artsy fartsy,  my art is going to the dogs

travel with me down my road to failure…

I'm now painting in my bedroom...

Here’s my latest exercise in failure acceptance. It’s so pathetic that I’ve been given this amazing opportunity to have an art gallery showing (for a charity) but I don’t even paint! I mean, I have painted through the years but it’s not my passion. I don’t deserve this. I’ve had friends who painted twelve hours a day and had to be reminded to eat, they loved painting so much. Because I know I don’t deserve this, I am full of insecurity and feeling mighty intimidated. I don’t want to back out but I just don’t think I’m up to snuff.

I seriously think my niece Rapunzel could do a better job. I’m hoping that I can dazzle people with quantity instead of quality. Or maybe the silliness of my cartoonish style will show through and you’ll excuse the thick wobbly lines and smudgy edges. Part of me likes the messiness of these paintings. But part of me knows I can’t really get famous for it. It’s not like I’m trained to paint like Norman Rockwell but I just paint like a five year old for the fun of it. I just need practice. Like years and years of practice. But I don’t have five years. I have two months.

Now that I’m writing this, I realize it seems like I’m fishing for compliments. I’m really not. I’m just voicing my insecurity, hoping to take you all along on my journey towards this gallery showing that is probably going to happen whether I’m ready or not. Everybody likes drama right?


  • :: jozjozjoz ::

    I don’t think you’re fishing for compliments at all. Thanks for your candor.

    The gallery showing will be here before you know it and it will go swimmingly. (I think I saw that in a fortune cookie.)


  • jo

    So why do you have to paint? Why not do digital works? Why not make photographs? Why is it that ‘gallery’ and ‘exhibition’ equals paintings? Perhaps some info is missing from your post – but why not focus on what you can do, and do well? (I am speaking as an artist myself, who has been involved in many exhibitions, and whose primary practice is photo/digital based BTW).

  • michigan

    Whether or not you were fishing for compliments (and it doesn’t appear that you were, at all), you’re getting one. I love them. Colors are great, as is the rendering style. Finally – they convey an emotion which causes one in the viewer. Stop with the self doubting.

  • Vicki

    I was going to say something similar to Jo. Why not print out your illustrations or photography? Decoupage them on a canvas and sign your name or add some paint to it. What are the “rules” for this exhibition?

  • BeachMama

    From the photographs, the paintings look wonderful. And I would think that the more you paint the happier you will be with the results. I was wondering too if you had to paint them or if you could use on of your other talents for the show. Either way it should be a great learning experience, just remember to keep having fun!

  • monique

    those are so cool! i love the colors and the style! pop those in some little art shop on the east coast and people would be clamoring to buy them!

    painter or not… just keep having fun!

  • Bethiclaus

    I can imagine it would be scary to prepare for this show, but I think your style shows through in these paintings. Hopefully, other people will see it as well.

    Good work!

  • DeeJay

    Call me Kooky, but I think they are fun! Love the color contrast in each individual paining and then the contrast between each other painting. The expressions are adorable and the fact that you painted them like a portrait of a person (my dogs ARE people thank you very much) is great!

    I agree with Jessica…I’d buy ’em.

    They make me smile.

    I hope you do carry us in your purse on this road to the showing because it sounds like a blast to me. :)

    Don’t worry…be happy.

  • josephine

    Why didn’t I think of asking you guys for help sooner! You rock! I do want to do digital work in the show (since that is the medium I am most familiar with) but don’t know anything about printing on canvass or a plotter or whatever… does anybody have any advice? I’m going to email you Jo. Phew. If this could work, this would be a big relief.

    Thank you everybody. You’re all invited to the show in August. I’ll keep you posted (of course!).

  • bluejaye

    If you go a different route and these don’t make it to the show I think you could include these in you new card line. You could call the “conversation dogs”. They each look like they have something to say.

  • kate b

    You’re such a silly girl!

    First, we know you’re not fishing for compliments. A blog is where you write what you are feeling at a particular moment in time, and when you wrote this, you were feeling insecure is all.

    Second, the paintings are wonderful, energetic and graphic. I can tell you painted them with a graphic designer’s hand.

    Try calling a local sign shop and seeing if you can get your digital works printed out on banner material or canvas, then mount them yourself on frames. I used to work at a sign shop, and you would be amazed at what they can print out if they have good equipment.

    Keep on keepin’ on.

  • Angella

    I know how you feel about just wanting to write and not fishing for compliments. But? You’re talented and I’m sure you’ll figure out how to display your style of artwork :)

  • Annie

    Love your work and you’ll almost always find others who will share this sentiment with you, and for those who don’t, well, it doesn’t matter because you love your work. While it’s true that there are others who could paint a similar picture, no one will ever be able to replicate the spirit and intent of your own paintings. Relish in that. There’s a quote I once read, “There are many rooms in the house of art.” This is a good guiding principle. There will always only be one of you, and your life and art and words are your gift to the world. Thanks.

    SAJ says: No, Thank YOU! Rats. I was gonna comment on every comment but BB woke up. I’ll be back though.

  • Heidi

    You seriously shouldn’t doubt yourself. I think they are great. Love the colors and the expressions.

  • OMSH

    where is the dachshund weeeeeeeenie body?

    SAJ says: He’s in my head! :) The show/charity is for “power breeds” (mean dogs who need homes) so I have to somehow learn to paint pit bulls and such…. but I will do a weeeeeeeener dog, just for you, eventually.

  • familymclean

    They are cute and funny. I would love to comment as an artist to one in some artsy fartsy way, but I don’t read into art and look for emotion and crap like that in it. I see it for how it is. For me when I paint it is a release, if people like it…bonus! I do it because it makes me feel good and I enjoy it and I only paint what I want to paint when I want to. This one time I illustrated a book published by BTP.I was so excited to start it but after a few pages it wore off. It was brutal and I could barely get through it. Doing something because I had too and had a deadline I had to meet took all the fun out of it for me. It became a huge chore.
    So what I am trying to say is do what you love, let your natural juices flow and whatever you make in whatever form is what it should be.
    Does this even make any sense?

    SAJ says: Totally makes sense, but I take it one step further and sometimes NEED stressfull deadlines just to force myself to get outside the box. But you are right. I should just do what I do and not worry so much.

  • Gramma

    Your special gift is being able to capture the personalities of your subjects with only a few strokes. Sometime try ink line water color…That is what your Mom exhibited and SOLD before I had the opportunity to buy. They were snapped up just like hotcakes. One of my favorites was a waterwheel surrounded by a gently flowing stream with fall foliage. Of course that was nostalgic…it reminded me of the woods in Pennsylvania. You are aware that the more you paint, the better and more satisfied you will become.

  • ashpdx

    Hi there,
    For the record, I think they are really cute.
    I have the same feelings you do about my work. I so rarely do paintings that it is really hard. Just keep doing them, I know I expect things to be perfect the first time I do it which I am trying to overcome. I am a designer too who illustrates for fun and specializes in pug dogs by the way if you remember ( I comment somewhat rarely). (-;

  • Photographer Lori

    Let me second what Jo said! You can do WHATEVER you want! Do some paintings, some ilios, watercolors….anything you want! Seriously! This show is all about you and your fantastic talent. (and you are nuts to think you’re paintings stink! I know they will sell….and since this is for the charity I volunteer for…I should know! ) ;)

    Whatever you come up with, whatever you decide, it’s going to be fantastic. You really are talented and you DO DESERVE a show! Do you think I would ask a nontalent, horrid artist to be invovled? Um…NO! ;)

    Don’t worry about a thing. Leave me all the worry!

  • Photographer Lori

    And you can paint ANY KIND OF DOG! Yes we have many power breeds…Dobie’s, Rotties, Pits, Staffies, Shepherds….but we also have others. In fact, we just pulled a weenie dog last month. His name was Rufus and now he is in an awesome home. And the month before that we had two weenie brothers named Tobias and Whitley. :)

    Whatever kind of dog your brain thinks up is cool. Really….and throw in a cat or two if you want. And maybe even a baby bug! ;)

  • aunt kathy

    If I had small children I would buy those and put them in a square of four on their bedroom wall. Or else in the bathroom.

  • pinky

    I suggest you paint MORE FROG RAINBOOTS. I’d totally buy one of those. Or even a print :-)

  • Nicole Iwawaki

    so i think that the deal with art is that it, like beauty is in the eye of the beholder. as an artist we are entitled to a certain amount of insecurity…i think it is part of the territory…of course we feel more confident in some areas and less in others. i think the paintings are whimiscal and fun…i’d buy them. maybe painting is like riding a bike! have fun & enjoy the ride

  • Kuky

    I like them. Especially the dog with his tongue out on the blue background. He looks like he’s looking at that cat. He’s thinking about gobbling him up! Yum yum cat!! And that cat looks like he’s worried about the dog looking his way. Ha!

  • Katie

    Uh Oh! I smell a new biz for SAJ! Sounds like your fan base may be interested in buying art for kiddie rooms! I know I would! :-)

  • Mélaine

    You are a truly fabulous, gifted artist and I’m way envious that you have the skills I so severly lack! You will do brilliantly and astound them all with your creativity.
    Is that an Eiffel Tower lamp I see from Target? I have the same – how original are we?!

  • ~aj~

    They are adorable, SAJ. Be proud of your artistic ability. There are others out there (myself included) that can’t even draw a stick figure. If you did a monkey or pug, I’d buy it in a heartbeat!!!

  • nila

    I see stuff like this in stores for lots of money. But you should try to print your graphics. They’re so good. I really like your template btw.