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Pet Portraits

Pet Portraits of the Dogs in our Lives

Summer in Sonoma

Today, to celebrate this month that marks our Independence Day, I wanted to share a few recent pet portraits.  Here is a puppy who really did wear a red-white-and blue scarf around his neck:

Pet Portrait
This young great Pyrenees is bursting with lots of personality and a desire to protect and herd goats and sheep in Colorado.  He is a dog with purpose in his life, which is always refreshing to paint.


Pet Portrait
A darling French bulldog puppy with a new home in North Carolina.


Pet Painter
Delivering two paintings to a client in Napa.  These will be gifts for her children who have new homes and new children.  Such an honor to create these mementos.


Pet Painting
A very curious and aware border collie. The painting hangs in the owner’s home; they feel that I “really caught her personality.”


Pet Painting
This is a pet who lived a very long and full life, here enjoying a day in the grass with a few daisies.


Paintings of Pets
Most of these Pet Portraits are 11 x 14 inches.  For this dog, in an effort to capture his personality, I created two paintings, this is larger at 3 x 4 foot .


A handsome dog who was named after Charles A Lindbergh.  The client is an avid pilot and aviator.


Pet Art
A treasured companion to a Sonoma shop owner.  This gorgeous English bulldog roams the store, greeting everyone with ease.


Dog Art
At times, my paintings are delivered framed in one of these custom wood frames.  This gentle, handsome guy is a beautiful golden doodle.  The client says, “He is such a sweet dog and it comes across in the painting.”


Rescue Pet Paintings
A handsome puppy at Pet’s Lifeline, dog rescue shelter in Sonoma.  He was adopted.


Rescue Pet Portraits
This special border collie had a broken front right paw and completely touched my heart.  He was adopted before I was able to raise very much money to help fund his paw operation at Family Dog Rescue, Sonoma.


Rescue Pet Art
This very spunky dog kept me busy as he moved constantly and with such grace.  The painting was created en Plein Air very quickly to accommodate the wonderful energy he had.  He was adopted.


Paintings of Rescue Animals
A larger painting that I created for Family Dog Rescue in Sonoma to help add ambiance to their annual fundraiser.  The dog is deaf and truly wonderful.  At the time of this painting, he had not been adopted yet.

On a different note, in my effort to learn and understand form, I recently completed a figure sculpture class.  This was a part of my Fine Arts degree; here is a first try at sculpting a head:



Pet Art
Two paintings at their new homes: a ranch and a custom built luxury house.

Pet Portrait Hanging


Golden Retriever Painting
A quick study of a golden.

Wishing you a happy summer!

Rescue Animals in Napa Valley

Spring in Sonoma

During late spring-early summer in Sonoma and Napa Valleys, we rejoice in the warmth of the sunshine and step into the vineyards or onto a path for a walk.  Winter has passed, our gardens are full with roses, and the air is fresh and clean.

This year, to celebrate those who work to help animals, four of my paintings will be going to auction in Napa Valley at the Jameson Humane animal rescue Wineapawlooza event.

My visit to the Jameson Humane ranch earlier this spring inspired me to paint their beautiful animals en plein air.  I hope that you are able to participate in this auction, which will be filled with exquisite wine and will help provide them the ability to support thousands of animals each year.

Here are my paintings.

Resting from left: Delilah, Duke, Willy, Tulip, Poppy

This was a special moment at the ranch; the pigs were in the shed dozing, Willy the cow sauntered over, laying his large body down with the pigs with ease. Everyone was fully accepting of the closeness; only a few slight adjustments needed to accommodate this new form. The others, too large for the shed, lowered themselves to the earth, gently melting into the warm afternoon light.


Jameson Humane co-founder Monica Stevens was my inspiration for these paintings of some of their rescued residents. It was my hope that I could portray, on canvas with oil paint, some of the compassion and caring that she, the staff, and the volunteers shower onto these rescued animals each day.

What I saw on my first visit to the ranch were cows living in harmony with pigs, and sheep wandering casually in their paddock–unique personalities and relationships between very large and very small animals. There was a spirit of grace in the air that had to come to these creatures after troubled times past.

Each pair of eyes revealed curiosity when I looked closely at them, and each in turn looked closely at me. They moved nearer to me, such that I could fully see them; hopefully you may visit them here as well, resting in peaceful companionship.

Each canvas were painted at the ranch using 100% cotton on wood stretcher bars. The frames were custom made for me of the highest quality wood by a framer. Similar frames can be found in museums worldwide. All supplies are completely vegan.

Please visit me at Arader Galleries on Main Street in Saint Helena. On weekends, you will find me amongst the maps, Audubon’s, and glorious art pieces depicting animals, birds, maps, architectural drawings, botanicals and much more.

I wish you much rest and a peace-filled summer.

Art of Leisure Paintings

Happy, adopted 2019

Art of Leisure has always been circling around home and the leisure lifestyle in Sonoma and Napa Valley.  This naturally includes the physical structure of a home, the spirit of its occupants including pets, surrounding gardens, and the thriving wine country community.  Below, you will see my oil paintings of pets, very much a part of a healthy and happy home life.  Our four footed friends are an important element of our lives, as noted by artists and authors over the centuries.

For many years, I have endeavored to help the shelter pet community.  Many afternoons, I would visit the shelter, sit with an animal, paint a plein air painting of it and share a print with the person who eventually gave it a new home.  This practice developed into the creation of my Shelter Pet Cards, sold at such shops as:

Now I am bringing this service to those who would like to memorialize a moment in their and their pet’s life.  Hopefully, a delightful, happy occasion in which I can help bring your pet to life in a pet portrait painting.

Animal Paintings


Pet Paintings
Buttercup, adopted 2015


Pet Portraits
Charley, adopted 2019


Dog Paintings
Black Dog, adopted 2015


Cat Paintings
Emily, adopted 2017


Consignment Pet Portraits
Gibbs, adopted 2018


Animal Art
Jack, adopted 2019


Cat Art
Jewel, adopted 2019


Cat Paintings
Mariah, adopted 2019


Dog Portraiture
Maui, adopted 2019


Cat Portraiture
Miss Emmy, adopted 2017


Painting of your pet
Oliver, adopted 2015


Peaches, adopted 2019


Pinky Pie, adopted 2019


Rigo, adopted 2015


Sadie, adopted 2019
Rejuvenation Wellness

Rejuvenation & Wellness

Spring in Sonoma

Happy Spring! As we begin this season of growth, I’d like to share a few ideas for a leisure weekend of rejuvenation and restorative wellness.  In Sonoma and Napa Valleys, the abundance of rain this year has brought what we hope to be healthy vines as they emerge from their winters rest.  Thus, this is a perfect time to step out and enjoy something new and special before the full excitement of this season is upon us.

The idea of rejuvenation and wellness is inspiring because it evokes renewal, an abundance of energy, and a sense of optimism. To experience this feeling, here are a few places that offer various forms of personal tranquility and serenity.  From the visual to the experiential, these places and rituals allow the true feeling of rejuvenation to bubble to the surface naturally. From the simplest idea of a few drops of eucalyptus oil on a steaming washcloth in the morning, to visiting a spa-golf hospitality venue, or just maybe, up-close gazing at stars and planets at the most advanced observatory in the West . Whether inside or outdoors, a focus on rejuvenation and wellness is an element of the leisure lifestyle any day of the year. As always, I wish you many moments of ease and joy as you experience the Art of Leisure.

Beauty and Tranquility as expressed by International artist/photographers today:
Available at Scott Nichols Gallery, Sonoma Square. www.scottnicholsgallery.com

Nicolo Sertorio, 12T 365265 m E


Christopher Burkett. White Dogwood Canopy


Sonoma Valley:

Napa Valley:


Regarding real estate, we are in a time of many questions and uncertainty.  If you would like to know the facts, historical data, and trends that we are seeing for 2023, contact me for a Market Update that will help define today’s reality.  Here are a few highlights as we peer into the future:

  • In the luxury market, we are seeing a trend toward more conscious spending with a movement towards minimalist luxury. The trifecta of location, home condition, and amenities are the primary decision making priorities.
  • Move-in-ready homes are highly sought after today. In some cases, homes are sold fully furnished, including linens and cutlery.

Overall, the mindset in real estate is evolving, as properties are taking longer to sell and buyers are in a less competitive environment. Every market is unique.

Recently, I visited a site in Healdsburg with new construction containing many of the elements of an Art of Leisure Home.

The property is the Mill District, and although quite different from a home in the country with land or in town, it does offer many desirable amenities to clients.

The interiors have clean lines, minimalist decor, and include some furnishings, including appliances and window coverings.  This is a very move-in-ready property that is located close to the Healdsburg Plaza for entertainment and casual to gourmet dining.

I wanted to share this property with you as it is an example of the trend location, home condition, and amenities as we look towards the future.

It is my hope that you will enjoy a beautiful spring, and as always, please contact me anytime with questions or thoughts about the leisure lifestyle or the market which is adjusting quickly today.

Beautiful Outdoor Art and Paths For Inspiration + Real Estate Data

As we embrace the New Year, this is a wonderful time to pause, eat warming and delicious foods, enjoy the outdoors, and take a closer look at the home that surrounds us.  Both the housing and home improvement markets remained strong in Sonoma and Napa Valley through 2021.  Thus, so that you may remain well informed, please find below the most recent expert real estate data + stats as we look together into the future.

But first, to remind us all of how much fun it is to be outside, here are a few paintings by the artist Alireza Varzandeh that evoke the pleasure of a stroll.


In the Sonoma and Napa Valley we do walk a lot around town, in the parks, neighborhoods, and sidewalks near the shops.

It is the movement and imperfection which these paintings portray that seems so welcome at this time.  Alireza portrays subjects in physical and emotional motion.  With blurred faces, their identities are mysterious, yet each figure’s posture and form suggests a unique personality and history.  Scenes of youth, summer, and vacation come alive on his canvases.

This art can be viewed at Caldwell Snyder Gallery in San Francisco and Saint Helena.  Senior Art Consultant Colleen Mulligan ( 714.906.2819 ) knows this artist very well.  Alireza has a quite inspiring story and history.

Real estate data highlights:

  • Inventory: Recent data shows that in December, California had 27.8% less inventory than in December 2020. Future housing inventory levels will be the key market indicator for sales in 2022.
  • Past price growth has been at its highest level in 45+ years.
  • Homeowner equity continues to surge, an important data point from the recent past. Equity remains a key element for those transitioning out of forbearance.  Core Logic reports a 31.1% year-over-year percentage increase in equity for U.S. homeowners with mortgages.
  • Seven industry experts forecast on average a 5.2% home price increase this year, a deceleration of price increase rates from last year.  Maiclaire Bolton-Smith, Core Logic Senior Leader of Research, predicts that home sales will continue to rise and actually reach a 16 year high in 2022.
  • Buyers continue to enter the market and remain very active.  Data reports show that strong activity in property showings (which precedes offers and sales) have been unseasonably high over the recent holidays.

It is widely recognized that the low interest rates combined with a higher personal appreciation of “home” were significant contributors to the current housing supply.

It is my hope that wherever you may be, you find a few moments to enjoy a bit of fresh air and participate in the pleasurable “Art of Leisure.”   For your convenience in finding a special place to wander, following is a list of favorite areas in wine country with inspiring scenery.


Having moved from the Bay Area to Sonoma Valley almost 30 years ago, I have curated a few favorite “everyday paths” around the Sonoma Valley.  Due to my exploring both the hills and in town, these local outdoor areas range from challenging, to super easy, with opportunities for kids & dogs to run.  I hope that you find something here to capture the beautiful Sonoma Leisure Lifestyle experience.  Please let me know.

A Few Lovely Outdoor Areas

Above City of Sonoma

Anticipating Spring flowers along the path

A place to relax alongside the trailhead at Bartholomew Estate

Sonoma Bike Path, Vallejo’s Home & Field of Dreams:

  • Explore this trilogy of natural wetlands with plant and aquatic life, historic Vallejo’s Home with a turtle pond, and the open space of Field of Dreams, all located walking distance from the Sonoma Plaza.  Wonderful spots for kids of all ages.

Bartholomew Estate Vineyards and Winery:

  • A 3 mile hike within Bartholomew Park, taking in the duck pond, mature trees, views, and flowers. Dogs welcome.

Jack London State Park:

  • Scale the summit with an 8-mile hike over moderate, varied terrain and view historic remains of property.

Sugarloaf Ridge State Park:

  • Hike to the top of Bald Mountain on a 6-mile stretch.  The 1.500 foot elevation change will reward you with a 360-degree view to San Francisco on a clear day.  More moderate hikes starts at visitor’s center.  Not for dogs.

Sonoma Valley Regional Park:

  • Rolling green hills with picnic areas, a dog park, & hiking, biking and horse trails.

Gundlach Bundschu Winery:

  • Lovely hiking area behind the winery.  Dog friendly .

Montini Open Space Preserve:

  • Hike among oak woodlands, grasslands, and rock outcroppings.  Not for dogs.

Wish you much happiness and success in the unfolding year.  Feel free to contact me anytime or let me know if I can help you or a friend.