Monday, September 8, 2014

Artist Profile: Karen M Berisford

Karen M Berisford has been involved with the Paws For Charity Project for many years. To see more of her work, please visit her website (www.karenmberisford.co.uk). You can also find her on Facebook here.
Karen M Berisford and Survivor   (www.karenmberisford.co.uk)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I have just moved up to live on the coast at Newbiggin by the Sea in Northumberland but am originally from Chesterfield in Derbyshire (UK) very close to the Peak District.  Being part of the Paws For Charity Art book is a great honour as I know it is helping to raise funds for the SHAID shelter and any animal shelter in every corner of the world works so hard to get much needed donations, how could I not wish to help, even though I only play a very small part in it. Every animal deserves a loving home. 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
I just love creating realism in my work, after over 30 years of being an Artist, you continue to improve, I do not think you ever stop really. I need challenges in my work to feel a true passion for what I do. As I do a lot of Pet portraits, many who have sadly passed over the Rainbow bridge - to me, it is important that I capture their 'spirit' and that 'look'. I really work from the heart when I am producing something very special for someone - I will spend time simply looking at a subject or a scene, thinking about what that subject means or meant to the Commissionee and deciding what I could add to make it just that little bit special for them.  I do not know if 'from the heart' is a 'style' but I'd like to think so! 

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
Nature inspires me - birds singing, dogs playing, cats snoozing, the wind blowing through a horse's mane, watching and listening to the sea - simply anything in Mother Nature continues to inspire no matter how many times I see it, I'm home in Nature. I would also say that other Artist's definately inspire and encourage me to want to do more Art - I love looking at different styles of Art, different creative types, bright colours and reading how passionate others are about what they do too, Art is all I ever wanted to do in life - I feel very lucky. 
Karen's artwork and involvement with the Paws For Charity Project are featured in this month's Coloured Pencil Magazine.
 
I want to thank Karen for being involved with the Paws For Charity Project year after year...her generosity is much appreciated!
All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Artist Profile: Jewel Mathieson

Jewel Mathieson is an amazing artist, and she has generously participated in the Paws For Charity projects for years. You can see more of her wonderful art on her website: www.petportrait.co.nz or on facebook: www.facebook.com/petportrait
Jewel Mathieson    www.petportrait.co.nz
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I’m from Nelson, New Zealand. When I was first contacted by Sara about the Paws for Charity project I jumped at the chance and was truly honoured to be included! I am lucky enough to connect with rescue groups and clubs from all over the globe and I always love to contribute and support them when ever I am can. I have also discovered that Rogue’s owner, (my main portrait that’s included in this year’s book) is actually Canadian, so it meant a lot to her that Rogue could be part of a project that supported a Canadian shelter.

Tell us about one of your favourite commissions?
I had a date with ten Huskies, which was an amazing and memorable experience in itself. But the real fun began when I tried to do a photo shoot with six of them for a portrait commission. Armed with three helpers and lots of treats, things were going pretty well and we managed to get five of them lined up nicely with a formal, posed portrait in mind. However, no amount treats, kind persuasion, or gentle manoeuvring would convince the old boy Fen to co-operate with us. During a stand-off between Fen and his owner, I took a perfectly timed photo of Fen defiantly sitting looking towards me while the other five sat a few feet away, lined up perfectly, all looking over at Fen to see what he was doing. We did eventually get a few perfect posed photos of them all, and when I sent through the best photo options for the portrait, I included that one. Much to my delight he loved it too and picked it for his portrait, which I drew as a diptych with the five on the left looking over at Fen, who I drew in a separate portrait to the right. To this day it is still my favourite portrait!
Where's Fen? by Jewel Mathieson   www.petportrait.co.nz
What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
I find inspiration in a lot of different places. Animals, particularly dogs, fascinate me. They have such unique and individual personalities, and I love really capturing the expression and the soul which makes each animal so distinctive.
I also really love texture so I am drawn to places like old farmsteads, historic sites and abandoned relics. I love weathered wood, shaped by rot and painted with moss and lichens. As well as rusty old iron, vehicles and machinery which was once so essential to daily life, now laying almost forgotten in the grass. And of course, I love the texture of fur!

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
I have quite an individual, highly detailed style with which I love capturing all of my subjects. Each portrait is painstakingly drawn using dozens of colours and layers, quite literally drawing in every hair and every possible fine detail that I can see. Often it is the little things that can make something so easily recognisable so attention to detail is an essential attribute for me. I also achieve all of this while using quite a vibrant colour palette so my portraits are all bright, uplifting and full of life.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
I’m currently working on my second book, to be titled “Indomitable Spirit”. It looks at the early working breeds of the Arctic regions as well as their modern day descendants. Through my art I want to express their immense spirit and unyielding determination and the very special bonds that they form both with each other and with their owners. It is a rather ambitious two year project which will see me draw more than fifty portraits for the book, but one that I am incredibly excited about! I’m hoping to have it published late 2014/early 2015.

Thanks Jewel...we wish you the best of luck with your project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Artist Profile: Carmen Owen

Carmen Owen is a repeat contributor to the Paws For Charity Project...I was happy to welcome her back again this year. Visit her on facebook:  
https://www.facebook.com/WildatheARTcreationsbyCarmenOwen


Carmen Owen and Summer
What is your favorite art piece and why?
My favorite pastel portrait is the one I did of my 12 year old border collie "Sorcha". (Her name means "Bright, radiant, light" in Gaelic). This close-up portrait of her sweet wee face captured her bright and fun loving personality exactly as I had hoped it would. "Sorcha" was the model for my first pet portrait back in 2005 and this was the last portrait that i completed of her just a few months before she died at age 12, so it's very special to me for that reason also.

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
Rather than drawing a classic posed portrait, I prefer to zoom in and do close-ups on sections of the face (especially the eyes) as I feel it gives the drawing a more modern look.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
At the moment I am taking a break from pet portraiture and I'm working on a series of artworks about wolves.   


Thanks so much for participating in the Paws For Charity Project again this year, Carmen! Wishing you all the best with your future projects. 

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Monday, August 18, 2014

Artist Profile: Derek Johnston

Derek Johnston is a personal friend of mine...a talented photographer and generous contributor to this project year after year.
Derek Johnston with Scooter
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for this project?
We are still living in East Chester, Nova Scotia. We have a special affinity for SHAID since that is where we found our first wonderful dog.  Because of that relationship with SHAID, when the occasion arose, I jumped at the opportunity to do my bit as a thank you.

Tell us about one of your favorite photo shoots.
One of my favourite photo shoots happened accidently. I noticed a raccoon emerging from a window of a rather dilapidated house near our cottage. I showed this photo to the owner/ proprietor of the Raven Art Gallery in Tatamagouche. She said that inspired her to take up painting again and led to an agreement whereby I was able to show and sell a number of my  images from her gallery.

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
Most of my inspiration for photography comes from my association with the Bridgewater Photo Club. Because of the structure of the program, I try to enter all the contests and so I am constantly on the lookout for subjects that are applicable.

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
Of all subjects, nature in the specific and broadest sense is my favourite photographic subject. Currently I am particularly interested in discovering and photographing waterfalls.  

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
When asked if I have a certain style, I unabashedly “borrow” from photographers whom I admire and I also find inspiring.

Thanks Derek...it's great to have you involved in the 2014 Paws For Charity Project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity



Friday, August 8, 2014

Artist Profile: Jeanne Taylor

Photographer Jeanne Taylor (www.jtpetpics.com) supplied the cover photo for our 2013 Paws For Charity Project, and I'm so happy she donated her images again this year! You can follow Jeanne on facebook here: Jeanne Taylor Photography
Jeanne Taylor  (www.jtpetpics.com)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in Fairfax VA (just outside of Washington DC) and also frequent the Charleston SC area for seasonal appointments. When I first heard about Paws for Charity in 2013, I felt compelled to participate – it is such a great idea and geography really doesn’t matter when you are trying to help a shelter in need.

What are some things, people, or places that inspire you?
I am always inspired by natural light and colors, but my work inspiration really strikes when I meet and connect with the client pets or rescue animals I am about to photo. There are also some very special animals I know who continue to inspire me every single day!

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
Style-wise I just like to focus on expression or mood as much as possible – and the animal-human relationship when people participate in the session with their pets.

Tell us about a future project you have in mind?  

I LOVE senior pets – my own Bandit is coming up on 16 this fall and he and I have a couple of senior pet projects in mind for 2015. Stay tuned!


Website:www.jtpetpics.com

Thanks Jeanne! 

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Artist Profile: Jen Bergren

Welcome back, Jen! Jen Bergren (www.fetchlight.com) participated in the Paws For Charity Project last year as well.You can find links to see Jen's photography at the bottom of this post.
Jen Bergren   (www.fetchlight.com)
Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?
I live in San Diego. Paws for Charity not only raises money to directly benefit an animal shelter, but it also raises awareness in Canada, the U.S., and beyond for pet rescues and shelters in general, because of the publicity created by Sara and all the caring artists who contributed to it. I am proud to be a part of any project that raises people's awareness about pets in need and gets them thinking about adopting instead of buying pets, or thinking about fostering and other ways they can help.
 

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?
My style is happy and colorful, often taking advantage of all the beautiful and varied locations that San Diego has to offer (beaches, parks, mountains, deserts, downtown urban...). I want people, especially the pet parents, to smile when they see their favorite images!

Tell us about a current project you are working on?
Last year I completed a creative project featuring dogs near San Diego neighborhood signs (including another installment this year), so the next personal project I am working on features San Diego area stairs and dogs. I have noticed an interesting variety of outdoor staircases around the area, and I think the hard geometric lines of stairs contrast nicely with furry round dog shapes, something similar that I discovered I liked last year when working on a San Diego Bridges (with dogs) project.
www.instagram.com/fetchlightphoto

Thanks Jen....it's great to have you involved again in this year's project!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity

Monday, August 4, 2014

Artist Profile: Karen Middleton

Karen Middleton (www.colourbelle.com) is a newcomer to the Paws For Charity Project this year...welcome Karen!  You'll find a complete list of links for Karen at the bottom of this post.
Karen Middleton    (www.colourbelle.com)
 Where do you live? What made you want to contribute to help raise funds for an animal shelter in Nova Scotia?

I am a British artist, living in Lincolnshire, in the East Midlands. Since being a child I have been a huge animal lover, so I wanted to be part of the Paws For Charity project as it enables me to use my skills to help.


Tell us about one of your favorite painting commissions?

I have done many pet portraits over time and received some lovely comments, and one lady informed me that she intended to change her will in order to have the portrait included in her coffin.

What is your favorite photo/art piece and why?

At one time I was unable to draw for 6 months, but one day received a printed greeting card sample of one of my kitten pieces. Something clicked within me, I thought “I can do this again” and taking 2 weeks off of the job I had at the time, I surrounded myself with sketches and ideas and created the image “Lily”, measuring around 12 inches. It got me back into drawing and increased my desire to create more animal imagery. (I didn’t know at the time that lilies are really not good for cats, so they’re artificial props!).

Do you have a certain "style" in mind when you create your images?

I try to convey a particular mood for the subject as often as possible, so whether it is comical, sentimental or cute, I include that in my initial plans. The mood I want to set can sometimes determine the colour scheme too.

Do you ever find yourself in a creative dry spell? What do you do to get yourself inspired?

Not so much a dry spell, I do find I get anxious if I feel I’m slacking or not applying myself 100%, so then I get out of the studio and do things that aren’t related to art and work, and I’m soon missing it, which is most helpful!

Do you have any creative mentors?

I have loved and admired Lesley Anne Ivory for many many years and collected as many of her books and products as possible. She also has really cool names for her cats!

Tell us about a current project you are working on?

I’m in the process of painting a montage of non-domestic animals, measuring 20 inches, with an aim to be used for licensing. I’m using paints too, which I’m not so confident with, but enjoy nonetheless. The project has also enabled me to do some research and led to learning about the animals included.

Tell us about a future project you have in mind?

I hope to become part of HeartsSpeak, so I’m working towards the requirements needed there.

Do you have a "life's embarrassing moment" you can tell us about one of your assignments?

As many artists know, some deadlines can be really tight, and working 22 hours for 20 days running at one time, my leg swelled up at 1am. Reluctantly leaving work aside and arriving at hospital with a wonderful friend in tow, I was given appropriate treatment and asked to return the next day for follow up treatment. Getting home at 4.45am, after some sleep, it felt like “the next day” so – loyal friend happy to come along again - we arrived at hospital to be told to go home - it was still the same day….ooops


Links:


Shop: www.etsy.com/uk/shop/ColourBelle
Facebook: www.
facebook.com/Colourbelleart


Thanks for contributing your images to this project Karen!

All proceeds from the sale of these books are donated to Sheltering Helpless Animals in Distress (SHAID.ca), an animal Shelter in Nova Scotia.
Click on this link to preview this year's book: http://www.blurb.com/books/5210564-2014-paws-for-charity

E-books are also available...you can preview e-books here: http://store.blurb.com/ebooks/468601-2014-paws-for-charity