Rachael Rossman's Studio Blog

I'm a mom. I'm an artist. I clean up a lot of messes.

In Memoriam February 22, 2010

Filed under: Art,Dogs,Not painting,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 10:56 am

Cesar Millan (The Dog Whisperer) is a resource for and inspiration to many dog lovers world-wide. Last week, his companion Daddy the pit bull died at the age of 16.

Last year I sent a painting of Daddy to Cesar’s Burbank office; his staff put it on display and told me later that Cesar liked it very much. I hope it brings them a little bit of joy, now that Daddy is gone.

Such sweet, sad eyes.


Bluebird skies February 21, 2010

Filed under: Art,In the studio,Not painting,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 6:56 pm

Oregon is, for the most part, decidedly gray. But we have been experiencing the most beautiful, clear, crisp weather for the past four or five days. Just gorgeous. But cold. Which is okay with me; we used to live in Montana and I swear I can handle 20 below as long as the sun is shining.

The pros of this unseasonably good weather:

  • I can send the kids outdoors All Day.
  • There’s better lighting in my studio for painting.
  • Everyone’s in a good mood.
  • Days seem longer.

The cons:

  • You can see every cobweb and window smudge that has gone unnoticed through the winter.
  • The discovery of these cobwebs and smudges tends to interfere with my making of art. (Can’t paint ’til house is clean. I’m crazy like that.)

My daughter and I had a coffee/hot chocolate date Friday morning at the park. We took photos of the river and some geese that will probably end up as a painting someday. My husband was downright shocked that I actually took initiative to go outside, but here’s the proof.

She always wants to have her photo taken on these steps.

We saw some geese. I think I'll paint them.

We also saw the Wienermobile, which is less artistic and more Americana.

I took advantage of the time the kids spent outdoors and finished a slew of paintings. One is so cute, but I can’t show you because it’s a gift and I can’t spoil the surprise. Here are a couple of others that I finished up.


Title: Katie

Completed: February 20, 2010

Soundtrack: Grease

Beverage: Banrock Station Shiraz-Cab

Title: Westin

Completed: February 21, 2010

Soundtrack: Grease

Beverage: Starbucks iced mocha


Next week I’m painting a Tibetan Spaniel puppy, oh my god, so cute. And a catamaran. After that, I’m all caught up and will just sit around and eat bon-bons and wait for the universe to send me more puppies to paint.


Flashback February 19, 2010

Filed under: Art,Horses,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 10:10 am

I got my first pony in third grade. His name was Sonny and he used to scrape me off on trees when I was riding him. Then there was Babe, the palomino, who was really my mom’s horse but a little bigger than Sonny so I graduated to riding her in 4-H. In 8th grade I started riding hunter-jumpers and had the most beautiful, magical, dressage-trained thoroghbred named Theo. In high school, I fulfilled my childhood dream of being rodeo queen with a bomb-proof dapple gray named Rowdy.

In my 20s I competed in hunters on Robin, the horse I was born to ride. But even at those big shows, despite the steely nerves and the $300 riding pants, I was just one of those girls who loves horses.

This painting was commissioned by the rider’s mom. Abigail is a member of a collegiate equestrian team, and her mom sent me this photo along with many other beautiful images of Abigail and Lynard in competition. The show photos are full of action, stylish gear and even a sequin or two; but Abigail’s mom was partial to this photo most of all.

I get it. And so does every girl who’s ever sat on her horse, in the sun and brisk air, and felt right with the world.

She even kind of looks like me.


Title: Abigail & Lynard

Completed: February 19, 2010

Soundtrack: Lady Gaga, The Fame Monster

Beverage: Covey Run 2006 Columbia Valley Cabernet Sauvignon


The Boxer February 17, 2010

Filed under: Art,Dogs,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 10:27 am

When we were first married, my husband and I often talked about getting a dog when we were “settled.”  We’d get a boxer and name him Satchel after Satchel Paige, the baseball player. (Though I have no idea who this is). We’d call him Satch for short because we figured it was good for a dog to have a one syllable name. “Satch! Come!” “Satch! Get out of the garbage!”

Well, in our 13 years of marriage we’ve learned one thing – you’re never really settled, are you? Not really. There’s school, and work, and different jobs. Apartments, more apartments, cross-country moves, babies.

The kind of nomadic, unsettled life that is more suited to cats, really, than to dogs.

The painting below is the first of the Mini Portrait series that I announced last week. Her name’s not Satchel, but she’s a beauty.

Title: Athena

Completed: February 17, 2010

Soundtrack: Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole, Facing Future

Beverage: Diet Cherry Coke


Assembly Line February 15, 2010

Filed under: Art,Dogs,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 9:43 pm

For the past week, I’ve had a regular assembly line going in my studio. Today I  have two paintings in progress and four or five on deck. I even had to break down and buy another drawing board, some clipboards and a filing system to keep myself organized. How soon until I can justify a housekeeper?

Send coffee.

Some of the paintings I’m working on are gifts that people have ordered for special occasions. That means I can’t post them anywhere publicly until they’ve been, well, gifted. I learned that lesson the hard way.

Here’s one that I just finished for a delightful customer; as far as I can tell, all parties involved are aware of its existence so I can show you, too. As many of my paintings are, this is a memorial to her dog Mia (right) who is pictured with another dog of theirs, Ralf. I hope to also paint some of their puppies in the future and they’ve sent me some very cute pics. I mean, who doesn’t love puppies?


Title: Ralf and Mia

Completed: February 15, 2010

Soundtrack: k.d. lang, All You Can Eat

Beverage: Diet Coke


Barter is Back February 14, 2010

Filed under: Art,Dogs,Painting on Yupo,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 9:34 am

A few weeks ago, I posted a comment on Twitter about wanting to redo my website, but not knowing where to start. A designer in Texas responded, we “tweeted” back and forth, and voila! we worked out an art-for-art trade. 

The result of my work is this 20×26″ memorial to her pup, Brody. I don’t often get to work on paintings this large, but I loved it and hope to do more of them. In the meantime, please click over to Nikki Jeske’s site at Design Coyote and check out her mad design skills. My new website is coming soon and I promise it will blow your hair back.


Title: Brody

Completed: February 13, 2010

Soundtrack: Aaron Copland and Boston Symphony Orchestra

Beverage: Assorted caffeine and cocktails


Sightings February 10, 2010

Filed under: Art,Not painting,On the web,Pet Portraits,Watercolor — rachaelrossman @ 10:40 pm

It’s been a busy week! Hot on the heels of The Pioneer Woman post, are these two nice mentions around the interwebs.

The Daily Grommet

Tails From The White House Lawn