Monday, January 13, 2014

Baci Ball!

Robert Phelps first cat portrait of 2014!
My latest pet portrait was a birthday present for St. Petersburg luminary Gina Vivinetto Gina has been a friend and great supporter of the arts in the St. Petersburg/Tampa area for as long as I've known her. A few years ago she wrote a glowing review of my rock n' roll artwork on her celebrated blog. She's always been remarkably encouraging with me about my artwork and has commissioned pet portraits from me in the past. In 2013 Gina interviewed me about my pet portraits for the Pinellas County Articulate Arts Blog

Green-eyed Lady!

Sooooo....when her girlfriend reminded me that her birthday was coming up I leapt at the chance to make something special for her.

Sophisti-cat, art lover
 This cat portrait is of her little friend Baci. I have only met her once or twice in person but she has a reputation as a real sweetheart. I like how this came out--it feels especially soft and fuzzy to me. I noticed an almost Renoir-like look and feel to this one. For my zazzle products I called her "Cotton Kitty".

2014 has been off to a great start. More to come!! 

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Tally Ho!!

Wow, 2014 is already here! I've been terribly behind on updating my blog. Getting that part of my business streamlined and systematized is a big part of my 2014 plan. So far things have been fantastic with a series of projects already lining up, including a new pet portrait. A local walked by my artwork displayed in the window of Woof, Here It IS and called for a commission. 

My last pet portrait of 2013 was Tally--a 55 doberman who had recently passed. As it was a memorial pet portrait painting, I took it very seriously and worked really hard to get the details right. The blue collar was of special significance. Apparently it was part of Tally's signature style ;-) 

I love even more that this was a surprise Christmas commission. The owners were kind enough to thank me personally via Facebook and let me know that the work was appreciated. I received these glowing reviews which really made my day: 

"Robert: I cannot express how much your painting of Tally moves captures her life essence and kind spirit like no photograph could...It's just a shame that we lost her at such a relatively young age...This was the BEST Christmas gift ever from (my wife) to me....we've hung it in our family room so I can see it 90% of waking hours downstairs. Thanks for capturing her the way you did."

"My daughter was all weepy when she first saw it. (My husband) hung it immediately after. He mentions how much he loves it several times a day." 

 Part of the reason I love doing pet portraits is because it's so meaningful for the collectors. Not a lot of art really has such an immediate, visceral impact. Luckily for me I genuinely enjoy making them. I LOVE animals and the endless variety of personalities (for lack of a better word), visual textures, and expressions they have is inspiring.  

More to come!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Rainbow Tiger Magic....

Well that was fun. As 2013 drew to a close I made quite a few sales at my zazzle store. I'm still exploring the financial viability of maintaining a Zazzle store. I am not sure if it's totally worth the time involved compared to the investment in my other artistic streams of income. I do have to admit it is really fun to do--especially seeing my work on products. I also enjoy the positive feedback from people who loved their purchases. 

Recently I published a 2014 "The Dogs Of Robert Phelps" Wall Calendar and have sold dozens of them--including many international sales in the mix (which I always find thrilling). So far the feedback I've received for these has been fantastic.

Yesterday I saw a post on Facebook about one of my Rainbow Tiger Pillow designs being warmly welcomed by the cozy grandmother of a friend of mine. I thought that was pretty nice. 
I love her face! She's adorable....

Finally, out of the Matrix and into the "Real World" ;-)