Saturday, January 28, 2012


Guess how many bags of Hugs I went through before finding just the right one!

4" x 4" oil on gessoed fiberboard

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


This is my son's cat, Ralph.  He lives in the Kappa Sigma house with Jay.  I'm not sure if I'm done with it or not ~ what do you think?

6" x 6"  oil on gessoed fiberboard

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


Meet Moyta!  Her portrait is part 2 of the birthday gift for my sister-in-law. Here is Moyta's story from Jon.

Motya - After Kuzya died, I really wasn't interested in getting another dog. I hit the Internet and studied canine health to help me understand why my best friend died. Sveta however, found a Golden Retriever Rescue and saw Motya, her name was Dolly at the time. We inquired but learned she had been adopted already. Sveta kept looking for a dog. Motya showed up again 2 months later. The family gave her back because she wasn't fun.  Nobody wanted her and the
Rescue was desperate to find her a home. We decided to foster her. On the 3rd day that we had her, she managed to slip out of her collar.  She ran off during the coldest, snowy days of the winter. I tracked her for 9 days in the 5 miles of fields around Mom's home and eventually caught her in a live trap using deer meat. Since then, Motya never gets more than 100ft from us. Sveta recalls the moment Motya realized she was part of the family. Moyta looked up at us both, her tail went up and she changed to an open posture.  :D

Motya is a princess. She needs her space. When we go to the dog park, she is ready to leave after about 10 minutes while a normal dog would never want to leave. Motya was abused the first 12 months of her life.  She was adopted once and then returned because the family didn't think she behaved like they thought a dog should. It has taken a while for her to trust us. She doesn't approach strangers and will tolerate kids petting her only if I am there. She will give me that look, "Must I endure this?"  

Motya has won 3 dog show beauty contests where we just showed up and entered the contest. No hours of preparation, no salons, no beauty contest training.
6" x 6" oil on cradled panel    

Sunday, January 8, 2012


This sweet golden retriever is Kuzya.  My brother has commissioned this painting for his lovely wife's birthday. Kuzya passed away 2 years ago and is greatly missed. Here is her story from my brother, Jon.

Kuzya - Sveta and I like to follow crowds sometimes. You just never know what you'll find. So we followed a crowd to the park near the Nebraska Humane Society. They had Golden Retrievers doing really advanced tricks. I was impressed. Then this guy came up to us and said the NHS had a Golden Retriever that was going to be destroyed because nobody wanted her. I begged Sveta to go look with me. There she was. 9 months old,  skinny, very awkward and lanky. She was trying to get people's attention but nobody was interested. The family gave her up because they had a newborn baby and were afraid. The rest is kind of a blur to me. We took her home that day, she ran to every room upstairs downstairs, then came back to us at the door and sat on my foot. We were officially adopted. I had no intention of getting a dog that day.

Kuzya was our little girl in a fur coat. goofy and photogenic. Kuzya was our comforter, protector and entertainer. She always wanted to play. Kuzya had to be everywhere we were. She helped Sveta get through law school by staying awake while Sveta studied. 
When she wanted to go for a walk she would bring us her leash. I taught Kuzya how to get her leash off the hook and carry it to me.
The last week of her life I carried her around the house and placed her next to me where ever I was. She barely had enough strength to hold her head up. I was carrying her through the kitchen and she raised her head and grabbed her leash. Sveta and I went to tears.
Kuzya loved the pool. She figured out how to use the raft.

6" x 6" oil on cradled board