30 Brown (Earth) Dogs – Year of The Dog 2018


Waldo, Dog #45, 6×6 oil on panel – 1001dogs.tumblr.com

2018 is the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar New Year. More specifically, it is the year of the “Earth” element Dog. As I mentioned last post, I have committed to Leslie Saeta’s 30 Day Challenge this February. My chosen theme is Brown Dogs. So for the entire month of February, I will post 1 small painting of a brown dog each day. Maybe some other work too. 😉

The reference pictures are from shelters, and for the most part, they have been adopted or rescued. If you would like to “adopt” one of my brown doggies, they will be $100 each, unframed, with $25 going back to the Shelter. Free Shipping for any Brown Dog paintings from the series. Inquiries may come to me – danaaldisstudio@gmail.com

I am also working on a set of Chinese Breed Dogs, which will be turned into a poster to celebrate the Year of the Dog. Stay tuned.

Can’t say I don’t keep myself busy.  Here’s to hoping my health and my energy stay up. There’s a nasty flu virus this year. It must be nasty when your Dad (General Practice Doc) and Mom (Microbiologist) insist I go get vaccinated.

If you are also doing the Leslie Saeta Challenge, please let me know! If you prefer just to see the paintings, please follow my Instagram – @DanaAldisStudio

Happy Painting!

Are you ready for a(n Art) Challenge?

Dogs, February 2018, Professional Practices

I am thankful that I am finally getting over a rather rough cold, as well as healing up from a freak fall on my porch stairs. It was a rough couple weeks. It’s been a while since I painted, from sheer pain/exhaustion/feeling icky. My energy came back, and I discovered that I will happily work away listening to Audible or podcasts.  I get away to distracted listening to the news.

We are still waiting for an electrician to come by and fix our electrical issue – all the rooms on one of our electrical circuits is being temperamental. It is kinda working, but it affects my daughter’s bedroom and my studio, so I have taken over the dining room table.

But, I digress. I was listening to the Leslie Saeta Artists Helping Artists Podcast, and she is promoting her February “30 in 30 Art Challenge” I was originally not going to join up, but, I have changed my mind. Here’s why, and some background.

I was first introduced to the concept of art challenge around 2008-2009. It was a show called The Forgotten Works Challenge, held at the Tashiro Kaplan Building near Pioneer Square, Seattle. The “Challenge” consisted of creating 30 artworks on 8×10 canvasboard panels, within 30 days. Exactly. That’s a lot of surface to cover. I remember telling the coordinator I would not be able to complete the challenge – he said – slap some sharpie smiley faces on the blank ones, but bring them ALL back. Light Bulb! Since then, though, I have figured out how to complete all the panels. 😉

Since then, I have pretty much done some variation of the 30 day challenge. Sometimes even a couple times a year. If you check out the sidebar on this blog, most of the Series posted were done in that mindset. What can I say, I like series. Also, it sure made me a better, faster, more confident painter.

I think it has helped me more recently, to have some kind of theme. So my theme for the February 30 in 30 Challenge is The Brown Dog. Why? Well, it’s the Year of the Dog in the Chinese Lunar New Year. AND February 16th is the Lunar New Year start day! AND it’s the year of the EARTH dog (element, get it, brown dog, earth dog) AND my favorite subjects are… Dogs! So. Very. Excited.

Have you done Leslie’s Art Challenge? Or another one in your town? How have you approached it?

If you want to join Leslie’s Challenge, here’s the link – you you might have to cut and paste, sorry – https://www.saetastudio.com/30-in-30.html.   I recommend listening to the latest Artists Helping Artists podcast – it talks about how this (or any) Art Challenge can be very useful to any artist. Enjoy!

Psst – check out Amber Honour’s blog – burntumberarts.com She’s doing her own January Challenge. And I believe #stradaeasel is doing one too! Follow them on FB or Instagram, and while you’re at it – check me out too of you want – @DanaAldisStudio

Let’s Talk Tech, and Other Things

Professional Practices, Uncategorized

So 2018 started off not quite as smoothly as I would have liked. We had a lovely trip home for the holidays – first time in over a decade. It was great to see family, though too short of a trip to actually visit anyone outside of the immediate families. Still, watching my four year old daughter really experience Christmas was priceless.

Back home in Washington, my Dell laptop (only a couple years old) decided that it would no longer cooperate and reboot correctly after a bunch of updates. Granted, Windows 10 was always buggy, but come on. Like any tech, I just wanted it to work. I have images to load, stuff to print, things to market. So now the laptop sits on my desk. A brick. I have a good friend in Seattle that wants to give it a shot, so we will go see him in a week or so.

Thinking positively, it will make me less likely to tinker around on text based stuff and crank out some studio work. And now I am putting my IPad into overdrive use. As much as I like touch screens, nothing beats a good keyboard. Right now I am using one by Arteck, and trying to finish this post on my IPad.

I wanted to share with you my favorite apps of 2017. I have a couple that have come in really handy, and perhaps you might enjoy them as well. Most have free options, though, I have found that I ended up purchasing the yearly membership, which has a couple more perks.

First – “Later”, an app that helps you schedule posts to Instagram. The free version allows you to post up to 30 posts a month, and that works for me, for now. Very easy to use.

Second – IFTTT (If This, Then That) has helped me cross post to most social media platforms. And if you don’t find what you need, you can create your own “applet”. So now, if I post to my Instagram page, it automatically shows up on my FB Page and Twitter feed. A specific hashtag will post to my Pinterest. Gone (for the most part) are the days of loading each account individually. I am pleased that it doesn’t just load a link, which was happening with Hootsuite.

Third – PicMonkey. I did pay for the “Royale” version, which gives me more options. I can edit pictures, crop, create collages that are size specific (for social media or other things)

Fourth – Canva. A great app for non designers (and probably) designers too – to build very nice layouts for print or social media. Again, I did purchase the yearly membership, which allows you to access more layouts and has more perks.

I hope you take a moment to check out the apps. Perhaps they can benefit you as well. I wish everyone a happy and prosperous new year.

She-Ra’s Good Day

Artwork, Dogs

SheRa’s Good Day, 12″x12″ Oil on Canvas, Commission. 

It’s a mixed wet & sunny Thanksgiving here in the Pacific Northwest. Winter is here, though, not the GOT ice-wall type, rather, mostly very wet and colder. I wish everyone a great day with friends and family.

When I started working for Michaels Arts & Crafts as a Grumbacher/Chartpak painting instructor, our projects were divided up into four themes – Landscape, Seascape, Still Life and Floral. These I assume are the most popular subjects for their students. I would liken it to an “gateway subject” – which would “trick” you into learning how to paint the different techniques in the excercise.

It got me thinking, where did I fit in? What type of subject was my “gateway” subject? Well, for me, it’s animals. I am always going back to animals. Dogs in particular. That’s what more or less set me on a path of pet portraiture.

I love creating pet portraits. My hope is to capture a beautiful likeness of their pet. I work pretty much exclusively from photographs. Often the pet has passed, so this is especially touching.

She-Ra’s Good Day is a recent commission from a regular client. Not his dog, but he knew her well. I actually ended up combining two images to create the final painting. She appears to be soaking up the sun, taking a break on her walk on a lovely fall day. SheRa is a pittie, so of course, I had a lot of emotions come back from losing our Pete in March. However, this was, in a way, giving thanks for the gift he was to us, and that SheRa was to her family.

A happy holiday season to all – may you be merry and compassionate. And of course, support the arts.

Warmly, Dana

How To Get Ready For A Show – Kinda

Artwork, September 2017

The 30 Moth Poster $20 plus shipping. Please Contact me to order. 

I’m happy to announce 8 of my Moth paintings and 2 ink drawings of Ornamental Gourds will be headed to The Little Pink Gallery, a micro-gallery located in Genesee, Idaho. LPG is owned by Ellen M. Vieth, an amazing artist and curator – she opens the Gallery a few times a year for exquisite shows. So of course, I am delighted to participate.

But… I’m on the other side of Washington. (It was a much shorter commute when I lived in Lewiston, ID)

So how to you get ready for a show?

First, gather the selected works. Check.

Second, does the work need framing? Mats? Yes? Research frames and mats. Find frames that will complement the work, but not break the bank. Check. Find that Franken Frames will cut mats for you for a super reasonable price. Score.


While waiting, figure out the prices of your work. Don’t forget to include the gallery commission, the price of frames and mats. Fight the urge to undersell yourself. Double check your numbers. And one more time, just to be sure. If you are really efficient, create your Word Document with all your tag info (Artist, Medium, Title, Price). Send to Gallery. (ok this didn’t happen for me until I started packing the works)

The frames and mats arrive on time! Awesome! But the mat color is just not quite right. The cut is perfect. It’s user error, because I had to guess the right white. Have you ever tried to do that? Go to the paint swatch section at your local hardware store. Try to find “white”. I picked a “Snow White” which seemed right, but apparently, I needed “Bright White”. Yeah.

Run down to the local frame shop and pray they have the mat color I need. Score! They do. But not enough. So they order another sheet, arrived the next day, so still in good time. Spend the afternoon cutting mats and assembling framed art. Admire the final product.

2017-10-18 16.02.32

“Crooked” Gourd Ink Drawing, Matted & Framed. 

Work always looks great in a frame. Guaranteed.

2017-10-18 15.28.07

Mock-Up – Moth Artwork matted & framed, on my home wall. Sweet!

Measure your framed work and work out what size shipping box you will need. (Don’t forget to include the cushioning space)

Go to the UPS Store to pick up shipping boxes, listen politely to the staff as they explain all they can do to help. Get back home, assemble boxes. Make labels for the backs of the artwork. Dig your hoarded packing materials out of your storage room. Start wrapping artwork. Seal box. Feel proud.

Forgot to label the artworks. Snap.

Unseal box. Unwrap all the framed work. Match and attach the tags. Re-wrap the artwork. Seal boxes.

I forgot to include the inventory list. Thank goodness, Ellen has a copy.