To round out a dozen animals that are not dogs and cats, I painted this Koala bear on an 11X14 canvas board. He will be available at my booth at The Vintage Peddler in Simi Valley soon, or contact me directly.
Below is a painting of my brother and I when we were very little. I painted this for my father’s 80th birthday. Sadly, shortly after this was taken, my parents divorced, and I didn’t see him for many years. We’re making up for lost time now.
This little girl in the painting called “Coming Home” is from my imagination, from dreams I’ve had a few times in my life. 11X14 oil on canvas board
Though I love painting dogs, I’m not selling a lot of dog paintings outside of the ones commissioned. I decided to try my hand at some other animals, and took a crack at a mother and son picture of Abby and baby Travie from her birthday trek to Santa Monica Pier.
Without further ado, I give you “Hippo Lounging.”
“Kangaroo and Joey.” This was a result of a badly painted small dog picture I never finished. I found it in the garage and was going to throw it away but someone in my house said it was good and I should finish it. I didn’t feel like I could do the original painting justice as my source photos were so different from each other I couldn’t get a handle on the dog’s true face. But turning it into a kangaroo was pretty easy.
This is a painting of a dog I saw at a play place with my grandson. I’ve been unable to contact the owners of the dog to offer them the painting so like many others it’s in my booth now, waiting for a buyer. It’s a Mini Bernedoodle.
The photo of Abby and the baby seemed like the perfect thing to paint to capture her birthday and his early steps. She was wearing a scarf in the painting and her face was in profile, shrouded in strands of hair, and heavily shadowed. She also wore glasses. After several attempts to get it right, and failing badly, I decided to scrap the actual photo and pretend the scarf wasn’t on her head. Then her hair would fall and obscure the face. Finally that worked.
If you’re interested in any of these original paintings, 8X10 or 11X14 on stretched canvas or canvas boards, please contact me or visit or contact The Vintage Pedler in Simi Valley CA.
In the last couple of weeks I tackled a couple of different dog breeds. Both are oils on stretched canvas. The Bull Terrier is an 8X10 and the English Bulldog an 11X14. $150 for Bull Terrier and $200 for English Bulldog plus shipping. Matted prints are $15 plus shipping.
First up, a Bull Terrier. I used a pallet knife at the end to give it some texture. This was a fun process and I may start incorporating this into more paintings.
Completed painting of the Bull Terrier.
Next up, an English Bulldog. I love this breed and think they’re adorable. I used the pallet knife here too and it makes such a big difference. It’s somewhat using the deconstructing method which is great for making some of the sharp edges not so sharp.
Contact me if you’d like to purchase one of the originals or a print.
First up, a Beagle. I had a Beagle when I was a child. We brought Buddy home when he was seven weeks old, and I was seven years. He quickly became quite a little rascal, and my best friend. This Beagle doesn’t look like Buddy, but it reminded me of him. Buddy passed away in the early 1980s when photography wasn’t as advanced as is it now, for regular 110 home cameras, so I don’t have any sharp, clear pictures to use as reference. It was a nice memory to paint this dog’s portrait and reminded me how expressive Beagle faces can be.
Next up, a black Labrador puppy because who doesn’t love the adorable face of a little lab?
This last piece was the hardest so far. I was attempting to paint a photo I have of Travis and baby Travie. I don’t have as much experience with humans so, as you’ll see in the photos, this was really a struggle. I still have a little work to do on this one, but it’s just about done.
For the Father Son picture, I used a pallet knife for the first time. The lines on their shirts were too precise, the edges of their faces too crisp. Hoping it was a good idea, I followed my old instructor’s advice and deconstructed the painting. I took a piece that was almost done and smeared thick paint all over it. Thankfully, it worked! The baby’s nostrils and mouth need a little more work but that should be an easy fix.
After painting a friend’s chihuahua, my sister-in-law’s guinea pig, and another friend’s pitbull, I decided to branch out and paint random dogs. Everyone doesn’t want pictures of Granola, afterall, even if I think she’s the most adorable little thing ever.
The other pictures below were from random pictures I found online, that Iater gave my own little Tracy spin.
This weekend I’m planning to attend a craft fair and hopefully I’ll find a buyer for some of these pieces, or get some interest in new work and new paintings. Note, the Cattle Dog is my old Mabel and the original isn’t for sale.
The last few months I’ve been on a painting frenzy. All told, including the cover for Goodbye Grandma Anna: A Granola Barr Book, I painted 21 pieces for the book. Below is the cover. CLICK THIS LINK for a time lapse video of the first session of the painting.
The Makers’ Market I attended a few times has closed down, at least for now, so with my “spare” time I’ve been painting friends’ and my family’s dogs, some cats, and also a goat (Ted) who I saw at a Kindred Spirits Care Farm, a non-profit that rescues animals.
After a LOT of practice, I’m ready to start taking commissions for portraits. Prices start at $150 for an 8X10 or 11X14 on stretched canvas. Plus shipping. Local delivery in SoCal can be arranged. Up to two pets included. Inquire if you have a bigger pet family and need to add more.
I’ve recently started an instagram page @oilsbytracy.Please follow me there for updates and new videos. You can order via DM on Instagram, by emailing me at email@example.com or through the contact page of this site.
I’ll post new pictures as I finish them. Until then,
It’s been a long time since my days of trying to find and agent or publisher, when I’d spend a fortune going from one writers’ conference to another, flying or driving around the country hoping readers would buy my existing books, or a publisher or agent would take me and my idea on board. It was hard, demoralizing at times. Ultimately, I chose Shadowridge Press as my publisher because they do beautiful work and spend a lot of time on design. I was mostly responsible for my own marketing and since I hate that sort of thing, I have a lot of books in boxes at home, and a lot of stuff on Amazon that doesn’t move. It’s my own fault for not making an effort but in my defense, I spent YEARS trying to sell, and schmoozing, and spending money on marketing. In the words of Bartleby, “I would prefer not to” continue to do that.
But painting is something else entirely. I don’t feel a need to sell, sell, sell. I’m not looking for my big break, one painting that’ll set me for life and pay off my house. I paint because I like it, because when I do a pet portrait, I smile when I’m painting, and the people I paint for smile when they see the final product.
Recently my future son-in-law started making beautiful, high-end cutting boards. Instagram @travwoodworks
He discovered a Makers’ Market in town and signed up for a table. I did as well, figuring since I’ve got a couple of dozen paintings, and am creating more all the time, I ought to try to sell some. I have my originals, prints, and have a shingle out to take commissions for pet portraits. The vibe when I’m doing this for pleasure instead of to support myself is very different. Yes, I want to get paid for work I do, but I also like the events and talking to people, getting to know others, and hearing from passersby that my pups and the paintings are cute.
All the pictures I’ve posted in the past were photos of paintings. To give a better idea of the quality, here are some high-resolution scans.
I’ll be working on the new kids’ book and will hopefully have it for sale at the Maker’s Market in the next couple of months. Keep an eye out for new paintings and shows.
The book is just about done, Meaning the rough draft at least. All painting are complete, except one. Once I finish that one I’ll do one more run through for final brush strokes. The narrative parts of the story are also nearly done. I decided to tell the story in poem form since it’s for kids. Here’s a picture of most of the paintings in various stages, plus the “Very formal” outline of the book with notes.
In the next part of the book, where I left off in the last post, Anna tells Granola that it’s time for her to go, for good. She says Granola is ready. Granola is saddened by this so runs away from home, has a good cry on a rainy day, and is finally brought home by her parents. She gets a warm bath and lots of hugs.
Later, Mom sits Granola and Scruffy down and tells them some big news.
In the end, time passes. Granola turns two! She doesn’t see Anna anymore but says she knows Anna still watches over them all. Except she says this in kid-friendly terms, in rhyme.
I’m still working on the cover but here it is, still in progress.
My next post about this book will be when it’s done and ready to read. Until then I’ll be focusing on some of the other paintings and my new foray into Makers’ Markets and selling my work.