About Me

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Washington, United States
loves: you win if you guessed "pets" and "museums". Also books, art history, travel, British punk, Korean kimchi, bindis, martinis, and other things TBD. I will always make it very clear if a post is sponsored in any way. Drop me a line at thepetmuseum AT gmail.com !

Monday, January 22, 2018

year of the dog by zen brush

image copyright and by kindest permission of seiko morningstar
Here is a happy Shiba Inu offering a play bow so that you'll come and celebrate the Year of the Dog with him.  If, like me, you love Japanese ink paintings, you'll love this messenger - and the rest of the work by his creator, Zen monk Seiko Morningstar.  Deceptively simple, but full of spirit and life force, Zen ink painting offers you immediate connection with its subjects.  You see the essence of flower, of tree, of wave, of dog.  Very refreshing and freeing. 
Have a look at the playful beings on offer at Seiko's shop, ZenBrush.
Would you like to learn a little more about this style of painting?  This essay at the Metropolitan isn't a bad place to start.

Seiko mentioned to me that it's an Earth Dog year:
The Year of Earth Dog begins Feb. 16, 2018 (Chinese New Year) and lasting to Feb. 4, 2019. The Dog is the eleventh in the 12-year cycle of Chinese zodiac sign and those born in the Dog years are People born in the Year of the Dog are usually independent, sincere, and loyal friends.
I'll be reaching out again around then, but it's never too soon to wish you all joy and peace for the new Year of the Dog.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

the dog jackson by emily hackbart

image copyright and by kindest permission of the artist
I admit it, I seem to be on a watercolor kick this week, and here's my latest pleasure: the pet portraits created by Missouri artist Emily Hackbart.  Simple and clarified, her portraits are a distillation of cuteness and life force.  Jackson, above, is my pick to showcase, but I'd recommend you also check out...oh, how about Felix and Tabitha, or Delila
Here's Emily on her work and herself:
I'm Emily Hackbart, the owner and operator of The Paper Woodland. I LOVE drawing and painting more than anything, and love to share my work in hopes it will bring a smile to your face! :)
I grew up on a farm in Northern California and spent most of my time with my animal friends, playing with them and drawing them.
My style developed over time, I mostly did more realistic pencil sketches and pen and ink drawings when I was growing up. It wasn't until I went to college that I first tried watercolor. I took a beginning watercolor class and instantly fell in love! It quickly became my favorite medium.
I graduated from college with a BFA in Art, and promptly became a flight attendant, lol. I did a little art here and there for the next several years, but nothing serious. In the meantime I married an amazing man, and had two sweet babies. When I was on maternity leave with my second son, I decided I didn't want to go back to work as a full-time flight attendant, and so The Paper Woodland was born! It has been an amazing, wonderful journey, and besides my family, is my greatest passion in life!
I now live on a big farm in Missouri with my husband and three adorable little boys. Everyday is filled to the brim with animals and farming and little boys, but at night I love nothing more than to sit at my desk and draw and paint little illustrations that are inspired by the life I live.
It is a full, busy life, and I love every minute of it! ♥
Joyful words from a joyful creator.  Want a portrait done but you're not a dog or a cat?  You're in luck, human.  Check out The Paper Woodland.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

as nice as a nun's hen

british library (PD)
"As nice as a nun's hen." Now there's a proverb I haven't heard before.  I found it in Select Proverbs of All Nations: Illustrated With Notes And Comments, a book compiled by John Wade in 1825.  I also found such gems as the following:
  • As wise as Waltham's calf, that ran nine miles to suck a bull.
  • Child's pig but father's bacon. (Refers to the promises that parents make and often fail to keep.)
  • The more you stroke pussy's back, the higher she raises her tail. (Gaelic, but no explanation given.)
  • Trust not a horse's heel nor a dog's tooth.
  • Two cats and a mouse, two wives in one house, two dogs and a bone, never agree in one.
  • I'm no every man's dog that whistles on me. (Scotch)
  • Biting and scratching got the cat with kitten.

Monday, January 15, 2018

basil cat by florandfawn

image copyright and by kindest permission of the artists
Here's Basil the cat, surrounded by orange poppies.  You might think they're reflecting onto his fur, but no - he's a grey tortie, and he comes by those orange whispers in his fur naturally.  (There are so very many ways to be a tortoiseshell.  Ever seen this extremely well-detailed page at messybeast.com?) This delicate watercolor is by Karen Eland and Katie Daisy of Bend, Oregon, who offer their creations at Flor & Fawn.  Their bright, pretty work shows all kinds of creatures framed in stylized flowers and greenery.  It feels to me a bit like a modern take on Art Deco flowers. I liked Basil specially because of the roots stretching out under his grassy seat.  Even our house friends are connected to the greater natural world, and we are, too.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

a little black kitten by agnes bodor

image copyright and by kindest permission of the artist
"I just like cats and drawing them," Seattle artist Agnes Bodor writes.  It shows, particularly in her watercolors of black cats.  With well-handled balance between controlling the paint and letting it do what it wants, Bodor models and shapes even the most sable feline.  You can easily see the way light hits shiny fur, and the way legs bunch up when a cat assumes the loaf position or turns to investigate something.  The watchful kitty above is one of my favorite items in her Etsy shop. Here's another one you should see, but ah, you must also see and appreciate this white cat.

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

vintage wordless wednesday redux

from the museum's collection

Tuesday, January 09, 2018

dog portrait by joanne jarry

image copyright and by kindest permission of the artist
Asleep or thinking dog thoughts?  I like how this deft watercolor by Canadian artist Joanne Jarry leaves it open for interpretation with this interesting vantage point.  Look at the crisp bluish shadow, and the way the brown fur is washed down to white to give modeling and highlight to the dog's form.  Beautifully executed.  Jarry does pet portrait commissions, and at her Etsy shop you can see a wide variety of them.