jewelry, paintings, illustrations, art politics and the man behind it all

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Custom pet portraits are my bread & butter & my joy

I have fallen in love with my custom pet portrait art. The love affair began some years ago when a dear friend commissioned me to paint a deceased pet. Being a part of the healing process, and hearing of the unconditional love became a little precious to me. Also, getting to know pets through stories and through painting the little beasts moved me in unexpected ways. Creating these unique portraits has become a bit of a routine and I could not be happier. I have painted many pets, living and departed and can honestly say that I love it each and every time for the exact reasons I mentioned before.

I thought I would share a few stories and post some of my most successful pieces here now, to spread the word about my work and to remind myself! Get your own here.

Some noteworthy puppers from the last few years. Jen, the proud owner of Finnegan (top left – and one of my favorite pieces) is a friend from my grade school days spent in Virginia. The Frenchie at top right made an appearance on my friend Susie’s page and I had to paint! Turns out the dog didn’t belong to her, but to a new friend of hers in LA. Sweet Olive Donnelly (bottom middle) is the oldest piece here. The tiny pup helped a dear friend during and after the loss of her husband. She is an adorable, sweet, uncharacteristically quiet chihuahua and I adore her. To her right is Mikka, my friend Yang’s dog. Yang loves how smart and independent she is.

Cat Attack.

King George (top left) lives in England with a married gay couple and their son. His father David is one of my favorite Instagram friends. Tiger Lily (bottom middle) lives in Yachats, Oregon in an air stream and an Art gallery. Her mother and I have known each other since childhood. Carrie, the owner of the gorgeous cat on the bottom right said this of her piece: “Chloe đź’• was such a beauty…We called her our model kitty because she was gorgeous and had quite the attitude. She was a princess, so we treated her as such 💅🏼 but we would tease her about her humble beginnings (she was born in a barn). The moment you captured was toward the end of her life.”

This is Chase and Boogie, sweet, beautiful boys who belong to Sandy, a dear friend right here in Portland. They were a partial trade payment for a trip to Alaska! 

Click here for custom cat paintings.

I painted this precious baby simply because I think he is so cute. His Mom Zacil lives in Mexico and his name is Cotton.

My response when I aksed my friend Helen in Australia about her kitty I painted last year

My friend Pam used to have Macaws in her house and I have to admit they freaked me out. I adore painting them though. Just look at this guy.

This is Rufus, owned by Megan in Los Angeles. Rufus was commissioned by my friend Season’s in an effort to cheer Megan up when she lost Rufus earlier this year. Megan spent over a year searching the Humane Society before she met the “one”. It was just the 2 of them for years. He had anxiety and would escape sometimes. He was gone once for more than a week in LA. She kept the faith and got him back, miles away from their house.

Speaking of Seasons – I painted sweet Louie for her birthday this year. He didn’t live to see Seasons in her new beach house with her love Jim. He would have loved the house, so I wanted to include him in the piece as if he really is there watching for her. When I asked Seasons today what she loved most about Louie she got a faraway misty look like she was 16 and thinking of a teen idol. Really, though she thought of him as a Jazz man who you felt honored to be loved by.

Finally, we have Roz. Roz’s owner approached me for earrings earlier this year and that led to me following the cockatoo on Instagram, and ultimately painting this. I asked was made Roz so special and this was the response, 

So, there you have it – a little insight on one aspect of the career that I love. Feel free to share this and spread the word – or take the leap and get yourself one!

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Japan Rewind part 1: Kamakura

For 5 visits to Tokyo now my closest friend Kelly has been gently suggesting a day trip to Kamakura. Every other time I brush the suggestion off and find a way to stay in Tokyo. Part laziness, part there are so many things to do I almost have a panic attack thinking about missing out on something. This time, though, and with the help of Gabrizelle – we made it happen. It was glorious. 

This sexy little camel adorned a tiny restaurant on a narrow street filled with gorgeous, but quaint shops and dining spots. 

Hase-dera is set on the hillside and is a glorious spot with many things to gaze at and a view to die for.

Blossoms just outside Hase-dera caught my eye.

DAIBATSU – the big Buddha. He survived a tsunami that washed away the temple around him. You can actually walk inside him – avoid this if you hate the heat and are claustrophobic. I survived, only just, but it was awe-inspiring to see the work done to make such an awe-inspiring Buddha.

Lone giant crow surverys the crowds at Hase-dera. Children dropping ice cream ensure that he will eat like a king in no time.

Watch out for kites wanting to rip into your tender flesh! Seriously though, seeing these majestic beauties soaring above us at Hase-dera was a bit of a thrill for me as I’m a bird guy. 

The view from the top at Hase-dera convinces me that I must see it again when I return. I also said some really intense prayers both here and at Fushimi Inari (more on that later) and when those prayers are answered I HAVE to go back to humbly give thanks.

When we left Hase-dera I hydrated with one of these babies. Words cannot convey the tart apple punch to the face. This was my only Vivit’s sparkling apple juice I enjoyed in Japan and I will be counting the days until I can shove guzzle another. After a slow, beautiful walk through Kamakura and back to the train station we made one last stop for a bowl of noodles that made me weep. The flavour. The pride noodle man should have. Oh man. I’ll either speak on Inari and Kyoto or Team Lab in my next post. Stay tuned! 

Southern Socialite inspirations with the Real Housewives of Dallas

The Real Housewives of Dallas return tonight and I cannot wait! Mostly I want to see what craziness LeeAnne Locken gets up to. For a long time I have wanted to bring my wares to the Lone Star state in a big way. I have been featured in and around the Dallas area at boutiques and many of my online sales come from that region.  It might be that I love the statement necklace and the women there have absolutely no fear of making bold choices with their accessories. 

In honor of tonight’s premiere and my popularity in the area I have paired one of my currently in stock statment pieces with each of the 6 women with featured roles on RHOD this year. 

My favourite RHOD is Stephanie Hollman because she is hilarious, really sweet, and has a style that I love. I paired her with one of my more delicate statement pieces, the “Nautical Coco” filled with tanzanite, fresh water pearls, and aquamarine. Get Nautical Coco. 

I also really like Cary Deuber and her look. She borders on having a rock n’ roll edge to her style at times and I think she would look great in this draping gothic cross piece. Get Rock N’ Roll Heart here.

Brandi Redmond gives me laughs as well and I really love her friendship with Stephanie. I hope they remain close this year even with all the drama and screaming around them. I paired Brandi with my classic eagle bib statement necklace because she SEEMS the most Texas to me. I MEAN former Cowboy cheerleader and all that attitude. Love it. Get the Eagle bib here

LeeAnne Locken gets the most screen time I think. She gets moved to rage quite often and tends to act out when she feels she is being judged or not heard. I have dealt with this myself, but had the good fortune of not being filmed while going through that difficult growth. In any case, her brand of crazy is the real reason many people watch the Real Housewives so I’m not sure what the show would be without her. And it’s not like she’s anywhere near as evil as Phaedra. Rest in peace girl. I paired LeeAnne with the Vampire Killer. I have been making these bold cross and miraculous medallion charm necklaces for many years and I think LeeAnne has the bold style and Christian pride to pull it off in the best way. Get the Vampire Killer here. 

I saw newcomer Kameron Westcott wearing teal and black in a few style shots floating around online and felt this Sky Blue and Black bib charm necklace would work great for her. I’m excited to see what she’s all about. You can get yours here.

I feel for the other newcomer D’Andra Simmons already as she is friends with both LeeAnne AND Cary and is sure to be in the middle of some nastiness as the outspoken women get their rage on. I paired her with some divine light in the form of my holographic crystal bib. Get yours here.

Have fun watching tonight and give Zachary Pryor’s jewels a look during the commercial break!