Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dottie the Italian Greyhound

This is Dottie.  I met her owners last year and we discussed the possibility of me painting Dottie's portrait.   As the conversation progressed, the idea of having two photos of Dottie in her portrait, a head study and a racing shot, became the goal.

Dottie's parents had some amazing reference material for photos.  But, I'd never seen an IG race so I met up with them and was able to watch their dogs run in person.   I took more reference photos and had a blast.   Those little guys ran like rockets!!!  I'd taken one of my Irish Setters with me, Bling, and someone asked me if she was racing.  We all had a good laugh over that one.

For the painting, they chose to have me paint a head shot of Dottie when she was younger.   She had a beautiful collar on but it obscured my view of her markings.  So, they took a photo of her in without the collar.   Great help!!  On Dottie's neck, the colors were subdued to ensure the viewer would be drawn to Dottie's face and to also make it more of a subtle area on which the racing part of the painting would be layered.

For racing part of the painting, the lights and darks were vibrantly emphasized so it would appear Dottie was running right off the painting at you. It was important that the racing image on the painting not blend into the portrait part of the painting.

Hope you enjoy the painting of Dottie as much as I did painting it!!

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Friday, July 10, 2015

Mini Pastel Painting - the Perfect Gift!

This is a mini pastel painting 4 x 4.  
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It is the perfect size for a gift. 

More information is on the website link above.  On the above link, the painting that is being signed is a 6 x 6.   Another great gift size.  The 4 x 4 is $125.00 and 6 x 6 is $250.00.    Shipping, tax (if applicable) and framing not included.

I do a lot of gift certificates for paintings these sizes.   Email me or call me for more information.  
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DawnSecordArt@Gmail.com
(909) 393-7111




Happy July everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Painting of Jazz

I've been working on this painting for a little bit.  It was one that was being worked on while doing two others.  There was so much detail needed in the background that it helped me to step away from it and work on another painting every few days.  Doing so keeps my eyes fresh.

The dog's name is Jazz.   He is the apple of his owner's eye.  In addition to being her everything, he is an obedience dog and a wonderful therapy dog.

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Hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I did painting it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Painting of Logan

I've known Logan since he was a young dog.  I met him and his lovely owner, Penny, back in 2011 in Oklahoma.   The internet has allowed Penny and I to keep in contact and for me to watch Logan bloom into a gorgeous dog.

Logan has such a wonderful personality.  We took photos of him for his portrait and there wasn't the gentle look Penny had wanted.  However, there was a relaxed photo of him playing in a chair that showed his soft eyes.  His body is rolled in a chair and that was not desirable for the painting we wanted.   I always steer away from fusing photos = ie - using a head from one and a body from another for fear of an anatomical failure.   In Logan's case, one of my photos would work for the body, and the head from the chair photo was Penny's preference, so I said a little prayer and went to work.

It worked!   Penny was pleased and felt one wouldn't be able to tell that two photos had been fused.   She had his soft eyes in the painting and his beautiful coat. 

I asked her to share a little bit of Logan's story and this is what she had to say:
   

     Logan is Grand CH Beaubriar Spirit Meant To Be, CGC. Lo & I met when he was still living with Shelly at 11 months old. For Lo & I it was love at first sight, so the day before his first birthday he moved in with his new Irish Setter brother Duncan and me. He has several co-owners who all love him, me, Shelly DeChambeau, Kathy Roscoe; Nancy & Rick Fiacco. He is a Multiple BISS winner. His favorite "hobby" is sitting in my lap. 
     My favorite story about Logan is, a week after he arrived at my house I took him to meet my mom who had recently moved to Assisted Living. When we walked into her room she called him over to her and he immediately hopped up into her lap where he sat for several hours why she cuddled with him. She smiled nonstop. That was the last time I saw my mom before she passed. I have the ever lasting image of my mom smiling with my sweet boy in her arms. She loved Irish Setters as much as I do.

Thank you Penny for having me paint your beautiful boy.  I hope you enjoy your painting as much as I have while painting it.
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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Best in Show at "The Cat Show" art exhibit

"The Cat Show" exhibit at Pinnell Gallery in Fallbrook, California opened today, June 6, 2015.

During the artists' reception, my painting, "Shades of Blue", was awarded Best in Show. So exciting!

Thank you to the Pinnell Gallery and the judges for this honor.   After the reception, we came home and hugged my little model, kitty Cash.

Originally, there were three paintings ready for the show.   One of the three paintings, "Come Fly with Me", sold before the show.   Three paintings had been committed to the show so I had to scramble and create a new painting to take the place of the one that sold.  

I had a number of reference photos of my bluepoint Siamese cat, Cash, from a few years ago.   No painting is ever rushed, so I took my time with this third painting - which is titled, "Shades of Blue."  This painting was one that really drew me in while it was being painted and I had to make myself stop when it was completed.  Sometimes I keep fiddling when that is no longer
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necessary.  It is almost like a great book, one hates to get to the end because then the story is over.   That is what happened with this painting.   I could have kept painting!

Some things are just meant to be.

Thank you again to the gallery and judges.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Monet at the ISCSC Specialty May 30, 2015

It was going to be a very hot day at the specialty and we weren't going to show Monet though she was entered.  Rich and I picked up the arm bands for Bling and Faith leaving Monet's until later.   We thought it would be too hot for her.

We decided to show her.  We'd brought a box fan and had it on her in our set up.  She was handling the heat much better than me - ha ha!






To our surprise, she went Select with some outstanding competition that was in the ring.   There were 12 specials plus the veteran dog and bitch.   To say we were thrilled would be an understatement.   What really did surprise us was her attitude.   Maybe I should show her more often than a few times a year.   She really did have a blast.   Thank you to judge Mrs. Lowell (Arlene) Davis for this lovely placement.

Today she is being really feisty.  I thinks she is proud of herself....and proud that she did better than her daughter, Bling.  Yeah Monet!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bling at Antelope Valley Kennel Club on May 25, 2015

Here is a video of Bling at the dog show.  She is so much fun to show!!

Click on this link to see the video:
      Bling stacks at the dog show


https://youtu.be/hbQvgsu1DY8

So proud of young Bling.  She went WB, BOW and BOS at the Mission Circuit, Antelope Valley Kennel Club under judge Ms. Elizabeth Muthard on 5/25/15.   She needs one more major for her championship.   Thus far, all her points have been from the Bred By class.

No rush.  Girls just wanna have fun - and we are sure doing that!


Monday, May 25, 2015

Chicks are hatching

Here is a video of our hatching chicks.  

https://youtu.be/SJw7--f_b9w

There is a fun story behind the chicks.   Not sure when I started wanting a chicken - seems like forever.   Why - gosh - who knows.   They are a lot more work than ever expected, but I sure enjoy them.

My first chicken was named Belle.   She was a black beauty sex link and I got her as a tiny chick back in probably 1991.   At that time I did murals with my artwork.  For fun, I hid Belle Chicken in all my murals - regardless if they were for a children's room or a commerical account.   I can remember when I painted a mural at our veterinarians' clinic.   The mural was to feature dogs and cats of course.  Then, hiding behind a fence was...Belle Chicken.   My veterinarian's wife was looking over the mural when it was finished.  She started laughing and said, "IS THAT A CHICKEN IN THERE!??"  Yes, it was!

So, back to our chicks.... here is their story!

Our chicks are hatching... we had no clue if the eggs had been fertilized. There is a wild bantam hen and a standard rooster that hang out by our barn. The little Bantam hen has been around for years.  She really doesn't officially belong to anyone.  Some years back she flew into our pool escaping a raccoon.   She is a cute little thing but quite wild.   So, she had made a nest and the dogs found it in the horse arena 21 days ago. She had just laid eggs in it that day.  I know that for sure as the dogs would have told me about it previously. 

We removed the eggs and the took them along with the bantam hen into our chicken coop with our three Silkies. She was not safe from predictors where her nest was.  It was also next to a drain pipe and a serious rain storm was headed our way and expected to hit that night. 

The Bantam literally flew the coop ha ha. I mean she officially flew out of there. Guess that's were the saying comes from. so the Silkies ( Daisy and Lilac ) have been sitting on the eggs. The two of them together have been partners in the nest box...and to our surprise the eggs had been fertilized and they are now hatching.

Everything we'd read indicated that the standard roos (rosters) would not be able to fertilize the bantam hen due to their size difference. Guess everything I read was wrong or the hen has been around the neighborhood and has other boyfriends.....though the chick that has hatched is yellow and there are no other white roosters in the neighborhood so, I think white boy is a daddy.  He is a big jolly fellow and I've painted him a number of times.   He follows me around and is really quite gentle.   For treats, I give him kernels of corn and he takes them one by one from my fingers as if he were taking them from a baby.  So, I'm pretty fond of him.   Sure hope all the chicks that hatch are girls....so don't need another boy around here!

Will post more videos and pictures as we get them!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Featured artist in Dog Gone Art Magazine


I am the featured artist in this issue of Dog Gone Art.   My work and story are on pages 5 - 26.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many pieces of my work are in the article.  Thank you to the publisher for selecting my work.

http://www.doggoneartmagazine.com/component/k2/latest-issueDog Gone Art Magazine - Featured Artist

To view the article from the above link (if having trouble) once you have clicked on "read more" under the cover of the latest issue (my painting of an Australian Cattle Dog standing next to her owner) scroll down and click on "down load" to down load the PDF file.

Hope you enjoy the article!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Willy and the Truck

This is a painting recently finished.  It was a gift so I had to be very quiet when contacting Amy.   We didn't want her boyfriend, Nick, to find out what she was doing for his birthday.

Amy wanted to have their dog, Willy, in the cab of Nick's truck.  Amy sent me a number of photos of Willy and a number of photos of his truck.   The goal was to have Willy seated in the truck.   It didn't work out for Amy to take photos of Willy actually seated in the truck - sometime surprises are difficult to pull off.  So, I needed to combine a few photos.     Amy shared some back ground information on Nick, Willy and the truck.   Here is their story!......


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This little jalopy… I mean, gem is a 1950 Chevy truck.  It is unique in several ways; it has a 1990 Chevy S10 frame underneath, it sits on airbags and it also has an 8 cylinder Chevy engine in it.  People are quite surprised when it screams by them on the highway or when they see it going up or down on it’s airbags! 



Nick paints and restores classic cars for a living and sometimes people are surprised that he wants to keep the truck in it’s patina exterior.  I can’t tell you how many times he has been asked, “So, are you going to paint it?” We love it the way it is and another little dent or rust mark only adds to it’s character!  Plus, we can drive it on the back country roads without worrying about every little pebble or rock hitting it.  Now, the next car will be a different story, that will be the “Sunday car”.



As for Willy, he is a 3 year old American Bully, a newer breed recognized by the UKC and of course, the ABKC.  He is owned by Nick and Amy, who have owned English Bulldogs together for the last 12 years but decided to venture into another breed with Willy.  He is, indeed, a different kind of dog.  He is more energetic than a bulldog and more needy, if that is possible.  He has such facial expressions and body movements, especially when he’s happy or excited about a new toy, that it makes us laugh to ourselves and with each other at times.  He is such a character, quite possibly our favorite dog of the 4 that we’ve owned so far, just don’t let the others know that.  With his handsomely cropped ears and long tail, we’ve always said that he looks like a big cat and therefore, he has always had the nickname of Willy Cat and actually is mostly just called Cat.  He loves toys of all kind but mostly his big, black Kong, sleeping in the bed (usually taking up ¾ of his mother’s (Amy’s) pillow!), eating grape tomatoes off of the vine and howling with his dad (Nick). 



After 12 and a half years together, we don’t really “do” surprise gifts anymore.  If one of us wants something, we usually discuss it and purchase it together.  However, I wanted to be creative and surprise my “manfriend” for his 31st birthday.  And




what better way to celebrate and surprise him than by incorporating two of his favorite things in an awesome painting, his 1950 Chevy truck and Willy.  I think he will be very surprised AND happy with his gift.  

Thank you Amy for asking me to create this painting for ya'll.  It was so much fun to be part of the surprise!!   Hope you love it Nick!   Please give handsome Willy a treat from me!

Monday, March 16, 2015

My pup

Went to the dog show yesterday and Bling picked up another point.   She is so much fun to show.  Haven't practiced her at all and she went in the ring like a little pro.

Is it illegal to have this much fun with a dog????


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Painting of Bebe



This is Bebe.  She is an English Setter.   I've always loved English Setters.  As a young girl, I just thought the setters were like Siamese cats and came in different colors.  At that time, I wanted a setter in every color.   It is fun to look back at how we viewed life as children.   Embarrassingly I must admit, I also thought a Flat Coated Retriever was a black Irish setter.  

When Bebe's owner contacted me to paint Bebe I was thrilled.  The painting was to be a gift for her husband.   So....we could have no Internet contact, no Facebook contact - we were in a stealth mode because Jennifer's husband could figure just about everything out.   She paid me with cashier's checks.....all stealth.   It is interesting how she handled my waiting list time frame.  Jennifer told her husband that the gift was on back order - ingenious!  Seems like nowadays, everything is on back order.Now, one has to ask, who is the more clever of the two??  This was the first time Jennifer was able to fully surprise Norman!! A win win for both of them.
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To my delight, Jennifer's husband, Norman, called me in person to talk about his gift once it was received.   What a great guy.   He talked about how special dogs were to his family and how the painting brought forth some tears.   Seems like the true gift recipient in this painting was me.   I never expected to meet all the fine people I have through my paintings.

I'd asked Jennifer and Norman to share a little bit about Bebe and this is what they told me:

Bebe is a wonderful 8 year old English Setter.  After a lifetime of dog ownership, she has become my husband's all time favorite. We got Bebe when she was a year old from a breeder. She was shy and immediately took to my husband as her protector. A few weeks after asking Dawn if I could get on her waiting list to do a portrait, within 48 hours, Bebe became totally blind due to SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome). It has been a difficult adjustment, but Bebe is doing very well. She is totally spoiled and has trained my husband to make her toast for breakfast every morning! Dawn has truly captured her essence and beauty.

Thank you Jennifer (and Norman) for the honor of painting your special girl!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Book Reading at the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show - February 17, 2015

We had a wonderful opportunity to have a book reading of our book Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore (authored by Marsha Hall Brown and illustrated by me) while attending the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York City on February 17, 2015.

The film crew had seated us on a sofa, surrounded by children, while the breed showing was being conducted.   One of the organizers handed me a black Labrador retriever to hold during the reading.  The lab was so well behaved.  There is no wonder why the labs are such a popular breed!  The children were very focused on Marsha while she was reading to them. 

Marsha turned to "The Great Escape" illustration and asked the children how many dogs were in the illustration.   There was a young boy named Travis who was just adorable.  The children were focusing on the dogs in the illustration












http://www.showdogsescape.com
and they all thought there were 7.  Then Travis proclaimed, "WAIT A MOMENT....I believe there are 8" as he pointed to the hidden puppy who was peeking out of a suitcase!   Good job Travis!

Without question, this was one of the highlights of the trip.   Thank you to the organizers for inviting us to do a book reading.  It was great fun!

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Painting of Ozzy

This painting was recently finished of an Irish Setter named Ozzie.

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Ozzy lives on the other side of the Country and I'd been told by a friend that they were grooming this gorgeous dog named Ozzy.   About a year later, Ozzy's owner came to me and wanted me to paint his portrait.   We all knew we wanted to get some great reference material for the painting.   Ozzy's breeder was taking him to a hunt test and had a great opportunity to take some photos in outside lighting.  After some discussions on position and lighting, some really awesome photos were sent my way.  To my delight, there were several great candidates from which to choose.  For the background, the owner wanted some scene that was what one would see out in the field.   In one of the reference photos, there were some light golden tans and subtle sages that reflected fall foliage.   Those were the perfect colors to use behind a dark mahogany dog.   So, I had my background!

I've asked Ozzy's owner to give me a brief story about him and this is what she shared -

  • I discovered Oz when I approached a local breeder looking for a puppy. Knowing I liked big males, she suggested I take Ozzy (as she calls him) home for trial. It was love at first sight but I couldn't adopt the youngster (3 yrs) till I put in a fence! The transition from show kennel to pet wasn't difficult although Oz skidded on my hardwood floors and barked at potted plants. He quickly abandoned his crate for the comfort of a custom-made bed. Then he went to obedience school to become a Canine Good Citizen. After solving the 'crime' at Canine Crime Investigation" camp, the trainer said the boy had a great nose. So last year he went back to the quail fields of his puppy-dom and easily won Jr. Hunt title. Then he started Barn Hunt and despite being 33 in tall excelled in hunting rats and bellying through tunnels. Now he's back working towards his Advanced Jr. Hunt.   He's the happiest when outside whether  field hunting, barn hunting, walking Belt-line trails or relaxing on his pipe bed. 

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A big thank you to Ozzy's mom for having me paint his portrait.   I feel like I know him and look forward to giving him a big hug when I get to meet him in person~

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