The artist: Mary Ellis of Grass Valley |

The artist: Mary Ellis of Grass Valley

My job title: Artist and entrepreneur; I am trying to find my niche. Right now I am having fun doing pet art – painting pictures of people’s pets.

Describe in a sentence or two your art: I take pictures of your pet, then I use Photoshop to create an image that I paint. You have an original art piece of your pet, and I keep a scanned image of the finished piece.

How long have you been working in this discipline? I perfected the technique I use in August this year. It took me about three years to develop the entire process.

Why do you do it? It is a passion.

What do you hope to accomplish? I want to have fun and make a living.

Do you create your art with an exact message you want the viewer to receive, and if yes, what is that message? The work has its own message. I hope that my art makes people feel good when they see it.

Where do you want to be with your art and where your works are seen? I would love to do this full time. I have been working with the ladies and their dogs at Scraps Dog Bakery. They have my contact information and some of my pieces.

What kind of special training did you take? I have worked as a technical writer for more than 20 years. During that time I did most of my own artwork and illustrations. The primary software tools I use are iPhoto, Illustrator and Photoshop.

What other art techniques or processes did you learn? I wanted to combine my knowledge of computer graphics with a hand-painted style. Discovering acrylics, layering and developing a unique method of working with standard paper has become my art.

What is your favorite part of your endeavors? Seeing the look on a person’s face when they see what I have created for them.

What’s your least favorite part? I like to paint in natural light, and the days are getting shorter.

How many hours a day or, if more appropriate, a week do you spend on your work? Right now I am working about six to eight hours a day.

Do you consider it hard work, and could anyone do it? I love it. I can’t wait to get up in the morning and start. I think I could teach anyone to do this. However, I am still not sure if the use of color and the layering is a learned skill or a talent.


The artist: To suggest a creative talent who should be profiled in this feature, contact Pam Jung at pjung@the or 477-4232.

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