Falling Off the Cliff

"Karma""Good Karma"No, not the fiscal cliff, the artistic cliff. Have you ever been asked to create something you have no history with? Did it make you have flop sweat or feel slightly sick?  You are not alone.

Recently I was asked to paint a portrait of a dog. Having never painted or drawn a dog, I was nervous.

I wasn’t sure I could do it or if they would like it.  But, I chose to step outside my comfort zone and am glad I did.

For many people a dog is a member of the family.  Trying to capture the personality that they know and love can be tricky, especially if you have never met the dog.  I worked from pictures and made it clear to the client that there was no obligation to like the painting.  I felt that gave us each an option to walk away if things did not work out.

The first painting was well received and someone else saw it and asked me to do their dog (the one pictured here). That became a surprise Christmas present and the person receiving it was delighted.

I captured the heart shape spot on the nose and it was (unbeknownst to me) a special feature on their dog.
I now have two more paintings I am going to do.

Stretching your abilities is very scary and thrilling at the same time.  I guess the lesson here is that you should never be afraid to try something new. And in trying it, you may find there is an area of Art that you enjoy doing.

Keep making Art.


           “Blondie” Acrylic on Board

So, the big question is,  how does a ‘cop’  become an artist? 

The answer is that you were always an artist!

I studied Art, receiving a Bachelor’s Degree, but still found myself in need of a job.  I started work as a Police Officer where the job was so intense it left little time for the art to have any space.  When I became a Detective I found that the profession did really have a creative side to it;  sitting across the table from a suspect required a certain amount of acting skill and a creative way of opening a conversation.  

For without a conversation, there can be no confession!

I think that I enjoyed the work because it gave me an opportunity to really observe people up close and personal; which is some of what an artist does.  Looking at the small details has always intrigued me and it is probably why I enjoy painting close-ups instead of landscapes.

I am glad to move back to my first love of creating art.  I feel at times that I have experimented with every medium that is out there (and still feel the pull to try new things)  but I quickly found a true love of painting with Acrylics.

So, I hope to talk about all I have learned in trying to reinvent myself as an artist and all the techniques I have tried.  Perhaps you can use some of the information for your own creations or find my trials informative.  Keep making art.