Cori Richman and Blue, her Labrador-Rottweiler mix, host a gallery opening Saturday, May 27 at Blue's Gallery in Pine to celebrate Year of the Dog -- 2006 on the Chinese Zodiac.
"This is a dog-friendly place," Richman said. "It's an opening and dogs are invited. I urge everyone to bring their puppies."
Blue's Gallery, a long, wooden chartreuse building accented with lemon-yellow paint, holds an eclectic collection of Richman's paintings.
Richman uses a line drawing of Blue for the gallery's logo, created by young artist Tyler Zimmerman of Pine.
Colorful, plasmic images of pets, and even a few people, painted on pine boxes instead of canvas, hang on the stained wooden-slat walls of the gallery.
"I don't have one style," Richman said. "I will not do anything conventional. It all comes from feeling and each painting I do is different."
Pieces by renowned glass artist Richard Altman, and painters Adam Thomas and Karen Wells complete Richman's collection.
After graduating from Los Angeles Trade-Tech College, Richman, a Southern California native, embarked on a creative career.
Back then, during the 1970s and 1980s, Hollywood sparkled with New Wave energy.
"I became a sign painter, which I loved," Richman said. "I didn't do any fine art. I did graphic art. I don't like to do generic stuff."
Seven years ago, Richman packed up her bags and moved to the Sonoran Desert of Arizona, first to Tempe, and then to a cabin in Pine.
Richman opened Blue's Gallery in fall 2005, inspired by the big, black dog she adopted as a puppy more than two years ago.
"It was love at first sight," Richman said. "I don't think the gallery would have happened without Blue. It had to be about her."
Richman's inventory also includes gifts and candles.
And if you've always wanted a portrait of your pet or loved one, Richman can do that for even the most modest of budgets.
Blue and Richman welcome pet lovers, art enthusiasts and neighbors to the Year of the Dog gallery opening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, May 27, at Blue's Gallery on Highway 87 in Pine.
Fortune cookies, refreshments and dog treats are on the menu, and don't forget to buy a $5 Blue's Gallery Frisbee for your furry friend. The Pine-Strawberry School District receives all proceeds.
For more information, contact Richman at (928) 476-5600 or visit www.bluesgalleryonline.com.