Lori Bush Art – Schnauzers Around the World

I have recently gotten some orders in my Etsy Shop from the UK and Australia!  How cool it is to reach beyond the US to schnauzer lovers around the world.  I’m also humbled by how many people have liked my FaceBook posts and Instagram pictures from Russia, South America, Canada, and Tokyo.

When Lori became really sick with Ovarian Cancer in the summer of 2005, many of her customers/contacts from around the world sent her lovely emails and hand-written notes.  She also received an amethyst rock from a lady in Switzerland in hopes that it would help bring her peace and strength.  It is pictured here with Lori’s early collection of ceramics she made for her customers.  I remember receiving this in the mail when I was with my mom in her last few months and I will cherish it forever.  It just so happens to be the birthstone of my daughter also!

If you’re on FaceBook or Instagram anywhere in the world, I would love to see pictures of your beloved schnauzer – send me a private message!  They can certainly brighten even the dullest day.

Birthday

This Saturday, May 2nd, will have been Lori’s 79th birthday!  Her passions were art and animals, especially the miniature schnauzer.  She so eloquently joined the two and and pursued a fulfilling career spreading her joy into other’s lives.  It wasn’t a lucrative career where she made a lot of money, but one that gave her purpose and the chance to make other people happy.  Isn’t this the ultimate reward?

May 2, 1936 was also a Kentucky Derby Day.  Not only did Lori love schnauzers but she also had a true love for horses.  She spent hours as a child drawing horses and dogs, wishing someday she would be able to have her own.  Horses were a therapeutic relief to the Great Depression which happened shortly before Lori was born.  Anyone who has read the great book Seabiscuit by Laura Hillenbrand, or has seen the equally incredible movie, knows that this iconic horse helped to bring hope back to a nation that had become so broken.   I remember as a child, watching the Kentucky Derby every year together with my mom.  She loved the fact that she was born on this day due to her deep connection and fascination with horses.

Lori’s dream of owning a horse came true in 1968, 5 years after I was born, when we moved from the city to a 10-acre farm.  My father was a busy lawyer in downtown Tampa, but he shared my mom’s dream to live on a farm and own animals.   Boy, was I lucky!

It is quite obvious that Lori’s happiness was so ingrained in her art.  You can see the expressions, joy, playfulness in the schnauzers she drew.  This captured the attention of other dog owners and it wasn’t long before they were commissioning Lori to draw their beloved pets.

This Saturday, I hope you will join me in remembering my mom, her beautiful art, and possibly catch the running of the Kentucky Derby.

Children’s Book?

I’m seriously considering writing a children’s book using many of the graphics I have on file with Lori’s (mom’s) art.  I’m working on an idea for what the story should be and will start putting something together soon.  Who knew I would even consider this, given that I don’t consider myself a writer by any means.  But it makes compete sense.  My mom would be SO thrilled!  I’m taking this opportunity to practice writing here on WordPress, so I sincerely appreciate you taking the time to look at this!  I am up for ideas on what the story should be about 😉

She was so excited to be the illustrator for the book “The Secret Life of Charlie Smart”, a cute story about a real life schnauzer name Charlie (it was gloriously fictionalized with clever schnauzer antics).   Lori loved to read and took great pleasure in teaching me how to read along with my children.  She could sit there for hours reading to us.

There might even be a picture to color in!  The possibilities are endless ❤

A Passion For Learning

Lori was an avid reader and also loved the idea of taking her art to a digital level.   She bought cards from the stores, scanned several that she liked and incorporated her drawings into these lovely backgrounds.   You will see much of her later work with beautiful flowery backgrounds and vivid colors.  She attended Adobe conventions at the convention center in Tampa and became a “techie” per say.   Many of her friends and clients loved to spend hours online by email or AOL Instant Messenger, asking her questions about their computers.    I can only imagine what she would be doing these days with all the social media available!

Lori Bush Art – the Reintroduction

Thank you for visiting my new WordPress site and Welcome to Lori Bush Art!  I’m expanding my scope here in hopes of reintroducing my mom’s beautiful artwork.   My name is Ann Johnston and it has been my goal for the past 10 years to bring Lori’s artwork back to the world as the thriving business she had before she passed away in 2005 of Ovarian Cancer.  Lori was well-known around the world for her beautiful drawings of dogs, especially the miniature schnauzer breed.   While I cannot draw like she did, I have a wealth of her work which I have been using to create notecards and shirts.   You can find my current products in my Etsy Shop, LoriBushArt:  https://www.etsy.com/shop/loribushart 

Lori grew up loving dogs but never had one until she was married.  Her first dog was Pretzel, an over-sized miniature schnauzer she rescued in Tampa, FL.  She also had a poodle named Pippin, but Pretzel won her over with his vivacious personality and his knack for obedience.

Not long after Pretzel came along, Lori acquired a couple more miniature schnauzers and initiated her Shorlaine kennel.   Not only did she show her dogs in the confirmation ring, but she also started a grooming business and began her very successful art business of drawing and ceramics.  The first artwork consisted of sculpting and firing ceramic schnauzer figurines then designing notepads, stationery, and yearly Christmas cards.  Once she was established in the dog show world, she was asked to submit illustrations to the breed clubs around the country and started designing show prizes.

Lori preferred to draw with pastels and pen & ink.  People around the world noticed her work and commissioned her frequently to draw their dogs.

Horses were another of Lori’s favorites which she passed along to me.  I got my first horse when I was five years old and spent many hours trail riding with my best friend across the street.   We were lucky enough to live out in the country just outside of Tampa.  While my mom was busy raising, showing, and drawing dogs, I was busy riding which led to my passion for showing hunter/jumpers.    I showed all the way through high school and one year in college.   I have a wonderful collection of all the horses she drew for me that we owned over the years!

Lori continued to show dogs until the 1980’s, then transitioned to just grooming and her artwork.   The personal computer became quite popular in the 90’s and this introduced her to a whole new realm of artwork.   She began designing logos and business cards and attended Adobe conventions to learn the ins and outs of PhotoShop.  She was communicating with people all over the world by email regarding her work and by this time she had her own in-home office/art studio where she drew, scanned, and printed all of her work.   There were always a couple of schnauzers close by also to keep her company and inspire her whimsical drawings.

Lori graduated from Syracuse University with a Fine Arts degree and was a voracious reader.  She taught elementary school for a couple of years right after she was married and especially loved to read with me and ultimately my children when they were born.    Being the bookworm she was, it was a huge honor for her when she was asked to illustrate a children’s book in the early 2000’s about a miniature schnauzer named Charlie from Colorado.  Charlie was the typical schnauzer with a huge personality who loved to go on adventures.  This book is The Secret Life of Charlie Smart by Alex Chandler which can be found on Amazon.

Lori did not find out she had Ovarian cancer until it was stage 4 in early 2005.  She had been sick and in and out of the hospital for the 15 years prior to her passing.  It was always her artwork, her husband of 47 years, and my family that kept her mind active and away from her illness.   I am forever grateful to have much of her work and happy to help her, as I did growing up, offer and show her beautiful, fanciful, whimsical drawings to all those who love the miniature schnauzer as much as she did.