I like to thank each person who signs up for an account on Portraits of Animals. Each new member receives a thank-you gift not only as an honest thanks from me for signing up, but also so that you can see a sample of my art and the quality of my merchandise, even if you’ve been a customer already and purchased from me in other places.
You don’t need to purchase anything to get your thank you gift.
I will send you the coupon code that will deduct the cost of the print in your shopping cart
Get your free print any time, alone or in combination with other items.
The thank you gifts always include matted digital prints of art and photos that I usually sell for between $20.00 and $40.00. The selection includes the current month’s featured artwork and several of the more popular images I sell. Sizes vary according to the size of the art itself—some of my more popular sketches are as small as 3″ x 5″—but they are always matted to fit a standard frame size so you can use a frame you have on hand or easily purchase one without the cost of custom framing.
Your print is free, and no shipping is necessary within the United States. The shopping cart will automatically add a fee for shipping to Canada and to the United Kingdom, Europe and Australia.
- United States: $0.00
- Canada: $15.00
- Other countries: $25.00
Your print will show up in your cart as $0.00, even if you purchase other items on this visit. You’ll need to update your profile to add your address when you check out.
This offer is only good for new member registrations. Browse the current prints and sign up for an account today!
“Pear Trees on Main Street” New Member Prints are 8″ x 11″ and matted in a pure white mat to fit an 11 x 14 frame.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Spring has come round again, and Carnegie’s Main Street is once again awash in white blossoms—a little earlier than usual this year. A freeze damaged many of the blossoms and the display may not be as vibrant as usual, but I have a painting for that.
In April, when the ornamental pears bloom, Main Street seems more colorful than usual with big clouds of soft white pear trees all along the street. Even though I painted this in 2003, it carries the memories of Carnegie’s Main Street as I was growing up, visiting the shops and walking here after leaving St. Luke’s School, then, later, working my first full-time job at the Isaly’s.
This New Member print is a signed digital print of “Their Faces to the Sun”, ink and watercolor made in archival inks on Epson textured watercolor paper. This print is 5″ x 7″ and double matted to fit an 8″ x 10″ frame with black core mats.
Mimi and Mewsette settled in the sun from the window on the landing, both of them enjoying the wash of the warm light on their faces as the shadows crept up over their backs.
Often, big soft Mewsette settles somewhere and soon I see little Mimi tucked up against her, two girls enjoying some girl time. So they are, here.
And I changed the title from the original which was “Their Faces in the Sun” to “Their Faces to the Sun” because of the context of the saying, either “Keep your face always toward the sun and the shadows will fall behind you” or “Keep your face always toward the sunshine and you will not see the shadows”, variously attributed to both Walt Whitman and Helen Keller, both authors and people whose works I have read and admire them both, but this quote nor any variation has not been found in any of eithers’ works. Nonetheless I love the sentiment, especially when applied to rescued cats.
Here is what I had to say about the artwork when I painted this little sketch.
I wanted to exploit the variations in their coat colors and just play with shadows and highlights here. Mimi is quite the cocoa kitty, while Mewsette is a much cooler black, tending toward blue. In this brilliant yellow sunlight, the deepest shadows were a complementary purple, secondary shadows behind them were not necessarily green but that little experiment worked anyway, and the minor shadows where the yellow tones down and begins to shade to orange were just areas where I felt orange was needed.
Ink lines went in last, unlike the usual technique of drawing the cats then painting in. I sketched them, literally, with a broad brush and let the colors flow together. There is one area I am unhappy with, and I need to manage the flow on the paper a little better, on Mewsette down near the floor, that floating edge has no context and should be softer. I didn’t realize how dry the paper was already. I’ll need to be more careful. If I hadn’t said anything probably most people would not have noticed it, but for the sake of the artists who follow me—be more aware than me!
I still love this little painting, and I remember the days when I aspired to sketch like this in ink, and apply and blend watercolors so freely. A few years ago I would have either produced a rather insecure much more detailed sketch with more realistic colors, or total mud. Practice makes perfect, even if perfection is loosening up rather than tightening details. I’m so happy with my daily sketch practice; even when I don’t post a new one, as today, I am still working on other artwork, so in a way I’m still practicing!
The original painting is still available as well as prints of various sizes on paper and canvas, and this is also available as a greeting card. Please visit the listing for “Their Faces to the Sun” to see all the possibilities.
The original of this painting was pastel, 31″ x 27″, on illustration board hand-finished with pastel ground. Your Autumn in the Valley, Pastel, New Member Gift print is 8″ x 11″ and matted to fit an 11″ x 14″ frame with a pure white mat.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Sloping hills blaze with autumn color at a rocky, rippled bend in Chartiers Creek, yet on the horizon deep gray-purple clouds hover; although the day was sunny I remember it being distinctly chilly with a sharpness to the breeze, especially on the water in a canoe, and winter is literally on the horizon.
For two reasons the scene was reminiscent and inspiring: first, that I rounded the bend to see this natural splendor in all its detail, brilliant color, fluttering leaves, rippling water, changing clouds, happening all on its own with no help from me or any other human; and, second, it was an example of that “change of season” with the gray-purple clouds of winter arriving on the horizon, two seasons blending into one another. I needed to share this image, and it was so moving that the inspiration also became a poem, and the title for my third annual poetry reading and art show at Andrew Carnegie Free Library & Music Hall, Change of Season.
No, I couldn’t paint while paddling, and my little digital photos didn’t do the scene justice, yet other than wading down the creek and setting up an easel in the middle of the water, there was no other way of painting this. To take the scene from the tiny digital image to the full-size painting took a good bit of memory and visualization; it’s a good thing I’m very familiar with scenes like this.
This New Member print is a signed digital print of my oil pastel sketch “Afternoon Nap” made in archival inks on Epson Velvet Art Paper. It is 8″ x 10″ and matted to fit an 11″ x 14” frame with a single pure white mat.
ABOUT THE ART
A Portrait of an Old Cat: Afternoon Nap
An old cat, a gentleman,
he has found a quiet spot, upstairs in the afternoon,
and has so perfectly placed himself a little off-center
on the expanse of white bedspread,
illuminated by stark winter light through the window.
(Stanley finds all the best places.)
You know those moments where you walk upon a scene of your cats doing something that you always want to remember, whether it’s a regular habit or a one-time thing? This scene was one of Stanley’s regular habits during his last few years; every afternoon he’d head upstairs with intent and I’d find him curled in the same spot on the bed.
This New Member print is a signed digital print of my photo “Sophie Keeps an Eye on Things”. Prints are made in archival inks on Epson Silky Photo Paper. This print is 8″ x 11″ and matted with a pure white mat to fit an 11″ x 14″ frame.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
Sophie was always in one of the windows when I left and when I returned, and she always managed to use the curtains to dramatic advantage. This is one of my fondest memories of her, nestled in the creamy lace with the spring-blooming forget-me-nots in the windowbox.
This New Member print is a signed digital print of my photo “Market Flowers”. Prints are made in archival inks on Epson Silky Photo Paper. This print is 8″ x 11″ and matted with a pure white mat to fit an 11″ x 14″ frame.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
I visit many farmer’s markets through the summer now that every community seems to have one at least once a week, to purchase what my garden is not producing. All the farmers are local and are small family farms and I enjoy meeting the people who grow my food, and who took the time to pick it and sort it and wash it and pack it the day of the market. This particular farmer had buckets and buckets of flowers and in the light from the sky all the flowers were so vibrant I couldn’t pass them up.
This New Member print is a signed digital print of my pastel “Dusk in the Woods”. Prints are made in archival inks on Epson Velvet Fine Art Paper to simulate the original watercolor paper. This print is 8″ x 11″ and matted to fit an 11″ x 14″ frame with a pure white mat.
ABOUT THE ART
That “blue time of day”…a quick walk in the woods after a heavy snowfall as clouds parted and the sun set on the distant horizon, bare trees like sentinels. This time of day always carries a certain melancholy for me, as if a deep instinctive part of me realizes the sun is about to leave and may not come back. The moment stands in all its silent beauty along Robinson Run in Collier Township, on a trail in the woods running parallel to the Panhandle Trail.
This New Member print is a signed digital print of my pastel “Are You Looking At Me?” Prints are made in archival inks on Epson Velvet Art Paper. This print is 8″ x 11″ and matted to fit an 11″ x 14″ frame with a pure white mat.
ABOUT THE ARTWORK
This is the guy who started it all–and nearly the last one to have his portrait done! He fostered every stray kitten and cat I ever brought into my home, and shepherded me through the ups and downs of the fifteen years he was with me. More intelligent than many people I’ve met, friends of mine will remember him as the cat who opened the refrigerator door, took out a container, opened it, and helped himself to the contents. I’ve used his image in other works, but I’ve finally decided that the best depiction of his personality is of him being silly, rolling around in the sun and making sure I noticed how handsome he was.