Are you still with me? Do you have a pet?

I have been MIA from the blogoverse here, but with good reason. As much as I’d love a job where I just sat around and wrote stuff (apparently it IS possible, so I hear), I decided to attempt a venture (adventure?) where I may be able to make money sooner while at the same time not have a boss.

This will still be my writing website, and I still intend to cash in on my YeahWrite Bronze membership perk of having one of the YW editors give me a consultation. So when I’m not painting, I’ll be over here writing. And getting back to the remedial writing advice, which means getting back to the novel.

Citra2-056What’s that? Painting? Yes, painting portraits of pets… any kind that has legs. I have my own website,, which is scary for a baby boomer (just barely) like myself, but there you go. So, check that out. I’ve set up some dedicated social media site, as one does these days: and instagram @EllenPaintsPets.

My twitter handle, @ellenbehm, is the same as always, it’s just that now I have to censor myself a wee bit.

Drop on by and see what I’ve done with the new place!


Painting Lessons on Craftsy


Still no creative writing happening, but I am working on my painting. About that. My painting skills are mostly self taught. One avenue of learning is always now the internet and youtube, but have you heard of I have taken several of the painting courses, and the best, by far, has been Acrylic Color Mixing Made Easy.


Up until this course, my ability to get just the color I wanted was hit and miss. And I could never successfully duplicate a color if I didn’t want to finish a painting all in one day. Carol McIntyre teaches this course, and I learned so much about the primaries, secondaries, color bias, etc, and made charts that will be useful going forward.


If you love to craft, there are all kinds of online classes that will let you get your creative on, and you can watch the videos over and over. What a deal!

And if you happen to paint, I would highly recommend this class. The pictures are projects painted for the class.

Meet My Dogs

I’m not really feeling the writing today, so I thought I’d share paintings that I did of my dogs.



We rescued Danny on January 4, 2011 in Jefferson, Georgia. He is laid back, but in charge; thinks he wants to be part of the pack, but prefers watching the pack chase squirrels while he lounges on the patio. Loves to lick the carpet. Demands attention, fears only thunder, and loves all people. Makes a terrible watch dog.



Also rescued on January 4, 2011 in Jefferson, Teddy is the neurotic one of the pack. He fears everything but thunder, and barks to let us know when danger (i.e., the garbage man, other visitors) are near. Will not go outside in the morning without an extensive petting session. Likes to eat out of any dog bowl, but his own. Makes an ok watch dog from a barking standpoint, though post-barking he prefers to run and hide. (His portrait is unfinished.)


Originally from Louisiana, Barrett was a victim of Hurricane Isaac (August 2012) and was taken to Georgia where my son, Kyle, rescued him the last weekend of October, 2013 from the Atlanta Humane Society. Barrett is a party boy, up for anything that may include leaping, jumping, bounding, barking and hunting. This may come from time spent with Kyle and his fraternity brothers in Macon, Georgia before coming to live with us in Atlanta last year. Loves Danny and Teddy, and also loves to lick their heads (weird). Teddy and Barrett have a nightly wrestling match, where, if you didn’t know them, you might think they were trying to kill each other.

Barrett also makes an ok watch dog, with a deep, menacing sounding bark. In reality, he just wants to get your attention so you will play with him.

All in all, we hit the rescue dog trifecta with great dogs. Barrett needed a bit of leash training. All anti-barking training has been unsuccessful.

Painting the Pets

Earlier this year I took an online painting course called “Pet Portraits”. Having discovered I have a modicum of talent, I have taken several of these courses with pretty good results, plus they are fun and, having only taken 1 art class (not counting elementary school) I always learn quite a bit.

When I started this pet series, it soon dawned on me that the step is to draw the animal. I have never considered drawing to be my strong suit, but in for a penny, in for a pound. I’ve tried different techniques or combinations of techniques to get the likeness on the canvas. None are a favorite yet, but I have managed to get past the drawing and onto the painting.

I am blessed with plenty of models, though I’m using photos instead of trying to get cooperation from the pets. I started with Laura and Thomas’ dogs, Sam and Ella, aka the “Poison Twins”. Ella was the first attempt, then Sam, and then I got fancy and did them in pink and blue (this was before I knew Laura was pregnant).

From time to time, I’ll show off the paintings here. This is one of those times.


Critique: Her ears are way too big and her mouth looks a little off. Not bad for a first try.


Critique: Overall, I’m really happy with this one. Thomas thinks he looks like a communist here.


Critique: Ella looks like a pig. I was going for a loose warm-up kind of painting with less detail.


Critique: This one is a success. I love the way the blue turned out.

Thanks for looking!