Charity Piece to Benefit PAART

View from start to finish Kait's completed piece donated to help benefit the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team!

Several times a year, I'm fortunate enough to find the time and also be asked to donate a piece of artwork to help benefit a charity I fully support.  The first this year was for Austin's Playroom Project of the Mario Lemieux Foundation. Up next is the Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team.

The Pittsburgh Aviation Animal Rescue Team, or "PAART" for short, has a simple yet powerful mission: to fly and rescue local neglected animals to safety. I'm already very big on animals as it is, so I was both excited and honored to donate a piece to a great cause. From the experience of rescuing my own cat, I know the emotional and physical  impact on both the person and the animal that a rescue can have. Finding and taking in my cat is one of the best decisions I've ever made. I wouldn't trade her for the world, but unfortunately for other animals, that's not always the case. To see and hear of other animals being abused or neglected is very devastating and that's why I jumped at the opportunity to help. 

I went back and forth on what I wanted to paint for the charity.  Whatever it was, I knew I wanted to go big this time. Like, really big. Like, biggest I've ever painted big.  I feel most of my pieces are on the smaller side and I wanted something to take up a lot of wall space to anyone who bids on it. I decided to make the piece 46 x 40 inches mainly because it was as big as I could make the canvas and still have it be able to fit in the back seat of my car. Anything bigger and I'll have to think of a plan B from now on. I'm also so small compared to the painting that I had to sit and paint on the floor the entire time I was working on it. But as they say, "you do what you gotta do."

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Kait with her finished painting " Leaving Oz" That was donated to raise funds for The Pittsburgh Aviation animal Rescue team 2015.

Kait with her finished painting " Leaving Oz" That was donated to raise funds for The Pittsburgh Aviation animal Rescue team 2015.

I kept debating on what I wanted to paint for PAART's "Dog Days of Summer" event auction. I randomly started noticing a lot of hot air balloons in commercials and thought they were something so simple, yet very beautiful to see floating effortlessly though the big open sky. My idea also went along with the theme of aviation, so I thought it was a perfect fit. I chose to make the clouds look almost borderline stormy to create mystery, but I knew I wanted the balloon to have a lot of color to make it "pop." I decided to call the piece "Leaving Oz" because I wanted it to reflect upon and be a metaphor for PAART's mission. Just like the way that PAART rescues abused and neglected animals, Dorothy was rescued and taken home on a hot air balloon in The Wizard of Oz. Both needed to be rescued. Both just want to go home.

Looking forward to the " Dog Days of Summer" event on August 22 to see this painting be auctioned off! If you'd like to learn more/volunteer/donate or attend the Dog Days event, please buy your tickets at http://nodogleftbehind.org/