Sunday, February 10, 2008

Calvert Uses Art to Show Appreciation for Animals

By Mary Prickett, Paulding Neighbor Staff Writer

Artist Susan Calvert rarely has to look very far for inspiration. It usually follows her closely, on four legs.

When Ms. Calvert was diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, she said she also found a purpose for her art.

This disease, which left her allergic to most chemicals and synthetic products, affects her neurologically. But, she said she is not allergic to dogs.

When she was diagnosed and could no longer work, Ms. Calvert said she began spending more time with her Labrador Retriever, Lucy. Ms. Calvert said she began painting Lucy and when she ran across a flier for the humane society's Doggie Dash, she felt she and her loyal companion could make a difference.

"I thought my dog has given me a life and it was time I gave something back for all animals," she said.

After speaking with the society, Ms. Calvert set up a booth and displayed her artwork. But, she said, that was just the beginning.

"I wanted to put up my own Web site and sell it on eBay," she said. "I wanted to give a percentage of what I sold to the Paulding Humane Society, because the euthanasia numbers are high here and there is so much over populating and fighting. I thought this was the way I could finally give something back."

After months of preparation, Ms. Calvert said she has finally launched the site and has posted numerous paintings online.

"I have 40 matted photo prints on sale on eBay right now and they are being sold for $24.99 through a program called Mission Fish," she said. "Whenever one is sold the donation is $5, or 20 percent, whichever is higher, and I have sold two so far, but I don't make any money on this."

The Web site,, also has a store, she said.

Now that everything is up and running, Ms. Calvert said she is glad to be able to help.

"This was the right thing for me to do and it felt great to sell my first two paintings," she said. "Lucy gave me a life and I know many people who couldn't live without their pets. We need to save more animals, spay and neuter and adopt, because they are beautiful souls and they give us so much."