July 30, 2009
This week is Pet Week on KDKA-TV’s daily morning show Pittsburgh Today Live, which airs Monday-Friday at 9am. Each program this week features one or two interview segments with guests who are pet experts of one sort or another: a vet, pet store owner, pet bird sanctuary, dog trainers from a local shelter, and ME! I never was able to find out exactly how they found me, but was delighted that they did.
Nothing like the pressure of live TV with only one chance to get it right! But hosts Jon Burnet and Brenda Waters were pros at setting guests at ease and keeping the conversation flowing. I had some trepidation that I might be subject to “can you believe people actually do this with their pets?” (like pet spas, birthday parties, and fashion shows tend to inspire). But the tone was just perfect — that portraits are a very special way to remember a dear pet. Brenda had recently lost her dog JoJo, so no one minimized the pain of losing a pet.
The day before, I agonized over what art to take with me, when time would be short and video the medium. I settled on the two commissions I’m working on right now and a few key pieces of work to show the differences in my three media — graphite drawing, oil pastel painting, and scratchboard engraving.
Aside from a quick demonstration to explain what on earth scratchboard is, there wasn’t time for them to see much art in action, so the producer came up with the idea of my working on a portrait during the rest of the show, so they could check on my progress at the end. That certainly made the point that this wasn’t just a sketch and that detailed drawings take hours to finish! I just hope the audience could see any change at all, since it was less than 30 minutes of work! :-) A nice bonus for me to have the extra few seconds of air-time.
Oh, every day this week, the show also features a homemade pet treat (as of Wednesday, birds, dogs, and hamsters), so check out the recipes online!