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The Early Years

It's never too late to follow your dream.

In high school, I took a ninth grade art class and then again in my senior year for an easy credit. I loved to draw ever since I was a young child. From those two art classes, I learned enough to make some beautiful art. Now, looking back I see talent - mine or anyone's - as a gift from God.

Life happened right out of high school in 1977 - I started working hard, playing hard - and dabbled here and there with colored pencils. Even selling a few. Eventually, I put the pencils down and didn't draw again until many years later.

Let's start with some early art I created.

Snowy Egrets 


Mountain Lion "


Mask "


Disco "


No Longer Alone "


I had taken different photos of one parrot at the Belle Isle Bird Sanctuary, in Detroit. Therefore it was no longer alone. 

On The Prowl "


One silver pencil created this tiger on black mat board. 

Masquerade "


One of my favorites. And also another's who still has it hanging on their wall in Colorado. 

And Here We Are At 60, Thirty Years Later

Pounce "

January 2019

In January 2019, I picked up my pencils and drew the way I learned in high school, using a grid method.  This was the result.  Let me tell you how that came to be. 

My Friend and Mentor

Thanksgiving 2018 I flew to Michigan to visit family and friends. Do you have an old friend you haven't seen or talked with for several months, or even longer, but when you get together it is like you saw each other yesterday? Well, that is my friend Maralena. An artist who inspired me and suggested I get the book called, The Artist Way and I did. I followed it by doing the morning pages daily and going on Artist Dates by myself weekly or biweekly. I thank Maralena for being my inspiration and mentor!

The Artist Date That Inspired Me to Step Out

I found a three-day workshop at the Franciscan Renewal Center in Paradise Valley AZ that started on Good Friday ending Easter Sunday in 2019. It was called "It Is Finished." We made a crucifix using prepared pieces supplied by the instructor, painted the cross and assembled it and painted Jesus' body. This artistic event involved a spiritual experience - and brought me to my current paintings. I certainly stepped out of "the box" by doing this - going in with an open mind. The instructor, of course, announced her upcoming art workshops and private classes. Well, I did not hesitate and jumped in with both feet. 

" Oscar

July 2019

First Acrylic Painting - I signed up for a three-day workshop, called "Painting From The Soul" with Lu. This was gifted to me by my God Mother/Cousin, Joyce. It fell on my birthday weekend of July 14, 2019, when I turned 60. The new beginning of the rest of my life as an acrylic artist. I was hooked. 

Greece Steps "

August 2019

The second three-day workshop with Lu, "Painting From The Soul." I love big, bright and colorful! I wanted to learn how to get the look of the walls you see here, like stucco.

Time To Do It On My Own


September 2019

Well, I had more time on my hands and just finished the workshop with nothing scheduled for an artist date. I missed little Lexi and my friend Pat M. I thought it would be a great surprise to paint Lexi and give it to Pat when she comes back. As I write this, she will be here soon but I have been very anxious. Because of this, I have been stalling to publish my website out and information on Facebook. It's been tricky but well worth it.

- UPDATE - Lexi is here! Pat came by and surprised me in the first week of December 2019. I was sitting at my desk after work and turned around, looking at Lexi's cute little face in the window. I was finally able to give Pat her surprise painting and she was thrilled. I am looking forward to doing another one of Lexi. You see, they have two homes, hmm...My little Muse.


September 2019

Wi​llow was one of ours. She is the first we lost to cancer at age 14. It came on all of sudden and it was the hardest to let her go to the Rainbow Bridge. Painting her and watching her come alive in the painting was such a joy that inspired me to want to do more pet portraits for others.


September 2049

Pickles was the sweetest Schnauzer. We had her two years longer after Willow passed away. We thought for sure she would be lonely, but in truth, I think she was happy that she had us all to herself. Pickles was first, then came Willow the boss dog. Now both Pickles and Willow hang on our family wall with our human relatives.

"Lucy and Maddie"

October 2019

My best customer to date is my biggest fan. Joyce purchased the Masquerade drawing back in the early years. At that time, I was drawing with colored pencils only. She was my first customer who wanted her two fur babies painted. Her dog Lucy is over the Rainbow Bridge and she currently has Maddie.

More than dogs

November 2019

If you love horses and are not fortunate to own one or be around them, go to Los Cedros USA in Scottsdale, AZ. Dave and I spent the day there and I was able to get some good pictures. This fella here was just one. Watch for more to come soon. It was a sunny day, and I was able to capture the tree shadows on the horse and wall. I call this painting "Shadows."

Old World Angel 

November 2019

My friend Marsha and I went to a workshop called, "Old World Angels" at the Franciscan Renewal Center. She is another artist who hasn't painted in many years and wanted to get her feet wet again. What was fun and new for me was working with Gold Leaf. This is the outcome of the Icon, I copied. Gold Leaf is very messy to work with. It was also fun, and I will do it again in my studio. I am looking forward to doing more icons!

Anasazi Annual Christmas Bazaar

November 2019

This was an opportunity to get my art seen. I have been to many bazaars and craft shows as a customer, but never as a vendor. It was a good experience and I will do it again. The best part was meeting other artists and getting their ideas. I did get a lot of positive feedback. Family and friends are always positive and encourage. Hearing from strangers heightened my confidence. Best of all, I got commissioned! This will be for three dogs on one canvas. Look for it at the end of January first of February 2020.

Adara Senior Center Scottsdale Bazaar

December 2019

 Unknowingly I was directed in the wrong direction with this event. However, to watch the elderly seniors put a smile on their faces when they came up to my area, made it all worth the time. It was thought to be a bazaar for outsiders as well but it was for the residents and their families. It just wasn't the right market for pet portraits. Many people never had dogs and of course, none were allowed in the center, so they did not currently have any. I'll never forget one woman who came in three different times to view the art, and her wonderful words, "You are a true artist!" You see, she is an artist and back in your earlier days she painted. We had much to chat about and I am glad I met her. 

" Shhh, it's a secret"

December 2019

On the first of December 2019, I completed a painting that will be a gift in January 2020.  So I cannot post it just yet, one never knows who is searching out my site and blog. This will be posted at the end of January.  


Update: Portrait posted 1/27/2020 see below story

Reflecting on 2019


Wishing you Peace, Love and Prosperity in 2020

December 31, 2019

I could not have want​ed more in 2019.  I want to thank everyone who played a part in helping me with experience, tips, and tricks to get the website off the ground.  I received encouragement in abundance from family and friends.  I am grateful!  I have met so many new people in the art world that are just amazing.  Thank you to those who purchased from me and now have your pet hanging in your homes.  What a joy to have been able to do that for you.  It was hard to let go of those furry creatures.  Each and everyone is special with their own little personalities [Lexi, Maddie, Lucy, Pickles, Willow, Divot and Shadows]

 I am looking forward to 2020 and continuing on this journey.  I just now started a painting with three dogs on one canvas and am anxious to show you the outcome.  Please contact me to do your pet or any animal you fancy.  

A 2020 goal is to stretch a bit and paint a human portrait.  I do not think that is too far fetched.  Maybe throw a fur baby in the mix.

Happy New Year!

~ Denise 


Presentation to Nadine by Paul at Company Nurse Staff Dinner

January 2020

 Remember the "Shhh, it's a surprise" in December 2019. 

Well, here it is. I was asked to paint a portrait of our company's mascot Divot. At the end of the owner’s words of gratitude to his employees, he saved Nadine for last. Last but certainly not least! You can scroll up to see a closer shot of just Divot. She was surprised and happy tears came to her eyes. She stated, ”I am overwhelmed by my gift, your talent and how well you captured my boy! Thank you from the bottom of my heart".

This is what it is all about, from my heart to hers. To see the reactions of people, when they see their pets portrait for the first time brings me so much joy!

" The Trio" Sophie - Kaylee - Candy

The client's, Charles and Carol commissioned to have this gem done for their son and daughter in law, who live in Ohio. They were so pleased with the outcome and anxious for their kids to receive it. 

I spoke to Carol yesterday 2/29/2020 and she informed me the package arrived safe and sound on the 28th. Thank you Pack Mail on Bell Rd for doing a superb job in packaging. I took it on Monday afternoon and it was received on Friday. It took five days for delivery.

The Ohio recipients were happy. I am looking forward to their photo to add to this post.

The Gift of Love

In The Mean Time, Back To The Drawing Board

 Partial "Sophie"

March 1, 2020

This is a tease of what is to come. She should be done in a couple of weeks. Rob has been waiting patiently while I was painting all the above. Thanks, Rob, you will not be disappointed. I am using "Prismacolor" pencils to create this one.


Mar​ch 2​5, 2020

Well, here she is!  Finally "Sophie" Korenic.  What do you think Rob and Carolyn?  Sophie will be waiting to come home to you in June 2020.  Gramma Chris will drive her up to Colorado for the wedding. The mat size I used [not shown] is 24x20 and would fit a standard frame and the inside cut is a 16x20.  I did this for you to get an idea of the space needed on the wall.  Per your request, I am sending it without the mat.  Now you have an idea of the size and if you have room for Chloe on the same wall. Let me know ASAP.  It would be great to have done it for June 2020.  

Updated 8/13/2020 - Carolyn and Rob finally got Spophie. It was hand-delivered and although I was not there to witness, I understand they loved her.  They are building their home and as soon it is complete and she is hung I will receive a picture of the 3 of them.  Looking forward to that!

   "Stazi"  The Covid-19 Cat

      March 2020 - 8/2020

COVID affected people in different ways.  I cannot explain it but most likely, don't have to.  I think many understand without an explanation. I lost my desire, mojo, mood to paint.  Creativity went out the door, right after I started to paint this beautiful creature.  I've come to love this creature and her human both, through this time. This furry brought two people together who never met and it created a friendship. Thank you Pat for your patience and understanding!

"Warrior" A 90th Birthday Surprise !

August 01, 2020

I finally was able to hand-deliver Lucy and Maddie to Colorado while visiting my God Mother in July 2020. While there I met a wonderful woman, Roni a friend of Joyce's. I showed her the paintings of Lucy and Maddie and she immediately commissions me to do 3 pet portraits for gifts. Very exciting. I started Warrior just before finishing Stazi. He is already coming to life. Stay tuned.

Warrior was shipped to Utah on 8/26/2020 to his human HC. Happy Birthday, HC!


"Reign" is being delivered today!

September 2020

 Reign is an anticipated belated birthday gift from wife to husband.  Ann saw a picture via text and was thrilled.  She will love it more in person, I am sure.   If I get permission I will add the surprise picture when Bill opens it.


"CocoPuff" the cute, lit​tle, hot mess!​

August 2020

   At a park meeting during the time of Covid-19, a time and place to get out and see people live, I met CocoPuff.  I little dog I never met that melted my heart.  I just had to paint that face.  He was just what I needed during my slump when I just was blocked from painting.  I never met his human either but we started talking about how Cocopuff came to be hers and what a joy he brought to her and many people.  I told her I would like to paint Coco and she immediately stated that she would love that but money was tight due to the Covid circumstances.  I told her I still wanted to paint him.   Not long after I got a text with pictures of this cute little guy.  Painting him brought my drive back to paint and I am back into the paints.  Thank you Cocopuff and his human for coming into my life.  I think this was a God job.  A gift that was given to me to gift back to his family.  I will update the blog when I deliver it to her soon.  Don't you just adore that curly little face? 


" Daisy"

 October 2020

My latest commission completed.  Daisy was so much fun to paint.  This little girl human just recently went off to college.  Her mother got a hold of me to do her portrait to surprise her daughter.  Every day her mother has to send her a picture of Daisy and thought this would be a great gift for her to have while she is away. 

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