As some of you know, over the years I put together a collection of antique Japanese hair ornaments. I was touched by their exquisite craftsmanship, the refined aesthetic and their poetic quality. After a lot of personal reflection it has become apparent to me that it is now time to sell these beautiful objects and give the proceeds in the defending and protection of nature. The kanzashi will be slowly listed on ebay and all proceeds will benefit the tortoises and elephants that gave up their lives for these pieces. The rest of the proceeds will go to ending the ongoing, absolutely heart wrenching slaughter of dolphins which occurs in Taiji, Japan every year (on a daily basis for months on end). That little village has slaughtered one million dolphins to date, and all the damage is done by a group of 40 or so men. It is time for this practice to end since they also kill endangered dolphins species as well. For those of you who wish to learn about the plight of the dolphins in Japan please take a look at the award winning movie "The Cove". I am happy to become an active voice and assist in the ending of this barbaric practice.
The Diana Basehart Foundation has been helping low income dog/cat owners pay for their pets medical expenses which as we all know, are quite high these days. It was founded by the lovely Diana Basehart, who also founded Actors and Others for Animals in Los Angeles. Diana (who was married to actor Richard Basehart), is an animal activist, has saved the lives of many thousands animals over the course of her life and continues helping them through her foundation in Santa Barbara. I recently did a portrait of her Yorkie Nell (a rescue dog) which will be used on the wine from Dog Hill Winery in Santa Ynez. The wine will be available in November with all proceeds going to the care of sick animals in the county. More information on what the foundation does can be seen at http://basehart.org/
Diana Basehart is shown below her beloved Nell and with board member Tipper Gore.
I have always painted faux leopard and other animal skins over the years. There is something about the luminous mottled textures of leopard skin that is so striking visually. Here are some examples of some faux leopard skin art I did dating from the 1970's on through to today. The leopard fans are currently available on Etsy.
I was commissioned by Sister Parish of Parish-Hadley (she decorated the White House for Jacqueline Kennedy) to paint her beloved Pekinese dogs in the early 1980's. The oil paintings are quite small, the largest being 3" tall and they were all done in 1984. Her dogs were notoriously beautiful but one was also mean and bit people. I used to meet Sister Parish for lunch in Far Hills, New Jersey with Nancy Pierrepont, another wonderful interior designer (who worked for Brooke Astor), and we spent lazy afternoons talking about about dogs, beauty and art.