I can’t let another day go by without posting on this amazing book. Those who follow my blogroll may have already discovered that I was recently involved in a collaborative art project in the form of one-of-a-kind dog art books, called the Dogs Rule Fatbook, created by 13 different artists around the country- a group of women who are also known as ‘The Sisterhood of Pet Portrait Artists’ (moniker by Kathy Weller).
The rules for each artist were simple: create and design 14 unique 8×10 pages of your signature dog art (mine being Decopaw), with the theme ‘Dogs Rule’, embellish the pages somehow, include your business name and contact information on the back of each page, then send them to the organizer Jill Beninato (more on Jill later), who would then bind the pages into 14 unique books (called ‘fatbooks’); one for each artist to keep + one very special book to save for a very special purpose (more on that later).
The results? Stunning.
Participating artist list + binding detail. Also see links to each artist’s website at end of post.
Each artist’s page had a tab with their name on it, and a clear page separating their page from the previous, and following pages. The clear divider page held a photo and quote from each artist. Gee, who do you think that is on the right below?
Linda O’Niell, Abby Creek Studios: Boulder, CO
Melissa Langer: Pug Notes: Louisville, CO
Jill Beninato- the organizer: Sit.Stay.Smile Photography: Virginia Beach, VA
Rebecca Landsdown: ArtPaw: Dallas, TX
Ann Leuck Feldhaus: Pet Portraits: Chicago, IL
Leigh Jackson: Noisy Dog Studio: Gig Harbor, WA
Manon Doyle: Hoochie Poochie Studios: Columbus, OH
Nicole Mlakar-Livingston: Pet Photography: Austin, TX
Moira McLaughlin: Dog Art Today: Los Angeles, CA
Bernie Berlin: A Place To Bark: Portland, TN
Wendy Crumbley: 2 Dog Studio: Florida
The final page. That’s Wendy’s photograph there on the left. Jill’s back inside cover on the right.
Here is the backstory on the book:
Back in May of this year, I received an email, along with the other participating artists, from my dear dog artist/photographer friend Jill Beninato. Jill is a master scrapbook maker and does incredible things with her dog art and pet photography.
Jill had the idea for all of us dog artists to create the book that you see in this post. Not being a crafter (at all) I couldn’t really picture it but had a rough idea of what the project would look like, from reading Jill’s detailed instructions and also being familiar with her work on her blog.
So we all had until July 5th to get our pages in (as many things are with me mine were late- hey I was moving the week they were due!!), and after we mailed our pages to her, Jill got busy (very busy) assembling them all and creating covers and backs for every single book (yes, every single one), and then shipping them off to each of us. I know it was a huge amount of work, and I don’t think I can ever express my gratitude to Jill for this amazing project. I feel so incredibly lucky to be part of this group of dog artists- some of the most talented in the country, IMO. Don’t believe me? Just check their websites and Bark magazine- these are the gals whose ads you see, who are all successful, highly visible artists.
And not only are these women incredibly creative and talented, but also super nice and supportive, and positive happy people. Oh, and beautiful- did I mention beautiful? Both on the outside and inside! Ok, I could go on forever. 😉
How about some more pictures of the book?
The details on the pages are just incredible. I did my best to get some close-ups to show y’all. Pictures just can’t do this book justice. Manon Doyle’s embellished page on the left with beeswax, Mellissa Langer’s page with an adorable pug tag and the prettiest aqua blue with gold paper.
Linda O’Niell’s boxer- one of my very favorites of hers. Linda was the very first dog artist I met online early in 2007, and introduced me to many other super talented women, many of whom are in this book. I consider Linda to be my Pisces soul-sister (we miss you Linda!) and can’t wait for the day we can meet in person. Fergie’s page on the right below has metal ‘studs’ and a silver heart tag that says ‘love’.
Bernie Berlin’s quote on the left, which resonated not only with me, but many of the other artists involved in the project. The sewing you see behind it is the backside of Rebecca’s very unique sewn giclee art. On the right is a close-up of Jill Beninato’s page- which is even more amazing in person.
The backside of Anne Lueck Feldhaus’s page on the left. I love that I got a painting of a ball happy dog! I seem to be attracting them lately. The backside of Nicole Mlakar-Livingston’s page on the right- one of my favorite photographs of hers- every time I see it I crack up. That’s a sock monkey tied around her pooch’s neck, hee hee.
Kathy Weller’s backpage on the left. I thoroughly enjoyed looking at each picture and every detail. Kathy excels at detail, which is pretty astonishing considering she works in watercolor. A close-up of Leigh Jackson’s canvas on the right below. She hand-painted details on the giclee prints- something that must have taken forever but that I cherish more than she will know. ‘Wow” was all I kept saying.
Close-up #1 of the front of Nicole’s page, which has buttons ‘sewn’ on, and little birdies, and of course the cutest little dog in an airplane. (Nicole is that your dog??). Talk about creative!
A close-up of a quote that Wendy wrote in pencil on her adorable dog art page. Ditto to that!! Check out the darling chocolate brown fetch tag.
A close-up of Bernie Berlin’s absolutely beautiful art page. I sat speechless in my office late the night I finally had the chance to look at the book. Amazing job Bernie. More on Bernie later.
Ann Leuck Feldhaus’ page put mine to shame- she hand-painted hers!! I was so thrilled to have an original Ann Leuk Feldhaus. AND, it looks like Fergie!! I still can’t believe it. 🙂 Thank you Ann!!
Manon Doyle’s multimedia collage, which I don’t even have words for it is so cool. You all know that I like to talk (or at least write) a lot, and very rarely am I speechless. Here I was, and still am, speechless. I don’t even know what to say- it’s that amazing. By the way- you can’t really tell from the photos- but the page on the right is 3-dimensional.
The backside of Jill’s page. Buddy, a Costa Rican dog that I think we have all fallen in love with. I teared up when I read what Jill wrote. It is so special, and life-affirming.
More detail of Nicole’s page. How cute are those little birdies?! I think they are made out of mother-of-pearl.
The back cover of the book, designed by Jill. The little cat is a holograph (?)- is that what you call it? When you turn the book up and down the cat moves. So cute.
Melissa’s hilarious pug peeking out of an envelope. I showed this to Charlie and Seymour’s mom last week and she totally cracked up. The backside of my page below, which, sadly lost some of the sparkly thingies (sorry if they fell off ladies!). No big surprise here considering I bought 3 different kinds of glue and really had no idea which one(s) to use. Crafty I am not, but I think my pages turned out ok. BTW: which artist ended up with the dogs with the feathers coming out of their heads? I was getting loopy at that point, hee hee. 😉
The book seen from the side. FYI: these shots were taken in my new studio. What you see there is the late afternoon reflection through the western-facing windows onto the ginormous cyclorama wall, which is about, oh, 50 feet wide. I think you could fit my entire apartment into just the studio portion of the space. I promise (!) I WILL post photos one of these days- I just have a couple more things left to do in my office before I can take pictures. I have my first studio shoot tomorrow morning. Excited but nervous.
And again, front and back. Dogs really do rule.
Remember earlier in this post when I said there was a 14th book? Well guess what- it could be yours!!
The 14th copy of this book, the most special copy, with the most embellished pages, is going up for auction on Ebay on November 15th, with 100% of the proceeds benefiting Bernie Berlin’s A Place to Bark, an amazing rescue organization in Tennessee run by an equally amazing woman who has devoted her life to saving animals.
The book will also be getting some press in the upcoming fall issue of Bark magazine. Our collective hope is that with the Bark’s help and through the grassroots efforts of our blogs, we can garner lots of visibility for the book so we can raise as much money as possible through the auction. Here’s to saving (and adopting!) needy animals!
Here are all of the artists websites and blogs.
Manon Doyle of Hoochie Poochie Studios , blog
Jill Beninato of Sit Stay Smile Photography, blog
Jamie Piper of Cowbelly Photography,
Leigh Jackson of Noisy Dog Studio, blog
Moira McLaughlin of Dream Dogs Art, blog
Melissa Langer of Pug Notes, blog
Linda O’Neill of Abby Creek Studios, blog
Rebecca Lansdowne of Art Paw, blog
Nicole Mlakar-Livingston of Nicole Mlakar-Livingston Photography, blog
Wendy Crumbley of 2 Dog Studio, blog
Bernie Berlin from A Place To Bark, blog
Anne Leuck Feldhaus of Anne Leuck Feldhaus Studio Ltd., blog
Kathy Weller Wellerwishes Pet Portraiture, blog
I will post more on the book when the article comes out in Bark, and also before it goes up on Ebay.
Remember that adopting dogs saves lives! 🙂