Recently I was at Fort Erie, across from Buffalo,  New York. It sits on the shores of Lake Erie, near the mouth of the Niagara River.

From it you can see the gorgeous Art Deco building that is Buffalo City Hall. The City Hall was designed by architect John Wade and finished in 1932. There are triumphant arches and columns and reliefs and sculptures and mosaics and a bat signal on the roof.

Buffalo City Hall Gotham.

Buffalo City Hall blog.

Fort Erie was originally built in 1764 during Pontiac’s Rebellion. Pontiac of course had been overtaking the cart market which the British did not appreciate. Soon after, the Brits sold Jaguar to Ford who sold it to the Tatas, a group of entrepreneurial strippers and a couple hundred years after the Fort was built, Pontiac ceased productions.

Old Fort Erie Gate war 1812.

Okay, that may not be quite what happened.

However at one point during the War of 1812, the Fort did blow up..

What happened was that the British were led by a general so inept, his subordinate officers including his own nephew settled their affairs and gave away valued property before following his battle plans. They knew they were doomed.

They were right. It turned out that firing a cannon over top of a large powder magazine was not a great idea. The explosion threw the two tonne cannon over one hundred  yards. Hundreds died or were wounded and more than 500 soldiers simply disappeared in the initial blast and the ensuing fires.

Brutal stuff.

General Drummond, the man responsible for the whole mess had a road named after him in Niagara Falls.

It’s still there if you’d like to go stomp on it.

Old Fort Erie Pink Floyd.

The tour was quite interesting.

We found out that some people during the 1800’s used old suits of armor as a sort of tactical vest. Pretty clever, not comfortable but clever.

Fort Erie armor war 1812.

They shot off some muskets which was fun to watch.

Old Fort Erie Tour.

They did not however let me use the cannon.


cannon Fort Erie war 1812.

This is an acrylic of the monument marking the grave site of 153 soldiers. 150  British and 3 Americans. 8×10 inches.

fort erie acrylic monument


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please click here for available prints.

Thank you!

Running amok!

Between wandering and procrastination, I have not been keeping up with this blog. I fool myself into thinking I am keeping up because I write long posts in my head. I then, of course promptly forget them when I sit at the computer.

I also forgot how to paint again so I did this lesson in acrylic from a book by  Mark Daniel Nelson. The book is called “Learn to paint in Acrylics with.. 50 Small paintings”. Good book, was a nice refresher.

boat acrylic painting.

Here’s a photo from one of the places I’ve wandered to.

Niagara Falls.

Niagara Horseshoe Falls

I have some stories to tell so I’ll be back soon!

Thanks for sticking around.


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please follow this link for available prints.

Thank you!


It’s a good day to put up a colorful photo.

I don’t have a rainbow so here’s a butterfly.


Congratulations to all on the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage today.



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please follow this link for available prints.

Thank you!



Clouds and catching up with arty stuff.

It’s been a heck of a stormy month.

It has rained and rained and rained.

The clouds have been interesting at least.

These clouds were followed by a really loud thunderstorm.

I love storms but this one made me leery.

Of course I still went outside and took a photo.

Silly silly silly.

stormy skies

Personally, I prefer Zeus clouds like this one.

Zeus cloud

At least the weather gave me a chance to do some arty stuff.

This is a field near my house in acrylic, 4×6 inches.


A view of the river. Acrylic, 4×6 inches.


This is a house on the road to Galena, Illinois. Acrylics, 4×6 inches.


This door knocker was done in acrylic,  it’s about 4×4 inches or so.

(from a reference photo in the RIL of WetCanvas)

painting 003

This is a barn that is falling to pieces.

Ink and watercolor, 4×6 inches.


A watercolor of an egg and cups, a bit messy, it was done on scrap paper .

(from a reference photo in the RIL of WetCanvas)

watercolor eggs painting

And a study of hats with watercolor.

watercolor_study_hatsIf you have any arty questions, please feel free to ask in the comment section.



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please follow this link for available prints.

Thank you!

Happy Turtle Day!

We recently saw a few of our reptilian friends at the National Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium in Dubuque, Iowa.

This one in particular seemed glad to see us.

Such a nice smile!


These ones were lazing about on the boat launch railings. I’m guessing they were trying to get somebody to take them out on the big boats. Turtles love yachting.



These ones were having a spa day complete with mud baths and natural moss scrubs.



This one appears to be stuck.

His friend seemed to find that amusing. Turtles are like that.


This is a green sea turtle who was rescued. The blue bean bag thing is a weight pack/buoyancy device which helps her swim. She was hit by a boat and her back flippers are partially paralyzed.


This is an octopus.


This is a quickie sketch of a house in town. 4×6 inches.


This an acrylic painting of a mason jar from a lesson in the book “50 Small Paintings” by Mark Daniel Nelson, a great book for everyone from beginners to professional and all in between. 4×6 inches.

glass painting lesson.

This is an acrylic of a farm near my house. 4×6 inches.


This is Sammy playing Frisbee.


This is the moon.

the moon

Because it’s time to say Good Night.

See you soon.



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please follow this link for available prints.

Thank you!


Seeing Red

Last week while we were still in the deep freeze I heard a knock at my window.

As I was on the second floor, I was a bit startled.

I looked around and there on the ground was a very woozy cardinal.

cardinal_red_tree (3).

Now I know, it’s not a good idea to mess with nature even if you mean well and normally a bird after hitting a window will be okay after a rest but it was so cold the cardinal was starting to stick to the ground so I had to intervene. (Now there’s a good example of a run on sentence. I haven’t written one in awhile, I’m so glad I haven’t lost my touch!)

He really didn’t seem to mind the open box with a hot water bottle in it.


cardinal_red_tree (4).

He stayed there for quite a while, I was starting to get worried.

Fortunately, he was just really comfy.

cardinal_red_tree (5).

After a couple hours, all was well!

cardinal_red_tree (1).

He’s still hanging around. I think he’s waiting for me to put the hot water bottle back out again. Maybe I should add a little bird spa to the front porch. I could call it “Chic Chicks” or “Pique Your Beak” or “Fly and Dry”. On the other had we already have many “Seed and Feed” franchises around the yard. No body ever pays but we like the company.

Here’s an ink drawing of a church in the woods. (thank you to the person who put the reference photo into WetCanvas, Reference Image Library). This is 3×5.


These are all ATC”s (artist trading cards). They are 2.5 by 3.5 inches, the size of a playing card.

A blue heron in acrylic.


A ibis in ink.


A helmeted guinea fowl in ink and colored marker.


A Somalian wild ass in acrylic.

(This is a terrible scan, it looks way better in real life)


And a laughing zebra in acrylic.


I hope you enjoyed your Friday the 13th and today’s Pi Day.

Have a happy Ides of March tomorrow!


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please follow this link for available prints.

Thank you!

May the Dog be with you.

If you haven’t heard, it’s been a mite chilly out.

I know, I know, it’s shocking news.

I’m sorry I had to break it to you like that.

Personally I don’t mind the cold or snow.

Especially when a walk around my neighborhood looks like this.





I must admit, it is a bit rough to have this much snow and a white dog.


Of course when temperatures drop into the frostpaw levels, the dogs need to mostly stay inside.

Sometimes when I try to make them go outside even when it’s not that cold out, they simply vanish into thin air.

I don’t  know how that happens.



It’s a mystery.

I recently made a bunch of ATC’s  of animals for a trade.

ATC’s are artist trading cards. They are 3.5 by 2.5 inches, the size of a regular playing card.

These are in acrylic.

They will most likely appear larger on your screen then they are in real life.

Atc, aceo.



And here’s a couple of ATC’s in ink.




Have a good one!



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2015

Please follow this link for available prints.

More prints to become available soon.

Thank you!