Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nightly visitor

This is our new "pet". One of them. This raccoon has *3* babies with her. I don't know why Allyson didn't get photos of the babies...she did get a short video and I caught a glimpse of them in that. Notice the water bowl on the right...spilled! They love to dump the water bowl. And they scoop the cat food up in their "hands" and shove it in their mouth! We've named the mother Henrietta and the babies are Larry, Curly and Moe. Maybe we'll get photos of the babies tomorrow night!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Welcoming the Lambs Completed Painting

A group of sheep and lambs have reached a place of safety,
and are welcomed to the chapel by the lovely caretaker with open arms.

It is complete. And I love it. :) Now I want to do a portrait of a lamb. They are so sweet! I've always loved sheep. One of my neighbors has goats. They're adorable too, but I don't think they're as sweet as sheep.

This painting is available on cards and as fine art prints in my shop. Also, I do have canvas print option - this painting will be fabulous as a canvas print. Read about my canvas prints here. And read about licensing options for this art here. I've also produced this art on ACEO art trading cards, available in packs of 100. ACEO collectors will love it!

Senak Peak 2 Welcoming the Lambs

Here's another sneak peak at the woman in my painting Welcoming the Lambs. She now has long hair...that took 3 hours! I've spent another 3 hours on the background as well. Now I'm working on the lambs, and then I will go over every inch, touching things up and adjusting color if necessary.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Sneak Peek at Welcoming the Lambs

Today I'm working on a more difficult painting. First of all, it's a full scene. Second, it has a human in it. That's always more challenging, as I'm primarily an animal painter. This painting features lambs. But I haven't gotten to that part of the painting yet, so I'm showing a sneak peek of the woman in the painting. I always work on the human first (specifically the face) in a painting like this, because it's the most difficult. So here's a sneak peek at the beginning of Welcoming the Lambs. :)

Vintage Roses Painting

Just completed this digital painting of a grouping of vintage roses. Available on prints and gifts here in my shop. :) I've left it totally customizable, so you can add your own words, quotes, verses, your name, or whatever you'd like along with the design, making it totally your own unique creation.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Beachin' - Summer fun for this Pomeranian

Time for a little summer fun! This sweet Pomeranian boast her shades (doggie goggles!) and stands on the beach with her colorful little beach ball in this new painting, titled Beachin'. This original art is available on products/gifts here in the jaisjewels shop!

How fun would it be to send your friends and family this cute postcard this summer? Definitely a smile-maker! :)

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Purple Iris Flower Painting

My friend Iris will love this painting! It began with about 10 photos my daughter captured in my neighbor's flower garden. The photos were good, but composition wasn't the best and there were too many distractions in the background. I could have worked on the background to deal with them, but decided to do a digital painting instead, and combine two of the flowers into one work of art. And this painting was born! Products and gifts with this image are available in my shop. I think one of my favorite products is the mug:

Customizing Your Print Size at Zazzle to a Standard Size

Zazzle has some odd print sizes listed on the site, which unfortunately will not fit most standard frames. They do have a list of common sizes which you can click on when you choose the "customize" button - why they don't appear in the list of choices is beyond me! I've made this quick little tutorial to show my customers how to adjust the print they like to a standard size. I'm using my Siamese Cat Portrait Print as an example. (click on the images below to see them full size)

Below is the first screen shot showing you what you see when you go to a print product. Notice what I've circled in red. Notice is says 20x15. That's NOT a standard size. If you change it to 20x16, which is standard, you can find mats and frames much more easily. For this example, I've chosen to do that with this print. You want to click on the CUSTOMIZE IT button which I've also circled for you.

After you've clicked on the button, you'll see this screen - you want to choose the "print options" tab.

The image below shows you the print options tab choices. Notice I've circled the check box that says "link these". UNCHECK that box.

Enter "16" in the box where it says "15" and choose OK. Then make your paper choice and click on ADD TO CART.

This is what you should see now in your cart:

The size is correct and you're ready to check out. By using the customize it button and changing the size to a standard one, you'll now be able to easily find a frame for your print. Of course, Zazzle does offer framing on the site - which is fine if you're working with an odd-sized print, as they will make it work. But if you plan on purchasing your own frame, it's better to change the print size to a standard one.

Here are standard sizes for your reference - you should easily be able to purchase frames anywhere for these size prints.



16" x 20"
11" x 17"
12" x 12" (square)
12" x 18"
12" x 36" (panoramic)
18" x 24"
20" x 20" (square)
20" x 30"
22" x 28"
24" x 24" (square)
24" x 36"
30" x 40"
36" x 48"
48" x 64"
52" x 78" (whoa, nelly!)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New cat photos, one Goldendoodle, and one lonely bird. :)

Recently I met a girl on twitter who raises Goldendoodle dogs (a cross between a Golden Retriever and a Poodle). These dogs are beautiful! So I decided to do a digital portrait of one, and this is what I came up with. I love the purple background against his golden color! This painting is available on a variety of products and gifts here.

Today, I decided to work with some photography. The first design I completed features this adorable photo of Nikko dipping her toe in Bill's bird bath. I decided to put a little motivational message with this one. :) This photo is available on products and gifts here.

Check out this *excellent* photo Allyson captured of Sassy the other day! He is such a beautiful cat, with very unique markings. I love the green of his eyes with the tiny bit of green from the background - it almost matches exactly! Sassy's gorgeous face is available on products and gifts here.

Then I came across this photo Allyson shot of one of our cardinals. I titled this design "Corn Husker". He posed very nicely for her with a piece of the corn in his beak. I thought Cardinal lovers - or any backyard bird fanatics - would like this photo, and it's available on products and gifts here.

And then we have Nikko again. I think she misses Bill. :) This was taken on his front porch, where she was hanging her head over the bars with a longing look in her eyes. I can almost hear her saying "I miss my belly rubs!" (not like she hasn't had any belly rubs from US...haha) I put her photo on cards and other gifts. I can see this making a terrific "Thinking of You" or "Miss You" card...and being you can customize the cards in my Zazzle shop, it's very easy for you to make Nikko say exactly what you want her to say. :)

Many Lives Are in Your Hands

This is my newest digital painting, titled "In Your Hands". I did this painting for my new organization SNIPnow is an organization dedicated to helping those with financial difficulties get their pets spayed and neutered, as well as providing educational and informational materials about spaying and neutering and the benefits to both pets and their humans.

This painting is available on products both with and without words (Many Lives Are in Your Hands...Please Spay and Neuter). All proceeds from the sale of the products goes to

I am also selling some matted artist signed prints of this work over on Etsy.

If you think not having a pet spayed or neutered is "no big deal", think about unspayed female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in 6 years. Unspayed and unneutered animals cost taxpayers $2 BILLION a year!

When I read news articles that someone threw four newborn puppies in a trash can, that just drives it home even more just how important it is. WHAT are people thinking? They're not. They're OBVIOUSLY not because there are *clearly* other solutions!

Just this morning on my bike ride I saw a big black lump in the empty parking lot of our nearby shopping center. From a distance, it looked like a big lawn and garden leaf bag. As I got closer, I thought I saw a tail. A little closer, and I realized it was a stray Rottweiler. Sleeping. Right in the center of this empty parking lot. How sad is that? And I'm seeing more and more strays in our area as our economy worsens. For people like me, experiencing financial difficulties, the cost of spaying or neutering is just not in the budget. I have two cats myself that need to be neutered RIGHT NOW. I know this lull in the cash flow is just temporary, but in the meantime, animals can and will go into heat. Males can and will find females to mate with.

Just by spaying one dog, a person can stop the cycle of 67,000 more potential dogs on the streets and in our shelters. JUST BY SPAYING ONE. Now let's see...the average yearly cost to maintain a dog properly (food and vet bills are the basic charges) is between $700-$2,000 per year. So...if 67,000 dogs are being born in 6 years, that's 11,166 dogs per year. Cost to maintain them even at the minimal $700 per year would total $7, 816, 200 for the one year. By spending $60-$150 to have one dog spayed, it saves this economy over $7 MILLION! was created to help the low income person who doesn't HAVE the $60-$150 to have a pet spayed or neutered. Yet, someone out there DOES HAVE $60-$150 they can donate toward having one pet spayed/neutered. Are you one of those who has it? Can you help save over $7 million this year? If so, please visit and see how you can donate. We have several different ways that *everyone* can help, from donating cash to purchasing products where every penny of the proceeds goes into the fund, to printing out and distributing our educational materials, and even simply linking to our site to help bring exposure to this tremendous need.

Thank you!

--Jai Johnson

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Your Royal Pet

I was trying to figure out a unique way to be able to put my newer digital paintings on the shirts at Zazzle without having just a square image on the front of the shirt. So I came up with a "royal crest" design, with the image of the pet inside the crest for a really unique look! Check one out on this example shirt featuring my Yorkshire Terrier painting:

Then I decided to create the crest where people could put a photo of their own pet inside the crest. It took me all day yesterday to figure it out and make it work, but it's finally done! Now there's a whole line of products where you can import your pet's photo into the crest. Here's an example:

Above is the shirt with no image inside the crest...all you have to do is click the box that says "your image here" and upload your pet's photo, and it will appear in the middle! This design works best with a horizontal photo, rather than the portrait style photo, but the portrait style photo can be adjusted by using the "customize it" button on the page, clicking on the image name, and hitting the + button a few times, then moving it around easily by using the up/down/left/right buttons on the image menu.

Go ahead and try it out with a photo of your pet! See all the products available in this Royal Pet line here.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Acrobatic Squirrel

So we put this bird feeder/bath combo in middle of the front yard...thinking the squirrels wouldn't be able to climb up the skinny pole. Lo and behold, it took a week and this fella figured it out:

He spotted the seeds on the ground, and quickly figured out where they came from. And up he goes...

He balances on top....

Then figures out the path to the feeder side...

Aha...there it is!

Maybe if I shake it, more will fall out.

Hey, this is kind of fun!

Time for a little swingin'.

Boy, this is a long stretch for a little squirrel like me!


Time to get back down.


The moral of the story? Never give up! Keep trying...keep climbing...keep stretching...keep shaking and pushing your way to your dreams. You'll get there!

See a short video of this squirrel here. :)

Pug Portrait

I captured several photos of this adorable Pug at a recent dog show. He loved posing for us! I thought his little purple bandana was just too cute! I decided to do a digital airbrush painting of him...and this is how it turned out:

I left the purple bandana on him in the painting because I thought it really showed off his personality. I didn't paint the leash, however, as I thought that took away from the work. He was such a cutie! Of course my daughter was like "I want one!" the whole time we were there. If she had her way, she'd have one (or more!) of every animal we've ever seen. :)

This Pug portrait is available as prints and on products in my online shop. To commission a painting of your pet, please visit my commission page on my website.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Commission a Painting of Your Pet

The above photo is a snapshot I took off a Yorkshire Terrier at our local flea market. What a precious little fella! His name is Dollar. I thought this was a wonderful pose, but didn't like the colors or background, so I decided to create a digital painting of him.

A portrait is a wonderful way to create a lasting memory of your special friend. Whether to celebrate a beloved pet or remember a best friend who's no longer with you, an original pet painting makes such a special gift for yourself or for friends and family. I am truly inspired and fulfilled when I can bring the joy of your pet to life in a portrait, and I consider it an honor to create a memory you'll treasure forever of your special companion.

Below is the completed art:

Isn't he just precious? I'd love to create a piece of artwork like this featuring your pet, too! Please visit my commissions page to learn more. The Yorkshire Terrier art is available on a variety of gifts in my shop.

My digital pet paintings begin with a photo of your pet, and emerge into a bold, colorful and painterly design. In my traditional painting methods, I use brushes and paint on canvas, or oil pastel on board. In my digital painting method, I usually use airbrush on the computer screen, which is my "canvas". Sometimes I will use a regular brush (on the computer) to create brushstrokes, but I prefer the airbrush application.

I use the same brush strokes and blending methods as I use in my traditional paintings, but on a different canvas - my computer screen. I use a Wacom Tablet to do the painting - the pen tool on the tablet serves as my "brush". I usually follow the same style of application it takes to prepare this kind of painting - however, because it's done on the computer, I can create a softer and more blended look. The way of laying down the paint is the same, however.

Once complete, the image of your pet's painting can then be printed on paper or canvas, or transferred to a variety of unique gift items, just like the images of my traditional paintings are. The process is very similar - but digital painting doesn't require the supplies, plus it's easier to correct mistakes. I've always wanted to do airbrushing, but never had the material to do being able to use airbrushing as way of applying the paint colors digitally is a blessing!

Your pet's painting is also presented on a variety of print sizes, cards, and other gifts for you to purchase. My custom pet portraits and the corresponding products they are placed on make GREAT gifts for holidays, birthdays, and Christmas! To book a time slot for your custom pet painting, please visit my commission page.

Friday, July 10, 2009

What's Your Favorite Dog Breed?

So what's your favorite dog breed? On this shirt design, you can fill in your breed yourself! I've made a quick tutorial up on just how EASY it is to customize. Take a look:

You'll probably have to click the photos to see them large enough to read. :)

Type your favorite dog breed in the box provided.

Notice it changes on the shirt as you type cool is THAT? :)

Now I have my favorite breed typed in...but I want a different style of shirt. Click on the STYLE OPTIONS tab.

Here you can choose different style shirts (men, women, children, babies) and colors.

Let's see how this looks on black...hmmmm...I like it! I think I'll order this ADD TO CART to order.

Now let's have a little more fun with this versatile design. Something else I love is Mexican Food. Those words would work on this shirt too!

I've typed the thing I love in the box, chosen a shirt style and color for me, and now I want to change the colors of the words "Mexican Food". On the PERSONALIZE tab, see what I've circled and click it.

A little window opens there which will allow me to change the font size, color, and even style of font.

I want my words to be RED and I adjust color and font size.

That's better! Think I'll order this one too, so I can wear it to my favorite Mexican restaurant. :)

I hope this brief tutorial shows you just how easy it is to customize products on Zazzle.