Wednesday, April 29, 2009

First Place!

I entered one of my paintings at Lockheed Martin's Management Club’s 12th annual Arts in April Art Show. This was the first time I ever entered one of my paintings in any exhibit. I am proud to say it won 1st place in Oil and Acrylic Paintings!

Rainforest Macaw
36" x 48" Acrylic on Canvas
(Click on pictures for larger view)

detail of orchids...detail of macaw...

Friday, April 24, 2009

Don't forget

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute.look at it and really see it
. live it and never give it back. STOP SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF!!!

Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what
Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

To be, or not to be

Every artist dips his brush in his own soul, and paints his own nature into his pictures.
Henry Ward Beecher

If this quote is as true a most would believe, than I have a problem. My true nature rears its ugly head as a cute little puppy. (or a pretty, pink Puff Dragonling)

While I may love to work in realism, spending hours sculpting or painting one particular item, my true gift is creating the whimsical, cute, and just plain adorable. It just comes naturally.I can't help it. The harder I try to create the amazing likeness of realism, the cuter it gets. Take these two unicorns, one I created over several hours of sculpting, working, studying form , function, how the leg turns, how the muscle would move, the other as a whimsical figurine, in less than a quarter of time the other takes, so what sells? The downright, comical, "awww, its sooo cute". The other barely gets a passing glance.

I accept my gifts, as much as I try to rebel sometimes, I want to

be a serious artist, but I guess I am a whimsical, fanciful, comical, silly, cute artist. My true nature at work...

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Birds of a Feather???

These little bunnies, about 6 days old, were attacked by a dog and orphaned.
Two out of the litter of five did not survive, and these three were not doing very well.

Noah is a non-releasable, one-legged homing pigeon that we have here in rehab. Noah kept going over to the bunny cage and looking in....even sleeping in front of the door to the cage.

Then, 2 days ago, I only counted 2 bunnies in the cage, so I hurriedly picked Noah up from the front of the cage so I could look inside. And to my surprise...there was the tiny bunny...under Noah's wing...sound asleep! The bunny had crawled through the cage....preferring a featherbed, no doubt.

Now, they are all together, and the bunnies are doing GREAT. When the bunnies scoot underneath Noah's feathers, he extends his wings out to surround them..and they snuggle. When one of them moves and they start sticking out here and there, he gently pushes them back under him with his beak!!!!! This is amazing!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Freedom and Jeff

Freedom and I have been together 10 years this summer. She came in as a baby in 1998 with two broken wings. Her left wing doesn't open all the way even after surgery, it was broken in 4 places . She's my baby.

When Freedom came in she could not stand and both wings were broken. She was emaciated and covered in lice. We made the decision to give her a chance at life, so I took her to the vets office. From then on, I was always around her. We had her in a huge dog carrier with the top off, and it was loaded up with

shredded newspaper for her to lay in. I used to sit and talk to her, urging her to live, to fight; and she would lay there looking at me with those big brown eyes. We also had to tube feed her for weeks.

This went on for 4-6 weeks, and by then she still couldn't stand. It got to the point where the decision was made to euthanize her if she couldn't stand in a week. You know you don't want to cross that line between torture and rehab, and it looked like death was winning. She was going to be put down that Friday

, and I was supposed to come in on that Thursday afternoon. I didn't want to go to the center that Thursday, because I couldn't bear the thought of her being euthanized; but I went anyway, and when I walked in everyone was grinning from ear to ear. I went immediately back to her cage; and there she was, standing on her o

wn, a big beautiful eagle. She was ready to live. I was just about in tears by then. That was a very good day.

We knew she could never fly, so the director asked me to glove train her. I got her used to the glove, and then to jesses, and we started doing education programs for schools in western Washington . We wound up in the newspapers, radio (believe it or not) and some TV . Miracle Pets even did a show about us.

In the spring of 2000, I was diagnosed with non-hodgkins lymphoma.. I had stage 3, which is not good (one major organ plus everywhere), so I wound up doing 8 months of chemo. Lost the hair - the whol

e bit. I missed a lot of work. When I felt good enough, I would go to Sarvey and take Freedom out for walks. Freedom would also come to me in my dreams and help me fight the cancer. This happened time and time again.

Fast forward to November 2000, the day after Thanksgiving, I went in for my last checkup. I was told that if the cancer was not all gone after 8 rounds of chemo, then my last option was a stem cell transplant. Anyway, they did the tests; and I had to come back Monday for the results. I went in Monday, and I was told that all the cancer was gone.

So the first thing I did was get up to Sarvey and take the big girl out for a walk. It was misty and cold. I went to her flight and jessed her up, and we went out front to the top of the hill. I hadn't said a word to Freedom, but somehow she knew. She looked at me and wrapped both her wings around me to where I could feel them

pressing in on my back (I was engulfed in eagle wings), and she touched my nose with her beak and stared into my eyes, and we just stood there like that for I don't know how long. That was a magic moment. We have been soul mates ever since she came in. This is a very special bird.

On a side note: I have had people who were sick come up to us when we are out, and Freedom has some kind of hold on them. I once had a guy who was terminal come up to us and I let him hold her. His knees just about buckled and he swore he could feel her power course through his body. I have so many stories like that.

I never forget the honor I have of being so close to such a magnificent spirit as Freedom.

Hope you enjoy this.

Roger E. Mundinger

US. Army Retired

Houston, TX.

Monday, April 6, 2009

A Mother's Love...

Normally I don't send or forward a lot of these, but even by my standards, it was a bit touching. I want all of my friends to feel what I felt when I read it. Hope it touches you like it did me.
This is so beautiful it'll bring a tear to your eye....

A little boy says to his mother, " Mommy, how come I'm black and you're white?"
His mother replied, "Don't even go there! From what I can remember about that party, you're lucky you don't bark!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Brand New from the kiln...

I am so excited to introduce my brand new line of dog and cat porcelain beads.
These are fully three dimensional like my ornaments and figurines, but on a tiny scale!
Look for them in my Etsy shop starting today!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Helping Shelters Help Pets

Lots of things make great last-minute holiday gift ideas. Candy, chocolates, gift certificates for more candy and chocolate… but live animals should not be included in that list! There’s something crazy about going to the store for a loaf of bread and coming home with a pet as well. But that exact kind of crazy happens all the time around Easter.

Each Easter, many breeders and pet stores set out live rabbit displays right along with the chocolate bunnies and candied eggs. And, sad to say, some people continue to fall prey to the cuteness of a baby bunny. Yes, unrefined bunny cuteness is formidable stuff, but still. This is a spur of the moment purchase that needs love and care for many years to come. Sad to say, a couple months or so after Easter, animal shelters and rescues start filling up with these unwanted rabbits.

Rabbits require a lot of work and TLC. Sure, they make great pets for the right home, but like any pet, they’re not for everyone. Especially not for somebody who was only looking to get a child’s smile on Easter morning and didn’t do their research. Well guess what? There’s a better way to give a gift this Easter! A way to have your jelly beans and eat them too.

How about adopting a stuffed rabbit to help a real one? Best Friends is partnering up with Stuffed, an organization that helps real animals by selling toys. Here’s how it works.

You hop on their website and browse the goods. This time, feel free to let the cuteness wash over you. A stuffed rabbit may not have the same adorable zing as the real thing, but they don’t chew through your carpets, either! The idea is to adopt a stuffed rabbit as a gift for somebody, but with the added bonus that in doing, so you help real rabbits in the end. Not only do the profiles of the stuffed animals represent real rabbits in rescues across the country, but the rabbits at Best Friends receive a portion of the proceeds for every stuffed rabbit you adopt. The funds will go toward Bunny House renovations.

So go ahead, make an impulse purchase. No buyer’s remorse this way. You can even sponsor a Best Friends rabbit to go along with the toy. The perfect double gift!


Story by David Dickson
Photo by Sarah Ause