How long have you had Piper?
Not long enough! 2 years and 3 months. I wish I could say that we have been blessed with her big personality for many years, but we adopted her when she was 8 years young.
How many other dogs do you have and how does Piper interact with them?
Roxie is our beloved, rescued Pit Bull. Introducing Piper and Roxie was challenging at first because of their very different personalities and hiring a trainer whose ideas were horrible for our family. Now, the girls are adorable together! Piper is a grumpy diva and the boss of the house. When she growls, Roxie kisses her. When Piper barks orders or headbutts for something, we almost always obey. She has all of us wrapped around her paw!
I understand Piper does all of the painting – how do you choose the colors?
The color selections change with our moods and surroundings. Piper’s color is pink, since she’s such a fabulous diva. Therefore, almost all of Piper’s paintings have some shade of pink in them.
Does Piper’s art mirror or reflect yours in any way?
Both of us are self-taught abstract painters. I haven’t taken a drawing or painting class since high school. The only studying Piper might have done was by watching me paint. A lot of people don’t realize that I never trained Piper to paint. Many miss the point of why Piper paints and the magic behind The One-eyed Painting Bulldog.
Piper paints because I’m a painter and she took an interest in what I was doing. I’ve always lived with dogs and never thought about one of them painting. I didn’t “get” Piper to paint. Piper expressed her desire to paint through her behavior. Because of Piper’s limp on her front leg and bad hip dysplasia and arthritis, she can’t run around or be very playful. The only thing she gets really excited over is food. However, every time I painted, Piper quickly waddled into the studio and seemed happy to sit and watch me paint for hours. After weeks of this happening, I realized she wanted to paint.
The first time I put a brush in Piper’s mouth and held out paper, she created a painting by wiggling her head and chewing on the brush. I haven’t bothered to teach her to paint on an easel by herself because her basic technique is how we play and bond together. Both of us paint from our own life experiences and emotions and aren’t trained to paint a specific way. What’s amazing about Piper painting is that she went from being unwanted and abused to helping other rescue dogs in need through something she enjoys. A dog can be remarkable and make a difference without painting. People don’t need to get their dogs to paint to raise awareness and donations or change the world.
With over 76,000 fans on Facebook how do you handle all of Piper’s social media?
By not sleeping much! I am the only one who manages everything surrounding Piper (social media, photos, products, artwork, Etsy store, website, correspondence, and cause). Piper and I devote more time to her business and cause than most people realize. Almost all of Piper’s Facebook photos are done with a DSLR camera and require post-production work. I spend a lot of time creating the photos and comments (Piperisms) based off Piper’s attitude and personality.
I want to provide her followers with great quality images and ideas to keep them smiling and remind them how remarkable and beautiful rescue dogs and special needs beings are. I read and take to heart all of comments made under Piper’s posts. Facebook is pretty much a unpaid full-time gig for us. I work for free in hopes of brightening people’s days and gaining interest in Piper’s products and art, which raise money and awareness for rescue dogs. We can’t afford to make donations without Piper’s book, art and portrait sales.
In one interview you said there are some of Piper’s paintings you will not sell – how many do you have in your house?
I believe seven paintings. I try not to keep too many because of the money the originals raise for donations. Plus, Piper doesn’t paint that often these days. We spend more time on her modeling career. She seems to love playing dress up and being the center of attention, but that might all be for the treats!
How do you title the paintings?
Piper’s titles are based off of Piper’s attitude, what I think she would paint and what I see in her paintings.
How many reproduction prints do you make of each piece?
I don’t normally reproduce originals that sold to individuals. Piper’s reproductions are from paintings I’ve kept or donated. Only a couple of sold paintings have been reproduced when I received permission from the owner.
When will the next original Piper painting be available for sale?
Hopefully, next week!
“The Artistic Mind of The One-eyed Painting Bulldog” is a collection of Piper’s portraits, art and Piperisms. (You can find the book here). It’s a must-have for anyone who wants daily doses of Piper therapy! Side effects may include smiling, giggling, tearing up, and a warm fuzzy feeling all over. Take multiple doses per day on a full stomach. Dr. Piper recommends doughnuts! A portion of Piper’s sales is donated to San Antonio Bulldog Rescue and nationwide rescues.