Painting of the Week

Painting of the Week – Where’s Petunia?

Sometimes it takes a lot of effort to gather subject matter!

This painting was used for the cover of my book “Where’s Petunia?”. The story included my two daughters, many flowers and my two cats Art & Ole (a.k.a. Petunia). Illustrating a book required some simple poses from my cats but, they were not simple to get. I had actually painted a beautiful portrait of Art who is orange and white. Art had passed away but I lucked out when I mentioned this to my mail carrier. Her daughter piped up and told me she had a cat that looked just like Art and she had pictures of him.  She wasn’t kidding…she truly was a kid with a new camera and a cat she loved and had a whole album of photographs in a variety of poses.  I put three of them together to create the “Art to the rescue” page.
Ole was another case altogether.  Every time he had the perfect pose, I raced to get the camera and he was gone by the time I got there. “Isn’t that like a cat?” I thought. Anyhow I tried bribing my girls to take photos of him offering $5.00 per photo if they got one…they promptly forgot. So one morning on golf day, I left 7 sketches of the poses I wanted and a $5.00 bill on top of each one with a note saying “Take the pictures –not the money, I’ll give you the money when I get the pictures”.  I don’t know how they did it, but they got all the pictures. There was cat hair all over the house and I didn’t see Ole
for a day.

The important thing is I had the subject matter on hand to paint the pictures I wanted to create. Generally, I only paint from my photographs, but gathering pictures will get you going.  “Where’s Petunia?” won a Ben Franklin Gold Medal in 2004 for Best First Book Fiction and is a perfect Easter gift. You can buy “Where’s Petunia” on my website or on Amazon. Put in the notes how you would like it signed.


Last week, I had a class that painting animals in a flower bed.  One Mom painted with her daughter, we had lots of fun! If you are looking at my workshop schedule, feel free to sign up with a budding artist.  See events on my website.  Here are some fun paintings the kids painted with me at the Plains Art Museum.