Saturday, May 3, 2008

Meet ShellVergel

Pembroke Welsh Corgi

I would like to introduce everyone to Tatyana of ShellVergel, a fellow Etsy member, and a member of my Dogs and Art Group on Flickr. Tatyana not only is the proud owner of two Italian Greyhounds, Perry and Marco she also creates unique and beautiful dog artwork on clam shells. If you would like to see some of her wonderful creations stop by her Etsy shop at ShellVergel. I do hope you'll stay for a bit to read the interview and get to know Tatyana, meet her dogs, and view her wonderful shell creations.

1) Tell us your name. How many dogs do you have, their names and ages? I'm Tatyana Vergel, and I share my life with two dogs, Perry and Marco. They are litter mates, they'll be 18 months old soon.
Perry and Marco

2) What breed of dog do you have? Italian Greyhounds - the smallest of the sighthound group (running dogs such as Greyhounds and Salukis). Major cuteness and cuddling comes standard with them.

3) How long have you had your dog/s and how did they come to be your dog? These are my first dogs. I have grown up a major "dog person" and have spent my entire childhood begging my parents for a puppy. The answer was always 'no' so I tried to be involved with dogs in any way I could. I volunteered in a vet's office and am now a professional groomer. I finally felt "grown up" enough to get my own dogs recently. Then my mum and I convinced my stepdad that it wouldn't be so bad having a pupper around. I went to a great responsible breeder, and before I knew it I wound up with the pick of the litter show prospect puppy (Perry) and after a few months we took home his brother (Marco).

4) Do you find that you've come to favor a certain breed of dog and if so, what are their unique characteristics that you've found to be so wonderful? Honestly, there are so many amazing breeds out there that I would want to own some day. I really am fascinated by the variety of breeds out there and can make a list of dogs that I am drawn to. But I have a special place in my heart for sighthounds, including my very own Italian Greyhounds. I find them incredibly beautiful, silly, independent characters. They make the best snugglers!

5) Any favorite stories you'd like to share with us about your dog? Probably one of the most amazing moments I've had with Perry was at our second dog show. I entered the boys on a whim and was there only with my mother - no other "experienced" support. I had barely any idea of what I was doing in the show ring (the judge actually told me where to go a few times) - but we took Winners Dog and a three point major. It was a major high because no one expected it to go to the newbies (especially when a local longtime respected breeder had entered half of the dogs shown that day). And *then* people got interested in who we were all of a sudden ;)

6) Are there any other pets in the home other than dogs? We also have two cats - eleven year old Tim, my kindred spirit, my best friend. And three year old Anton, the weirdo.

7) What kind of art do you create? Right now my main focus is painting portraits of dogs on clam shells. I collect the shells at a local beach myself. It gives me a chance to explore many breeds and practice my painting skills. I also do a little graphite work, occasionally I draw portraits.

8) Is your main focus on dog art and if so, what made you choose the dog as your main subject for creating this type of art? Matter of fact, I rarely depict anything but dogs in my art. They are my muse. I think the huge variety of shapes, sizes and personalities is the primary drive. I feel that I really get to know a breed just by drawing or painting it. And I want to get to know them all!

9) Do you create or make anything other type of art/craft that's not dog related? I painted an orchid once. And I sketched some Disney characters a few years ago... Yep, dogs are my muse.

10) If you sell your artwork, where can we find your pieces for sale? You can find my painted shells in my Etsy shop at

Siberian Husky

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