Category Archives: Pets & Animals

Art for Life

Colors. Images. Words. Art can be a very personal expression. Having beautiful art in our homes and work spaces can serve as a focal point of calm during chaotic times or ignite passion in us to move into action. Art can be a reminder of who we are or who we strive to become.

At Amber Lotus Publishing, we are fortunate to be able to spend our time contemplating art – discussing, researching, and discovering. Art that we hope will infuse clarity, joy, and inspiration into our calendars. When we develop our calendars, we fall in love with the art and the message. It’s exciting to create a story for the year to mark our journey around the sun – one month at a time. Twelve pieces of art in celebration of that journey or to be touchstones along the way.

We are honored to work with a host of extraordinary artists, illustrators, photographers, writers, and thinkers. Here is a bit more about just three of them:

The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh 2018 wall calendar

Click to see more images from the 2018 calendar.

Thich Nhat Hanh
New for 2018, The Mindful Art of Thich Nhat Hanh wall calendar features the Zen calligraphy of Thich Nhat Hanh – affectionately known as Thay (“teacher”). His work is a joyful, fluid expression of his artistry and a timeless interpretation of Buddha’s teachings. Thay uses the calligraphy as a meditation; his hand and the brush merge to become one. Each serene stroke conveys a sense of mindfulness, energy, and love. With his calligraphy, Thay invites you to breathe in, to bring your mind back to your body, and to be present in the moment.

Thich Nhat Hanh has dedicated his life to the art of mindful living. Born in 1926, this Vietnamese Buddhist monk, scholar, poet, artist, peace activist, and prolific author is a beloved and revered global spiritual leader. His powerful teachings and best-selling books have reached an audience of millions around the world. For more than fifty years, Thich Nhat Hanh has been a pioneer of “Engaged” or “Applied” Buddhism, which applies ancient Buddhist wisdom to contemporary issues. He teaches that only through living in the present moment can we approach peacefulness – in ourselves and in the world. Now known as the “Father of Mindfulness,” he is the man Martin Luther King called “an apostle of peace and nonviolence.”

Celtic Mandala 2018 wall calendar

Click to see more images from the 2018 calendar.

Jen Delyth
The Celtic Mandala wall calendar presents the magical knot weavings of Welsh artist Jen Delyth. Jen’s intricate paintings and illustrations are founded in her deep connection to her Celtic heritage and are a personal journey into the language of ancient Celtic mythology and symbolism. In its 16th year of printing, this wall calendar is a beloved bestseller.

Inspired by the spirit in nature, Jen’s artwork appeals to those who seek meaningful, profound images that express deep and essential aspects of the Celtic tradition. This tradition has its own ancient roots in the cultures of Neolithic and Paleolithic peoples who came before them. It continues to evolve and is – most important to many today – a living tradition.

Jen elaborates, “Although I am not affiliated with any particular branch of Celtic spirituality, my work often focuses on an expression of my deep love and respect of nature and all its mystery. The Celtic tradition expresses a wealth of wisdom and understanding of the natural world – of plants and animals and also the inner world of active imagination and our psyche. Working with the patterns, sacred images, and myths of the ancient Celts renews my connection between the past and the present, the inside and the outside, the seen and the unseen – life in all its mystery and interconnectedness, through art and story.”

Spirit Horses 2018 wall calendar

Click to see more images from the 2018 calendar.

Tony Stromberg
The gorgeous Spirit Horses wall calendar features extraordinary portraits of horses, both wild and domestic, by renowned photographer Tony Stromberg. Each luminous image is paired with quotes from great teachers and writers exploring equine wisdom and the love of these magnificent creatures.

For more than two decades, Tony Stromberg made his mark as a successful advertising photographer. Yet a quiet but gnawing voice eventually drew him out of his commercial roots and deep into the soul of the West. What he had gained in reputation he felt he was losing in quality of life. Just before the turn of the millennium, he began his pilgrimage away from the frenetic world of advertising and into a world possessing a respect for nature and the land. Since then, he has spent much of his time learning the nuances of his most beloved equine companions in their natural environment. “The spirit of the horse,” says Stromberg, “is a magnificent teacher to humanity.”

Our most enduring companions, horses teach us about honesty and authenticity because they know no other way of being. They teach us about collaboration over dominance. And they teach us to respect and honor the unknown as opposed to fearing it and trying to destroy it. In both their physical and archetypal forms, horses help bring us back to something wild and unrestrained, reminding us of a sense of freedom many have forgotten.

About Amber Lotus Publishing — We Plant Trees!
Based in Portland, Oregon, Amber Lotus Publishing is proud to be a carbon-negative independent publisher with a dedication to environmental stewardship. As of December 2016, Amber Lotus Publishing had funded the planting of 650,000 trees.

Amber Lotus has been a Gold Certified Green America member since 1993. Green America certifies businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change. Green businesses adopt principles, policies, and practices that improve the quality of life for their customers, employees, communities, and the planet.

Today our team is an extended family of ten people, including a martial artist, a jazz singer, bibliophiles, musicians, writers, belly dancers, gardeners, bicycle enthusiasts, plus a whole host of talented, creative, inspiring contributors. We strive to consistently offer products that are authentic and distinctive to bring you a sense of the eternal by nurturing your heart, renewing your soul, and expanding your mind.


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New Coloring Book from Amber Lotus Publishing — Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis

Desert Dreams coloring book

Free sample coloring pageDownload a sample page from Desert Dreams: Coloring a Land of Enchantment by Geninne D Zlatkis and share your work with us on Facebook!

It just arrived in our office! Wooohoooooo! We’re absolutely thrilled with this new coloring book. Embark on a desert adventure with illustrator Geninne D Zlatkis. Crafted as a love letter to the desert, Zlatkis’s collection of charming illustrations feature some of her favorite crafty creatures and natural treasures — all found in her desert home. Her passion for this magnificent and wild place will inspire you to explore your own color palette and bring the illustrations to vivid life. Continue reading

Bee Happy: Bees’ Favorite Plant Families

Image from The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar. Beehive in a cottage garden © Mark Bolton Photography.

From The Organic Kitchen Garden 2017 wall calendar by Ann Lovejoy — Planning to grow your own food may start with crop lists and bedding plans, but to ensure successful yields, it’s best to include a plan to nurture bees. It’s said that bees pollinate about one-third of human foods, but in fact, many important crops, from alfalfa and cotton to almonds and onions, are largely dependent on bee pollination. Creating edible gardens that attract and nourish bees and other pollinators will boost your fruit and veggie production and support these helpful creatures.

Perhaps the most important thing we can do to help is not hinder them. Solving garden issues with natural care techniques and using certified organic products to control pests and diseases help us keep our land free of harmful chemicals. It’s important to be aware that many nursery plants with labels that suggest that the plants are “protected” from pests are actually treated with systemic toxins. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Kevin Horan: Goats as Philosophers

We’re excited to welcome Kevin Horan to our family of contributors! Kevin’s goat portraits have been winning the hearts of many and have been featured in The Washington Post, Treehugger, and The Huffington Post. We love the thoughtful quality of these beautiful images. Weaving the portraits together with quotes from philosophers from the ages seemed like a natural fit to create the I Am Goat wall calendar.

I Am Goat wall calendarHere’s an excerpt from Bleating Hearts Will Love These Soulful Portraits Of Goats by Maddie Crum of The Huffington Post:

A subject sits for the camera. His eyes are forlorn, his expression sorrowful. His long ears, covered in fur. A few milliseconds later, he’s run off to find food.

As an involved experiment testing the power of portraiture, photographer Kevin Horan decided to start taking pictures of farm animals ― namely, a crew of unruly goats.

“I thought I was going to photograph sheep,” Horan explained in an email with The Huffington Post. “I was originally inspired by the dozen sheep living across the lane from me when we moved to semi-rural Washington State. They greeted me with a whole range of voices, and I wondered if I might be able to make classic studio portraits of the different characters.”

But the sheep proved to be tough subjects. They wouldn’t sit still, and Horan was wary of letting them near his lighting equipment. So, he decided to search for a tamer lot and discovered a goat dairy farm nearby. His new animal subjects were used to sitting still; they were milked twice a day and had grown to be somewhat domesticated because of their frequent human interaction. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Tony Stromberg: Spirit Horses

Spirit Horses 2016 wall calendar

Images by Tony Stromberg from our Spirit Horses 2016 wall calendar. Click for more info.

For more than two decades, Tony Stromberg made his mark as a successful advertising photographer. However, a quiet but gnawing voice eventually drew Stromberg out of his commercial roots and deep into the soul of the West. What he had gained in reputation he felt he was losing in quality of life. Just before the turn of the millennium, he began his pilgrimage away from the frenetic world of advertising and into a world possessing a respect for nature and the land. Since then, he has spent much of his time learning the nuances of his most beloved equine companions in their natural environment. “The spirit of the horse,” says Stromberg, “is a magnificent teacher to humanity.”

In both their physical and archetypal forms, horses help bring us back to something wild and unrestrained, reminding us of a sense of freedom many of us have forgotten. They teach us about honesty and authenticity, because they know no other way of being. They teach us about collaboration over dominance. And they teach us to respect and honor the unknown as opposed to fearing it and trying to destroy it. Continue reading

Artist Spotlight — Sarolta Bán: Storyteller

We had the pleasure of having a Q&A with photographer Sarolta Bán. Her surreal and dreamlike images are featured in our Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar. Many of her dog portraits were created to illuminate the need for shelter animals to find forever homes as part of her Helping Dogs with Images project which was featured on Huffington Post, BoredPanda, BuzzFeed, and MyModernMet. ~ Amber Lotus

Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar

Images from the Animal Tales 2016 wall calendar. Click to see more.

Why do you do what you do?
How it started was actually a coincidence. A couple of years ago I had a small digital camera and tried to take photos, but I was never satisfied with them. Once, with a sudden idea, I changed the sky in one of the photos. I really liked it; it was fun and opened a lot of possibilities, and that’s how it started.

Originally I’m a jewelry designer. It’s funny because in Hungarian the word “jeweler” means you compound materials to create things, and that’s exactly what I do with my pictures. 🙂 But otherwise the two pursuits do not have much in common, except maybe that both have a lot of little fine details that you have to pay a lot of attention to.

How would you define your signature style?
I like using ordinary elements and, by combining them, I can give them various stories and personalities. I hope that the meanings of my pictures are never too limited, that they are open in some way, so that each viewer can transform them through their personal understanding.

How do you work?
I work on a picture for anywhere from a few hours to a couple of days, and quite often I use up to 100 different layers for one image. I start with the main image and think of the main idea, and then I prepare the image.

What themes do you pursue?
Everything that comes to me or finds me. I like themes that are close to nature.

What memorable responses have you had to your work?
One of the nicest came from one of my closest friends, Edén: “Your pictures are good for the soul.” Continue reading

The Healthy Dog Wins for Best Graphics

Artist Spotlight — Jamie Pflughoeft and Caroline Coile

We’re thrilled to announce that The Healthy Dog 2015 wall calendar has been awarded the Maxwell Medallion from the Dog Writers Association of America for best Graphics in the Calendar & Poster category! Congratulations to Jamie Pflughoeft for her delightful and engaging photos!

jamie-pflughoeftProfessional pet photographer Jamie Pflughoeft is the owner of nationally recognized Cowbelly Pet Photography, now based in San Francisco, California. When not photographing dogs in Washington and California, Jamie can be found with Fergie, her beloved lab-mix pooch, by her side. The duo enjoys all the City by the Bay has to offer. Like the dogs she photographs, Jamie believes life is best when it’s filled with play, sleep, food, love, daydreams, adventures, and joy.

Jamie shares more about her inspiration:

I started photographing cats and dogs back in 2000 when I was majoring in Animal Behavior Psychology at the University of Washington and working part time as a dog walker and pet sitter. I couldn’t resist the Kodak moments that were happening all around me, so one afternoon I went home, grabbed my old Pentax film camera, and started bringing it to pet setting jobs. For several years I captured furry friends’ mugs in backyards, living rooms, sidewalks, and bedrooms all around town. When the demand for my photos grew to the point that I could no longer afford to give prints away for free, I launched Cowbelly Pet Photography. That was in July of 2003, and I have been a full-time pet photographer since early 2005. I truly adore my career and am one of these rare people who makes a living doing what I genuinely love. I can’t imagine doing anything else. The people and the animals I work with are simply the best.

For more information about Jamie and to see her outstanding portfolio, please visit her website.


Continuing with more exciting news… Caroline Coile has been named a 2014 Hall of Fame Winner by the Dog Writers Association of America. Caroline is our author contributor for The Healthy Dog wall calendar, where she shares natural homemade remedies, holistic techniques, and a bit of animal psychology to assist canine fans in caring for their companions and helping them to flourish.

caroline-coileD. Caroline Coile, PhD, is an award-winning writer of hundreds of articles and 34 books, including Barron’s Encyclopedia of Dog Breeds and Why Do Cats Bury Their Poop? Her research interests include domestic animal behavior and physiology, and she has been interviewed on NPR’s Talk of the Nation and quoted in Newsweek and USA Today. Caroline has always had animals in her life. She lives in Florida with her salukis and a Jack Russell-ish mix, all of whom conspire to ensure that she doesn’t know as much about training dogs as she thinks she does. For more information, please visit her website.

Congratulations to Caroline for being recognized by both peers and the public as an expert in the field of canine writing!


9781631360213_MAIN-blogJamie and Caroline are teaming up again for our 2016 wall calendar. The Healthy Dog 2015 wall calendar sold out and we expect the same for 2016 due to the wonderful images and in-depth content. Here’s a sneak peek of the cover. How cute is that?!

 

Adopt a Pet Month

In Honor of Adopt a Pet Month we wanted to feature the story behind the kitties on the cover of The Healthy Cat calendar.

Healthy Cat Calendar

2015 Healthy Cat Calendar

We interviewed Susan Seubert, the cover photographer for The Healthy Cat calendar, about her adopted furry family. Continue reading