Art by the Foot Project

We are still reeling from the unexpected loss of Zeus. We have lost family, friends and pets before as many of you have but this loss was such a shock. We still find ourselves reeling from it. We all miss him terribly.

Poor Sampson is of course devastated. They hadn’t been apart in over ten years. We know it will take him some time to adjust but for now we are taking extra care with him, the poor guy.

I did this acrylic of Zeus, it’s a foot square and will be on display at the Figge Museum in Davenport as part of a community art project.

This piece is also on display. It is again on a one foot foam square. The museum gave each artist two to paint on. This is a mixed media piece with acrylic, a linoprint and pen drawing.  It is the lino print of the north wind but reversed from the one I showed you in a prior post. I added it to a stormy acrylic sky with a pen and ink drawing of the man that the Sun and North Wind were toying with.

I did it at the last minute over another painting so I hope that it holds up on display. I’m a bit nervous about it.

If you’re in the Quad Cities area,  The Art by the Foot exhibit is open and it displays art made by artists of all ages and abilities from the Quad-City area. The works were collected this spring and were required to be made on boards provided by the Figge. All of the works will be on view in the Mary Waterman Gildehaus Community Gallery from June 20th to September 1st.

I have to say, I love this idea and I thought it so clever of the museum to give artists this chance. I also love that it ranges from professionals to small children. That sort of encouragement is priceless!


©Virginia Spencer,, 2019






The Lion and The Mouse

On WetCanvas (a forum for artists) there was a challenge to create something using Aesop’s Fables as a theme.

The Library of Congress, has each story in full (click link).  The illustrations alone are worth looking at. Many of the illustrations are interactive, I was charmed by them. Such a great site and resource, check it out!

Using ink and gilt,  I chose the Fable of the Lion and the Mouse. The following text is from the Library of Congress’s site. My original illustration follows it.

The Lion & the Mouse

A Lion lay asleep in the forest, his great head resting on his paws. A timid little Mouse came upon him unexpectedly, and in her fright and haste to get away, ran across the Lion’s nose. Roused from his nap, the Lion laid his huge paw angrily on the tiny creature to kill her.

“Spare me!” begged the poor Mouse. “Please let me go and some day I will surely repay you.”

The Lion was much amused to think that a Mouse could ever help him. But he was generous and finally let the Mouse go.

Some days later, while stalking his prey in the forest, the Lion was caught in the toils of a hunter’s net. Unable to free himself, he filled the forest with his angry roaring. The Mouse knew the voice and quickly found the Lion struggling in the net. Running to one of the great ropes that bound him, she gnawed it until it parted, and soon the Lion was free.

“You laughed when I said I would repay you,” said the Mouse. “Now you see that even a Mouse can help a Lion.”

A kindness is never wasted.

All text and images other than Aesop’s Fable are

©Virginia Spencer,, 2018





How did that happen?

I took a little break and somehow almost two months went by!

Funny how that happens.

What happened was that I was kidnapped by a sea monster.

(“Octomonsteria” in ink)


Ended up in a pretty cool town under the sea, where Octomonsteria was promptly arrested for all sorts of misdeeds and general shenanigans.

It’s all very interesting but our storm alarm just went off and there is much thunder and lightning so I will tell you about it later!

Take care and keep your heads down and your umbrellas up!


©Virginia Spencer,, 2017







La la la laaaa….

I haven’t been blogging much lately, not for any particular reason, I mean besides everything in my house breaking at once and a total lack of coordination in dealing with those break downs. But eventually I did manage to get somewhat coordinated and put up my Christmas tree. I have hundreds of bulbs so it takes me awhile. I used a fold up towel dryer to sort my bulbs. Clever, no?

xmas3©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

I made a few new discoveries this year. For instance I discovered that when I put reindeer antlers on Sampson, he sinks. His head gets lower and lower until paralysis sets in and he is stuck on the floor. Apparently he thinks they are very very heavy. This made him quite sad. Fortunately his little bear was there to help him out.

I’m thinking this may possibly be useful in the future.

Sammy ©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012


I also discovered that reindeer antlers have a strange affect on Zeus as well. He realized that the wearing of reindeer antlers changed him into a reindog with super powers. Super Reindog, we call him. These super powers give him the ability to lie on my bed, because although ordinary dogs are not allowed on the bed and think that I don’t know they get up there the second my back is turned, reindogs have no such restrictions. Yes, a reindog will lie right on the bed in front of me and coyly wave his paw. Reindogs are very impertinent animals.

Well that reindog has another think coming if he thinks I’m going to put up with that…

zeusxmas©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012


I also discovered that when the moon is full with Jupiter to it’s upper left and the Christmas lights are on, you can get some pretty cool shots.  You must however stand in your driveway wearing pajamas, boots and furry earmuffs to do so properly.

moonbokeh©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012


I also did some painting. Christmas ones of course.

This is an acrylic, 3×5 on 300gsm watercolor paper. I used one of my goose photos as a reference. This naughty goose has stolen someone’s Christmas ribbon. Geese are mean like that.

xmas4©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

This goose  is being downright pestiferous. Fortunately this snowman appears to be a bohemian jovial type of snowman as opposed to the perfidious abominable type of snowman.

Acrylic, 3 x 5 inches.

xmas5©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

I also painted a little tiny snow scene, this one is acrylic, 2 x 3 inches. I don’t know why I made that so small, I was leaning in as I painted it and it just came out that way.

xmas2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012


This is another snowy scene. Had a bit of fun with the purple and yellows in this one. If you look closely, you’ll see a small pestiferous perfidious abominable snowman hiding in the shrubbery. Okay, not really. I just like using the words ‘pestiferous’ and ‘perfidious’.

Acrylic, 3 x 5 inches.

xmas1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

I went out the other day, the light was terrible but I did meet up with this fellow. I was enchanted to meet him. He was, well not so much..

eagle1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.

Back at the ranch, Dummy decided to climb the Christmas tree so he could meet the Christmas Angel. He has been infatuated with her for years. He thought that as he started out as lowly carved piece of scrap wood, that she would not like him. He was pleasantly surprised to find that she started out as a toilet paper roll. They’ve been inseparable ever since.

dummyangel©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012.


Happy Holidays!!


©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012