What a remarkle story about Bob by an even more remarkable lady and artist Vicki Wood. I recieved an email an it read as follows:
I was happy to see your article in Art Calendar! I have been doing this for several years. Each year I donate a painting to Oxford Lafayette Humane Society and I write the story of the selected dog. I then paint the portrait and hand-print the story on the surrounding mat. These are then auctioned at their annual fundraiser. Below is the first of the series with the story in Word) and this was one of my first animal portraits. I have also donated to BellyRubs (Bassett Hound) Rescue. I will send to you images of my other donations in a separate email. My work has raised $3,426.00 for animals so far. Thank you for all you do! Vicki Wood (website:www.vickiwood.com).
With her experience and her success with her donations, I asked her advise and she generously wrote:
For newbies: I have found that Rescue organizations are very cautious especially if they don't know you. I think that they are concerned that we will not deliver what we promise. So, one way to go is to just paint a portrait of a dog or cat and simply donate (no strings). Then, request to come in and take photos of their residents and offer to let them select the animals photographed (if they have an interest). It is sometimes helpful, once you get the opportunity to go into the shelter, to take someone that can assist you as the shelter employees are usually very busy. I also suggest that you try to work with at least one humane society that is not a "no-kill" as they are housing the animals that are in the most urgent need. You can either go by the organization's facility or simply send an email or both to start the relationship. Also, once you donate, you can follow-up with them and find out how much your piece raised. Don't be disappointed if they sell for less than you expect.... that's just the way it goes sometimes. It does establish good relations with you and an entire community and helps save little lives.
Awesome advice for someone who's "been there, done that". It should be encouragement for anybody who is still on the fence on whether or not to jump in and try this. I, Carrie and Sandy are honored that Vicki Wood reached out at our new program and inspired us to keep on doing what we're doing and I am sure encouraged other to take that first step. Thank you so much Vicki!
Make sure you check out her wonderful website also by clicking right here! "Houla" is amazing on the cover of her site.
The Art for Animals project is simple. Make a portrait of an animal in your local shelter, or of an animal who's a part of a rescue operation, and donate the painting to the shelter or the rescue group.
That's it! The shelter or rescue group can do whatever it wants with the painting - or drawing or mixed media piece or whatever medium you choose.
Please submit jpgs at 72 dpi, a maximum of 600 px, or 8 inches across, and about 200K or less.
Your photographs should be sharp and free of glare. The best way to shoot them is to put your paintings in the shade, on a fairly sunny day, and shoot without a flash.
If you have photoshop, see R. Garriot's blog for tips on using photoshop to correct the colors and tones of your paintings.
Send your paintings to email@example.com, or to firstname.lastname@example.org, or to email@example.com and we will upload them to the blog.
Thank you for participating!
Sheila Tajima, Carrie Jacobson, Sandy Sandy
Letter for newspapers
Greetings! (Your name) here. I'm a local painter, participating in the Art for Animals project. I think the project might make a good story for your paper.
Here's how it works: Local painters paint portraits of animals in our shelters, and then give the paintings to the shelters. The shelters can do whatever they want with the paintings.
This is an unusual project because it is so direct. Typically, if artists donate to shelters or other charitable institutions, they give a percentage of their sales. I'm giving my paintings, free and clear.
The story would be inspiring, good news for your readers. There's plenty of art with it, too. Publication would help me connect with more artists in the area, and make the project more successful.
Paintings from participating artists may be seen at http://artforshelteranimals.blogspot.com.
I will call you in XX days to see if you're interested.