Friday, September 23, 2011


We are especially excited about today's edition of Artsy Fartsy Friday because we're featuring a fabulous artist whose work you already know and adore and some of you are even lucky enough to own!  Can you guess who it is?  Here's a little hint . . . 

That's right!  The lovely Asta has graciously agreed to help us get up close and fursonal with her very talented Artsy Mom today - Amarillis Kroon.  Not only are we sharing some of her awesome art here, but thanks to Asta's role as a Most Excellent Assistant, we're gonna give you a behind-the-scenes sneak peek into her artistic process.  So grab a cup of coffee or a biscuit and enjoy!

Now, we have got to admit that we've wanted to do this interview for some time now - ever since we first saw this painting on Asta's blog sidebar -

- but we were kind of nervous about asking.  After all, Asta and her Mom live in the very sophisticated, cultural mecca that is NEW YORK --

-- and we live in South Carolina, a place whose favorite pasttime is slurping down a bucket of oysters with a keg of beer while watching football on the big screen at the local watering hole and where shoes are optional - year round!  So we were thrilled when Asta wrote back that her Mom would be glad to be featured in Artsy Fartsy Friday and even answer some our nosy in-depth questions!  So without further ado, we present a sampling of our favorite artworks by Asta's Mom - Amarillis Kroon - and interview with Asta.

RD: Are the pet portraits painted exactly from photos or is the photo just an inspiration and starting point? For example, in Michael's Buddy - did he really have on the hat or was that something she added? We love it!

Asta: All the paintings have been done fwom photogwaphs..some awe litewal twanslations fwom the owiginal photo, some Mommi play depends on what the client wequests..some hoomans want vewy twaditional paintings, othews let us use ouw imagination. When we can do whatevew we want, sometimes they awe mowe abstwact, and incloode some collage elements as well as paint. Michaels Buddy, ackshooly had that hat on, his Dad loved to take him on a boat..and a fwiend comissioned it as a gift.

RD: How long does it usually take to paint a pet portrait?
Asta: It usually takes about two weeks fow hew to do a pawtwait..
RD: We really love the Carneval paintings with the pups in the harlequin masks?   Are both paintings the same pup?  What was the inspiration for the harlequin mask? 


Asta: hehehe, bof of those paintings wewe of my angel sissie Nowa..mommi wanted to see if she could do two of them facing each of them was bought at a show, we still have the othew and don't want to pawt wif it..nowa wowe the mask fow the photogwaph..Mommi and Daddi wewe having a dwess up pawty and she always wanted to pawticipate in any social occasion..she would sit on a dining woom chaiw waiting fow dinnew guests and behave impeccably like the most civilized woggie-pawson evew.  The painting shows hew wondewfully happy and silly side and we love it too!

RD: Your Mom paints such a variety of subjects - which is her favorite subject to paint? (You don't have to say dogs!)
Asta: Mommi fiwst stawted off painting Women and loves doing them . .

but once she stawted painting Doggies, they became hew favowite..she loves theiw pawsonalities and theiw vawiety and theiw love shining thwoo

3 Puppies on a Trip

I think she will always paint all the othew things, but will wetuwn to fuwwkids ovew and ovew. Also, I think the fuwwkids bwing most joy to the hoomans who buy them, and that is a Hoooge bonus!

RD:  Our Mom & Dad love to go to Art Walks and openings in Charleston, but have never been to galleries in New York. Can you give us a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what it's like for an artist to prepare for a show?  For example, in her current show - was there a specific theme set by the gallery or did you create your own theme?
Asta: Thewe was no specific theme fow this one, but most shows do have a theme.


RD: How long did it take to paint all the works in the show? 
Asta: It took Mommi about six momfs to pwepawe fow this show, about half the paintings wewe aweady done befowe.


RD: Who are all the exotic, sophisticated women in the paintings? 

Asta: The women in the paintings awe usually a mix of women Mommi knows ow admiwes..many of them look a bit like mommi's Mommi, but mostly they awe all stwong and not bimbos.

RD: What is opening night like for your Mom, as an artist?
Asta: Opening night is exciting and tewwifying. Finally having many momfs of wowk all togethew, well lit and up on the walls is gweat to see, and hoping that people will enjoy looking at them and maybe wanting to own one and seeing something that speaks to them is a wondewful feeling.  Seeing old fwiends and making new ones, having someone who has bought befowe and comes and says they still love theiws and want mowe is the best. It's also emotionally and physically exhausting.

RD: How would you describe her style of painting?
Asta: Hmmmm, I think it's figoowative but somewhat abstwact wif the paintings of people like Egon Shiele and Gustav Klimt being inflooences..thewe is a lot of gold leaf and silvew in many of them, but the fuwwkids paintings awe mowe all ovew the place.  Twying to pin down painting in wowds is vewy hawd fow Mommi..she's not as good at talking as painting.  The funniest thing is when someone at an exhibit says " I know just what you wewe thinking when you painted this" (Mommi is thinking meanwhile.."no you don't, I was thinking what to cook tonight, hehehehehe")


Birches in Snow

This next painting of someone so adorable that we know you're going to fall in love immediately - just like we did . . .
FuFu the Hammie

RD: Did you know Fufu fursonally, or was he someone's pet you painted from a photo?
Asta: Fufu was a dawling Hammie wif a blog fwom Sing a Powe when I fiwst joined DWB..he was
chawming and pawticipated in all the adventoowes we had in those days, he came awound in his Fufu mobile to give evewyone a wide to the fiwst Chwissmuss pawty we had and we all love him.He was the fiwst fwiend who cwossed the bwidge and made Mommi sob and make all ouw non-bloggie fwiends think she had lost hew mind cwying ovew a hammie we nevew met, acwoss the wowld, but he touched ouw heawts and also made us wealise how much we could love a fwiend we had met on line.. The painting was comissioned by all his fwiends who asked her to do it and send it to his family. Sadly since then faw too many fwiends had to leave us, it huwts evewy time, but the love and time we shawe is wowf the pain.

RD: Now, for our most important, revealing question - What is her favorite color?
Asta: Of couwse MY favowite colow is OWANGE, hehehehe
Orange Nora

but Mommi's is a mix of stwong colows on a soft backgwound..(ochre and teal, ow puwple and owange ow wed, ow just a stwong black ow white line on a silver ow gold backgwound)
Nora Lady

When Mommi paints something, she becomes obsessed wif it and stawes at it all the time..she gets up in middle of the night wif an idea how to change something and cawwies the painting into diffewent pawts of the apawtment to stawe at it.  It's by the bed at night and even doowing watching TV ow something it's thewe to look at and see what she wants to change.

Overblown Tulips

Nikki walking with Mommi in Manhattan

We hope you enjoyed this edition of Artsy Fartsy Friday and we want to thank Asta and her Mom for making it super special!  See more of her paintings HERE . . .  And speaking of super special - Asta is having a BIRTHDAY tomorrow!  Happy Birthday ASTA!

The Road Dogs


Anonymous said...

What an incredible Artsy Fartsy Friday! Asta's Mom certainly is an amazing artist. Mom likes the cheery palette and expressive faces. Fufu was the cutest lil hammie in his car :) The behind the scenes tour Asta's Mom provided was fascinating. Thanks to you Road Dogs and to Asta's Mom for such a terrific post! :D

Waggin at ya,

Angels Amber and Max DaWeenie and Mom said...

Absolutely a SUPER post....We loved learning more about Asta's Mommi. She is so very talented!

Finn said...

This is a great post! Asta's momma is so talented - thanks for sharing it!!

Of Pit Bulls and Patience said...

Those are great! I love the hamster, it cracked me up! Happy birthday Asta!

Scooter said...

Hey Road Dogs!
Wow, I enjoyed every bark in this post! What a pawesome look at Asta and her Mom's super talent. I love her work and really liked hearing the behind-the-scenes details! GREAT STUFF!
Grr and Woof,
Sarge, COP

houndstooth said...

What a fantabulous Artsy Fartsy Friday! It's my favorite so far! It was great to hear about art from the artist's, ahem, the artist's dog's perspective! I always imagine Asta as being so worldly and cosmopolitan!


Asta said...

We awe humbled and gwateful fow such a bootiful post.

You know, most intewviewews can be mean and when you wead the awticle, you cwinge and want to die(that's what Mommi says fwom awticles she had in some papews) BUT you made it fun and flattewing and we awe soo blown away by youw choices of paintings to feetoowe
THANK YOU!!!! so vewy much fwom bof Mommi and me
smoochie kisses

Frankie Furter and Ernie said...

You know how much I Always love your Artsy Fartsy Fridays.. butt this one is totally near and dear to my heart. You always surprise us with the Topics for Artsy Fartsy Friday.. butt THIS ONE just blew me away.
I Love Asta and Her Mommi and her TALENT. She is truly a Gifted Artist. Your interview with Asta was Brilliant!!
They are both so sophisticated and yet so very loving and down to earth.
I feel that I have had a chance to get to know YOU and Asta and her Mommi so much better after reading... and then RE-reading your interview.
I hope that EVERYBUDDY goes to wish Asta a very HAPPY BIRFDAY tomorrow.
Thank you for this Artsy Fartsy Friday featuring our Furend.

Stewey said...

What a fantastic Artsy Fartsy Friday - wonderful post!
Have a great First Fall Weekend of the year!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Wow we love the artist. Great work. Kudos to artsy fartsy Friday, BOL
Benny & Lily

Alasandra, The Cats and Dogs said...

We were thrilled to see more of Ami's paintings. We loved the one of Fufu, but they were all great.

The Cat Realm said...

asta's mom is such a talented great artist! this was a wonderful post!

Rhonda said...

Ami is amazing. Her art is wonderful and she is such a sweet person. Thanks for sharing her art with even more people, and dogs :)

♥♥ The OP Pack ♥♥ said...

WE have always admired Asta's Mommi's work - it is so very beautiful. We hope one day we can own one of her paintings.

Woos ~ Phantom, Thunder, Ciara, and Lightning

Pee Ess, we love her name Amarillis.

Moondance Huskies said...

WOW!!!! What a grrreat interview! How lucky you were to get an interview and "behind the scenes look" with such a wonderful and BELOVED artist! My mom has met Asta and her mom in PURRRSON and she is sooo incredibly nice! Mom feels blessed to count her as one of her friends. Her paintings are beautiful. Great post!!

Hugs & Howls,

Barbara said...

Wow! Asta's mom is very talented! I love all the portraits!!!

Gus said...

We love it....we think Asta's Mommi is most talented and we love her paintings. We think you did a wonderful job of capturing Miss Asta and her Mommi in that interview. You are most talented too!

Gussie n' Teka

Jans Funny Farm said...

We're glad Asta told us about this interview. This is really good and we got to see some new (to us) paintings. We really enjoyed your post.

The Daily Pip said...

Well, I just love Asta and her Mommii and I love them even more now. And if my mom ever learns to save money(not likely), she wants one of Tutu and Sweet Pea.

Thanks for a terrific post!

Your pal, Pip

Angel Ginger Jasper said...

What a wonderful post. my mum and dad were lucky enough to meet Asta and her mum and dad in June and to see some of the lovely art while they were there. Mum is getting a small picture of me and knows it will be fabulous. Ami's work is just brilliant and you have done it proud in this post. Hugs GJ xx

Two Pitties in the City said...

Those are fantastic! She is super-talented.

Anonymous said...

Mom and I love Artsy Fartsy Fridays!

This is a great post. We just love Asta's Mom the artist! I thinks you did a pawsome job of interviewing too!

woo, Tessa

Noah the Airedale said...

We love Asta's mummy's art and are huge fans. We were lucky to spend time with Ami, Asta & George last year when we visited NYC. Ami is one of the most talented artist ever.

Love ya Ami xxx

D, Noah Willow Tess & Lucy xxx

STELLA and RORY from Down Under said...

Hello Everybuddy, well that was a most wonderful post. We didn't know too much about Miss Asta's mum and your interview was fabulous. Her paintings are beautiful, just beautiful. Thanks for sharing. No worries, and love, Stella and Rory

Dexter said...

Oh I always enjoy looking at Asta Mommi's paintings. Plus I am fortunate to have one of my large and handsome self right here at my estate!


JB's Big and Small Worlds said...

Wow! Awesome artsy post! Ami is very talented. Love al. The works you posted.

Scruffy, Lacie and Stanley's Place said...

WOW...we thought we knew everything bout Auntie Ami and her paintings, but Asta really taught us some new things...!! And we got to see little Fufu's portrait again...such a sweet hammie...

What a lovely informative post you did!! Thank you so much for sharing!!

And BTW, those oysters and beer would work well her in Pittsburgh!!!


Lacie Girlie and her brothers, Stan and Scruffy

Maggie Mae and Max said...

What a most wunderful Artsy Fartsy Friday post! Asta's mom is full of talent fur sure!

Woofs and Licks,
Maggie Mae

KC and the Giggleman Kitties said...

Asta's Mom Ami is an amazing artist.
Her paintings are fantastic.
We must get one.
Thanks for sharing with us.
Love & Purrs,
KC & Mom ML

zool said...

Good art

♥Mona + Prissy + Angel Weenie♥ said...

What a wonderful post!! Asta's Mom is very talented and someday Mommy would like to have a painting of my sissy Samantha done. We'd like to have one of us made for her too!!

Fufu was a dear friend to me and Mommy when we first starting blogging and it was very sad when he went to the bridge. I've always loved the picture of him in his FuFumobile.

Thanks for sharing so many of her paintings.


Juno said...

We enjoyed reading this interview with Asta! We've known her and her mommi since we started blogging (FuFu was a sweet hammie...)
and we've always admired her works. We asked her mommi to paint our family portrait (three humans and two doggies) as a birthday gift to our dad. She did a remarkable job. The portrait makes us smile every day in our house.

Oh.. midnight! It's Asta's birthday!!

Momo, Pinot & mom

Katiez Furry Mewz said...

Oh we loves dis artwerks, speshully of Asta! And Happy Pawthday Asta!

Haves a great weekend!

Angel MoMo and Charlotte said...

Wow, isn't Asta's mommi just an incredibly talented artist! We have seen some of her paintings on furries but her other ones are fantastic as well.

We love her works and she is such a kind and lovely lady.

Molly the Airedale said...

What a fabulous post! We love all of Asti's mommi's paintings! She is so very talented!

Love ya lots
Maggie and Mitch

Zoolatry said...

We are simply blown away by this!
Cannot even comment as to whether Ami's paintings or Asta's interview or your road-report is the better part... truth be told, it's all of them put together.
Just wonderful! Thank you so much for such a great story; thanks to
Ami for her astounding art, and to Asta for just being such a danged cute dawg!

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! said...

Such talent in them there human paws!!!

Thanks fur sharing your AFF with Sweet Asta and her sweet mommi Ami!!!

Khyra and Her Mom With NO Talent In Her Paws

Angel Gracie=^o.o^= said...

Great post and how interesting to be taken behind the scenes of an art show. Asta's mommie is so talented and creative. I just love her paintings. Just because you live in a small town far from the heart of NYC doesn't mean you cannot truly appreciate the fine works of art.
Thanks for your wonderful post about a wonderful artist.

Emily and Ike said...

Amazing and beautiful!

Asta said...

Dawling fwiends

Thank you again fow this mawvelous intewview
I think you have all the undewstanding and appweciation and eye fow awt that anyone in any hooge city would have and mowe!!!
smoochie kisses
pee ess come by fow some mowe pawtying and food and dwinkies

Samantha & Mom said...

Thanks for sharing Asta's Mom's portraits!! They are very beautiful!!
Your TX furiends,

Agatha and Archie said...

Well,this was a FABULOUS interview of a FABULOUS painter. ASTA's Mom is THE BEST painter we have EVER known( Archie is hitting the capital button where he thinks it should be caps) We are ever so fortunate to have one of Astas Mommis paintings of one of PL's last puppies and she says IT IS FABULOUS( thanx Arch) AND WE( ok enough Arch) loved to see our old pal Fufu. We truly think EVERYONE needs a puppie pic by Astas Mommi Sincerely( oh really Arch these are friends) Love and kisses Agatha and Archie( A+A)

Toffee said...

Asta's mom painted a portrait of myself, my brother and my dad's border collie Maile (who had passed prior to the painting). It was a surprise 40th birthday present for our dad & we ALL love it so much. The painting was an exact replica of the photo capturing our pawsonalities and some added Ami flare!

We look at our painting daily and it makes us smile!

Unknown said...

Wow what a great artist! Thank you for sharing that with us. This was fun to read about and learn. Yahoo for artsy day!

Please make sure to bookmark our new address we have moved:

Unknown said...

Beautiful Art!

Asta said...

Thank you again fow that wondewful intewview and spotlighting mommi's paintings and thank you fow coming to help me celebwate my biwfday
you awe pawsome fwiends
smoochie kisses

Backcountry Brodie said...

Those woz some great kewstshuns you asked wot made us learn lots about Asta and her mom and painting coz the only thing I know bout painting is watching my mom do paint-by-nummers and she struggles with that.

FiveSibesMom said...

Great post and such beautiful artwork! I really enjoyed learning about the artist. And Happy Birthday, Asta!

We mentioned you and your lovely jewelry designs on today's Another Newsy Tuesday blog! Hope you'll pop by! I love the pawprint necklace!

Alien said...

So talented. I love her portraits of women.


Baby Rocket Dog and Hootie said...

We adore Asta and her mama. Such great talent too! Thanks for this cool interview.
Smooches from pooches,
BabyRocketDog & HOotie