Totem Animals: What Does the Fox Really Say?

Terrible songs aside, what does the fox really have to say? I had mentioned in previous posts that the fox has been appearing in my day to day life quite often. I even saw a wild one for the first time recently. With the reoccurring fox image appearing to me, I figured it was time to do some research.Fox totem eye crop

In my search, I discovered that the fox is a great symbol of becoming one with your surroundings and observing in silence. The fox is cunning and adaptable. It blends into the background and learns all it needs to know for swift thought and action. Because of the fox’s ability to become invisible, it allows fox to weave through any situation without detection.

If fox has presented itself to you, then you should pay close attention to other’s actions, as opposed to their words. Learn all you need to but keep your ideas and reasoning to yourself. Fox is also a symbol of the trickster. Perhaps someone else has been camouflaging their true intentions from you?

Fox totem nose cropOn the flip side, fox could be telling you that you are too camouflaged from the world. It’s time to stop being a wall flower and show the world what your made of! Show them what you have to offer.

I’ve been keeping fox’s lessons in mind as I carry on through the days. I’ve been meeting many new people and learning more these past few months than I could have ever imagined! I’ve been listening more than talking. Although, I have always tended to be the quiet one. Maybe that’s why the fox has been following me. We both blend in, listening, learning, observing.

So to honor my fox guide here is the completed piece I did. I enjoyed creating it, although I would really enjoy doing a full color piece of the fox in order to capture their rich red fur. I incorporated the orange tint into the eyes to make up for it.

Fox totem

I’ve decided to continue with drawing animal guides I come into contact with and learning their totem. I think the best knowledge to have is taught by nature and what better teachers than the animals. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Goodbye may seem forever, farewell is like the end. But in my heart’s a memory, and there you’ll always be.”


Related blog posts: The Eyes Give Life & Free Spirit WIP III

Sources: (1)Medicine Cards by Jamie Sams & David Carson (2)Spirit Animal Website

The Wedding Week

A good friend of mine, the best really, called me a week ago and says “How long would it take you to paint a wedding gift for me?” I had an idea of what she wanted and thought for a minute. “About a week. When do you need it?” I asked. “In exactly a week,” she says.

That’s all fine and dandy then! Except for the fact that we live about 600 miles apart and it takes three days to ship! Ok, so now I’m down to four days. The day she called, I ran out and got the supplies I needed. I had the paint and brushes already so I just needed the canvases. Day two and three I completed the paintings. I used acrylics for the writing and spray paint for the background. The wedding colors were pink and navy, so that makes things easy! I went with an Old English style for the writing. I thought it was a classy look. By day four I had it ready to go and shipped to be there by the due date!

It was a cut and dry job! Get it, got it, done. I typically will never attempt to complete a commission with only a week notice but my “BFF” knows I love her and I’ll whip something good up!

I haven’t heard the bride and groom’s reaction to the piece yet so we will see. My friend however loved it!

It was a nice change of pace to get a painting done amongst all these eye portraits. It was something I could be a little loose with and have some fun!

So a special thanks to my “BFF” for the recent commission. Also congrats to the newly weds!

Until next time,

“The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love, and be loved in return.”

Boxing With Art

I have finally completed my Boxer portrait. It took me longer than I would have liked but you can’t rush art. I find myself using more and more charcoal as I keep creating new pieces. It makes it easier to get the contrast I like in the shadows. The only problem is charcoal is very soft and it spreads far. A little bit goes a long way. With this piece, I went a little charcoal crazy and the entire Boxer came out nearly black. I had to go back with my eraser and add a bunch of the highlights in the fur.


The other challenge with the dark face was the eyes. In the reference photo I was using, the Boxer’s eyes were completely blacked out. I looked up other images on the internet. In nearly every picture, you could barely see any detail in the eyes. They are all very dark and the pupil appears to be huge, dulling the eye. Add the natural dark brown tint most of them have and the only thing left to see is the light reflection. The puppies seemed to have brighter, more colorful eyes. I tried to bring out the brown hues but it honestly looked odd if the eyes were too bright. So I slowly added more and more shading until I found a happy medium. I was able to make the brown, almost burnt sienna eyes pop out a little more but still keep the true naturally dark eyes that Boxers have.

With specializing in eyes, this piece was definitely a challenge. But with adding more tools to my belt, I’m able to continue working on bringing out the most detail. For this piece I used…

  • charcoal pencils (obviously)
  • graphite pencils
  • colored pencils
  • copic markers
  • Artist’s pen

The artist pen I just got a few days ago. It is so fine tipped that I can get the microscopic lines and hairs to make the image crisp and more precise. It’s my new best friend. It also helps keeps my signature neat and clean on the portrait!

Overall, this is not one of my favorite pieces. Although I did learn quite a bit while creating it so I can’t be too displeased. It’s definitely not my worst piece either.

What do you think? Leave a comment and share below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time…

“It ain’t how hard you hit; it’s about how hard you can get hit, and keep moving forward.”

Another Day, Another Dog

I have never had the pleasure to meet a Border Collie in person. They have become quite popular though and are deemed by most as the smartest dog breed out there. As well as intelligent, they also are highly energetic. They were initially bred to herd sheep in England and Scotland.

I decided to draw a Border Collie to go with the other pieces I’m going to be displaying at a local “dogcare”. They are very beautiful dogs with rich brown eyes. I couldn’t resist.



I enjoyed drawing this piece. I used more charcoal than I usually do and I’m happy with the results. It is much easier to get the dark contrast with charcoal than it is graphite. Also, the more of these smaller pieces I complete, the less I am using my eraser. I mainly use my eraser to bring out highlights as opposed to correcting mistakes. This is a great accomplishment for me. Especially considering I have not been using grids either. It’s exciting to think where I will be in a year from now. Practice, Practice, Practice!

bordercollie eye crop

I hope everyone got through another sluggish Monday! Thanks for reading and stay tuned for new work every week!

Until next time,

“Don’t eat the car! Not the car! Oh, what am I yelling at you for? You’re a dog!”


A Farewell to Phantom

“There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats.”

~Albert Schweitzer~


I’ve been sitting at my computer, at a loss for words. I really don’t know what to say. I have known so many people who have lost pets in the past six months. What can you say? I’m sorry for your loss, that sucks, or I feel for you.

Those phrases don’t cover it! We all know how it feels. I’m sure everyone has felt the heartache from losing a pet. They’re not just pets though. They are friends. Friends that adore your attention. Friends that want to be in the middle of your business at all times, just because they love spending time with you. They listen every time you need them. They sleep by your side every night. A friend that is literally always there! At that point, they become family.

That’s probably why it hurts so much when we can’t see them anymore. They were always by your side and then they’re not. It takes some time to get use to. You just have to remember the life you gave them. As much as they were there for you, you were there for them. They had a good life!


I would like to dedicate this post to Phantom, a gorgeous cat with two different colored eyes(as you can see). A friend of mine recently said goodbye to him. That combined with his striking beauty compelled me to draw him. I hope I did him justice!

Rest in Peace Dear Phantom.

Until next time,

“Momma always said dyin’ was a part of life. I sure wish it wasn’t.”

phantom detail wm

So Pugly

When I was in grade school, my friend had a pug. My dog at the time was Phoebe, a Pembroke Welsh Corgi. I adored her. Corgis are the cutest dogs in the world; in my opinion at least. My friend believed it was pugs. PhoebeWe would playfully argue on a daily basis on whose dog was cuter. I would tape pictures of Phoebe on her locker and she taped pictures of her pug on mine. So devious we were.

I honestly never understood how anyone thought a pug was cute. I thought they were ugly. I still kind of do but it’s become more of a “you’re so ugly your cute” kind of thing. I saw more and more pictures of them and realized I needed to draw one. Regardless if they are cute or ugly they made me smile whenever I saw them.

They are hilariously cute…I guess. As my son would put it, they look derpy; their wrinkly faces, their big bulging eyes. To top it off, a nose that looks like they ran into a glass door. A face only a mother could love.

Ok, I’m sorry. I’m not calling pugs ugly. Although I don’t think I can really admit to them being cute. I’ve got it! They are pugly. Yep, that’s the one.

So in continuation with my last post, here is my pugly drawing. I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed creating it!

What do you think? Do you find them puggable or pugly? Share a comment below!

Until next time,

“Easy, pal. That’s canine profiling, and I resent it.”

Spread the Happy

“Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.”

-Roger Caras


I love how happy dogs are all the time! They truly understand how to be happy with what they have. They also love nothing more than the company of a good friend(…and good food). I love when dogs smile. Smiles are contagious and that is ever so true when looking at your chipper canine companion. We need to take a memo and spread the happy. There may always be problems but there are twice as many reasons to smile. Remember…the best medicine when you’re feeling blue is smiling faces and dog smiles are extra-strength!


Until next time,

“Let’s put a smile on that face!”

Beautiful Boa

The Emerald Tree Boa resides in South America. Their colors cover a wide range of greens and yellows with white spotting across their back. The boa’s scales are prominent on their thick bodies. Their heads are square with defined facial features. They have two rows of heat pits that run along their mouth. Because of their striking appearance, I was compelled to draw one.


I thought it would be a great experiment to draw a snake on my textured, black paper I’ve been itchin’ to use. With the bright colored pencils, the texture comes through and gives the impression of scales across the boa’s body. It also helped with the bark on the tree branch. I’m glad to have finally finished this one. It was one of those pieces you want to keep adding to but shouldn’t. Less is more; especially against the black.

Thanks for slithering in and checking out my work! Hope you enjoyed this splash of green on St. Patrick’s Day!

Until next time,

“I hate snakes, Jock! I hate ’em!… Come on! Show a little backbone, will ya!”

ETB b2

ETB b3

Pet Portrait: Jerzey Girl

Yesterday I had the opportunity to meet a great big fluff ball of lovins’ named Jerzey. Her human, Kristine, is a friend of mine I met when I was doing the Entrepreneur Boot Camp in Albany. I just finished Jerzey’s portrait recently and delivered it yesterday. I was unable to meet her before I drew the picture, so it was a delight to be able to rub her soft fluffy neck after staring at her picture for so long. It felt just like I imagined, perhaps even softer. She was a great pleasure to be around, as most dogs are. The more I would pet her, the more she would nudge my arm to plead for more. She could not get enough attention.


I used a few different mediums for her portrait. The majority is done in graphite pencil. I used charcoal pencil to get the darker contrast in the shadows. For her chestnut eyes, I used colored pencils and copic markers. Kristine was very excited with the end result and it is being displayed at her workplace at Jerzey’s Dog Resort. Yep, Jerzey was Kristine’s inspiration for her own business running a boarding palace for dogs, and I mean palace. There’s jungle gyms, a pool, and even kiddie beds to sleep in! It’s nicer than some of the hotels I’ve stayed in!


Jerzey is a terrific gal and I’m glad I was able to meet her in person. It makes the work a lot more rewarding. Now every time I look at her picture I will always think about how lovey she was the first day we met. And even though her coat is black, everything’s brighter when she’s around.

Until next time,

“All dogs go to heaven because, unlike people, dogs are naturally good and loyal and kind.”

Jerzey Detail


Dog Days

I am definitely a dog person. Don’t get me wrong I love cats too. I don’t think I could live without a dog in my house though. I mean, they bring a certain cheer to the place. No db4matter what, you know that there is always a happy greeting when you get home. Whenever you are sad, they make an extra effort to make sure you know they love you. I love taking my dog with me everywhere. We go on walks through the woods. Well, I walk while he runs back and forth. DeSoto likes going on car rides with me. He’s my traveling companion. DeSoto truly is my best friend.

I have been in touch with a few doggy daycares that are interested in hanging my work at their location. I am excited. I am getting back on track with what I wanted to accomplish. So, in the near future, you will be seeing a lot of dog portraits. Here is my most recent one. It is a basset hound pup. They always remind me of those Precious Moments dolls, with the sad eyes. The reason their eyes always look like that is from their inherited characteristic of having “droopy” skin. There are a few different theories on why they are like this. One theory is their neck skin hangs low and when combined with their long ears dragging, it increases their ability to track a scent. Who knew? Saggy skin can be beneficial! If your a hound dog, at least.

“Precious Moments” – 6″ x 8″ drawing

The expression on this puppy was, well, adorable first of all. I think it is adorable though because he (or she) is so innocent looking, so small and young. And someday, that precious pooch won’t be so young anymore. His eyes will start to sag. The patches of white fur will over power his rich color. All dogs become old dogs and all dogs leave us before we are ready for them to go.


Dogs teach us that every moment is precious. Even the simple, youthful expression on a puppies’ face is something that can make a bad day into a good one. Give your pooch a pat and thank them for their patience with you. Thank them for protecting you and treating you as a member of the pack. And as they sit at your feet and look up at you with those big innocent eyes, remember, you have become the center of their universe. You are in control of how rich their short precious lives are. Make everyday a dog day. Without a dog, it’s just another day.


Until next time,

“My name is Dug. I have just met you, and I love you.”