Kellie Straw, Santa Barbara, CA Member Since August 2009 Artist Statement My story with art began when I was a kid. I was able to draw very well compared to my friends. I continued to draw throughout my youth and into my adult years as simply a way to relax. When a friend commissioned a painting for his wife for Christmas, I thought perhaps art was something I could think seriously about. In 2008, I moved across the country from North Carolina to beautiful Southern California. The art scene is alive and well in this area and it allowed me the space I needed to find my subject and medium. In August 2008, I decided to paint a portrait of my rottweiler, Rose. When I finished the portrait, I rolled back in my chair and said to my studio partner, "well I'll be, I think I'm a portrait artist!" And so Straw Dog Art was born, and although the name centers around dogs, the simple truth is, is that I enjoy painting; and people, dogs and cats, seem to all roll off my brush with ease.