Art work

  • Pastel Drawing - Izzy Yorkie
  • Pastel Drawing - Banjo
  • Pastel Drawing - Molly
  • Pastel Painting - Beau
  • Pastel Painting - Baylor & Lu
  • Pastel Painting - Salut
  • Pastel Painting - Beautiful Bea
  • Charcoal Drawing - Grace
  • Oil Painting - Sheltie Izzie
  • Oil Painting - Woody & Bruce
  • Oil Painting - The Morins
  • Pastel Drawing - Greg & Lexi

This Is My Chair

Written by Ellie on . Posted in Ellie's Blog

It is interesting to watch how pets stake out their territory.  For five years we have watched this staking of territory play out.  We got Harper first, a small black cat with a white spot on her belly.  Since she was the only pet for nine months she had the run of the house.  When we sat down is was quick to jump into our laps for some loving.  When we brought Mac home she was not so quick to give him a welcome reception.  At 12 weeks old Mac was an Airedale puppy of boundless energy and held the belief that everything and everyone loved him.  Harper was not so convinced that having this new animal was what she wanted.  She had been the center of attention that she now had to share.  However, she did not show any fear of Mac.  She staked out the rocker as her place to lie and has her way of telling Mac that he is not moving her from her seat.  Of course Mac thought Harper is in the perfect place to get some puppy kisses. 

Mac taking over the sofa

Mac’s favorite seat is a big old overstuffed easy chair and Harper’s is the rocker, but she can usually be found lounging at the foot of our bed.  This is day or night.  For you see Mac seldom comes upstairs.  When he was a puppy we put a child gate at the steps so Harper would have a place to retreat away from Mac’s enthusiasm.  Over time an understanding as grown between Harper and Mac. Mac still gives kisses when Harper allows it and Harper still has no fear of Mac who is now five times her size.  Many times Mac is in his chair and Harper is perched on one of the arms. 

Share your stories about your pets’ behaviors.  Funny tales are especially welcome.  Ellie

The Easy A Art Class

Written by Ellie on . Posted in Ellie's Blog

Since I am a visual artist I will be addressing this issue of learning art from the visual artist perspective.  I hope other artists from other media jump in and share their perspective. 

I have always loved to draw.  Like most children, drawing was my form of communication.  But, as an artistic child it was better than my verbal or written communication.  Generally, parents can’t figure out what their child has drawn, but give praise anyway.  This by the way is a very good thing.  That is what parents should do whether your young child is artistically talented or not.  They are proud of what they have done and they need to hear that it is good, whether you know what they have drawn or not. 

However, there is a time that children need to know that they are required to learn the rules of art.  Sadly, most of our school systems maintain the praise phase far too long.  Imagine teachers just allowing their students to write down numbers add an equal sign and put a number down that does not add, subtract, divide or multiply; and tell them that is wonderful.  Or just put down letters that don’t even resemble words and tell them that is superb.  You would say that they are not teaching and your child is not learning and you would be right.  All subjects – science, math, grammar, and literature have rules, even the arts – music, dance, performing and visual have rules. 

But, you say art is about creativity and you feel that creativity should not be squashed.  Fair enough, but how is learning the rules, the techniques, the control of medium going to hurt creativity?  I say if you learn the rules, the techniques and how to control your medium it only enhances your creativity.  Your drawings will look the way you want them to look; the way you see them in your mind’s eye.  Also, after you learn the rules, you can then find out which rules can be broken or stretched, skewed in order to push the vision.  If a rule is broken accidently, you can decide if you want or need to correct it.  But, more importantly you know that a rule was broken, you know how to fix it, or use it to your artistic advantage.  Just like mathematicians or scientists coming upon an answer accidently, they can go back and look at what they did and what rule was broken.  Now the scientist or mathematician test this broken rule to see if using it makes the same answer that they could not originally get come forward again and again.  If it proves it out it becomes the rule for that answer. That broken rule now becomes part of the learning process; part of the lexicon of the subject; a discovery.  It is the same with art. Sometimes a broken rule allows for a better outcome and if it will give you the same outcome each time you do it, then it becomes a rule, or technique for acquiring that outcome. 

Figurative art / portraiture have very specific rules.  As children we love drawing people.  Most children draw apple shaped people with stick legs and arms.  One girl in the third grade with me shared that she knew how to draw girls.  She would draw a heart shape right-side up and another heart shape up-side down; add a U shape for the head, add squiggles on top and sides of the U and stick arms and legs.  She showed me this and then advised me that is the way I should draw my people.  By the third grade my people were much more refined than most of the students in my class and I was also drawing horses and dogs.  They were still rough and lots of improvement was needed.  However, drawing two heart shapes with a U plopped on top was not my idea of what a person looked like.  This was the year that I discovered Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, John Singer Sargent, Mary Cassatt, and Sarah Miriam Peale, as well as, the Dutch artists.   I spent hours in the library reading and copying what these great masters had done.  Since, I was only allowed one book at a time; I started with DaVinci – whose drawings were a great tool in teaching me how to draw the human form: Followed by Michelangelo and so on down the line. 

Now, you say, well that is because you had artistic talent.  No, it was because art was not taught in elementary school – and unless it is an art high school (of which not all artistically talented children are admitted) it still is not taught in high school, but it is a recreational period.  No one is teaching the rules. 

By the third grade, teachers should be at least teaching the basics of art – The basic shapes, the basic colors, and the basic lines.  Each year another of the basics can be added.  This will open a world of possibilities to the artistic child and for the non-artistic child a real sense of understanding of what and how art functions in society.  It will give them an understanding of design and how art is all around them.

When art is not taken seriously it is frustrating for the artistic child.  They want to learn how to draw better.  They want to learn how to draw so it looks like what they see inside their heads.  For the non-artistic child it teaches respect for the craft, the skill and the ability of the artists, and improves their art skills.  It is not saying all children will want be an artist, anymore than all children will want be a mathematician or a scientist.  The artistic child should not need to wait until they take an art class in college to discover the level of their talent.  Children that are good in math and science thrive when they are taught the rules, the athletic child thrives by learning about the rules of the sport they enjoy; and so it is with artistic children.  We should celebrate that our children all have different skills and talents.  We need to encourage our schools and teachers to take the teaching of art more seriously.  It will surprise them when all subjects are taken with the same amount of seriousness that the children will rise to the occasion and flourish in their learning.  Art Class should not be the easy A. 

Making Memories

Written by Ellie on . Posted in Ellie's Blog

People love their pets and see them as members of their family. Pet’s birthdays are celebrated, conversations are held with their pets, and pictures of them are carried in their wallets. So when a beloved pet dies, it’s not uncommon to feel overwhelmed by the power of sorrow.  They give us companionship, acceptance, emotional support, and unconditional love.   When you accept that their time will be short, and understand and accept this bond you’ve taken the first step toward coping with pet loss: knowing that it is okay to grieve when your pet dies.  With this understanding and finding ways to cope with this loss can bring you closer to the day when memories bring smiles instead of tears.

I have created many memories for people.  One day I received a call from a lady who told me about her Scotty Corc.  Corc had gotten ill and she knew that Corc would not be alive much longer.  Corc was fearful of cameras and would act out anytime someone brought out a camera.  She asked if I could do a pastel drawing from her dog.  If Corc had been well trained and was able to sit still for at least 5 minutes I would be able to draw Corc. 

I drove to their home and met Corc who was sitting with her Mistress. I wanted learn about Corc and what she meant to them.  She was their baby and she was spoiled with tons of love.  I put out my camera out and let her sniff it, I put up my easel and pastels, and paper, which she also inspected and then I let her sniff me.  I spoke to Corc and let her know that I was there for her.  She let me pet her and even hold her for a little bit.  She soon settled down and sat quite proudly in her Master’s lap and let me draw her.  It seemed as if she knew that this was important for her humans.  She posed and looked at me all through the drawing.  Something I was amazed about.  Corc even let me take a few photos of her.

Roxy Foster was another family pet that seemed to know that she was heading toward the Rainbow Bridge.  She was getting up in age, arthritis made movement difficult, but she loved her family and her buddy Bigsley, her companion Chow.  Roxy was a female Chow who was so very regal.  She reminded me of a lioness, while Bigsley looked more like a big bear.  Roxy had a favorite place to lay in the yard. Since her mistress wanted to have a portrait of both Roxy and Bigsley together I took lots of photos and worked to capture the differences of the two Chows. 

All my photos are for reference only and time that I spend with a family pet is very important.  I learn a lot about how the family loves their pet and how well they are loved.  Pet owners who want portraits of their pets know that their pet has a special place in their heart.  I want to capture how special that pet is to their family. 

Here are a few suggestions to help you cope:

v  Acknowledge your grief and give yourself permission to express it.

v  Don’t hesitate to reach out to others who can lend a sympathetic ear.

v  Write about your feelings, either in a journal or a poem.

v  Call your local humane society to see whether it offers a pet loss support group or can refer you to one.

v  Prepare a memorial for your pet.

Memories of our family Pets

Written by Ellie on . Posted in Ellie's Blog

Carly holding Mollie

Sammy the faithful companion

Losing a beloved pet is hard.  This past year we lost two such loves; Sammy, my daughter’s Black English Lab and Molly, who my daughter’s In-Laws, took in their home and their hearts.  Both were rescues.  Sammy’s original owner gave him up, as she could not take him with her to the retirement community and worked very hard to find him a loving family.  Sammy became Tim’s shadow and received much love from the girls.

Sammy loved exploring the golf course that runs behind their property, but he never wandered up there when golfers were about.  Winter was the time of sled rides down the rolling hills with the girls and Spring-time was for swims in the pond and chasing geese.  Evenings were for Tim and playing fetch.  Belly-rubs, love, care and Vet visits from his human Mommy.  Sammy was the official greeter for us Grand-parents.  As with all big dogs we had the usually thorough check and waited patiently for a welcoming pet.  On occasion we would bring Mac our Airedale and he and Sammy would romp about and play exuberantly as only big dogs can.  Mac still looks for Sammy and in his own way misses him. 

Molly was from the Human Society of Talbot County.  Tim’s parents had moved to the Eastern shore and Tim’s Dad, Bill had taken to going to the Human society and adopting kittens.  Four in all and two of the kittens he brought up for the girls.  These two cats the girls named Cookie and Wally.  Cookie because she looked like an Oreo cookie and Wally, well they just liked the name.  Wally an orange tabby has no fear of anyone or anything.  He was Sammy’s buddy and could be found nearby Sammy when he was resting.  Cookie can always be found hiding under one of the girls’ beds.  Tim’s Dad last foray to the Humane Society to save more kittens, but this time his heart went out to a small black dog.  We were not sure of her breed and figured she was a mix of a Shih Tzu and maybe Maltese or Yorkshire terrier.  She was so tiny.

For Molly this was the best thing that could have happened for her.  Her previous owners must have not known how to treat a sweet love like Molly.  Holding her you could feel that almost every bone in her tiny little body had been broken and she had a great fear of men.  In time she learned to love and trust Bill.  But, mostly Molly could be found cuddling up in Jeanne’s lap.  When Jeanne became very ill, Molly came to stay with Tim, Marilyn and the girls.  The youngest, Carly carried Molly everywhere. And, at night Molly slept in Carly’s room.  Molly had found a family that gave her plenty of love.  In return she showed much love in return. 

Jeanne’s illness had finally reached the level where she could not continue on and went into hospice to help her family take the steps to say their good byes.  Molly mourned her Mistress, but found solace in spending her time between being with the girls and Bill. 

Sammy had grown to be a very old boy.  He could hardly move about and was in a lot of pain from the arthritis in his hips and legs.  The Vet told them there was not much that could be done.  Sammy was quite an old and lived a bit longer than most labs.  Because of his age the best thing to do was help him cross to the Rainbow Bridge.  Six months later Molly joined Sammy.  The night she left for Rainbow Bridge she cuddled up with Bill and was in a lively mood for play.  Bill put her in her comfy crate at the end of his bed and both went to sleep for the night.  For Molly this was her final sleep.  In the morning Bill found her curled up in her last sleep. Bill figured she missed Jeanne and decided that was where she was needed. 

It was an honor to able to provide a painting of the beloved Sammy while he was still able to play and enjoy life that included a small vignette of him ready to play fetch with Tim.  It is displayed upon the living room wall in a place of prominence.  This is a memorial to a pet that gave love and received love.  For Molly I did a pastel painting of her and Carly cuddled up together for Jeanne.  Little did I know that this is a work of art would be for Bill to remember the little dog with a big heart.

I watch our Mac with his energetic joy for living and know that one day we too will need to say our good byes.  Thus, we enjoy each day that we have him.  We give him all the love we can, play with him every day and enjoy watching him entertain us with his Airedale antics.  Thus, I have created paintings and drawings showing each stage of Mac’s life.  They serve as reminders of Mac the puppy, now Mac the young dog.  

 Contact Ellie to learn more about making memories of your four-legged family members.  ellie@artsdtryon.com 

Memories of Special four-legged Friends

Written by Ellie on . Posted in Ellie's Blog

Preparing for when they leave us

As you all know by now, I love animals of all kinds – most of all dogs, cats, and horses because they have such a wonderful way of giving love and showing their appreciation of the love they receive.  This past weekend I observed this love and appreciation. 

My Son and Daughter-in-law own a female pit bull named Roxie.  Opal got her when she was nothing but a puppy and raised her with so much love.  Rox is now reached her golden years and arthritis makes getting up and down difficult and walking is hard for her.  But, she takes her time and gets to where she wants to be.  Watching Roxie it is hard to believe that pit bulls have such a bad reputation, which only proves that it is on the owner – Mistress/Master need to make sure that they use the best training practices and provide the love and care that makes a dog a good pet.  After all our pets look to us for guidance of what is and is not acceptable behavior. 

Opal was sitting on the sofa and we were talking about plans for their summer for the kids.  Rox climbed up on the sofa and laid her head on Opal’s lap.  She gave a big sigh and snuggled closer signaling Opal to pet her.  Opal and I then began talking about Rox and how she was doing.  We all know that Rox’s time is getting short.   She sleeps a lot and its out for business and back in.  Opal has also noted that Rox cannot hold her bladder as well anymore and that when she stands at the door it is best to let her out as soon as possible.  Opal said that they were getting down to a schedule for Rox and making sure that she is not left alone for long stretches of time. 

Rox no longer shows interest in chasing down squirrels and rabbits, of which I have about in abundance.  Mac tried his best to interest her in a game of bunny chasing, but she would have none of it.  Tried to get her to play tag to no avail and dog wrestling – nope; she laid down on him and stretched out for a nap.  His whimpering did not move her one bit.  As always when it was time for Roxie to leave Mac said his goodbyes and he then got up into his chair and looked sad.  Proof that dogs do have feelings and display emotions. 

I have taken photos over the past three years of Roxie and Mac.  Maybe it is time to memorialize Roxie before she says her final goodbye.

alt=”DSC_0355.JPG” style=’position:absolute;margin-left:0;margin-top:0;
width:165.6pt;height:189.85pt;z-index:1;visibility:visible;
mso-position-horizontal-relative:margin;mso-position-vertical-relative:margin’>
o:title=””/>

<!–[if !vml]–><!–[endif]–>As you all know by now, I love animals of all kinds – most of all dogs, cats, and horses because they have such a wonderful way of giving love and showing their appreciation of the love they receive.  This past weekend I observed this love and appreciation. 

My Son and Daughter-in-law own a female pit bull named Roxie.  Opal got her when she was nothing but a puppy and raised her with so much love.  Rox is now reached her golden years and arthritis makes getting up and down difficult and walking is hard for her.  But, she takes her time and gets to where she wants to be.  Watching Roxie it is hard to believe that pit bulls have such a bad reputation, which only proves that it is on the owner – Mistress/Master need to make sure that they use the best training practices and provide the love and care that makes a dog a good pet.  After all our pets look to us for guidance of what is and is not acceptable behavior. 

Opal was sitting on the sofa and we were talking about plans for their summer for the kids.  Rox climbed up on the sofa and laid her head on Opal’s lap.  She gave a big sigh and snuggled closer signaling Opal to pet her.  Opal and I then began talking about Rox and how she was doing.  We all know that Rox’s time is getting short.   She sleeps a lot and its out for business and back in.  Opal has also noted that Rox cannot hold her bladder as well anymore and that when she stands at the door it is best to let her out as soon as possible.  Opal said that they were getting down to a schedule for Rox and making sure that she is not left alone for long stretches of time. 

Rox no longer shows interest in chasing down squirrels and rabbits, of which I have about in abundance.  Mac tried his best to interest her in a game of bunny chasing, but she would have none of it.  Tried to get her to play tag to no avail and dog wrestling – nope; she laid down on him and stretched out for a nap.  His whimpering did not move her one bit.  As always when it was time for Roxie to leave Mac said his goodbyes and he then got up into his chair and looked sad.  Proof that dogs do have feelings and display emotions. 

I have taken photos over the past three years of Roxie and Mac.  Maybe it is time to memorialize Roxie before she says her final goodbye.