Category Archives: Painting

Pet Portrait: Sophie!!

This month I had the pleasure of painting Sophie! She has such an interesting lovable face that I was almost sad when it came time to ship her portrait to her human mom.

Sophie and the Tulips

Sophie and the Tulips – 2015, Acrylic on 16×20 canvas


Painting this portrait started last year when my friend’s cat, Ginger, became very ill and the vet bills to keep Ginger alive were both financially and emotionally draining. My friend then turned to a crowdfunding site to alleviate some of the incurring vet bills. To help my friend out I offered a free pet portrait as a raffle prize. Anyone who had donated $50 or more would have their named entered into a raffle.

I don’t know how many entries my friend had to pick from, but I was very excited that the name drawn from the hat was another childhood friend of mine, Magdalena! I haven’t seen Mags in years and I remember her has a kind, generous and sensitive individual. The kind of person who would literally never hurt a fly. Painting a pet portrait for her was a pleasure, especially when she sent me the photos that I would be working from! I saw the image of Sophie sitting amongst some lovely red tulips and knew THAT was the image!

I hope Mags Loves her new painting as much as I do and I can’t wait to finish the next two portraits for her!


If you are interesting in having a portrait of your pet painted, please contact me at



Weekly Art Challenge: HEALING

Hey Folks!

Last week’s challenge theme is Healing! Sorry for the delay in this post, folks. I have been working on the road and my hours are limited! In fact it was a busy week for many of us so it will be only me posting work. 🙂


AmberMy Thoughts Were Too Loud, I Couldn’t Hear My Heart Beat, Acrylic on paper – The inspiration for the theme came from my niece, she wanted to give me a theme that she thought would be too hard! lol, she was shocked when I told her it was the perfect theme and it really was!

The idea behind my image is that there are moments when we are in such emotional pain and turmoil that we fail to notice what is happening around us. We become lost inside our murky thoughts and sometimes become dangerously isolated; but, if we can find the will-power to pull ourselves from our thoughts we will see that healing is possible, that life continues and we can continue with it.

I wanted my piece to represent the struggle and hope that comes with healing. The uncertainty to trust that there is hope, and the struggle to not loose yourself to negative hopeless thinking/feelings. Hope and the process of healing is represented organically via the tall grass, the ever resilient dandelions (notice the the cup and the one puffless aged dandelion?) and the wind turbines are busy bringing in a renewable future.

It was a therapeutic piece for me to create and I hope others are inspired by it to breathe and take care of themselves. 🙂


Next week’s theme: Heavy!

Belated Family Holidays and Island Dreams!

Island Dreams - Acrylic 2014

Island Dreams – Acrylic 2014

Hope everyone has recovered from the festive season! For me its been a busy month or so. I have been working a lot in the central states – which is good for future travel plans later in the year – but sadly I am missing some great family moments back home, like the Palecek Family After Holiday Holiday Party.  This year, because my family is large and growing, we decided to do a secret santa. I loved it! The holidays are expensive, I hate giving bad gifts and having to thoughtfully think about what to get twenty plus people will no doubt result in a bad gift.  This way I can focus my energy on the one person and make something wonderful for them.

ISland Dreams - detail - 2014

ISland Dreams – detail – 2014

I pulled my cousin Traci’s name from the drawing and my mind went completely blank, at first. What the heck am I gonna get for her?!? I love love love my cousin, but we have completely different taste on almost everything and she has all sorts of allergies and sensitivities to variety of materials that most people would not think about. Finally I decided that I would paint something for her. She bought her first house last year and the walls are still barren. I know she loves Hawaii, she visited years ago and dreams of returning someday soon. I didn’t paint her an actual landscape that could be found in Hawaii, but I created a simple island composition inspired by the millions of hawaiian beach landscapes photos I found on the internet.

ISland Dreams - detail - 2014

ISland Dreams – detail – 2014

I finished the painting in about 10 days. I would have liked to have spent more time working on the details but I needed to get the painting completed in time to ship back to New Jersey for the family party today!  Work has been busy and thus making it difficult to paint as much as I would like to, I was actually one of the few people thankful for the arctic freeze this week because it allowed me the time off from work to sit in my hotel room and paint.

Painting process

Painting process

Shipping the piece was an even bigger adventure! First I tried the post office, but the canvas was an odd oversize item that would not fit any of the packages they had available. I thought I would be allowed to create a box from materials, but learned that everything that I would need to do to ship this painting was considered a felony by the USPS. I couldn’t even use liquor boxes to make a box!! Next was Fed Ex in the local office max. They too did not have the box size I needed, but they at least had materials for me to create a very ugly burrito style box loaded with packing tape on either end. People shopping for office supplies would walk by and LAUGH at me. To be honest  I was laughing with them too! It was a pathetic looking box. I am sure I would have done better if I was allowed to use box cutters, but that was against store rules. I left actually worried that the package would not pass some kind of shipping code and get lost in the labyrinth of fed ex shipping trails.

Ugly box!

Ugly box!

Traci got the painting today – Thank you Fed Ex for not being suspicious of the ugly box and delivering it – and she loved it! Relief! But lets be honest, is anyone really ever going to tell their cousin that a painting they worked on just for them and their personal taste  that the painting sucks? 🙂


If you like what you see please visit my Etsy Shop PaleChick Studios!

Painting Process

Painting Process

Painting Process

Painting Process

Initial sketch

Initial sketch


The Artistic Eye of 12 Year Olds and Peacocks!

A couple of weeks ago I was happily enjoying a weekend visit with my niece, Val. During one of our painting sessions she produced this lovely peacock for me. I love it and am in total awe of her talent at such a young age.

Val and I talk about art often, its one of our favorite subjects and I love these conversations we share.  Her precociousness often reminds me of myself when I was her age. While she was painting this lovely peacock we talked about painting from photos or life versus drawing from her imagination. She painted this peacock from a photo she found online, but made it clear to me that she works “better” from her imagination. I had a bit of déjà vu moment when she said that! I remember very clearly as if it was yesterday when I was 12 years old and talking with my middle school art teacher, telling her the very same thing!!

I thought the very same thing about myself, when in actuality I think it was just easier for my 12 year old self to draw from my imagination than to train my artistic eye and look at an image. When you look at something and don’t “succeed” in perfectly replicating the image with paint or pencil it can feel discouraging, but when something is from your imagination then who is to say that you didn’t draw what you intended.

Eventually I learned to “look” at something and not feel that discouragement that would weigh on me when I was younger. Val clearly has a talent for “looking” even if it can be a struggle for her at times to train her artistic eye. I could be just a teeny bit bias since I am her Aunt and number one fan, but I find her work to be fearless and vibrant.  And knowing that she challenged herself with this image makes me so proud of her! I made sure to hang this on my wall next to some of her other work and hope it encourages her to challenge her artistic eye with her future work whether it be from her imagination or from an image she finds.

Peacock by Val 2013

What are your thoughts? Do you have a similar experience as a kid or with a young one? do you prefer your work created solely from your imagination or work created from an image?

Jager Monster

I love animals, all of them, no matter the species. But I am probably best matched with cats due to their independent nature and THIS lovely girl is one of my favorite cats – next to my own personal Tamlin – in the entire world! Her name is Jager, aka Jager-monster, and she is a purrer! She belongs to my roommate/best friend who rescued her and her sister ten years ago from the trash. Can you believe that someone would toss something so precious away?!?

When I am home for a period of time Jager becomes my ‘best friend’. My room is instantly hers and my bed is now hers, unless I am in it than I become her bed. Almost every night when I crawl into bed she will join me and every morning I wake up to this view. Her eyes just opening and looking at me wondering if I will dare disturb her comfort. Her paws, always stretched out in superman mode, in my face and the purrs never seem to stop. Love this cat!

Another belated birthday gift for my roommate/ best friend.


Jager-Monster, 16×20 acrylic on canvas

Jager face

Interested in commissioning a portrait of your favorite pet companion? Then please visit my Palechick Studios Etsy page! 


This was our Simon. My sweet loving “piglet” as I liked to call him.

About a week ago our family had to make the hard decision to put him to sleep. He was 15 years old, covered in cancerous tumors and having seizures. We know it was for the best, but never is it easy to say goodbye to a member of the family. His portrait, a gift for my mom, was one of the first I painted after years and years of not painting anything. I nicknamed him the Piglet because my mom kept him well fed and when he would run his white fur would become a brilliant pink from the exercise. My folks nicknamed him The Prince, because he did what he wanted in his last few years, house rules be damned!  If there was a spot on the couch it was his, if there was a need for a ‘cookie’ he got it, and if he wanted to get up at 2 am to go outside and enjoy his ‘domain’ from the porch he did.

Simon was a great dog. He was pit bull that was so naturally friendly and sweet he manage to change many people’s views about pit bulls. In his entire life there was maybe 3 people he did not like near his family, but everyone else was okay especially if they had a ‘cookie’ for him or just gave him attention. He loved his toys. His favorite was popped basketballs and a ginormous bone that he would run around the house with trying to temp my dad to play “where’s your bone”. He was great with kids, mostly because he learned early that kids are more generous with their food than us stingy adults. And he could clear the house with his endless supply of farts.. Oh My Lord could he shamelessly clear a house. He hated thunderstorms and fireworks, poor thing would shake like a leaf and cry. He often told on my nieces or our other dog, Maggie, when they did something wrong and he knew it! lol he was such a hall monitor. And because I would never give into his begging for my food he switched tactics and would look at my mom with his “I’m hungry mom and she won’t share” look while standing in front of me. Never worked but he did it every time. He was great dog.

He was the cutest little puppy and an important member of our family for for 15 years. We will miss you always, Simon, farts and all.


Simon 9×12 acrylic on canvas board


Simon circa 2006

Simon and the ball

Simon and his Ball, 2011

Simon snuggling up on the couch Christmas of 2012

Memphis Mornings

This sweet Australian shepherd mix is Memphis.

I love this dog and had so much fun painting her! She is such a sweetheart and those big brown eyes are so easy to fall in love with. Memphis belongs to my roommate/best friend and I thought what better belated – though started prior- birthday gift than a portrait of her Memphis. I worked from a photograph I took of her last year while we had a lazy morning in bed. Its not unusual to wake up from a nap with this up-close and personal view. I was surprised that she stayed so still when I took the photo of her, normally she sees you move and she jumps on the chance for some affection. I think this might be my favorite pet portrait so far!

Memphis Morning, 12×24 acrylic on canvas

memphis nose

Memphis sketch

If you think you are interested in commissioning a portrait of your favorite pet companion please visit my Palechick Studios Etsy Shop

PaleChick Studios Holiday Special

Hello friends, fans, followers, and friendly strangers.

My Etsy shop is up and running and I am currently having a special from now until New Years Eve. Free Shipping and Handling on ALL custom painting and drawing orders.

The holidays are just around the corner and a work of art depicting a beloved child or pet companion would be the perfect and most thoughtful gift for anyone. I offer payment plans and am not limited to the sizes listed. Any questions can be sent to me, Amber, at

If you would like your custom portrait before the start of Chanukah (11/27) please have your orders in by November 10th. All orders for Christmas should be in by December 10th.

Thanks and enjoy this wonderful autumn season!



Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Sammy (2012)



Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas

Ginger (2012) Acrylic on Canvas



This is Ginger. She is a sweet calico cat and is Marianne‘s sister. She loves sitting on her favorite chair, catching bubbles and being petted late at night. It was a pleasure to paint her portrait and to give this painting to my friend as an early holiday/congrats on the new house purchase gift.







This is Sammy, He past away not to long ago and was well loved by my Aunt, Uncle and Cousins. As a way to say ‘Thank You’ to my Aunt for everything that she has done for our large family this year, I wanted to give her a portrait of her beloved Sammy.

Sammy, 2012 – Acrylic on 12×12 canvas