Saturday, February 27, 2010

Please Take the Time to Vote

As the IH4TH contest for the most touching rescue and adoption essay comes to an end, my mind is on my home team, Burlington County Animal Alliance (BCAA), and Baby Hope. Her story had slipped from first to second place in the competition, the last time I looked. I am asking for your help to push this Pit Bull's story over the top. With more Pit Bulls at the shelters than ever before, let Baby Hope be an example of the loving breed that they really are and an ambassador of hope for the accelerated rescue of more of her kind. Please visit the Helen Woodward Animal Center website and cast your vote for the best story by this Monday, March 1st at noon. Thanks from me and Sammie and all the folks at the BCAA! Todays' pencil sketch of Sammie was done in preparation of a portrait that I'm currently working on.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010


Spray paint and stencil by Creatures of Habit; 
donated to the Middletown, N.Y., Humane Society

Peter, my husband, often talks about the Ashaway Black and White Cat. Ashaway would be Ashaway, R.I., where Peter grew up, and where, he says, a huge contingent of black and white cats roamed the streets and yards and barns of the town.

So when Creatures of Habit sent this lovely portrait of this black and white cat, I decided to just look up "black and white cat" and see what I could find.

Turns out that the black and white cat is a known quantity around the world. It's often called a "Tuxedo Cat," and in England, it's known as the Jellicle cat, named for a fictional tribe of black and white cats in T.S. Eliot's "Book of Practical Cats."

There's all sorts of other fascinating information on Wikipedia about these cats; click here to find out more.

Meantime, Reilly is hanging around at the shelter in Middletown, N.Y., waiting to be adopted. We have a black and white cat ourselves, and she is just about the funniest and most amusing cat ever. No telling if she's an Ashaway Black and White, but whatever her ancestry, I'd recommend one of her ilk to anyone with room for a cat.

Many thanks to Creatures of Habit and his girlfriend, Kristina Sarracco, for the beautiful work and generous donations!

- Carrie

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


By Creatures of Habit.  Spray paint and stencil on canvas; 
donated to the Middletown, N.Y. Humane Society

It's funny how life circles in on itself.

I was hired, years ago, to work as the art director at the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y. My job was to set the visual look of the paper, including the front page. The paper was - and still is - a tab, so the front page was important. My very first day there, the art that we/I chose to be on the front page was a spray-painted caricature portrait of the then-mayor. I fought for this to get on the front page - and of course, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing. How could I? It was my first day on the job. It later turned out that the spray-paint artists had painted one of the mayor's thumbs to resemble another piece of his anatomy... oops. No one had noticed this, including myself.

At any rate, our newest ASAP artist, "Creatures of Habit," is a spray-painter from Middletown, N.Y. I don't think he's the one who spray-painted the mayor, but his appearance here, and his donations of these beautiful paintings to the Middletown Humane Society shelter, dredged that memory of mine up.

The beautiful pit bull, Edie, that Creatures has painted, is still available for adoption. So if you're in the Middletown area, well, think about it!

And check out Creatures' other work by clicking here.

- Carrie

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Spray paint, stencil, screenprint
By Creatures of Habit, for the Middletown, N.Y., Humane Society

A few weeks ago, a friend and former colleague at the Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y., wrote a story about the Art for Shelter Animals Project.

Kristina Sarracco saw the story and liked the idea. She works for the Humane Society there in Middletown, and so she took some photographs, and her boyfriend, who goes by the artist name Creatures of Habit, took up the challenge.

Kristina writes that she and her beau "saw this as a great way to get exposure while helping needy pets find a home."

Dante, the subject of Creature of Habit's first painting, is a 1-year-old male pit bull, and he has already been adopted!

I'll post two more paintings in the coming days. I think you'll like them - they are strong and sure, as this one is, highly graphical and very engaging. To see more, click here.

Thanks, Kristina and boyfriend!

- Carrie

Friday, February 19, 2010

Baby Hope's Story

"Baby Hope, as she came to be called, was put in a cardboard box that someone sealed with duct tape and left on a Philadelphia curb for trash. She was all alone, sealed in a box with no food or water for at least two days before being discovered by a Good Samaritan who noticed a slight movement to the box.

On November 13, 2009, a Philadelphia Animal Control Officer responded to the call and found the emaciated, frightened, flea-covered pit bull mix near death. No food or water - just all those fleas helping themselves to a meal of this pitiful pup.

Luck was in the stars for Baby Hope because when she was bought to PSPCA, a volunteer from Burlington County Animal Alliance (BCAA), a local rescue group from my county with a long history of helping homeless pets in the Philadelphia/Southern New Jersey area, came to her rescue."

Yes, Baby Hope's story does have a happy ending! She's one of the LUCKY ONES.

Click on this link to see Baby Hope's full story.

Please vote for this story by March 1st at noon, PST, on the Helen Woodward Animal Center website so that The BCAA can win the $500. prize to enable them to carry on their wonderful work and help other animals like Baby Hope.

Thanks so much from me and from all the helpless fur babies in need! ~ Sandy

Today's original oil painting will be donated to the BCAA to sell or use however they see fit.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tracey Greeley is a force to be reckoned with

gouache by Jim Smith for
Missaukee Humane Society of Michigan

Tracey should be President of the Michigan Chapter of the Art for the Animals project. She recruited yet another artist to contribute to her local shelter. Here's what she wrote:

Since starting an Art for Animals project in our area only a short while ago, local artists as well as three high school art classes have joined in. I am delighted to share an interesting story about this original 12 x 14" Gouache titled "Tommy", being donated to the Missaukee Humane Society of Michigan by Jim Smith, the Vice President of the Cadillac Area Artists Association. You see Jim is an oil paint artist (among other talents), however he and his wife recently moved into a smaller home without a separate art studio. Since she is allergic to his oil paints, he found it necessary to switch to watercolors so he could continue his love of painting. Though he feels he is working through a learning curve, this beautiful watercolor is only his second. As you can see, his talents and generosity are superb! For information or any questions, Jim can be reached at

I continue to be awed of the skill and kindness in our community. Thanks to you for giving us such a great idea!

What a wonderful painting Jim has contributed to the project but this could not come to fruition if it were not Tracey's enthusiasm and powers of persuasion for this project. A special thank you for Tracey from all of us facilitating this project and from the animals she helps and in turn helps her community to be a better place for everyone. Tracey would love if you visit Missaukee Humane Society's website HERE.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010


By Jan Blencowe, for Protectors of Animals in East Hartford, Conn. 

This is the third painting that Connecticut artist Jan Blencowe has made and donated to Protectors of Animals in East Hartford, Conn.

I love the light in this one, the look in the dog's eye, and the emotions that seem to soak this painting. Whoever ends up with this painting in the Furball Fund-Raiser is indeed lucky. In fact, anyone who gets any of Jan's paintings, or any of the pieces by Carol Lavoie, who brought Jan into the Art for Shelter Animals Project, is lucky!

By the way, Jan also has a wonderful blog, The Poetic Landscape. Check it out by clicking here.

"Places & Pets," the show I have with my friend Carden Holland, is coming to life at the Lighthouse Gallery (744 Long Hill Road, Groton, Conn... opening reception Friday, 5-7... you're invited!). Carden has painted the places. I've painted the pets. The show looks great, and will include an Art for Shelter Animals Project corner, too, with paintings and handouts.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


By Jan Blencowe, to be donated to Protectors of Animals in East Hartford, Conn. 

Jan Blencowe lives in Connecticut and is known for her luminous, gentle landscapes. But she paints pets, too, and has donated three of her beautiful portraits to Protectors of Animals, an all-volunteer organization in East Hartford, Conn. The group is holding a fund-raiser on Feb. 13, and Jan's portraits will be a part of it.

Jan has work in the Madison Art Society Members' Show, too, in Madison, Conn. The show is up for the month of February at the Scranton Memorial Library, 801 Boston Post Road in Madison. For more information, check out the Madison Art Society webpage.

I can't go to the opening, because it's on the same night as the opening of "Places & Pets," my show with Carden Holland, at the Lighthouse Gallery in Groton, Conn. Check the website for information and directions. The opening is Friday, Feb. 5 (this Friday), from 5-7 p.m. and you are all invited!

I have to say that I'm pretty happy with my paintings for the show. Dogs and cats and cows, one goat and a few sheep... I'm bringing Art for Shelter Animals paintings, too, and hand-outs. You never know!

Monday, February 1, 2010

Black Lab

Black Lab
By Jan Blencowe, to be donated to Protectors of Animals in East Hartford, Conn. 

Jan Blencowe, an award-winning Connecticut artist, has donated three of her gorgeous pet paintings for the FurBall fund raiser for the Protectors of Animals in East Hartford, Conn., writes Carol Lavoie, a talented artist who has donated a series of paintings to the all-volunteer organization.

Jan is best known for her landscape paintings, which have a beautiful luminescent quality, and often, a serene quiet. Her dog portraits have the same sensibility.

Check out her website to see more of her work. To learn about Protectors of Animals, click here. The fundraiser is Saturday, Feb. 13.

Thanks to Jan and to Carol, too!

- Carrie