Thursday, December 29, 2011

Casey Marie

"Casey-Marie", 13"x18", pastel

This lovely dog was almost 19 years old when she passed away Dec. 18th.  Her owner had commissioned me to paint her, and sadly I never met Casey.  So I worked from several photographs she sent me over the Internet just days before she said goodbye.

Her owner liked this pose, as she said she was her guardian, and that aspect of her personality is shown here, even though Casey's eyesight was dim and her hearing impaired.

It's an honor and a privilege to be asked to paint memorial portraits - and be involved in a healing process that gives a piece of their pet back to them in a beautiful way.

Thanks for following my work.


Friday, December 23, 2011

Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Fire and Ice, 19"x 11",pastel

Merry Christmas to all my friends and family out there in cyberspace :)  Hope we all remember to take a moment and celebrate this beautiful holiday...and remember that the greatest gift we have is the love and friendship we extend to each other.  As the days now slowly grow brighter from the winter solstice, may we too grow brighter, more loving and warmer toward each other and hold precious the gift of life we have and share with one another.

God bless you all, stay close and warm this winter and celebrate your life!

May 2012 bring a happy, beautiful, wonderful new year....better than you can imagine!

Warm hugs,


Sunday, December 18, 2011


"McSweeney", pastel, 12"x18"

This black cat has the most luminous, spooky, possessed black-cat eyes!  This was the challenge of this portrait.  He also has two very small white spots - one on his belly and one on his chest.  Velvety thick black as night fur throughout the rest of him.

I went over to the apartment where he "reigns" over his kingdom.  Unlike most cats who like to hide from strangers, he came right up to me to check me out....almost like a dog.  Quite cooperative during his photo shoot, he struck this pose and gazed at me with those x-ray eyes.

His Mom wanted me to paint them his name is Irish :)  They are really a yellow-green I surrounded him in green for effect.  I shall call them and tell him his royal highness is ready for Christmas...a present for his Dad.

Hope he's well received!

Thanks for reading my blog :)


Sunday, December 11, 2011

Last Day of the Studio Tour

Well the last day of the Studio Tour was wonderful!  Met so many lovely people interested in what I do and fascinated with the pastel painting process!  Met new neighbors and many interested in lessons that I plan to organize next year. 

One of my very first pastel teachers surprised me with a visit - hadn't seen her in years - was soo very happy to see her - Mrs. Linda Passman.  She started me out with my portrait of my cat "Mowie", who was a homework assignment that wound up winning me a 1st place at the NC State Fair.  That piece kick-started my career.  She is my role model for great teaching :)

Here a customer is checking out my giclee prints along my "Wall of Deer" paintings.  "The Lookout", my latest, was by far the favorite.

Cards were a popular item...sold out on some last weekend and had to order more just in time for this weekend.

 Here are a few cows, donkeys and a black lab print on my propanels set up on another side of the living room.....

 My husband Eric was following me and my visitors around like the paparozzi!!  Glad he did cause I got so involved with people I forgot to take photos .

 The "Twins" portrait was graciously loaned to me for the Studio Tour...."Keepsakes" Framing in Pittsboro framed them beautifully... They were a hit!

My little bichon princess "Summer" enjoyed greeting everyone at the front door.....of course she thought everyone was there to see her!

Sooo many visitors - what a great Studio Tour!  I'll sleep well tonight and try to get back into "normal living" again tomorrow...whatever that is!

Thanks for following me on my blog :) Kim

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Won an Honorable Mention!

Me & "The Lookout" at the Chatham Arts Studio Tour Show

Here I am at the Chatham Arts Studio Tour Gallery Show at Central Carolina Community College.  My piece "The Lookout" won an Honorable Mention!  More giclee prints had to be ordered for next weekend (Dec 10-11).  Yay!

This is just my second year belonging to Chatham Arts and being on the tour.  I am honored and happy to have won something.  I want to mention Roger Dinger's name here as he custom-made the frame from reclaimed oak barn wood.  See him at #42 on the tour and his website at

Hope to see you next weekend! Who knows....with a full moon lunar eclipse anything can happen :)!

Thanks for following my blog.


Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Getting Ready for the Studio Tour this weekend

"The Lookout", pastel, 19x25, $1500

Getting ready for the Studio Tour this weekend......hang art, make & hang labels, clean house, hang Christmas decorations, send postcards & e-mails,clean the dog, get snacks, ....each year I forget something but it all works out ....and I haven't done Christmas shopping yet!

If you have a moment during the next two weekends c'mon by and check out my new work, new prints, new cards....have some yummy hot apple cider, enjoy the fire & music and chat. 

Happy Holidays everyone :)


Saturday, November 26, 2011

Twins on the Tour!

"Twins" 24"x30", pastel

I painted this commisssion in July 2010 and just retrieved it to display during the Chatham Artist Studio Tour I'm in the next two weekends in December (3&4 - 10&11) from 10am-5pm. 

Usually I'm critical of work that I haven't seen in a while, but I am so proud of this piece and the boys in it!
Adopted from Vietnam by two wonderful parents, they wanted to capture them at this precious 3 year old stage.  What an honor! So I went to meet them and took hundreds of photos....settling on a photo of them interacting and ignoring me with the camera.  Much thought went into the composition, light/dark and warm/cool balance as well as color intensity and soft edges.  But especially the mood and energy of them.

I'd love you to come to my house and see me and my work on the tour :) see the map at this link or just mapquest me at 120 Creekwood, Pittsboro, NC  27312.  Open from 10-5.

Hope you can make it, I'd love to see you.

Thank you for viewing my art.


Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"Annie", pastel, 12 x18"

As Christmas is coming more orders for last minute commissions come in too.  This intelligent young black labrador retriever was quite playful as I tried to take her picture...stealing my hat and running all over the yard with it.  I enjoyed the chase...we became quick friends :)  The owner thought she'd be hard to photograph, but with a treat in one hand and the camera on the other I caught her with her eyes bright and her ears up, the light coming from one side. 

Yes, Rembrandt lighting works for doggie portraits too!  I always like to paint black animals with blue...the black tends to fill in and look flat...can't really depict warm or cool, just values...and it turns out more like a charcoal drawing instead of a pastel painting.

Hope this portrait makes a great Christmas surprise....

Thank you for viewing my art.


Saturday, November 5, 2011

"Joonie" Commissioned Portrait

"Joonie", pastel, 9x12"

This wonderful dog is the rescued pet of a good artist friend who asked me to paint their dog for her husband's Christmas present.  I love being in on surprise gifts :)  I get to be in on the fun! 

She asked me to paint smaller than I usually do...this is done on a 9x12"pastelboard.  This surface allows for great details, yet I usually prefer colorfix paper.  Joonie was great for her photoshoot - sooo smart yet friendly.  It was late afternoon when the light and shadows were fabulously dramatic...I left the sky the intense blue it was....reflects Joonie's equally bright spirit!

A pleasure from start to finish.  Love painting pet portraits...they make the best gifts!

Thank you for viewing my blog :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Visit me on the 19th Chatham Studio Tour

"Winnie", 11x14" acrylic on wraparound canvas

Come on out and visit me on the upcoming Chatham Studio Tour .    I'm #31 at 120 Creekwood, Pittsboro, NC  27312 for both weekends, Sat.-Sun. Dec. 3&4 and Dec. 10&11, from 10 am - 5 pm.

Featured here is "Winnie", a commissioned portrait of a lovely terrier painted in acrylic on wraparound canvas last year.  She has since passed on, but her colorful portrait will keep her loving memory fresh for a long time. 

Portraits make lovely Christmas and Birthday gifts - of your favorite pet, or the perfect gift for that animal lover.  You can always give a gift certificate if my schedule is too full for Christmas, it will be sure to please :)

To see more of my work, please see my website at Kim Werfel Portraits & Fine Art.

Thanks for viewing my blog :)  Feel free to share with your friends !


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Kim Werfel Portraits & Fine Art Blog: Fire and Ice

Kim Werfel Portraits & Fine Art Blog: Fire and Ice

Fire and Ice

"Fire and Ice", pastel, 10 3/4 x 18 1/2

So rare for me to see a Buck.  The hunters kill them all off...which saddens me so.  I photographed this handsome young buck from far away with a zoom lens...cropped in tight to his trusting face and played with color keeping values and temperature in mind. 

As my muse dictated, I changed the background to be more firey, foreground cold...creating the title "Fire and Ice". 

For you friends out there on my mailing list...he may be this year's Christmas Card :).  He was so much fun to paint!

Thank you for following my blog.


Saturday, October 22, 2011

Juried into Pastel Society of America

I've just received confirmation of being elected a Juried Associate Member of the Pastel Society of America!    I'm excited to be recognized by this prestigious organization.
The three pastel artworks that were juried are "Alfalfa", "Regal" and "Curious".



I'm also in the Chatham Artists Guild Show at the PAF Gallery in Siler City, NC with "Hello There", an acrylic painting of a donkey.
"Hello There"
This news is inspiring....just what I needed to get back to work at my easel!  Thank you for following my blog :)

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Campbell House Reception

I look as tired as I felt, but relieved that the Campbell House show came off beautifully!  See more photos posted at the Pastel Society of North Carolina's Facebook page and "like" our group :)

There are about 60 pieces of beautiful examples of the pastel medium in this show that will run through October 28th. 

It's a long drive to Southern Pines, but a beautiful destination.  I had the pleasure of driving with a wonderful artist, teacher and friend, Herb Slapo.  Here he is with one of his lovely cloud paintings.

Another talented colleague of mine, Vinita Jain, helped me with the reception.  Here she is with one of her beautiful pastels.

I thought we brought too much food but was mistaken.  There is a regular crowd here that attends all the openings.  The cheese and crackers went in a flash!

So c'mon down and check out the wonderful artwork this month.
Lots of places to have lunch while you're here in town too!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

The Lookout

"The Lookout", 19x25", pastel

Last fall, I started putting food out for the deer....the dog would go after it, so I put it up in the bird bath where she couldn't reach.  This was perfect for the deer :) 

I looked out my kitchen window one morning and snapped a photo of a group of them having breakfast.  One doe turned and spotted me...the light was just coming up over the house and lit her face beautifully.  Thus the title "The Lookout". 

I experimented and used Sennelier La Carte Paper in a dusty blue color.  My computer has been giving me trouble so this took a while to transfer from my camera - the color is a tad bluer.  I may still tweak it ever done???

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Pastel Society of North Carolina Show

"Bear", pastel, 14"x 18", $575

I belong to the Pastel Society of North Carolina and am chairing their next exhibition at the Campbell House Galleries, 482 East Connecticut Avenue in Southern Pines, NC  28388. (for those that want to mapquest this)

The show's opening reception is on Friday, Oct. 7th, from 6-8 pm.  It should be a good one as I've purchased three cases of wine for the event, plus there'll be cookies, cheese, nuts...all the stuff you usually avoid! Yum.  Not to mention some outstanding examples of what can be done with the pastel medium by our talented artists.

Check out our Facebook page to see a sneak preview of some of the artwork. 

If you can't make the reception, it's worth a trip to see the sixty pieces that will be there through October 28th....including my portrait of "Bear" (above) a lovely and beautiful black cat, and "Waiting for Mom" my recent portrait of a fawn from the Spring.

Please pass on this news....Thanks!

Friday, September 16, 2011


"Taurus", 15"x18", original pastel

Found time to work on my pastels today and finished "Taurus", a portrait of one of the many beautiful Galloway Cows here where I live in Fearrington Village. 

The cows are a sacred animal in India, and are a symbol of generosity, nurturing power, fertility and patience among other virtues.  Watching them instantly makes me feel grounded and calm, they take their time, not rushing madly about like us humans.  They take very good care of their young as well.  I'm fortunate to be able to see them every day and get my "earth mother" fix.  We have a lot to learn from the simple sweetness of cows.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Art Show at the New Horizons Trading Post in Pittsboro

"Heading for Safety", 12x16, original pastel, custom wood frame with museum glass, $425.

Have you ever been to the New Horizons Trading Post in downtown Pittsboro?  I love that has amazing shoes, first of all....then some great finds in women's clothing, fun jewelry, greeting cards....well, you get the idea.  I don't need much of an excuse to go.

Chatham Artists are having an art show there...I've submitted the piece above, made from a quick photo from my window of "my" deer friends.  I also submitted "Newborn Charolais Calf", a pastel made from a visit to the Farm Tour.

"Newborn Charolais Calf", 19"x23, custom triple mat & frame, original pastel, $425.

This piece would be wonderful in a child's room.  Just makes me smile.
The show will be up next week with the Reception on Saturday, September 24th from 4-6pm.  It will run through November 7th.

So why not come out and have lunch at the General Store Cafe and browse downtown, making sure to see the show and shop at New Horizons.  Makes for a great day out in this beautiful Autumn weather! 

Hope to see you at the Reception! :) Kim

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Art in the Village

Me in my booth at Cary's Spring Daze Show

I've joined a new group of artists called "Artist Studios at Fearrington Village", in the neighborhood where I live in Pittsboro, NC.  We're having an Outdoor Art Exhibit and Sale on Sunday, October 9th 2011 from 10-4:30 pm (rain date Sunday October 16th).

This will be our group's first show and we're pretty excited about it.  I thought I'd
show you a picture from my last outdoor show....I won't have a tent this time, but
will bring my pastels and will be c'mon down and pose for me!

There's two good places to eat in the village (Belted Goat and the Granary) and we'll have live music too.  For a list of our artists check out

Hope to see you there!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Jesse - The Finale!

Jesse - Finished Portrait

After much tweaking Jesse's done.  I think it was good to let him sit a day and come back with fresh eyes.  I took this last one with my better camera, outdoors and I realize how much better the colors are!

I played with the subtle value and temperature shifts in his ears to make them more 3/dimensional, tweaked area around his eyes and made subtle adjustments throughout.

Holes are drilled in the back to hold the metal loops.  The metal loops and plastic-coated wire are from United Manufacturers Supplies in Syosset, NY.  You can get good deals from buying a whole spool of wire, and a larger order of metal loops and screws.

The painting has the image on the sides....some artists just paint the sides black, but I think it looks cool to see more of the painting continued on the wraparound sides.

I'll let him sit a couple of days before I varnish him with Golden glossy acrylic brings out the colors big-time and protects the painting.

Thank you for following my work.  Feel free to forward and share with your friends ! :)
Contact me if you're interested in a pet portrait of your own.  I also paint children and, of course, in pastels too.


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Jesse - Step 4

Jesse - Step 4

Well now I've been busy laying in the colors and values for the ears, nose, mouth and beginning his fur coat.  Following his regular photo and the gray scale photo, I make sure the values are correct first, then have some fun putting dark purple, blue, maroon and black on his ears, some lavender, light blue and peach in the light mid-values and keeping the shapes right, especially the contour of his head.  Bloodhounds have all these folds that give him character, but are tricky to get exactly right.
I turn the painting and references upside-down to "see" the shapes and values better...tricking my eye to not look for bloodhound, but for shapes and values...and the open acrylics and gel help blend edges.  Having some fun now!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Bloodhound Jesse's Portrait - Step 3

Jesse - step 3

Needing to relate him to the background, I painted in some cool grass with a mix of Golden and Matisse full body acrylics and my new golden open acrylics that leave the paint wet enough to blend like oils, but dry much quicker than oils.  I love them!  If they dry out I just give it a touch of satin acrylic glazing liquid.  This prevents glare when I photograph it. 
Greens are many mixes of mostly ultramarine and cad yellow, but mixes of cobalt and cerulean blues with yellow and white.  Love mixing greens! I wanted a cool soft background to contrast his warmer coat to come.

Brushes are synthetic flats of many brands....mostly size 8's and 10's.  A friend told me to try Royal Safe-Grips...loves them, so I may try them out.  The canvas is 1 1/2" deep Windsor & Newton wraparound canvas 14x18".

Jesse grayscale cutout

Another helpful tip is to put the photo through photoshop elements, make it grayscale mode, go to artistic filter, and cutout the levels of values.  A bit tricky at first, but it can help simplify complex value changes and allows you to play with color temperatures and intensities.  It's a suggested guide that you can bend to create depth and draw the eye where you want.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Bloodhound Jesse's Portrait - Steps 1 & 2

Step 1 - Underpainting & Sketch

Jesse the Bloodhound is my latest commission...I thought I'd share with you my portrait process for this 14x18" acrylic on wraparound canvas.

Step 1 - I give the canvas a warm red underpainting with Matisse's China Red Background paint which has a built-in sealer that acts like a pigmented gesso. 

I had a photo session with Jesse, taking @80 photos and giving the client a choice of 5.  They choose this one (which was also my favorite) and decided on the portrait size.  I then printed the photo and enlarged it to the finished size to work with as a reference.  Following this, I sketched his contour and main features for placement on the canvas with a pastel pencil.

Step 2 - Starting the Eyes

Since the eyes are always the focal point and so important, I decided to start with them...putting in shapes, values and temperature.  I will fine-tune them later, but it always helps me to have him watching me during the process :)

Close-up of Eyes so far

That's all for today....tomorrow I continue....stay-tuned! 

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Affection, 18x26", pastel

This piece is another of my now Deer Series, from photos I quickly snap when they visit my yard.  There are so many Mommas and babies running around, I can't be sure if it's the same ones.  I love them all and was fortunate to capture this moment between a fawn and her Mom right outside my kitchen window.  I may enter this one in a show. 

Friday, July 29, 2011

Studio Supply Show Ends

Cassidy, Aubrey and Bob

A big Thank You to Aubrey Bugge, Cassidy Logan and Bob Palmatier of the Studio Supply in Chapel Hill for their help in hanging and taking down my show as well as assisting with the reception.  You couldn't ask for more friendly, helpful people to work with.

Any local artists interested in having a show there should contact store manager Aubrey Bugge at 919 929-5637.  Artist of the month gets a store window on Franklin Street, their work and artist statement/bio on their monthly newsletter, photos and info on their facebook page, $25 store coupon toward any art supplies and a reception during Chapel Hill's artwalk.

The exposure was great for me, some clients I hadn't seen in a while came out with commission requests and I made some new friends and contacts.

Hope you're all staying cool in this triple-digit heat wave!


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Leading to Safety

Leading to Safety, 12x16", pastel

In my post for the Studio Supply Show reception you might have noticed the piece I was working on "Leading to Safety".  I thought I'd post the finished piece here for you to see.

This is from a photo I quickly snapped.   Mom noticed me in the window and wanted to take her little one away from human view. 

Here's the photo....I didn't have time to even straighten out the camera...I took out the glare of the road in the background...edited out some leaves and focused more on the deer.  It looks much softer in real life than in this reduced photo.  I wanted that magical hour of dusk when the light is getting low...

They come by all the time....I'll be working on another one soon.
Thanks for stopping to see!

Friday, July 15, 2011

I'm In Chapel Hill Magazine's Blog!

A friend phoned me to tell me to check out Chapel Hill Magazine's latest blog post.  One of their photographers snapped me taking a break in the crowded lobby of the brand new Cole Park Vet last Sunday afternoon during their grand opening.    Thought it'd be fun to share...see the link

Thursday, July 14, 2011

"Little Man" pastel dog portrait commission

"Little Man", pastel, 11x14", sold

This sweet little dog was a joy to paint!  Unfortunately he is no longer with us.
He was so loved by his owner....this is her memorial tribute to him.

original photo

She supplied me with photos and I chose this one as it showed the most personality and spirit.  I was lucky this time to have such a great photo to work with.  She didn't want the leash or collar in the portrait.

I love the bond between people and animals.  It's a priviledge to create these memory portraits.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Cole Park Vet Grand Opening

Bit tired here (up too late again last night having fun at our neighbor's house)....but it was nice talking to all the people who turned out for The Cole Park Vet Hospital's Grand Opening today!  Met a nice woman who may want a Sheltie portrait for Christmas and another who may send me great deer photos to paint from.  Made some new friends and reconnected with others in this little 2 hour event.  Fun!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Fun at the Studio Supply!

Several of my neighbors joined me (in blue) at the reception

Last night turned out to be a lot of fun, despite the rainy, hot and humid weather.  I reconnected with some old friends and clients and have several new portrait commissions being planned! Yeay!

 The folks at The Studio Supply on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill couldn't have been nicer.  I highly recommend them if you're in the area.  My show will run there through July.
Need to rest up for tomorrow's appearance at the Cole Park Vet from 3-5!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Demo at the Grand Opening Of The Cole Park Veterinary Hospital in Chapel Hill

Well this is a busy week!

The brand new Cole Park Veterinary Hospital is having a grand opening ceremony this Sunday, July 10th from 3-5 and asked me to be there in the lobby with my easel and pastels offering pet portraits!  I think I'll bring a print of Cody, pictured above - as he's all framed and set to go.

So if you've been contemplating making a masterpiece of your 4-legged best friend, c'mon and meet me there Sunday and we'll plan the best Birthday or Christmas present - sure to win you big points!

Cole Park is located at 55 Woodbridge Drive, Chapel Hill, NC  27516.  You can click on the link above for more info.

Hope you can make it!


Monday, July 4, 2011

Studio Supply Art Exhibition

"Waiting for Mom", 12x16", pastel

C'mon down to the Studio Supply in Chapel Hill & checkout my portraits, landscapes and more.  Just click on "Studio Supply" to see my "Artist of the Month" profile there.

Reception this Friday July 8th, 6-9pm during the artwalk 

If Summer behaves, I'll bring her too! (and Eric) haha


421 W. Franklin Street
Chapel Hill, NC  27516

Above is my pastel "Waiting for Mom", 12x16", pastel, available framed for $500.  Prints will soon be available.  A doe gave birth outside my back window during Memorial Day weekend and left this beautiful fawn camoflauged in the leaves.  I just had to paint her!

Today is my birthday and a fitting sendoff for my new Blog! Yeay!

Hope to see you Friday!