Monday, November 11, 2013

Before & After

Every so often I have an opportunity to reupholster a chair for a client. This one had been tucked away in the client's basement for years and had become rather dismal. Upon first encounter, I knew it was a chair with character that could be revitalized. 

Monica (my sweet client) had this navy velvet-like material all set to go. It was a bit thicker than the original pale yellow, but I think her vision worked well. The chair was repainted by Noreen at Unique Belongings.

Here is the bench that was intended to match as well.
 It originally had this fabric...If you had to guess, what decade would this be from? It's interesting isn't it?
I think that's all I have for now. Have a good one!

Sunday, November 3, 2013


Anyone who truly knows me can tell you that I firmly detest the cult classic and 80's movie, The Princess Bride. And I'm sorry to admit that this post will probably put a few noses out of joint as I bash your favourite movie, but I have to get this off my chest. Don't even try to use the excuse, "You had to have grown up watching it..." on this girl, because I grew up in the era that apparently brainwashed many impressionable minds into loving this movie. I've been quite adamant about my hatred of this fairy tale since 4th grade.

I just didn't see what the big deal was. At every slumber party someone would obnoxiously blurt out, "Mawwagge is what bwings us togewwer." and then some girl would predictably follow with, "Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya" blahblahblah....This would immediately propel me to devise some scheme to call for my ride home.

But then I hit my twenty's and realized that not a dinner party goes by without some chorus of guests who exchange the lines' "Mawwaggeeee is what bwings us togewwer!!!!" in unison. FOR REAL!!! Can someone please tell me, are they laughing because he has a speech impediment? Or because it's fun to say? I just don't get it!

OH!!! And, I just writhe in disgust when I hear the line, "Does anybody want a peanut?" Then, right on cue everyone just starts rolling their heads back with laughter while I sit like a little cross-armed grump in the corner and patiently wait for them to run out of lines that they know.

If you're finding yourselves screaming "INCONCEIVABLE!" at your computer upon reading this, I'll have you know that we can still be friends. It's just probably best that you never tell me how you feel about this movie because I can't promise that I won't hold it against you. I even lost a little bit of respect for Pam Beasley once I learned that she would list The Princess Bride as one of her all time favourites and even included it in her top five choice for "Desert Island Movies" on The Office. What gives, Beasley?!?! What could this mean for my friendships?!

As fate would have it, Rubber Chicken Theater approached me to design their poster for their latest live read. I said, "As you wish." only because Brian and the company he keeps have been so kind to me.

Of course, it would be my luck that the poster request for one of my favourite films "A League of Their Own" was indefinitely put on hold. Ugh!

Miss Maggie

When a client from Nashville asked me paint her Schnauzer, Maggie, I wouldn't have ever predicted the setting. Can you believe the way this little cutie floats on a raft with such contentment?  Although I have had an opportunity to paint a Schnauzer not to long ago, this Schnauzer on a raft was definitely a first.
That's what I'm really loving about this venture into pet portraiture--there always seems to be a new challenge and I'm getting to correspond with so many amazing people! 
Clearly, my interpretation is far from realistic in this one and I'd have to say it looks quite different in person, but I was definitely inspired Cezanne on this one. (I still can't believe I was able to see so many of his works at the Courthauld Gallery in London, England) To my surprise, Maggie's owner, Gayle has always been fond of Cezanne! I hope she is pleased with this painting and can see her little one's character.

While painting Maggie, how could I not be reminded of Jerry Lewis' pet rabbit, Harry in Geisha Boy? I used to crack up every time the magician's rabbit had any screen time. I was really looking for images of this rabbit to prove my point. Later on, the camera pans over to the rabbit who had been sunbathing and he clearly had been soaking up the sun too long because his fur is unfortunately bright orange!

Apparently Maggie not only has incredible balance, but she has the foresight to apply sunscreen. ;)

Thank you, Gayle for allowing me to work on this project! It's been so wonderful getting to know you!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Save the Date

One of my dear friends and loyal readers that I've known since 8th grade is tying the knot! I was ecstatic to learn that she is having a Gatsby themed wedding! It's such a fantastic idea when the date is New Year's Eve! It was even more exciting when she gave me the honour of designing a "Save the Date" sign for her clever engagement pictures! EEE!! It was also so great to be a part of my first LynnDee Photography shoot! Jody is an incredibly talented photographer and friend that I have the pleasure of knowing. 
I felt like the creative Erin Barrett of For the Love of Letters while I was working on this. It was tough and time consuming. I give Mrs.Barrett soooooo much credit for making so many incredible chalkboard designs time and time again. She's so inspiring!

A Sunday in St. Abbs

I haven't had many opportunities to paint landscapes, but last month, my host mumsies invited me to turn one of their favourite photographs into a painting. What I learned from this experience is that I need to paint more landscapes because they can be very challenging.
My host mumsies were so generous to my Whitney Houston-loving-host brother and me. Here's a snapshot of Nat, Patty, and Michael!
They toted us all over the place and we had so many outings. Some of the remarkable places they took us to feel imaginary now. I was pinching myself the entire time we walked the winding way of St. Abbs in Berwickshire located on the south east coast of Scotland. You see, this was not an everyday occurrence in Scotland if you did not own a car. Patty and Nat had a car, so this scenic escapade became a reality for Michael and me.

This settles it, I seriously do not see enough sheep in the States. They are such characters.

 I regret not having a picnic along these cliffs. Maybe if I get another opportunity to go overseas, I'll know how to seize the moment.
 I'm obsessed with the Prussian Blue of that North Sea! SO gorgeous!
This is no mere screen saver, folks! 

 I feel like I looked like Bilbo Baggins heading off on an adventure in this one. I was told by a bus driver that the yellow shrubs to my left are known as "Aya-Aya" bushes because when someone walks into them, you can hear them cry "AYE-A! AYE-A!!" due to the plentiful thorns. They were beautiful, but you couldn't pay me to run into them.
I am so thankful that I had such a loving host family during my studies abroad. What an amazing experience! If Patty and Nat ever read this, THANK YOU!!!!


This is a drawing of Emma or Emma Bear as I call her. I gave this card to my friend who was celebrating her birthday last month. I just didn't get around to posting it.

This husky is a really sweet dog, but she's had a crazy month! She ran away and spent the night in the clink, was attacked by a porcupine (she had around 50 quills in her poor little snout and tongue), AND she was sprayed by a skunk!!! We just need to pray that she doesn't get in anymore trouble!

X-cellent Posters

As devoted readers of LaPine Design can attest, I love movie posters. I have a hard time resisting them whenever they hand  them out at theatres or video stores (another one of Red Box's shortcomings), and I probably have 50 or so rolled up in my closet...just in case I should ever need them.

Even though I'm not a huge fan of X-Men (What do their fans call themselves? X-meners? Mutants?), I stopped dead in my tracks upon seeing these brilliant designs. It also didn't hurt that I'm absolutely obsessed with the ultimate bromance between James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender! Could they BE any hotter?!? 

SO brilliant!!!

And, just because I can, I'm going to post my favourite McAvoy and Fassbender moment...for now.
So you know, there are few videos on youtube that can hold a candle to this.

Shady Shadshaderson

This pet portrait was commissioned by one of my "roomies" while I was in Scotland. We both missed our dogs terribly. How could you not miss this little guy? Just look at this face! He's so cute that I find it hard to believe that she didn't hop on a plane and fly home at just the thought of him! I was really excited that she asked me to paint Shady as a gift for her father.
I had such a blast!
"Just let the boy water your plants!"
And, here's the proud recipient holding my pint sized model!

Thanks for another great opportunity to paint, Sharon!
For more information on my Pet Portraits by LaPine Design click here.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Gemmerson Lake & Palmer

There are dogs that I have painted that I will never be fortunate to know because they are no longer with us. Then there are some dogs that I've painted that I have only met once...maybe twice, but this little dog is one that I have met many times.

I like to call him "Baby Gemmers." He belongs to my best friends.

When his mama, Moseby was nowhere to be found on New Year's Eve, we went to look for her. I was the lucky one to discover that she had given birth in the dog house beside my best friends' garage.

This little miracle had just been born and he was the epitome of a runt. So small! He was so much smaller than his sister and he is a petite version of all of his other ancestors. I have had the pleasure of knowing him his whole life and now have had the honour of painting his likeness. This one went to my best friend, Sarah on her birthday! Happy Birthday, Sarah!

This post is going to be "legen...wait for it..."


Why? Because I am sharing a painting of Barney with you.  Barney lives at a vineyard and seems to be a really happy dog based on the reference picture I had of him. Doesn't he look approachable too?

 We're hoping Barney's owners are pleased with this painting. They still haven't seen it yet. They don't even know the picture was taken. It is going to be such a surprise.
You know if you wanted to surprise someone with something they wouldn't expect, you could order a Pet Portrait too. Visit for more details.

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