from the Faribault Daily News

New artists exhibit at Paradise
By: James Warden
Wednesday, January 20, 2010 7:07 pm

Faribault residents will have a chance to review pet portraits or take an unfamiliar look at the Windy City when two Twin Cities artists visit Paradise Center for the Arts for the organization’s first reception in 2010.

Amy McPartlin and Jane Strauss will be showing their works there through March 6, but Friday’s reception will let art aficionados chat with the artists about their work.

Amy McPartlin

McPartlin never planned to paint pets. She was laid off in Thanksgiving of 2008 and, like many people, couldn’t find another job. While the St. Paul native was out of work, she was asked to paint a friend’s dog.

McPartlin has been painting her whole life. But her work up to that point had been more emotive than realistic. She initially turned her friend down because she wasn’t sure she could deliver.

“I like to paint stories usually, she explained. “I finally did it because I had no money and a lot of free time, and it turns out I can (paint pets).”

McPartlin has since started working as a Trader Joe’s artist, but she still paints pet portraits. The center’s walls are covered with dog and cat paintings that her customers loaned back to her for the exhibit.

She can paint her Yorkie-shih zu-schnauzer “Bacon” in as little as six hours. But most paintings are delivered to the customer in one to three months because she’s such a perfectionist, although a horse painting that she’s had for a year has given her a bit more trouble.

“I thought it would be like a dog with a big nose on it,” she jokes.

our annual "a dog day afternoon" event

Saturday May 2 2009

Bring your furry friends and join us for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to have your pet immortilized by renowned painter Amy McPartlin. Enjoy gourmet treats while your pet is photographed by a professional photographer. Mingle with other dog lovers and the artist herself!

Summit Ave, St. Paul
email for more information

Lost job becomes mixed blessing for local artist

By Jana Shortal, KARE 11 News

Unemployment numbers are the most poignant when they are boiled down to one good person.

"I got laid off the day before Thanksgiving."

Thirty-five-year-old Amy McPartlin had been making teeth for Westlund Dental in Eden Prairie for over four years.

"It was out of the blue. Four people got laid off so that's 20% of the staff of where I was at," Amy said.

It's a low moment for anyone, but for Amy, it became a mixed blessing.

For the first time since graduating with a degree in studio arts from the University of Minnesota, Amy began painting.

Amy began painting around the holidays so she could give her art as free gifts.

But then, people began asking her to paint their pet portrait, that is her specialty, and they were paying for it.

"It satisfies two things. I'm getting a little money and I'm not depressed I'm laid off anymore, I'm not bored anymore," Amy said with a smile.

Amy is working about a dozen jobs right now. It is her pride and her joy.

Check out Amy's art and find out how she can paint for you by clicking here.