Fox Hollow Vineyard Wine Label

I truly enjoyed creating this label for The Fox Hollow Vineyards. They first approached me about creating the perfect fox to use as their brand. He had to be regal yet friendly. Their vineyard used to be fox hunting land and I thought it would be a humorous choice to put him in full fox hunt garb.

We knew from the beginning that he should be seen straight on; however, in the early sketches,  I experimented with various shaped horns and hand positions until we found the perfect combination.They suggested we use a landscape as the background which I created in the original painting but then thought it would be fun to use a fox hunt themed pattern instead.I jumped at the chance and created a tonal print in black pencil to keep it soft so that when the fox image was added in Photoshop, it would stand out nicely.

They loved the pattern so much that they asked me to design a tablecloth and coordinating napkins to be used for their first wine tasting.


The Finished Label - The original painting - The fox hunt pattern

The Finished Label - The original painting - The fox hunt pattern

Early Sketches

Early Sketches

A Gentleman Fox for Fox Hollow Vineyards

I've just finished working on one of my favorite projects; designing a wine label for Fox Hollow Vineyards. Joe Casola and Kim Casola hired me back in December to paint a handsome and gentlemanly fox for the labels of their new wines premiering in the autumn. They were so wonderful to work with and their beautiful farm was truly an inspiration.  We began with a formal portrait of a gentlemanly fox with a landscape background representing their farm.

Fox Hunt Portrait by Lisa Zador

Once the portrait was completed Joe had the idea of isolating the fox from the background and putting some sort of pattern behind him. With all of my textile design background and love of repeating pattern, I jumped at the chance to design a fox hunting themed pattern. We wanted to keep it soft and neutral to sit nicely in the back so I drew the elements in black pencil instead of painting them in gouache as I normally would.

Fox Hunt Pattern by Lisa Zador
Fox Hollow Label Detail by Lisa Zador

We don't yet have the printed labels but Joe mocked up some sample bottles just to see how it will look! I did a blog post back in March about the design process including sketches and preliminary drawings which you can read by clicking here.

Fox Hollow Wine Labels Lisa Zador

Curious Mood Boards

I have been busy this summer freshening up my Etsy shop Curious Portraits in preparation for the holiday season. I make a habit of reviewing the product shots in the shop from time to time which I find has a similar effect of re-arranging the art on the walls. It makes everything look new! I have been very inspired by the many beautiful Mood Boards I see on Instagram and have discovered how much I love putting together cherished, vintage objects from my collection.  The result of all this is an on-going project of styling some of the items from my shop in with the vintage collectibles. They make a pleasing display and a gentle advertisement all in one!

Animal Portrait Brooches from

Animal Portrait Brooches from

This is the latest in the series featuring some of my favorite vintage jewelry arranged with my Animal Portrait Brooches. I often use my own textile designs printed out as the background, this is one of my original damask stripes.


I thought that some of my vintage buttons and notions made a pleasing display when arranged with some of my Victorian inspired Portrait Miniatures. (You can read more about the inspiration and making of these here)

I used one of my favorite vintage alarm clocks in this one along with a few writing notions. I thought the soft grey of my Daisy the Squirrel Portrait Miniature complimented the color scheme.


My dog Bingo also got his paws into it and created this one featuring his own portrait miniature with one of my original dog themed textile designs in the background!

Curiously Portable Portraits

I have been very pleased over the years that my portrait brooches have been so popular in my Etsy shop Curious Portraits.  I have however been asked many times if they were available larger. The original size was 1" in diameter and I have happily found that the bronze settings I use are now available in an oval format of 1 1/4" x 1 5/8" which is absolutely perfect. I really enjoyed setting up a photo template that would be consistent for the series and chose my treasured vintage edition of The Tales of Babar for the background. Since Babar was perhaps the first anthropomorphic animal to win my heart  I thought it would be a fitting tribute. Now you can take your Curious Portraits with you wherever you go! I will be adding more portraits in the shop including all your Halloween and Christmas favorites.

The Tales of Babar

Animal Spiritualism

One of the founding members of the esteemed Society of Psychical Animal Research established in 1880, Edmund F. Renard was one of the first animals to explore unexplained phenomena including phantasms, apparitions, spirit writing, thought transference and mesmerism. Like many of his fellow Victorians, his inherited wealth made it possible for him to study and catalogue numerous cases of unexplained events.  A leading scholar of his day, he was able to infiltrate and ultimately expose many purported mediums and in so doing increase his credibility when events arose that remained unexplainable. At a sitting with the much celebrated spirit communicator Madame Eusapia Volpe, the spirit of his beloved mother spoke to him and he remained forever a believer of the paranormal, claiming the experience gave him comfort and peace. He sat as president of  SPAR from 1880 until 1892.


Spiritualist Fox Portrait-Lisa Zador

Pioneering Animal Scientists of the 19th Century

I have long been interested in the place animals have had in the sciences , particularly in the 19th century which was such an exciting time for science with so many diseases being researched, when space travel was just a dream and the idea of spirits and the world behind the veil was at it's height of interest. I thought it was time to honor some of these pioneering animal scientists in a series of portraits. Here are the preliminary sketches for the first few.

Squirrel Chemist sketch

The first one naturally features a squirrel. He is shown mixing a delicate balance of chemicals in pursuit of a cure for rabies, distemper or another of the animal diseases that were once so devastating. 

Fox Spiritualist sketch

The second is of a prominent Fox who was a founding member of the Animal Society of Psychical Research which strove to research spiritualist activities from a scientific point of view. . 

Bear Scientist Portrait sketch

This bear was perhaps the first to study Astronautics and Rocketry. A true advocate of animal space exploration he dreamed of one day landing a bear on the moon.




The fourth in the series so far is one of the first rabbits ever to consider  space travel a possibility. He was also a great experimenter in time travel and teleportation.