Friday, November 16, 2007

Catching Up

Hello everyone,
A lot of changes have occurred this past summer and fall. My son was married in June for one and in October I accepted a full time position at Spillers working in their credit/collection department. This is something my husband and I discussed at length and felt with the slow economy the way it is and with health insurance cost for individual coverage skyrocketing, it was best for me to go back to work and receive health benefits through my employer. At least now we will not have to face a monthly insurance rate of $600.00 a month, with an increase slated to go up to 728.00 by Jan 2008 for a $10,000.deductible policy for the both my husband and I.
What does this mean for my Animals in Pastels business and my clients? Mostly there will be a change in the amount of time that I will be accessible to the public during the day. You will still be able to reach me by email and leave messages by phone, and I will do my best to answer all inquiries after 4 pm in the afternoon Monday through Friday. As far as portrait commission I will have to limit the total to 6 per year and the turn around time will change from 2 weeks up to 4 to 8 weeks depending on my waiting lists. For those of you who are unfamiliar with my portrait work visit this link:

I will still be marketing my loon books to local bookstores, schools and any one who just wishes to buy one as a gift. Even though sales have dropped dramatically from last year my book is still very well received. For those who still wish to purchase a copy of "Loons of Tacoma Lakes" for the upcoming holiday just visit this link for more information . You can easily place your order my mail or by emailing As a holiday special, through the month of December I will be waving the shipping cost for all single copies ordered.

My other big change came in September with my photography, I decided to go completely digital and replaced my Canon Rebel 2000 with a Canon Digital Rebel XTI and have been very please with my decision. No more waiting to have rolls of film developed and saving images in digital format. Now I just download my images and use my Paint Shop Pro image software to edit my photographs. In the spring I hope to add a new 500mm image stabilized lens to my equipment so that my wildlife shots will have even more detail. Even using my old 300mm lens I am able to capture some exceptional pictures with this Canon digital XTI. When you have a chance visit my online photography gallery at Here you will be able to view and order a variety of my scenes of New England photographs as magnets, greeting cards and prints right from the comfort of your home. Over the winter months I will be uploading many new photographs including draft horses captured at the Fryeburg Fair, sunsets in Rangeley, Maine, flowers and of course my new loon photographs. So check back often to view all the new photographs I have captured.

On a sad note, in October we lost our beloved Choc lab, K-C to cancer. She was a very special dog and my husband and I miss her dearly. You do not really know how intertwined your lives become with your pets until you have lost them. Everywhere we go we are reminded of her. This past Sunday breakfast we looked at the leftover pancakes, and tears came to our eyes knowing we would not be sharing them with her again. I am even reminded of her when shopping for steak because she would always lick her lips in anticipation of having the leftovers. I am fortunate, though being an avid photographer I had taken many photographs of her throughout the 11 + years she was with us. And of course her pastel portrait that I painted 5 years ago hangs in our living room with her looking over us. That old saying is certainly true that dogs leave paw prints in our hearts. May you always have water to play in and squirrels to chase. Until we meet again my friend. K-C March 19, 1996 ~ October 26, 2007

Until next time, wishing everyone a safe and Happy Thanksgiving and a wonderful Christmas season.

Sandra Lee Huston

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

2007 List of Art/Fine Craft Shows, Photography Contests and Book Signings

The following is a list of the show dates and book signings I will be attending this year. If you are in the vicinity please drop by and say hi. I will update this listing as new dates and venues are added to my schedule throughout the year~

March 3, 2007 "The Arts of March"
Sponsored by the Kennebunk Land Trust
Saturday between 10 AM - 4 PM at the Kennebunk High School,
Art & Fine Craft Show celebrating Maine's beauty in many forms.
Over 70 artists and fine crafters will be attending. Located at the high
school gymnasium - 89 Fletcher St. Kennebunk, ME 04043

March 30 to April 1, 2007
State of Maine Sportsman's Show - Photography Contest
This 3 day event is located at the Augusta Civic Center in
Augusta, Maine. The sportsman show displays art work, photography
and wood carvings in categories depicting Wildlife, People in Outdoor
Activities, Landscapes, and macro (close-up) photography of flowers,
butterflies and insects. All art work and photography will be hanging
on walls on display and not in individual booths with the artists.
Winners will receive ribbons and trophies awarded by judges. Also a
"Sportsman's Choice" award will be voted on by the general public.
July 7, 2007
18th Annual Bethel Art Fair - 9:00 am to 4:00 pm
Located on the Bethel Common, One Broad Street, Bethel Maine 04217.This event is being held on the beautiful village common in the National Historic District of Bethel, Maine. In addition to the art, the fair will have musical entertainment and will include a special young persons' area where children will be able to take part in a variety of activities. Several local eateries will be serving their special fare for purchase as well. I will be located in booth #14 to the right of the Chamber info tent and raffle area. There will be a total of 50 artist booths set up for your enjoyment. Sorry no rain dates.
August 18, 2007 Winthrop, Maine 04364
Winthrop's 20th Annual Sidewalk Art Show - 10:00 am to 4:00 pm
Located on Main Street downtown Winthrop. Put on by the Winthrop Area Chamber of Commerce. This show is open to 84 artists, sculptors and photographs. There will be a general display of art work for the public to purchase. Art show purchase prizes to be purchased by participants for $350.00, also Art Show Judge's awards. Look for display maps set out for locating your favorite artists. Sorry no rain dates.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Canine Art Guild - Online Art Show

The Artist's Best Friend" CAG online Art Show will be live April 1st 2007. This a newly formed group of canine artists showcasing artwork depicting their own dogs or dogs that have been influential and inspiring to them. Below is a sneak preview of my entries.

My best canine friend is our beloved chocolate lab, K-C. Her portrait is featured in a place of honor at the top of my pet portrait page on my website. ( )This 11x14 soft pastel painting was completed when she was six years old and painted on grey tinted velour pastel paper. It was a joy to paint this particular portrait of her with all the different colors highlighted on her fur as she sat in the setting sun. She is now 11 years old and showing more white hairs around her muzzle and paws each day, but is still beautiful to us. My husband calls her my constant shadow, following me out to the barn each day, and curling up by my rocking chair when I read in the evenings. If I am working at the computer she is sleeping on her dog bed behind me in our office. Even in my studio while painting, you will find her napping at my feet and always runs to the door eagerly, if she hears "OK girl, time to take a break, let's go for a walk." K-C is the seventh dog my husband and I have owned and raised, each of the animals that have come into our lives throughout the past 30 years continues to weave a special place in our hearts. The love and bond between humans and animals are very unique and that special bond is the reason I have been painting commissioned pet portraits since 1990. Through my portraits my clients display the love and bond that they have developed with their animal companions and keep these cherished memories alive for a lifetime.

For my second online submission I would like to share with you a recent pastel painting that was of one of my client's best friends, a Yellow Lab, named Zeke. I chose a Crescent Moorman suede board with a Pearle tint to compliment the color of Zeke's beautiful golden fur for this soft pastel painting. Below is the completed 16x20 portrait commissioned in January 2007 and also a small close up version to show the finer details of the finished portrait. Even though I have always loved painting on French velour pastel paper with my soft pastels, I feel the Crescent Moorman suede board allows me to create finer details without compromising the softness of the animals fur. Judge for yourselves with the examples below. I hope you enjoy all the other wonderful canine artwork displayed for your enjoyment through our CAG online art show at

Monday, February 05, 2007

The Artist Horse As Muse Show

The Artist Horse as Muse Show is a show of the Equine Art Guild Artist showcasing their love of horses. The online art show will be live on March 18, 2007. Below is a preview of my submission.

"Food for the Soul" ~ Black & White Photograph ~NFS

This photograph was taken in June of 2006 of my Morgan mare "Rosie" and I, by a friend and fellow photographer; Arlene McConnell. Rosie, who has filled the void in my soul since she came to us in 1994, is also a constant inspiration to me in my equine art. With Arlene's permission, I edited the photo by cropping and removing some of the background objects, enhanced the tonal quality by converting it to black & white, than added an artistic edging for this photograph submission of us together.

My Second submission is an 8x10 digital reproduction titled ~ Celebrating the Love of Horses ~Available to purchase @ $25.00 +s&h. This reproduction is from my original pastel painting of my first horse "Misty" purchased by my husband for me in 1982. She was my childhood dream come true and I was very fortunate to have owned such a wonderful animal for my first horse. My fondness memory of "Misty" was when I rode her bare back on a snowy winters night with the full moon shining across the freshly fallen snow. Over the years we would jump fences fearlessly and complete our first level dressage test together. I will never forget my 3 year old son walking up to this mare in her stall after we first brought her home, telling her to back with authority so that he could pass, whereas this mare backed and then followed my son through the stall door and into the pasture. My husband and I both looked at each other and knew than that our son was safe with this mare. This print is actually from my original Morgan montage completed in 2004, painted in soft pastels on Moorman Suede board. Since most of my time is spent painting commissioned portraits of other people's animals, I wanted to paint this montage for myself as a remembrance of the horses we raised. The original 24x36 montage is displayed in our living room and continues to evoke fond memories of our beloved Morgan horses each time we pass. If you would like to view the complete montage as displayed on my website, click here: You will notice my Morgan mares depicted at different ages throughout their lives starting when they were just a few weeks old. I also added the stallion's portrait of each of my mares in the lower corners, "Immortal Command" on the left and "Merrilee Aquarius" to the right. I than finished the montage with a small portrait of my son, Christopher, meeting our first horse Misty when he was three years old.

My third and final submission for this online muse show is of "Beau" a Shire Draft horse. This is an 11x14 original pastel on rose-colored Moorman Suede board. For those who are interested, Beau's original portrait is available for sale, framed and ready to hang for $400.00 + s&h. Also available are 8x10 prints of the original for only $25.00 each +s&h. To view the framed portrait please visit my website link at Beau is the current ambassador for the Rockin'T Equine Rescue Farm here in Lisbon Falls, Maine. I fell in love with Beau nearly seven years ago when I first saw him just after he was rescued. Standing alone, nobly in the corner of the paddock with his mane snarled and matted, his frame bone thin and his legs severely mite infected. Over the next two years during his rehabilitation, I visited Beau several times taking many rolls of film of him and sneaking little hand fed treats. Slowly a bond began to develop and it wasn't long before I could stand outside his paddock and call his name and he would come running to greet me. I decided to paint this painting in celebration of his recovery and the dedication of all the people caring for the animals at Rockin'T. To see him today you would not believe he is the same horse with his shiny coat, long mane and beautiful black and white feathers surrounding his legs. 25% of the proceeds of the sale of this painting will go towards the continued care for all the animals currently residing at the rescue farm. If you would like to read more about Beau and his rescue please visit the link on my website ( ) Thank you, and enjoy all the other wonderful equine artwork displayed for your enjoyment through our EAG Muse Show at