I'm thrilled to announce that I'm opening up dog portrait commissions again and supporting the Animal Protection Society of Durham during the month of August. In reviewing my history of making dog portraits, I recognized that I was building momentum in creating more portraits just prior to the Pandemic. With my relocation to NC, I've completed a couple, but haven't been able to promote them. My studio is almost 100% finished (enough that it is operable) and the renovations in our home are complete. Now, as we move into the Dog Days of Summer, I'm ready to officially open them up and donate 10% of the profits of all booked portraits to APS.
I've been making dog portraits since we rescued our first dog, Ringo, back in 2007. It started with just an oil pastel of him, roughly drawn on cardboard. I adore that drawing and have a dedicated spot in our powder room. At some point when I ran my studio/gallery in Newton, NJ, I began accepting dog portrait commissions, with one of the first subjects coming in for a photo shoot:
This past February I participated in a virtual artist residency supported through the Artist Mother Network. It was a month full of creativity, productivity and getting me out of old habits and into new. While, not everything stuck, I found the experience and work is giving birth to new ideas just now.
Later in the year, the Artist Mother Network, host of the Artist Mother Podcast, merged with the Thrive Artists Network, giving birth to the Thrive Together Network, which I have been a member of since they formed. Building on the February residency idea, the new network put forth the idea of a September Virtual Residency. Part fear of missing out, and part needing a kick in the butt while going through many health challenges, I decided to participate.
What I neglected to consider is the whirlwind of September, due to the first month of school and both of my boys participating in baseball for the first time together, and my ongoing health challenges. I energetically pushed forward and created a plan with Thrive's guidance and some ideas from other artists on the network.
I've been painting custom ARTaments, which are hand-painted ornaments, for almost 5 years. Geez! I can't believe it's been that long, and that my son, who was 4 at the time, is now 8 1/2. (Watch the video above for the explanation of how I started painting ARTaments and my son's role in their development).
These are both a joy and a bit of a struggle to paint, considering that I'm working on a blank "canvas" that is about 3" large. It's actually blank ceramic involves the following steps to create:
These little gems get me out of the scale I normally paint, and force me to attempt to work quickly, though I've discovered each time I paint one, I usually spend minimally 4 hours on each. And, thru this discovery, I know I'm greatly underpricing my custom pieces. But, lucky for you, you can take advantage of those introductory prices through the end of May on any ARTament commissioned. Now is certainly not too early to think ahead to the end of the year. I will be increasing their pricing come May, so get your orders in ASAP!
The most recent ARTament I completed was for my friend's sister, featuring her niece. It was such an absolute joy to paint, considering that her niece is utterly adorable, and the colors of her clothes screamed a yellow background, which justly fits into my recent work with #INTOYellow.
Interested in a custom ARTament? Explore the options at http://www.traillworks.com/artaments.html.
This is the first Wedding Cake Portrait that I've painted in about three years. It was a very special project due to the relationship I have developed with the recipients, Marcia Le Beau and Lee Seidenberg. Marcia and Lee live in a neighboring New Jersey town and I bumped into Lee, an advertising creative, illustrator and photographer, during an arts festival in South Orange a couple of years ago. Through our conversation we discovered that not only does Lee share my husband's first name, but his wife, Marcia, a published poet, worked with my sister-in-law at an advertising agency years ago. Lee and I kept in touch on social media until he enrolled Marcia in my watercolor class as a gift last year.
Jennie Traill Schaeffer
Deemed the Kitchen God's Artist by NJ Savvy Living for my sainted appliances, I'm now known more for my vibrant, meditational paintings of chairs set surprisingly in landscapes. Since relocating to NC from NJ, mothering my two sons, and caring for our rescue pup, Cider, took the lead. Now, that my Durham home studio is renovated it's open again for virtual art coaching and the resumption of my personal art and commissions. The work I make is inspired by my joy of teaching, exploring nature, and traveling. On The Teaching Artist Blog, I share my approach to teaching and educate my readers about my creative process.
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Want to read more from the past? Click here to read archived blog posts from my previous blog on Blogger.