Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Amos. Never in a shelter. October 1989 to Dec. 2008.

Welcome to the Art for Animals project, where artists make paintings of shelter animals and then give the paintings directly to the shelters.

The project was the brainchild of Sheila Tajima and, eventually, me. I wanted to answer President Obama's call, I wanted to do something to help the community. I'd thought of donating a percentage of my sales to my local shelter, or of doing some paintings of shelter animals, but Sheila had taken it one step farther.

Artists, join with us! Make a painting - or two or three or more - of animals in your local shelter, and then give the paintings to the shelter.

Explain to the shelter that it is free to do whatever it wants with your paintings. It can use them as inducements to adoption - bring this dog home and you will get this original painting - it can sell the paintings, make posters or cards from them, auction them - there's no end to the possibilities.

Your paintings need not be large or formal or framed. You can use them as an opportunity to try a new technique, test a new color or approach. You can use them as a painting exercise, a discipline, or just a fun outlet for your talent.

If you have the time and energy to spearhead a movement in your area, do it! Visit the shelter first, just to make sure it's on board. Then, make posters, send out emails, approach local painters, broach the idea to anyone and everyone you can.

If you only have the time or energy to make your own paintings, that's fine, too.

Many U.S. shelters work with petfinder.com. You can go to the site, call up your local shelter, and paint from the pictures you find. Otherwise, you can go to your local shelter and take your own photos, or paint live.

When you've finished the painting, send a jpeg of it to carriebjacobson@gmail.com, or aoitombo@gmail.com. We will post your paintings here. Directions for sending your jpgs may be found on the right-hand side of this blog, as well. Make sure you let us know where you live!

Be sure to leave your name and contact information with the paintings that you donate. You never know what could come of this good deed! And if there's a newspaper in your neck of the woods, try approaching it with the Art for Shelter Animals idea. A sample letter is available on the side of this blog.

We hope every painter in America joins us in this project. Let's do what we can to make life better for those who have no words.

I'm dedicating this first post to all the animals who have died, in homes, in shelters, in the streets. They live in our hearts, the hearts of painters, and poets, and people who, in one way or another, have had the courage to love these once-forgotten creatures.


  1. This thought was running around in my head recently also. I'm glad to see you're organizing and setting up a blog for this. I was wondering how to approach something like this, but it sounds like you've got something here. I'll link you in my blog. Thanks.

  2. Thanks Gayle! We'll link all participating artists with ours!

  3. Great Project, Sheila and Carrie...Pokey and TacoBelle have started their own fan club for you two's commendable effort..."Applause of the Paws Cause". Keep up this great work.

  4. What a wonderful idea. I'm looking up pictures at my local shelter now.

  5. This is a wonderful idea and I hope many artist decide to give it a good try! Thank you!

    You could also use the pet artwork for making online clip art about adopting a shelter pet, that people can post on their websites.

    I have done this, but with mostly pet photos from shelter pets.

    Cats and Kittens in Humane Society Clip Art and Banners - http://hubpages.com/hub/Cats-and-Kittens-in-Humane-Society-Clipart-and-Banners