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How long does it take to complete a painting?

People ask me this quite often, and the short answer is, it varies.  Pet portraits take the longest by far (and are usually the most intricate and stressful) because they HAVE to look like a particular person's beloved pet. People who commission pet portraits are paying me to paint THEIR pet, not some poodle that looks sort of like Fluffy. The colors, markings, and expressions have to be spot on, and that takes time. Depending on the size, a pet portrait can take anywhere between 8 and 25 hours.  My wild[...]
art and jewelry

KAK ART Art and Jewelry Parties

I began doing art and jewelry parties for my grandparents and their friends in New Iberia, Louisiana about 7 years ago. My grandparents hosted the event in their own home once a year. Since then, that particular audience has grown exponentially, and the show is now held at a gallery each November. However, I also have art and jewelry shows in other locations (both in public locations and private residences) throughout the year.  I've found that my art and jewelry parties are not only a lot of fun for me, but that[...]
humane society of louisiana

Partnering with the Humane Society of Louisiana

I've recently embarked on a partnership with the Humane Society of Louisiana where donors are awarded a piece of my art based on how much they donate. The Humane Society focuses on fighting animal cruelty, neglect and mistreatment throughout the entire state. As you would expect, my family has known the head of the Humane Society of Louisiana, Jeff Dorson, since before I can remember, and when he approached me with this partnership idea, it felt like a natural path for me. A local news station, WGNO, recently featured my[...]

My Pet Portrait Process

Posted In: All | Featured | KAK Art & Designs
Today I want to give you guys a look into my process when creating a watercolor pet portrait. I started painting pet portraits when I was about twelve and had immediate access to clientele through my parents' veterinary practices. Over the years, as my style evolved and became more refined, I got more and more requests to paint people's favorite furry friends. They also make great gifts, and help ease the pain when a favorite pet passes away. Step 1: Drawing I had an art teacher in high school that instilled in me[...]

Top Five Celebrity Meet Ups

I've been fortunate to meet quite a few celebrities over the past six or eight years, and if you follow me on Facebook, you've probably already seen several of the pictures below. People always ask me how I manage to meet the stars, and the truth is, most of the time it's a matter of sheer luck. Although I've gladly paid for meet and greet opportunities, I've found that meeting celebrities is more often about being in the right place at the right time. Being 2'7" and cute is helpful as well. Ha!  Since people often ask me[...]
barometric pressure

Barometric Pressures of Fall

It's a beautiful day here in New Orleans. 75 degrees, full sun and a nice breeze coming off the lake. Fall is quickly approaching, and it's a nice change from our 97 degree, 100% humidity summer weather. (Not to mention the cold front is keeping the hurricanes away!) Our dogs have an extra spring in their step and my Facebook feed is blowing up with people enjoying the gorgeous weather at outdoor festivals or at parks with their families. Much like the French Quarter, I have a love/hate relationship with autumn. Like spri[...]
flying with a wheelchair

The Challenges of Flying with a 400 Pound Wheelchair

My blog this week was supposed to tell you guys about the amazing art teachers I've had throughout my career, but the experiences I had with my wheelchair over the weekend flying to Maine and back inspired me to switch it up a bit. Don't worry, art teachers are soon to come. A couple of months ago, Mom and I were given a unique opportunity to plan a trip to anywhere in the United States we'd like to visit at little cost to us. We chose to head to Maine, a trip we've wanted to take for several years, to visit a some close f[...]
lying down to paint

How I Paint: Perspective, Habit, & Practice

This may surprise you, but I paint lying on my right side, stabilizing my left hand on my body. This is actually the position in which I do most daily activities. Because it's hard on my back and my joints to sit up for a long time,even in my wheelchair, I've adapted to doing most things from a more comfortable lying down position. When you have constant pain, it's hard to get anything done, let alone something that requires a good deal of concentration. I have less pain lying down, so it's just easier for me to work like[...]

KAK ART Handmade Jewelry Designs

Posted In: All | Featured | KAK Art & Designs
I started making handmade jewelry when I was about fourteen. My dad had just had his double lung transplant, and in a weird series of events, reconnected with an old veterinary client of his who was into all kinds of art, including jewelry making. Ellan Vavrick is extremely talented in a number of mediums, including but not limited to painting, sculpture, stained glass, and print making. Although there is about a forty year age difference between Ellan and I, on many levels we connect like we've been friends forever. She has[...]
school inclusion, high school

The Importance of School Inclusion

Last year, I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of teachers about the benefits and importance of the inclusion of disabled kids in mainstream schools (school inclusion). By the time I was three years old, my parents started looking into pre-school options for me because I was driving them crazy! I was smart and curious, and I wanted everyone to bring me everywhere so that I could see EVERYTHING. I was bored all the time. I obviously needed something else to stimulate my brain, and my poor parents were exhausted.[...]