Friday, May 1, 2009

The story

Hello, all - Here is the story from The Day:

The Art of Community Service
Local painter launches Art for Animals

Carrie Jacobson felt inspired by President Barack Obama's inaugural call
to perform more community service, but she was not excited by the
prospect of stuffing envelopes or ringing doorbells.
In lieu of canvassing, she paints canvasses.

Jacobson, of Gales Ferry, helped launch the Art for Animals project last
month. It aims to help both shelters and artists. Artists paint animals
from their local shelters and then donate the paintings to the shelter.

Jacobson's explanatory flier lists a number of ways shelters might
choose to use the portraits, including selling them for profit, gifting
them to whoever adopts the animal, or giving them as rewards for
volunteer hours.

The project is "so simple and uncomplicated," Jacobson said. "You make a
painting and give it to a shelter. That's it."

The project's blog,, is co-written by
two other project founders, women from California and New Jersey. They
connected through the Internet.

During a recent session, Jacobson reached a paint-stained hand into a
shopping bag, pulling out a small canvass with a a bright blue and
yellow rendering of a dog with piercing, intelligent eyes. She can
complete a painting in less than a half hour, though they take days to
dry. Jacobson's style is abstract, but she captures the breed
characteristics and the spunk of her subjects. She aims to capture their
moods, and "the space that the animal takes up," she said.

Jacobson began painting after her mother died three years ago and she
had a sudden, random urge to paint portraits of her dogs. Though she
never painted before, she set up some supplies in her mother's New
London home and did just that.

"I uncovered this sort of freakish ability to paint dogs," she said.
That painting, which is four feet long, hangs in her living room. She
began taking art classes and fell in love with plein air painting, where
the artist works outside in front of whatever she's painting.

When she left her journalism job last summer, she planned to paint
landscapes full time. But some Internet browsing led her to the idea of
painting animals to benefit shelters, and the project quickly coalesced.

Jacobson has already donated two paintings each to Ledyard, Waterford,
and Westerly's animal control facilities.

"My heart really goes out to the old [animals] and the ones who are
going to be really difficult to adopt," she said.

About 10 painters from around the world have thus far contributed 30
paintings to the project. Many find photos of animals in shelters near
their homes using

The Ledyard animal control paintings depict a pit bull and a beagle who
have since been adopted. Animal control officer Kimlyn Marshall said she
plans to give the beagle painting to the dog's former owner, who moved
into a nursing home. She said she hopes to give any future paintings to
adopters with their new pets and to encourage a donation to Ledyard's
animal control in return for the artwork.

"Seeing the animals in their paintings from a different perspective
might help their adoption," Marshall said.

"With budgets the way they are and people feeling the way they do about's kind of a unique idea," she said. "We'll see how it


  1. How wonderful Carrie!!!! What a great article! Congratulations!

  2. I love this article and your tenacious drive Carrie! It's amazing to me that you have only been painting such a short time. You should be very proud of all you've accomplished. Way to go!
    You are an inspiration to us all. You are proof that where there's a will, there's a way!
    Hugs, Sandy

  3. This is really interesting!

  4. Yay! What a great couple of photos too! That always catches the readers' eyes. Wonderful job Carrie.

  5. Excellent article, and so great to learn more about Carrie, too. Great, great work you're doing! Brava. :-)

  6. Thanks, everyone. I think it's an excellent story, too - but so far, it has not elicited any new painters or any new paintings. That was my hope for it - not that it would put me in a good light, but that it would trumpet the project and attract an army of local painters. So I will keep pushing!

  7. Fantastic, absolutely bl...dy fantastic, Carrie. I have a new one to send ... on it's way.

  8. This is such an inspired idea. I've got a soft spot for shelter dogs & rescue pets .... have 5 of my own. Artist Rickbischoff is my partner. We will definitely participate in this great cause. Thank You