Ink and Watercolor Pet Portraits
I have two focus areas: jewelry-making using metal, semiprecious stone, glass, wood, shell and ceramic beads, and pet portraiture using ink and watercolor.
Several years ago, I started working with jewelry as a stress-reliever from my day job as a grant writer and graphic designer. Composing beautiful necklaces from polished and semi-precious stones, ceramic and glass beads, sandalwood malas, and shells I collect brings me a sense of calm. I am inspired by natural materials and colors and my pieces have a simplicity and elegance.
Then, I discovered drawing and sketching, which for me is an even more meditative activity. I began with nature journaling, which the Mendonoma coast is so perfect for. I love making detailed sketches of our area’s abundant plants and animals. On regular walks around my home on The Sea Ranch, I take my macro lens and capture photos of our area’s incredible diversity of wildflowers opening, ferns unfurling, mushrooms scooting up through the soil, trees budding out in Spring, and come back to my studio to sketch them in ink and watercolor. I also sketch native birds and other wildlife, as well as our rambling woolly herd.
One day as a gift I sketched my friend’s little dog, who had recently passed. I started sketching more furry pets for others. I am available for pet portrait commissions based on a high-quality photo of your furry loved one, and my husband, portrait photographer David Yager, can also do a photo portrait of your pet, which I can work from, or that can stand on its own.
Currently my favorite materials are Sakura Pigma Micron permanent black ink pens and watercolor. I participated in the Wild Wonder nature journaling conference last year, learning techniques from cartooning to botanical realism and I am involved in the local life drawing group hosted by the Gualala Arts Center. I love how drawing and painting has changed how I see things. I see color, pattern, and shadow rather than just “tree.”
Even more wonderful is who I get to be when I am engrossed in a sketch. The “me-ness” of my ego melts away and I am truly just seeing and recording. I feel as Frederick Franck says in the Zen of Seeing, how my focused attention “turns into contemplation, and from there to the inexpressible fullness, where the split between the seer and what is seen is obliterated.”
Directions to Studio 9 at 41122 Leeward Road, The Sea Ranch. From Hwy 1 turn west onto Halcyon. Turn left onto Leeward. The studio is on the east side of Leeward, directly across from Helm.
Studio Tour Hours:
August 27 & 28 September 3-5, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
My studio is also open year-round by appointment.