious Thumbnail Sketches

Pastel Drawing "Indoor Landscape"
This was inspired by one of my Instagram followers who requests drawings of her cat Leo from various artists. I saw this curious pose of Leo and immediately imagined him watching a house spider in the wild house plants. The muses guided me through the rest as they usually do.

On this topic, in all of my art school studies, I was always taught to make thumbnail sketches, lots and lots of thumbnail sketches. I was to work out my various ideas on a chosen theme and then stick to just one of them. Though I understand the point of them, I always found them to be less than useful. I know I am not alone. In the end, I always used my first idea anyway and then branched off of it. Art to me is like life, it evolves and changes as you go. Why can't ideas change and goals change? Why must we be so rigid and not willing to bend as our ideas shift from our daily experiences? Let art be what it is, art. Isn't there enough in life telling us to stay inside the box and stick to the plan?

I remember discussing "what is art" in a philosophy class, and that's where it fits, among the philosophers. Art by nature has been created by people throughout history to depict culture, history, protests, an era, daily life, and advertising. It seems advertising has been more the modern goal and inflicted upon artists to be mindful of trends while we create, be aware of what sells and what colors are more popular. I do my best to create art that is not subject to any of these modern afflictions. My nature does not draw me to be a mediocre clone of other artists. I create what inspires me, show it to the world and let it go. Art, to me, is meditation, it's personal, universal, and an opportunity to leave something of myself behind.

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Wild Roots

"Wild Roots" 11x17 Pastel Drawing
This week's drawing was inspired by a book I came across at the library called "The Cat Encyclopedia". The book includes a small introduction to the history of cats. I have been hearing a common opinion lately, also expressed briefly in the book, that cats are not truly domesticated. My veterinarian shares this opinion.

The photo I used for this drawing came about because my cat was exploring a small ledge in our basement. She was drawn to its narrow path and its height above the floor. I immediately took some photos thinking this would be her in the wild, scaling trees and keeping an eye on the world below her.

I want to share a statistic from the book that I found interesting. Under the section titled "Cat species around the world" it states, "Wildcats are successful in evolutionary terms in that they were once widespread and found in many different habitats, but most species are now either endangered or threatened. In contrast, there are an estimated 600 million domestic cats worldwide."

I find it ironic that we care more for the smaller version of the wild cats than the wild cats themselves. There must be an instinctual, or perhaps more habitual reason, that humans take compassion for some animals, and not others.

So in the spirit of staying true to our natures, watch your fur baby for signs of  their wild roots and appreciate where they came from. They are survivors, instinctual and probably have a better grasp of the natural world than we do, despite humans imposing domestication.