Personal projects

Personal projects are often inspired by an image, a bit of music, maybe a chance turn of a phrase. They usually start with a quick sketch and then I photograph as much of the piece as I can. There’s a fair amount of composite work and the image changes and evolves as time passes, especially if it’s going to print competition and getting feedback. By the time I paint, it’s quite different from where it started. Please enjoy these finished pieces and reading about some of the ideas and work that went into them!

Fish Story

October 30, 2018

"Fish Story" was inspired by an image I shot of our feral kittens jumping up at toys. Sam reached up and he had a circle of kittens around him. It looked like he was telling a story about a fish he'd caught....

Queen of the Hill

October 22, 2018

"Queen of the Hill" started as an homage to our Guardian Dog, Piper. We'd recently taken in two litters of feral kittens and she was being absolutely amazing with them. There is a book by the brilliant author,...

Timber Ghost

September 1, 2018

I went to Minnesota in the delightful month of March to photograph the Aurora Borealis. One of our day trips was to a natural reserve to look for eagles and owls. I didn’t see many but I did admire the...

Princess and the Pea

August 2, 2018

The Princess and the Pea had been percolating in my head since I’d photographed my friend’s Irish Red & White on a pile of beds a few years ago. I photographed it in the spring and it went...

The Dreaming Tree

July 31, 2018

I decided to photograph The Dreaming Tree because of my Setter’s obsession with tennis balls. For his birthday, I bought him 300 (gently used) tennis balls and he was in hog heaven. Unfortunately, he was...

Taking Flight

December 8, 2017

I love the style of some older Asian paintings and I wanted to try to replicate that dreamy ink work they managed for their landscapes. “Taking Flight” started out as something completely different...

My Finch is an… interesting dog. He has some physical quirks that make him an unusual portrait subject. Such as a crooked jaw that lets his tongue hang out and a nerve disorder that causes paralysis so...

Pirate Dreams

October 17, 2017

“Pirate Dreams” is my very first composite image. I had taken some photos of Finch in a metal tub wearing a silly $1 pirate hat and decided that it needed a more interesting background. I found some ocean and...

Is It Friday Yet?

September 14, 2017

My friend Julia has a very expressive English Setter named Archer. I photographed him during a mini-session at the ESAA Nationals and immediately knew I wanted to do something with that face! On a long...

Fowl Play

May 18, 2017

“Fowl Play” was inspired by seeing a feather capelet at a fellow photographer’s studio. I thought how funny/ironic it would be to put it on a bird dog. Amazon was quick to provide the required capelet. A few...

“The Adoption of Victoria B.” was inspired by some newborn composites I had seen on FB. The idea was percolating in my head and I had made a sketch but hadn’t really been inspired to work on...

Her Dog Friday

August 8, 2016

“Her Dog Friday” started off as a gelled light experiment with my older Setter. It progressed from portrait, to composite, and, when I realized I might have something competition worthy, my Golden Retriever...

The Blue Preacher

January 21, 2016

I was vacationing in Florida with my family and was absolutely fascinated with all the herons in close proximity. I photographed this fellow stalking along the shore and was excited to paint him when I got...