A bit about us

Welcome to my magical world!  Magic Brush Arts was first dreamed up in 1999 in Boulder, Colorado.  I had just ended a long, exhausting career as a chef and caterer and was looking for a new way to dance with my creative skills.  I decided to take 6 months off and just rest.  After about 4 days of laying on the couch and watching tv in my pajamas, I was restless and looking around for something to do.  So I got off the couch and painted a sweet little mural for my girlfriend's daughter Malia, who was 3 at the time.  She loved her landscape mural - rolling hills with a big tree in the corner of her room, flowers and a bunny and birds, a dragonfly being eyed by a smiling frog, and ladybugs everywhere.  I had such a wonderful time painting the mural that my 6 month hiatus came to an end after 4 days, and Magic Brush Arts was off and running.  I have been painting ever since and have expanded my repertoire to include luscious commercial and residential faux finishes, gorgeous murals and delightful hand painted furniture.  In the last several years I have had many clients asking for special themed items for their pets, including hand made memory boxes for the ashes and treasures of their deceased pets.  I love creating such special boxes, and wanted to find a way to make them available to everyone in whe whole, wide world. And so Magic Brush Pets Unleashed was born! 

(For more heartwarming details about the Little Box of Heaven story, please go up to the dangling dogtag on any page and click on STORY).

About Denise

I live and paint in a cute little house in the cute little town of Niwot, Colorado.  It is a small artist-friendly community just outside of Boulder where I live with Butter, a sassy pastel calico.  As pets so often do, she has taught me everything I need to know about navigating life in this big world, how to handle complex, stressful situations, what to do when I don't know what to do . . . I simply follow her example:  usually it's 'take a long upside-down catnap in the sun'.  After that, things just always seem to work out.  At any given time that I find myself uncertain, I just do whatever Butter is doing in that moment.  It's very spiritual.  Butter is my Guru, and she is the reason that I now know that I do not like the taste of cat chow.

I grew up in Los Altos, California where I had my first entrepreneurial experience when I was 8 years old - Denise's Duck Rental Service.  I would rent my four pet ducks to the neighbors as an organic alternative for pest control.  They would show up for duty wearing little collars and capes that I made for them, and proceed to eat their way through slug-infested gardens up and down my street.  I could have probably gone global with that business, but I was 8 and not allowed to cross the big street at the end of the block . . .

When I was 13, after listening to one too many John Denver albums, my parents moved my family to beautiful Cedaredge, Colorado and bought a small farm and a Feed & Supply Store.  Atop the world's largest mesa and in the lush aspen forest of Grand Mesa, my three sisters and I became farm girls, and animals took on a whole new dimension in our lives.  We farmed and raised livestock, built fences and drove tractors, milked cows and became rodeo cowgirls.  It was a dramatic lifestyle change at the tender age of 13, but it was invaluable in shaping my relationships with the earth, animals, people of varied backgrounds, and taught me precious lessons that I cherish every day.

I moved to Boulder, Colorado to attend the University of Colorado 30 years ago intent on becoming a lawyer.  But art got in the way at every turn, and now here I am.  I have many stories of life here in this bucolic world which I am happily sharing on my blog page, stories about my days as a Grateful Deadhead, chef and an artist, as a wife and a sister and a daughter, and all about the incredible unconditional love lessons taught to me by my beloved pets who have shared and enriched my life, and been my family along the way.

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