Monday, May 09, 2016

Horse Painting - Retired Thoroughbred Race Horse

I started riding horses again after missing it for 30 years.  Wow!  That sounds crazy since I am only 32 :-).  It's been great to get back around horses - the smells, the sounds, the energy.  I am loving it!

It comes as no surprise then that I feel the need to paint them.  This is the first one.  I left it abstract and with the canvas texture showing to give a rustic feel.  It just felt right this way.

This handsome fellow is Homer, a 20-something year old retired Thoroughbred race horse.  He is now enjoying life at Hess Stables with a bunch of other ex-race horses.  He was kind enough to strike some lovely poses for me when I was out taking reference photos, so he gets to be the first on my easel.

This original painting is 12"x9" acrylic on canvas panel which will make it easy to frame.  Plus the final top coat protects the painting so no glass is needed.  Sweet Homie can be yours for $198.00.  Email me.  I'm looking forward to more time with the horses and creating many more horse paintings.

See more of my animal and dog paintings and contact me through my website at

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Training Tips from 2-year-old Labrador Dog

Happy Birthday Mooki - 2 years old today.  That means you are grown up now so there will be no more "bad dog stuff" ... right?  Haha.  I know that won't be true, but I am happy to say he has made a lot of progress over the past few months towards being a well-behaved dog.

I am a good trainer and have experience with lots of dogs.  I admit I prefer the softies and, having had a bunch of them, I have gotten away with some training short-cuts.  Mooki has a willful streak, is quite stubborn and, well, not the brightest bulb in the pack.  He has pushed me back into being a more strict trainer instead of the lazy way I slide into with the easy dogs.  We went to "1 strike and you are out" instead of 3.  It means I have had to follow through every time if he ignores me.   I am happy to see him making big strides toward listening better, especially when it comes to being rough on the other dogs.  At this point I may give him a little slack, but if  he needs to be told more than once a couple times in a day, we go right back to the 1-strike system.  The good news is that Mooki does not dislike these rules since it is very clear to him that he is in control of the consequences of his behavior.  Animals like clarity.

One of the big mistakes I realized I had slipped into was too much of telling him "don't do" this or "stop" doing that.  Frankly, I was getting annoyed with him and not thinking like a trainer.  It is much much MUCH more effective if you tell them what TO DO instead of what NOT to do.  Now that I have corrected myself Mooki has learned some good new cues.  In addition, his recall has gotten significantly better since it is a "to do" cue that gets him out of trouble (and often gets him a fun reward).  We will happily put those rough days behind us and move forward with positive energy!

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Hand-Painted Silk Scarf Labradors and Botanicals

Today is our coldest day this winter and we got a couple of inches of snow yesterday to cover our bare ground.  It's making me think of spring!  Phil said it is coming early this year.  Are you ready?

"6 Heads Botanicals" is an 11" x 60" China Silk scarf adorned with hand-painted Labrador dog head profiles among twining leaves and flowers.  The colors are spring green, warm golden yellow and blossom blues.  $70.00

China silk, also known as Habotai, has a nice sheen, light and billowing drape.  It will help you feel shiny and special.  6 heads has been the most popular design of my Labrador silk scarves and every one is unique.  All of the dogs and elements are hand drawn with resist on a suspended blank silk scarf.  Once the resist dries I apply colors that I mix specially for each individual scarf.  This completely hand drawn and painted process results in one-of-a-kind pieces of wearable art.  How special is that?

6 Heads Botanicals is $70, payable by check or through PayPal.  Order this or any of my scarves by emailing me.   I can also paint a new scarf just for you in colors of your choice.  Get your spring juices flowing!  See more at my Hand-painted Silk Scarf webpage.

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Hand Painted Cute Black and White Dog

Introducing Zen Dog Too.   He is made of wood and is 13 inches long by nearly 15 inches high, 3 inches wide.   Hand-painted and covered with a protective coat, he will be faithfully adorable in any room of your home.   I don't think you would believe the hours I spent lost in creating his doodles, he will be the last of his kind.   Zen Dog Too is available to good homes only.  You can adopt him for $158.00 plus shipping.  He will make you smile.

He is, in fact, the second Zen Dog, but his name is not a typo.  Since there will be no more of these I am going with "also" instead of number "2".  Plus it matches his cuteness better.  Check out lots more of my artwork at

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Happy New Year for 2016

Happy New Year Everyone!  I borrowed this pic from Mike Dooley who I love for his Notes from the Universe.  Join the Infinite Possibilities Project if you are so interested.  Whatever you do, I wish you all a happy, healthy new year filled with love and light!

Onward and Upward!

Friday, November 20, 2015

Labrador Dog Christmas Cards - A large selection

'Tis the season for connecting with friends and sending them tidings of joy.  I have an avid group of return customers for my Labrador Christmas Cards who insist on new designs every year.  Last season after I created a mellow single sailing Christmas Lab several people requested a design with two dogs for motor boat lovers and/or those who live in climates that are warm for the holidays.  So, here you go!  A black Lab and a yellow Labrador enjoy cutting the waves as the wind brings them great smells and sends ears flying.  Black and yellow Labrador motor boat Christmas cards are available in sets of 10 and 20 or as singles.  (Psst - sets of 20 are a better deal.)  The inside verse reads:  Hope Your Christmas is Full of Fun.  It's a very merry way to extend holiday wishes to friends and family.

Want some cold winter scenes instead?  There are plenty to choose from in my Labrador Christmas Card collection.  Designs are available in yellow Labs, black Labs, and chocolate Labradors, of course.  Be sure to scroll down for the sets of 20.  You can buy yourself a little holiday gift with the money you save. 

Friday, November 13, 2015

Rally Obedience Title for young Black Labrador

Is that a look of disbelief?  You can't imagine that I waited so long to announce your first AKC title?  Let's get right to it! 

Black Labrador, Mooki, earned  his Rally Novice obedience title at the Wine Country dog show circuit in New York at the end of September 2015.  He earned 99 points out of 100 on the first two legs and the judge loudly and pointedly - and politely - told me it was all my fault and not his.  Knock me on the head a few times to remind me that rally is looking for something different than regular obedience!  I finally got my act together so he earned 100 points on the third leg to finish his title.  He got second place and third place the first two days thanks to my error.  We won first place the last day and a nice bag of treats.  Good work for a 17-month-old boy at his first all-breed dog shows, and very large ones at that.  "Overwhelmed" was the word of the weekend.  Onward and upward to more life experiences Mooki.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Cool off with thoughts of Holiday snow

It seems funny to post an OtterTail Dog Art Christmas card during this heat wave we have been experiencing in the northeast.  Maybe it will help cool us down!  I know lots of my customers begin looking for holiday cards in August as I get requests every year, so it's definitely not too early to get started.  This fun design of 2 Labrador dogs leading one of Santa's reindeer is available in sets of 10, sets of 20, and beautifully made single greeting cards.  You can choose a black Lab with a chocolate Labrador if you prefer, or even 2 black Labs walking the reindeer out to the sleigh.  The verse inside reads:  May your Christmas be merry and bright.

Other new designs will be added for the 2015 holiday season soon.  Meanwhile, I'm feeling cooler already - just chillaxing while the Labs enjoy their job.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Zen Dog Painted Statue

 My first Zen Dog.  Ohmmm.

He was a joy to paint and I did, indeed, get totally caught up and carried away in the process.  He was started to be a fun, colorful, eye-catching addition to my artwork display at the newly rebuilt shelter of the Humane Society of Schuyler County in Montour Falls, NY.  I got so involved that he became a piece of art himself.  I now have a shelf full of wonderful items for sale at the shelter, including:
Zen dog is welcoming shoppers and bringing his own joy to the display.  To top it off, I am donating 30% of all sales of these items to support the Humane Society of Schuyler County.  It's a win-win situation for all!

This Zen Dog is approximately 17" wide from tip of toe to tail and 20" tall to the tip of his nose.  He is made of wood and finished with a protective coat of polyurethane.  Although he went outside to have his picture taken, he is meant to be a house dog to brighten any room in your home.  Zen Dog is looking for his own happy home.  His adoption fee is $138.00 plus shipping.  Are you the one?
zen dog red, yellow, blue painted with tangle designs

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

This portrait painting of two Labrador Retrieves was fun and challenging.  The background was requested to be reminiscent of the ocean.  Finding a nice flow of colors and variations was an interesting exercise when combined with making it a nice backdrop for both a black Lab and a yellow Lab side by side.  I always use some of the background colors in the animal colors.  I enjoy using a very limited palette for all of my paintings and strive to get color coordination by using the same few colors throughout, mixing my own rather than opening another tube.  In this case, the black coat is actually a mix including blue from the background with ochre and sienna and those colors are used to create the yellow Labrador's coat.  You may note in some of my previous Labrador paintings that I tend to use Alizarin crimson and Pthalo green as my favorite black mixture, but that would not have blended as well with the background and yellow Lab.  It is a good exercise to make myself use different combinations.

Did you think I used black paint from the tube to create a black Lab?  Nope - that was one of the first lessons I read about in attempting to teach myself to paint and I'm so glad I did.  Mixing colors adds much more richness and I love how each one peaks through as I shift the balance of the mixes.

Color challenges aside, both the owner and I love the result!  These two Labs are getting older now, so the owner asked me to turn back the clock a bit and take out some gray.  I may try that on a self portrait - LOL!

Would you love a pet portrait of your own?  Visit my OtterTail Dog Art Portrait page for basic information and then contact me.