If Sherié Franssen's dogs help raise money this weekend for the Huntington Beach Art Center, it won't be the first time they've benefited her artistic career.
Franssen, one of the 11 artists featured in the center's "Pet Project" exhibit, creates abstract paintings that consist of uninhibited splashes of color. Often, she said, she gets her inspiration from watching her Australian shepherds, Zuzu and Sadie, run around at Huntington Dog Beach.
"When you see it manifested outside you in other beings, especially your dogs, and the thrill they have of being alive, it can't help but influence the work," Franssen said.
Saturday, Franssen plans to bring Zuzu and Sadie to the Dog-A-Thon fundraiser, in which owners are invited to solicit pledges and walk their dogs on a one-mile route through downtown Huntington Beach.
Curator Darlene DeAngelo said the center had done an auction the last 10 years for its summer fundraiser, but opted for a change this year and embraced Huntington Beach's reputation as a haven for dog owners.