Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Newfoundland pet portrait by Terry Albert

Although his real name is Ricky Ricardo's Cuban Congaboy, aka "Ricky," this Landseer Newfoundland is known as Mr Smooch, the world's greatest smoocher. He earned this name because he's always smooching everyone he meets. Since newfies are known for their expertise in water rescue, his owner and I chose that theme for his portrait, with a smooch image  on the life-ring.

Ted, Ricky/Smooch's owner, purchased the portrait through the Labrador Lifeline annual auction. Lab Lifeline, like the similar group, LabMed, provides financial aid to Labrador Retriever rescue groups to help dogs that need expensive medical procedures. I was happy to donate a small portrait for their cause. The finished art is 5" x 5" and is framed to 8 x 8. It is done in acrylic and colored pencil.

Yes, I expected to be doing a Lab portrait, but I had fun with Mr Smooch!

Bookmark and Share
© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Breezi, a sheltie pet portrait by Terry Albert

I’ve been catching up on a lot of paintings lately–some commissions, some for fun. This project is Breezy, a sheltie belonging to my friend Larry and his wife, Debbie. I painted Breezi with her roommate, Tucker, many years ago, when she was just a puppy. Now Breezy has passed away at the age of 12. Time has flown by, and Larry asked me several months ago if I would consider painting Breezi again for them.

Breezi and Tucker
When contemplating what to do next, Breezi’s photo just spoke to me—I wanted to paint her portrait, so here it is. I never met Breezi, but I know her owners adored her. I posted a photo of the art on Larry’s Facebook page, and here was his response:
I don't even know what to say! Debbie's in tears! You have brought Breezi back to is about as perfect as it could be!!!!! Thank you doesn't begin to cover it!!!!!! 
A reaction like theirs is so heartwarming and wonderful for me. I love being able to give them a precious keepsake. I’ve owned six shelties over the years myself, and I know how precious they are.

Bookmark and Share
© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Rookie, a yellow Lab pet portrait

After my last portrait, an involved project that took well over a month (mostly due to lack of confidence!), I moved on to a commission that is second nature to me. I think I could paint yellow Labs in my sleep, I’ve done so many. In any pet portrait, the eyes are the most important element. In the photo I worked from for this painting, the flash blanked out his eyes, so I faked it. Then again, I didn’t fake it. I’ve seen those soulful eyes before.

I think every yellow Lab I paint has a little bit of Tank in it. My beloved Lab of 13 ½ years, Tank has been gone since 2003, but I’ll never forget him. And that’s how the people who owned Rookie, shown here, felt.

How do I know how they felt? From the heartfelt note that came to me with his photos. The fact that the woman kept a newspaper article about my artwork for several years before she contacted me. And, as people always do when she saw the final work, she told me a story about this dog her family loved so much.  It’s not just a picture, it’s a precious memory.

I get it. So this one is a salute to Tank, Tally, Rookie, Angel, Justin, Taz, Charlie, Corky, Seigfried, Buddy and all the other other much-loved Labs I’ve painted over the years

Bookmark and Share
© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 8, 2011

A new pet portrait by Terry Albert

Meet Finch, a golden retriever, subject of my latest pet portrait. I took a break from painting after Christmas so I could finish my upcoming book, and it took awhile to get back into the swing of painting again. This is done in acrylics on multimedia illustration board, with colored pencil over the paint.

Finch passed away recently, of old age, and his owner, Robin wanted a scene of Finch enjoying one of his favorite hikes. She lives in Montana and this scene was near Baker Lake.

I added in some of the local wildflowers: clarkia, gentian and heather, though I wouldn't expect you to recognize them! Painting the rocks was a real challenge. I wanted to make them interesting without so much detail they took over the picture.

Finch's owner wrote something very sweet when she saw the finished picture. "It will be good to have Finch home again." I got a little teary-eyed at the thought.

The finished piece is 11 x 14", matted up to 16 x 20 and ready to frame. If you are interested in a portrait of your pet, please contact me!

Bookmark and Share
© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Squished snails and rabies

The LabMed Cookbook

My cousin’s daughter, Whitney, publishes a lovely blog, Squash Blossom Babies, where she shares her recipes for wholesome organic natural baby foods that she prepares for her beautiful daughter, Ava. But now her sister Julie is expecting a little boy, so I felt it my duty to step up to the plate, so to speak, and offer my own contribution to childhood nutrition. After all, little boys have different needs than little girls, being made up of all those snakes, snails and puppy dog tails…

Since I have forsaken cooking for all time, I am reprinting (with permission) a recipe from my favorite cookbook, The LabMed Cookbook. Proceeds from the sale of this book benefit homeless Labrador Retrievers- specifically ones with expensive medical needs that local rescues can’t afford to pay for. You can learn more about Lab Med at

Back to the recipe
Picture yourself the mother of an eight-year-old boy, and it’s time for his birthday party or soccer team picnic. What can you feed a bunch of amped up little kids that will grab their attention? Make notes, dear Julie, because Lab Med has the answer:

Boogers on a Stick
Yield 30 servings, submitted by Tom Booker

8 oz. Cheez Whiz
green food coloring
30 pretzel sticks
1.   1. Melt the processed cheese spread in the microwave oven according to the directions on the jar.
 Allow cheese to cool slightly
 Using a long-handled spoon, carefully stir in about 3 drops of green food coloring, just enough to turn the cheese into a delicate snot green.
 To form boogers: Dip and twist the tip of each pretzel into the cheese, lift out, wait twenty seconds, then dip again. When cheese lumps reach an appealingly boogerish size, set pretzels booger-down onto a sheet of waxed paper. If the cheese in the jar begins to stiffen, simply reheat it.
 Allow finished boogers-on-sticks to cool to room temperature for ten minutes, or until cheese is firm. Gently pull boogers off waxed paper and arrange on a serving plate.
 Sicko-idea: Set a bowl of chunky red salsa in the center of the platter so your gourmet guests can turn plain boogers into bloody ones.
Please note: The nutritional data for this recipe is skewed because of the variables involved.

So there you have it. For more recipes and stories that Labrador lovers will treasure, check out The Labmed Cookbook.

And to all my health-food addict friends out there (Kim and Laurie, you know who you are), you really will find some wonderful ideas for adults and kids on my cousin Whitney Backsen’s blog!

Bookmark and Share
© 2010 Terry Albert All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 1, 2011

© Terry Albert...explained

I’ve been throwing a tantrum since I discovered this blog has been ripped off in its entirety by not one, but several, other blogs. I guess the copyright notice I put at the bottom of every post is meaningless to some people. As a professional artist and writer, you can bet it means plenty to me, and I’m not happy.

If you are reading this blog anywhere except, then you are reading an illegally copied version.

To those who would steal my writing and photos
The copyright is owned by the creator of a specific piece of work. “Work” means art, photography, writing, sculpture or similar creative endeavor. Unless the creator specifically relinquishes the copyright to someone else, for example a publisher, the creator owns the reproduction rights. AND YOU DON’T.

It is illegal to take someone else’s writing and represent it as your own, or reproduce it without permission or payment. So even though my name is still on it, you have violated the copyright.

It is illegal to paint a picture from my photographs, or reproduce my photos in any way without permission from ME, Terry Albert. Get it?

You are welcome to hit the share button at the bottom of each post, and a link will appear on Facebook, Twitter, or wherever you send it.

Don’t think copyright doesn’t apply to you because you aren’t selling the work to someone else. Don’t think I should be grateful because I’m getting all this “free advertising.” I have yet to get one paying assignment as a result of your theft.

Read about the Digital Millenium Copyright Act, A federal law: “Blogger (where my blog resides) respects the rights of copyright holders and complies with the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and other applicable copyright laws. When we receive proper notice as required by the DMCA, we will work to promptly remove content offline that has been identified as copyright infringement. Repeat infringers' blogs are removed, and in some instances terminated.”

To my readers
Sorry I had to spout off on this subject. Now back to our regularly scheduled blogs...about pets…everything pets. 

Terry Albert 

Bookmark and Share
© 2010 Terry Albert. All Rights Reserved.