Sep 212017

Porthole Fish Painting Contemporary Folk Art by BZTAT

We all love the ocean. The mysteries beneath the water and the vastness above and below the surface intrigue us with their beauty.

The ocean is a dynamic force, though, and as immense as its beauty is, its power for destruction is great as well. At this writing, the fourth Category 5 hurricane to hit the Atlantic Ocean this season is battering Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.

My own fascination with the ocean led me to start a series of paintings that I call “Portholes” a couple of months ago. A friend had given me a bunch of wooden circles that had been cut the wrong size for a project he was working on, so I decided to paint them with brightly colored fish. I call them “Portholes” because they show the view of the ocean from the inside of a sailing vessel, as if you were looking out the window of a ship.

I wanted to do something to raise funds for disaster relief, Porthole Fish Painting Contemporary Folk Art by BZTATso I decided to donate a portion of the sales from my “Porthole” series to an organization working to assist survivors of the recent hurricanes.

The organization that I have chosen to receive the donations is Team Rubicon. Team Rubicon is an organization that unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams to disaster zones.

Team Rubicon has been actively engaged in rescue and recovery efforts for both Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, as well as other disaster relief activities around the world. To this date, They have pulled 73 people, 50 dogs and 26 cats from the waters of Harvey and helped them to safety. 

Porthole Fish Painting Contemporary Folk Art by BZTATI will be posting my “Porthole” paintings on my Art for Sale page. The larger paintings are 14″ Diameter and sell for $125.00. I have smaller paintings as well that are 7″ Diameter and sell for $45.00. 20% of all “Porthole” paintings will be donated to Team Rubicon (through November 2017).

You can follow my process of creating the “Portholes” paintings and other artworks on my Instagram and Facebook pages. I plan to do many more!

Life is an Adventure!



Sep 142017


Black and White Tuxedo Cat Contemporary Premiere Style Pet Portrait Painting by Artist BZTAT “REALLY?  You’re talking about the holidays NOW? Already???”

Yeah, I am.

There’s no better gift than the gift of art, and a portrait of a beloved pet can make your loved one’s holiday very special. Custom art takes time to complete, though, so you need to get your order in early.

To ensure that your custom pet portrait gifts are completed and shipped in time for Hanukkah and Christmas, you must order before October 15, 2016. After that, I cannot promise to get your artwork completed and shipped on time.


I have 4 portrait styles that fit with different budgets, including:

Contemporary Premiere Style White cat portrait painting with patterned blanket by BZTAT

    Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Painting 


Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings are deluxe artistic interpretations of your pet that are painted in a colorful and highly customized style. These paintings reflect the unique characteristics of your pet in a semi-abstract style. They take many hours to complete due to my technique of layering various colors and attention to detail.


Whimsical Orange Dog Folk Art Style Pet Portrait by Artist BZTAT

           Contemporary Folk Art Portrait Painting by BZTAT


Contemporary Folk Art Portrait Paintings are artistic interpretations of your pet that are painted in a fun, contemporary folk art style. These paintings reflect the characteristics of your pet in loose and whimsical fashion. Although less customized that the Premiere Contemporary Custom Pet Portrait Paintings, Folk Art style portraits capture the essence of your pet in a colorful and cheerful work of art.

Contemporary Siamese Cat Drawing by Artist BZTAT

               Contemporary Pet Portrait Drawing by BZTAT


Contemporary Pet Portrait Drawings are artistic interpretations of your pet that are created in a contemporary style. These drawings reflect the characteristics of your pet in loose and whimsical fashion. Portrait drawings are created with Prismacolor Pencils on colored papers or white Bristol Board with inked in backgrounds. 


Contemporary Digital Chihuahua Dog Portrait by Artist BZTAT

    Contemporary Digital Pet Portrait by BZTAT


Tortoise Shell maine Coon Cat Digital Portrait by BZTAT

    Contemporary Digital Pet Portrait by BZTAT


Contemporary Digital Pet Portraits are artistic interpretations of your pet that are created from your photos in a contemporary digital style. Using a variety of digital apps and filters, I digitally manipulate your photo into a unique, one of a kind artwork. Choose to get the image printed on paper or receive a jpg image that you can print on your own.


I look forward to creating a special gift for your loved ones for the upcoming holiday season!

Life is an Adventure!


Shaking it off like a stunned squirrel.

 Paradoxes, purposes and ponderances  Comments Off on Shaking it off like a stunned squirrel.
Jul 302017
Whimsical Squirrel wildlife contemporary painting by BZTAT

“Squirrel” Painting by BZTAT

Around my home, there are a number of trees that are a playground for a family of squirrels. These squirrels are amazingly busy little acrobats, scampering up and down the trees and jumping from limb to limb all day long. 

One day, as I was coming out my back door, one of the smaller squirrels fell from a high branch right in front of me. The poor thing lay motionless in the dirt, blinking but not moving. I gasped, frightened that it would not get back up. Selfishly, I thought, “I don’t want to watch it die.” It felt wrong to leave it there all alone, though.

So I stood still and I watched it for a moment.

Slowly, the squirrel started to move its head. Its belly heaved with heavy breathing. Then the legs moved a little, and the creature lifted itself up. It walked slowly over to the trunk of the tree it had fallen from. It jumped onto the trunk. Then it hopped up to a branch.

On the branch, the squirrel “shook it off”, checking itself to make sure its body was still working. Then, the squirrel scampered back up to the higher branches, chasing after another furry acrobat.

Squirrels work and play without a net below to catch them when they fall. When they fall and get the stuffings knocked out of them, it is not certain that they will recover. Thank God this one did. When squirrels get back up, the reality of knowing that they could fall again doesn’t seem to stop them. They go right back to doing what they were doing before they fell.

I feel a bit like that squirrel right now. I feel a bit stunned, and I feel like I have had the stuffings knocked out of me. I am on the branch trying to “shake it off”, and I am checking to see if I am in working order.

Once I get my bearings, will I go back to doing what I was doing before the fall? That’s what squirrels do, but is it what people do?  Hmm.

Losing my furry pal Brewskie Butt has really knocked the stuffings out of me. I lost a companion, and a muse. It was a relationship that was unique, and I can’t replicate it with my other cats, even though I love them very much. There was just something special between Brew and me.

Maybe its because I shared the uniqueness of that relationship with people around the world in the early days of social media. Maybe its because the creativity that he inspired in me took me to places I never though were possible. Maybe its because he awakened an entrepreneurial spirit in me, and together, we went on an amazing creative journey that defined me as an artist.

Or maybe its just that I miss his silly self and his furry body next to me.

It occurs to me that the span of Brewskie’s life covered the time frame that launched my career as an professional artist. He came to me towards the end of my career as a mental health counselor, and he has been with me the whole time that I have explored my creativity in a professional realm. He was with me when it was all fresh and new and adventurous, and his character gave me great material for exploring the creative realms of social media. He made marketing my business fun, because it was all about telling our story.

Now I am left with this creative enterprise that he helped me build, and I confess, I am not exactly sure where to take it from here. Unlike the squirrel, it is not so clear a path to find the higher branches of my tree to go back to doing what I was doing before the fall. How do I do this without my Brew?

Social media is not so much the frontier that it once was when it was all new and Brewskie was delighting people throughout cyberspace with his silly antics. I have established myself as an artist, so forging that path has become a bit routine as well. The business side of entrepreneurship is a struggle for me. I still love painting as a professional artist, and I still enjoy connecting with people through social media. I do miss exploring new frontiers, though. 

Brewskie and I scampered about the interwebs like my squirrels scamper about through the trees around my home. The internet was our playground. We did it without a care in the world, and without a net, until it just wasn’t the same tree anymore. 

Now he’s gone, and I am stunned, and I am trying to “shake it off”.

We follow patterns in life. My pattern is to pick myself up after setbacks, and ultimately find new adventures to explore. Sometimes I retrace old steps, and sometimes I embark on new travels. I am sure that my pattern will re-emerge once I shake this off. A new adventure will come my way, and my artistic enterprise will find new heights.

For now, though, I think I will just sit on this branch for awhile and reflect on the last one.

What a grand adventure we had together, Brewskie and me.

Life is an Adventure!


The painting above is for sale – learn more here.