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!


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!

Procrastination, Corruption and Weird Animals..

And no, I’m not talking about Congress.

Alas and alack, my computer is corrupt. Not surprising really, I do live in Illinois after all. Yes, the State that was just charged with securities fraud which I guess makes all the Illini and our puppy dogs too, felons (allegedly).

“Oh I’m a felon, you’re a felon, he’s a felon, she’s felon, wouldn’t you like to live in Illinois too!”


So anyway, I have 2600 plus error messages on my computer. And yet it keeps on going, generating error after error after error. I’d like to say I’ve never worked with people like that but sadly, I have.

At least I’m over my Hitchcock/Poe/Ansel Adams stage..

tree1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013



whitetree©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Okay I think I’m really done.

(I’m not making any promises mind you.)

I was considering going back to being a bird stalker (allegedly).

But my bird stalking desires were temporarily sated by finally being able to take a photo of the barred owl in my backyard. For almost four years he’s been back there yelling “Who cooks for you!’.  I don’t know why he’s so obsessed with what goes on in my kitchen but at least I now have his photo in case he breaks in and rearranges my pots and pans.

owl2©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

So at a loss at what to do with myself I went over to the local zoo.

Little did I know that they recently acquired a panda. Yes a panda!

It’s on their Endangered Animals Carousel.

This is the rare prancing, fanged panda.

panda©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Then I meet the Tiger who was seems to be designed to make sure your child never ever wants to go back on a carousel.

tiger1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


And just in case that didn’t scare them..

leopard1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Which explains why this one looks so nervous.

horse1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.

But doesn’t explain the supercilious grin on this one.

zebra1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


Which is followed by my favorite, the not so rare naughty cat with a fish.

Cat1©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


And all this means is that I spent all day in a zoo and mostly took photos of fake animals.

Yeah, that’s how I roll.

I finally remembered how to paint again, thank goodness, I was getting worried.

This is an acrylic, of a pond near my house with ice on it as the sun was thinking of going down.

As you can see, I also remembered how to write run on sentences.

sunsetice©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.jpg.

This is an acrylic that was done in a paint a long session on Wetcanvas (with thanks to Beth for putting her photo in Wetcanvas’s Reference Image Library).

palong5©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013.jpg.

And this one is also from a paint a long on Wetcanvas, which I hosted as a lesson in painting on a black background. My thanks to SBJ for the original reference photo.

Note: There’s no time limits on a paint a long, so if you want to join in, go for it!

pal7©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013


My apologies for not being around too much, other then sheer procrastination, I have no excuse.

None at all!

Take care!

I’ll be back.

(Please read that last part in a Schwarzenegger type of voice.)



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2013

WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge ~ Close

The theme for this week’s WordPress Weekly Photo Challenge is “close” as in being near emotionally pr physically not as in “Close that door! You’re letting the heat out!” . If you grew up in Canada, or any other cold climate then you’ve probably heard that a few times.

Anyway. These are from the Saint Louis Zoo. Which since I named will cause every spammer out there to send me spam comments calling me “Louis”. The filters catch them but they’re always entertaining reading nevertheless.


Friendly flamingos.


Proximious penguins.


Happily hemmed in hippos.


Close Cuties.




©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

A toad beat up my dog…

So Sampson the Wonder Dog got himself into a little altercation.

He went under the deck and decided to catch himself a toad. Then he took it for a walk.

And the toad was not happy.

And then Sammy was foaming and rolling around being sick from both ends at the same time..and well that’s more then enough about that.

So he ended up in the shower with me washing his mouth out over and over and over and over…

And then he had to take a bath.

That was one sick little dog. And mad to boot, he hates baths.

The toad was fine. I did have to read him the “Wind in the Willows” to apologize though.

When Sammy was feeling better, I asked him what possessed him to carry around a toad. He looked me dead in the eyes and said “I am a Carnivore.” as if that explained anything.

But it reminded me of the many carnivorous animals I was lucky enough to see at the zoo.


Zebra, what are you laughing at?


Carnivorous animals are meat eaters not carnival animals..


No, I can’t see you behind that tree..very clever.



Yes Hyena, I know you can see him but don’t tell him that.



And don’t bother telling the tiger either.

He’s a bit miffed.

He was just in his own private pool and when he wasn’t looking someone stole his towel.



And the Leopard is ignoring everyone. He was quite hurt that the “Wind in the Willows’ didn’t have any leopards in it.



I don’t know how you snuck in here, little Speke’s Gazelle, but you are too darn cute to be a carnivorious post.

Go on with you now.



Oh, look what you’ve started. The Nyala is in here now, batting her lashes at everyone.



And no, the baby bongo has come in too!

He definitely has to go back until those horns grow in..



I need someone with some common sense to speak to the herbivores..

Hmm, the gorilla is deep in thought..



Yes, sir..You want me to put a scary carnivore in here..

What kind of scary carnivore?

A Stork?

Oh I see, you mean a Marabou stork..

They eat carrion, frogs, fishes, other birds, small animals, garage and well pretty much anything that they can fit in their mouth.

That’s one strange bird.



Well that’s done the trick.

Everyone ran back to where they’re supposed to be.

Alright then, have a good one folks!




©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

Meet me in Saint Louis, Louis..

That’s a great song. Written by Sterling and Mills for Judy Garland of course.

Everyone sing!

“Meet me in Saint Louis, Louis..

Meet me at the fair

Don’t tell me the lights are shining any place but there!”



“We will dance the Hoochee Koochee”


“I will be your tootsie wootsie!”



“If you will meet me in St. Louis, Louis,
Meet me at the fair!”



Alright so I was actually at the Saint Louis Zoo but it was started when the city bought the walk-through birdcage from the 1904 World’s Fair. It’s now a world class zoo and it’s gorgeous. Just the landscaping alone is worth seeing.

And this camel with the bad toupee is worth seeing as well.

“Toupee!” he says in a bad British accent “You cad!”



Then there was this monkey, a lion maned something or other who apparently thought I was a photographer for a clothing catalog.



And he told the lemur to pose too. Work it baby, work it!



This lemur went for the deep look



This guy just yammered on in a bad New York Yiddish accent

“Oh vey! What do you expect me to pose for, I don’t wear the clothes!”



And the hippo was as adorable as a 6000 lb animal can be.



And don’t get me started on how much I love rhinos.





Being at the zoo reminded me of a painting I had wanted to do for a long time.

I was the Pueblo Zoo in Colorado a few years back. I was watching this goose who was sitting on the ledge of their little river. And this goose refused to move, all the geese kept having to walk around him. Then along came this white goose and a brown goose. Instead of walking around the sitting goose, they stood and watched it, honking softly.

They seemed very perplexed by the sitting goose’s lack of manners. The sitting goose did everything it could not to look at them. It was a very haughty goose and it made me laugh.

This is acrylic, 5×7.




©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog, 2012

Carp(e) diem

Fish fish fish!!

I wish wish wish

for a dish dish dish

and some tartar sauce…

Beg your pardon…I didn’t know you were listening.

There’s Henry and Fred and George and Tyrone and Mary and…

No wonder this little bird went over to the wallaby enclosure for a bath.

The wallaby didn’t care, he was rolling in the leaves.

I hope he’s careful, there’s something lurking in the bushes..


Say what!?!

Run away! Run away!



©Virginia Spencer, thepurpledogpaintingblog.com, 2011