Monday, July 28, 2008

Dogs in Leather Pants

The title of this post comes from something funny that happened at Epcot in Disney World - I will try to explain it as briefly as possible: During previous visits to Germany in Epcot we had seen these big, gorgeous steins with highly detailed dachshunds in lederhosen on them. During one visit when my husband Kirk was there with his friend Bob he decided that Bob needed to see these artful steins himself, but they were not to be found on this trip in the Germany shops. The night wore on and they found themselves in Norway, where Bob decided to ask the clerk there about the item. Part of the charm of Epcot is that the various countries are staffed by natives of those countries, and for whom English is often not their first language. In this case Bob asked the very tall, very Norwegian man behind the counter if he had any "Dachshunds in Lederhosen." The young man looked perplexed as he translated what to him must have seemed a mix of German and english into his native tongue and back to english before he asked Bob slowly and carefully, with just a touch of wonder "You are looking...for a leather pants?"

Several years ago I painted a wirehaired weiner dog in Lederhosen standing in front of a bar. The image is still popular, but I have been meaning to create some other weiner coats in the same theme, and now I have. Shirts and buttons and stuff with the black and tan smooth can be found here: and the red can be seen here: I hope to follow these with dapple, piebald and longhaired versions.

Another illustration I am pleased to present is a couple of new Dachsie Birthday cards. This came from a very rough sketch in my pocket-size sketchbook. I am posting it here in case anyone reading this is interested in my artistic process:
The finished cards are available in red smooth and black and tan right now, and I think I will be making party invitations and more from them. Both can be found at Here is what the red version looks like:

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh, the Huge Manatee!

I cannot take credit for the clever title of this post - while I was researching manatees I saw the title used a couple of times on the internet. Woe for the poor manatee, because while it can survive on lo-cal romaine lettuce and sea salad, it still retains a blimp-like figure. I have always found manatees particularly endearing up close, looking as they do like good-natured russett potatoes with arms and tiny eyes. The manatees I have managed to see up close were "rescued," the lucky inhabitants of a large tank at Epcot's Living Seas with Nemo and Friends. Seeing their deep scars from boat propellers really makes anyone visiting them want to protect them from the ravages of man and his machines. We visit the 'Tees every year in late Fall at Disney World and never fail to exclaim "Itty Bitty!" at first sight, because our Itty Bitty Kitty bears more than a passing resemblance to them. Bit-Bit was trying to get up on the bed the other day and we came to the conclusion that if he had just a little of a manatee's buoyancy (or environment) his full figure would make getting around a little easier. He can't help it if he is just big-boned, can he? The manatee illustrations can be found on a full assortment of cards and clothes at

Another illustration I have been working on lately is the Waltzing Weiner Dogs - based on a painting I did several years ago: This one is re-created in Illustrator to make it more re-producible for shirts and products: I think this pair of loving Dachshunds would make great anniversary cards.

I will post a link here as soon as I have them up on my store. I have been making a lot of sketches of dogs and cats in Lederhosen, and hope to be able to make some finished illustrations next week. I also have some new sketches of Birthday dogs I hope to get going on - they are long overdue.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Feeling a little sluggish...

I decided to have some fun with a theme that I have used over the years - that of a Banana Slug with personality, even vivacity. I recall being mesmerized by the Santa Cruz University mascot back in the 80's when I lived briefly in Brookdale, a tiny town in the SC mountains. Now living in the Pacifc Northwest I have seen more of these gooey mollusks than I might care to, and they are generally a dark horse-poo green rather than yellow. Banana Slug Babe was extremely fun to create and is now available on the usual assortment of goodies:

You can find the store for her at this link: As much as I like this type of illustration I know that it is unlikely to find an audience, much like my fabulous martini-swilling fish cartoon: I'm sure I will do a little jig if someone ever buys a shirt with either of these designs on it.

In other news I changed around the menus at - simplified them and added this new blog address. One of these days I'll add the dozens of new designs from the past year to the prints section. In my next blog post I'll show the latest incarnation of Waltzing Weiners, updated for anniversary cards and shirts, and what I was working on today: a cuddly Manatee.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Sunday Morning Coffee Cats

This morning as I look from my desk to the guest bed and windowsill I see five cats, all soaking up the sun coming through the windows of my daylight basement/studio. Given this lovely morning view I thought I would post my Caffeinated Kitty Coffee illustration. The slogan of this coffee company is "Helping Cats Stay Awake for Up To an Hour!" It is available now on shirts, buttons, tiles and more here:
Itty Bitty Kitty was inspired of course by my own baby boy, Pixel, who at 23 pounds is very little indeed. He was my first Pixiebob cat and turned 12 in April. Here he is in a recent photo. He looks a little dismayed here because I dressed him in the Tigger costume (at my daughter's request) and he is quite aware that stripes make one look wider. His own natural stripes are a more subtle and flattering look for him. The first time my daughter saw a Kliban Cat calendar she exclaimed "Mommy! Look, it's Bitty!" and she is correct; he is the living incarnation of a B. Hap Kliban cartoon. Sometime I will have to take a picture of him in a Kliban inspired pose and post the images side-by-side.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The Return of the Blog

I've just spent a ridiculous amount of time tweaking the colors and graphics of this blog template. I still can't figure out why it has light colored cuffs at the bottom like bad 70's bell bottom pants, but for now I am going to let it go.

It has been over a year since I posted last. In that time I have created a whole lot of new art. I tried to keep up with a "New" page I created for, but there are few things more tedious than updating my own HTML code. I taught myself web coding and design over 10 years ago so I am pretty old-school about writing my own code and not using a WYSIWYG editor. Some day I really should give in and teach myself to use Adobe Dreamweaver. I'm pretty sure Adobe already owns my soul; I have been captivated by PhotoShop for about a dozen years and in the last year or so Illustrator CS2 has had me totally enchanted. As I get more and more into the Live Trace features of the program I find I have barely picked up a real paint brush in the last six months. Illustrator allows me to make clean vector art that actually looks like my style rather than like a coloring book outline. Yea! Here is one of my more recent illustrations, done for Colorado Dachshund Rescue:
The image above is the first I've ever done for Colorado Dachshund Rescue An interesting side note about this rescue organization - Teresa was one of two people who originally wrote me back in 1998 about my Dachshund art and got me started on this crazy path. The other was Kelly Page Gathers with Dachshund Rescue of North America All these years later it is still a thrill that they use the logo I designed for them on their website. I should also mention that without having drawn my first weiner dogs for my mom none of the above would have happened.

I willl be putting up lots more pictures as I post, of all sorts of art - different dog breed, cats, creatures, critters. It is taking a little longer these days because I am pasting my copyright information on all of these images here since I have found some folk will actually try to copy and sell my work - flattering only until you realize that this is how I make a living. For now I fear if I don't publish this one I'll never get to the next one!