A few months ago, I had the pawleasure of meeting an artist who loves working in watercolor, Joanne Lustre. She is a volunteer with Operation Paws for Homes too. She was gracious enough to let me interview her and my human as they are working together to create artwork of beloved furry children!
Please share a bit about yourself: “I enjoy art, crafts, dogs, nature and people and anything around learning. I am a lifelong volunteer beginning in the areas of music, children/education, then into senior care and dog rescue and on it goes. Having traveled extensively for work and pleasure, art and color have been the foreground and background of so much of my life experience. Never having had formal training outside of public school, I fell into watercolor painting and love the possibilities; the paint and paper contribute as much as I do to the outcome. I found great pleasure in painting portraits of animals and people and delved into that area deeply. A portion of all I do gives back to animal rescue and that keeps the purpose alive.”
Please share your art education. What was the inspiration? “My art education has been limited to public school, mostly a dear high school teacher who let me doodle and create and never held me back. When I wanted to paint a 30-foot-high mural of a skier (a teenage passion) on the wall in the high school, he helped me create my case, get approval and, I think, chuckled daily as I climbed up the ladder after school to paint.”
“A dear crafting friend dragged me to a watercolor painting class one day, and in a matter of hours I was hooked. The colors were amazing. The outcome of mixing pigments with water and paper was always somewhat of a surprise, and often looking at a painting the next day felt like there were ‘watercolor fairies’ at work while I slept. Painting people and animals allows me to get to know them through that time and I feel a connection to each subject, and often a chance to honor a valued life.”
A percentage of your profits supports dog rescue/adoption. Please talk a little bit about that: “I often donate portraits to animal rescue auction events which is great fun; I never know what will ready to be painted next. My commission is $100 for a matted 8"-by-10" watercolor portrait. 100 percent of the proceeds is donated to the animal rescue of choice. I am fortunate to have raised thousands of dollars for local dog rescues that I am affiliated [with].”
My human dad is a dog photographer who works with pet parents and local rescues providing pawsome images for printing on paper, canvas, metal and notecards. BARKS!
Please share a bit about yourself: “I enjoy time with my wife and dog Noah, wildlife gardening, photographing dogs, cats, gardens, horses, nature, and railroads, attending church, and being outside as much as possible.”
“I am a dog photographer and writer who enjoys incorporating humor into my passion for dogs, cats and helping them to get adopted. I enjoy photographing dogs and cats for pet parents so they will always have photos of their furry children.”
Please share your art education. What was the inspiration? “I am a self-taught photographer with a few classes from friends, camera shops, FCPS adult education, reading and online [classes] thrown in.”
“My parents gave me a point-and-shoot camera for Christmas 18 years ago because my mother enjoyed digital photography. I wasn’t too interested but I needed to photograph my garden for a project. When people commented how much they enjoyed my photography, my creative juices kicked in and I fell in love with photography. Since then, I upgraded my camera too.”
A percentage of your profits supports dog rescue/adoption. Please share about that: “I donate photography sessions to rescues as silent auction fundraiser items. My commission is $50 with 50 percent of my proceeds benefitting the dog and cat rescues we support through www.fromthedogspaw.com.”
How does their project work? My human will photograph dogs, cats and horses for $50. Once a favorite image is selected from a website gallery, he will send a print to Joanne who will paint the portrait. Project is limited to residents of Fairfax and Prince William Counties.
I, Noah, am Pawthor of www.fromthedogspaw.com- A blog about dog adoption, humor, dog adventures and facts about dogs and cats.