Archive | April 2013

Let Bruce Hilvitz Immortalize Your Pets in Portrait

I did a short interview with Bruce Hilvitz, who is a very talented cartoonist, who is in the process of getting a new comic strip syndicated and also captures your pet’s essence through his digital pet portraits. I wanted to do a follow up with more examples of his work. Here is Reggie J. Rabbit:

Bruce captured Reggie's essence.

Bruce captured Reggie’s essence.

I really love the fine detail of this cat:

cat by bruce

and someone’s Canine kid:

caninet by bruce

And here is the artist himself:

Bruce Hilvitz is a very talented artist.

Bruce Hilvitz is a very talented artist.

If you are interested in immortalizing your pet go to

www.flatwurks.com

Bruce asks that you send him a high resolution photo. Tell Bruce “Visions Alchemy sent me.”

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Ready for a new Multi-Media Ebook series starring an inter-species family?

Fiona and me. I believe that our cat, cleo who passed a day before told her Mother that she needed to live with us. This is a story I will share in the book.

Fiona and me. I believe that our cat, cleo who passed a day before told Fiona’s Mother that she needed to live with us. This is a story I will share in the book.

I love the ease of creating a new ebook and putting it  on the web. It can take very little mazoola to produce it. If I want to make hard copies of my book that can be a reality. Recently I had a reading with a good friend, Tana Newberry,  at Angel Heart 4 You, in Bencia, CA who talks with Angels. And we are conversing with the Angels about the music project I am currently working on to raise funds and awareness for the Bat World Sanctuary.  Things seem to be on track. The angels say everything is in place. My feedback is to keep meditating and ask for guidance If I start feeling fearful or overwhelmed. Then my friend, Tana (Newberry) asked me if I had thought about writing a book. I had been toying over that idea because we have so many great experiences living with our 4-legged kids, I have been wanting to share more stories about our family. We really have a unique family tree. Two humans, 3 cats, 1 rabbit, 7 house plants and various crystals and stones and we all co-habitate under one roof. Do I communicate with every-one in the house-Yes! We may be in different body types, but we seem to communicate to the degree we are able. Now I am not a botanist, but when It comes to my plants, I can feel their energy when they want water or healing energy. And when I am connected to them, I can feel a energy that I interpret as pure joy. I have a special Elestial crystal I named Angelica. She feels like a youngster and when I hold her I can sense a giggling kind of energy. She loves being with the plants on the mantel. Sometimes I will hold her and rock her. I can feel a presence in her. I read that Elestials are very good in healing childhood trauma. We also have a nice size Rose Quartz and crystal Quartz that I use in my healing circles. I use a lot of selenite for keeping the energy in the house balanced and peaceful. I meditate everyday and 2 to 3 times a week I do a major Angel Therapy meditation that clears and balances the house, our family and friends. Why do I want to write a book about our family? Because I want other people to know that families that have human and non-human kids have struggles, challenges, loss when a family member dies, but there are also so much joy, love, compassion, happy surprises that we encounter on a daily basis. I have been taking more photos of the 4-legged kids and shooting more video that will go in the book. I want other people to see how much joy a rabbit can feel when they are doing their daily thing of interacting with their family. Or a cat that developed his own hand signals to communicate with me. I also want to share the experiences when we had to say goodbye to some of our kids when they crossed “The Rainbow Bridge”. It was sad, but so many blessings came out of this too. One thing I can share now is that they communicated with our family after they left their bodies to let us know they are ok. So I am excited on this new project. I am still working on a title. But I am leaning towards “Our Family Tree”.

Visions Alchemy Creates Trixie Le Mioux

Visions Alchemy changed "Marilyn" in to Trixie Le Mioux

Visions Alchemy changed “Marilyn” in to Trixie Le Mioux

I love creating things. Changing the elements of one design into something new. I started painting with water colors when I was 43. I also went through a phase of working with Pastels, and colored pencils. But Watercolor painting with Watercolor pencils still is what I love working with. As an artist, I feel my art, my creative spirit is always evolving and changing. The reason I call my art Visions Alchemy is because I love to take greeting cards, old calendars, my own watercolor painting designs and recycle them and change them into something new. I seem to be moving more and more into 3D art. I admire what Paper engineers can do creating 3D designs by using a ruler, pens and scissors. I am creating more and more 3D art and seem to love making 3D cards that can be changed into a wall hanging. Recently, a friend gave me this really cute birthday card designed by English artist, David Parsons. His line of cards is called Kat-Stars. I loved the card so much that I wanted to turn the design into a wall hanging for my music studio. I guess you could also call my art – “reclycled art”. And if you saw my art studio, you would see many things that I have saved because I never know when I will need them.Trixie Le Mioux upclose1

The original birthday card

The original birthday card

I started the design by taking a photograph of the card and then resizing the design to fit an 8 x 10 cat food tray I decoupaged and turned it into a shadow box. The design was then redesigned to create the layers I was to use to make the new design. It is time consuming because I use Mod Podge on most of the layers of the sheets I use to make it more sturdy. I wasn’t really sure how I was going to finish the design, but I wanted to create a feeling of feminine energy and playfulness. I will show more of my designs in my next few posts. When I interviewed Bruce Hilvitz of Flatwurks, It was an artistic kick in the rear, it is time to re-focus on my art. And so it is!

Artist Bruce Hilvitz immortalizes Reggie J Rabbit in Portrait

Reggie hanging out

This is the photo we sent Bruce. Look below to see Bruce’s work.

I have written about our Warrior Bunny, Reggie. He is funny, mischievous a little pushy at times but we love his spirit. Almost a month ago, we had a scare. Reggie came down with something. He stopped eating, and started losing weight. He became lethargic. So we took him to his vet, Dr. Riddle. He got an injection of antibiotics and an additional 7 day supply of antibiotics to take home. It took almost 7 days before we saw that he was making a recovery but he is doing awesome now and from this experience he has become more affectionate and sweet. He will come up to me and ask me to pet him. if he is in his little hiding place under his chair and I need to see him,  I call him and he comes out so I can pet him. This experience brought us closer together. I realized then I wanted to get a portrait done of him. I have never been able to paint or draw rabbits but when my husband’s Friend, Bruce Hilvitz, who is a very talented artist donated a pet portrait for the yearly Humane Society of the North Bay’s Barkitecture,  I asked Bruce to make a portrait of Reggie. It was an easy process. We sent Bruce a hi-resolution photo of Reggie and he sent us back a digital file of Reggie within the week. It was really fast. He really captured Reggie’s essence. As I am looking at Reggie’s portrait, these questions about Bruce’s art started flooded in my mind.  How did he develop his style? Does he believe he has to suffer for his art? So I decided to ask the artist himself. Here is a short interview I did with Bruce:

Did you take formal art classes?

Bruce: One month in art school was all I could muster. Back in those days, where I was, there wasn’t any respect for cartooning in art school.  Although, I did grow up within an arts community, via my Mother, so way before High school, I had experience in virtually all disciplines of art

What was the defining moment when you realized you wanted to pursue your art as a career?

Bruce: I can’t recall one, per se…I’ve always drawn, played with paints, clay, whatever was handy at the moment.  I’ve always relied on visuals, be it art, toys, cars, buildings…anything that I enjoyed looking at.

How do you describe your art?

Bruce: My art and career has been based on comic art mostly.  Something I’ve been drawn to my whole life (no pun intended).  It can run the gamut since I’ve had to learn to wear many “hats” in order to make a living … comics don’t pay very well, and they are time consuming. Illustrations a bit better, general graphic design, hourly, is the best.  Special projects, here and there are also nice when there’s that opportunity…like book design, and editing, limited edition print production. 

What artists influenced you when you were developing your style?

Bruce: Early on I was weened on MAD Magazine, of course…guys like Basil Wolverton, Jack Davis, Wil Elder, Harvey Kurtzman. I had a very short lived love affair with super hero stuff…I appreciate that stuff more now, than I did then…but my true love came to light when I first laid eyes on a Robert Crumb comic, and it finally struck me with the thought that ANYTHING is possible. And so it is.

How would you describe the medium you work in?

Bruce: These days it all seems to be based on digital technology.  I sometimes start with a regular ‘ol drawing that I scan then work out color or details in a vector based program, usually Flash or Illustrator. I don’t draw “on paper” as much as I really should, digital art doesn’t have the tactual satisfaction that paper does…no originals to really drool over. You can see who has “chops” when you see an original drawing on stiff white bristol board.

Do you agree you have to suffer for your art?

Bruce: No, but it helps. Truthfully it’s a tough profession, if you are not willing to sacrifice common things in life, then you better think of something else to do.

When did you decide to start doing pet portraits?

Bruce: I started this past holiday season…I live in a neighborhood with many, many dogs, I figured someone might be interested…just another “hat” to wear.

Do you have any animal companions?

Bruce: The best dog on earth…a reformed runaway name Aristotle. A black Pekingese, only an Anti-Pekingese…he doesn’t bark, maybe twice a year, if that…he does sneeze, and fart a lot though…I can’t blame him, he’s in the neighborhood of 14 (years).

This Is Bruce's pride and Joy, Aristotle.

This Is Bruce’s pride and Joy, Aristotle.

Any advice for aspiring artists?

Bruce: Don’t do it!!! no…just learn, work hard, be honest with yourself…  The best advice I try to follow, not sure who said it, in the lines of… “Do art as if your parents are dead.”

Can you expand on that philosophy- “Do art as if your parents are dead.”

My interpretation is ‘don’t be afraid of what other people think…just do it.’ Criticism, and especially self-criticism, is the death nell of art. Even though it’s hard to avoid, or listen to.

For anyone interested in having you create a portrait for their pets how can they contact you?

Bruce: Easy as going to my site…

www.flatwurks.com

Bruce captured Reggie's essence.

Bruce captured Reggie’s essence.