WAYNE, N.J. -- Four years ago, Wayne's Gina Stritch lost her corporate job, and she's now turning to something altogether different: pet portraits.
Stritch, at the age of 55, couldn't find another job. She said she met Ken Lang at Neighbors Helping Neighbors, and learned more from him in a few sessions than she had in her college career.
"He said the most important thing you can do is go out and meet someone for coffee," Stritch said. "Everyone knows someone, so get out there and talk to people.
"Ironically, when I was in high school, my parents thought the idea of art school was foolish, but now I've returned full circle to my first interest: art."
Stritch had drawn about 50 drawings when she began to notice the dogs and dog walkers while she was around town. And so she put a dog in a drawing -- and sold it to the dog owner.
"Since then, I've been drawing dogs," Stritch said. "I haven't sold any more drawings, but that will take time. People love their dogs, so I might be on to something."
Stritch is exploring a variety of venues. Last weekend, she did pet portraits at PetValu's Pet Appreciation Adoption Weekend. And she'll have an art show at the "Sunnybank Gathering," on August 15-16.
Stritch may also be getting a grant to illustrate an online book for the Terhune Foundation.