Thursday, December 1, 2016

Kerry Blue Terrier - Schmokie

This is Schmokie, a Kerry Blue Terrier.  I'm quite fond of Kerry Blues.   I actually have a family history with the breed.

My maternal grandparents (Nana & Bapoo) bred and showed them.   My grandmother was the groomer and my grandfather was the exhibitor.    According to my mother, my grandmother was too bashful to run around the ring.  I was too young to remember them showing any dogs, but I do remember the dog "lingo".   I remember like it was yesterday my grandmother calling her dog a B****.   In my young mind, I couldn't believe my Nana was swearing and getting away with it.  No, neither Mom or Bapoo said anything about washing HER
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mouth out with soap.  Could never figure that one out - fond memories for sure.  I still have one of Nana's slicker brushes.   They don't make brushes like they used to!

The painting of Schmokie is a mini 6 x 6 painting and is the result of a Christmas gift.   I LOVE doing surprise paintings.   Such a thrill to be part of that magic - the gift of giving.

When it was time to paint Schmokie, a number of reference photos were supplied.   It was had to choose - he was such an attractive dog.   His owner and I agreed on a given photo.   About a month later, with fresh eyes, I revisited the photos.   The one used jumped out at me.   There was something about the direct eye contact that was captivating.  So, an email was sent to his owner asking her to revisit the photos and give this one consideration.  She agreed and we had a new reference photo.

Thank you to everyone involved.   It was a joy to create this painting!

http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html

Monday, October 31, 2016

Portrait of 5 Ibizan Hounds

This was an exciting painting to create.   Many of the dogs featured in this painting are no longer with us.  There were limited photos of those dogs and a great deal of research was involved to assist me where the photos could not.

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I studied photos of Ibizans to make sure the features I was going to add to the photos was indeed consistent in the breed.  Questions I asked myself were - what is to be expected on bone structure, nose shape, ear shape, eye shape and muzzle width for the Ibizan Hound?   The photo of Rio, in the middle, was ideal.  A few of the photos were fine.   A few of the photos were small and hazy.   With the white on the faces, it could be easy to paint the muzzle too wide or too narrow.  A little homework only makes the student stronger.  (My motto is that I am always learning - always the student in all that I do.)

The dog in the lower left corner, Annie, was laying down in the reference photo.   It was a challenging pose for the painting.  What to do?  Well, I have big dogs and I know what big dogs do.   Big dogs lay their heads on the table and beg for food when you are eating....well, they do if you let them around the table while you are eating.   That was the perfect solution.  I'd have Annie standing with her head laying on a table.   Easy - well, hopefully it would work out and be easy.   Sometimes I have these ideas to put into a painting and one thing changes one thing that changes another thing and before I know it the "easy" wasn't easy.

The layout of the dogs was also a bit challenging like putting together a puzzle.  How could I arrange them to make them into a complimentary composition.   Rio was to be in the middle of the painting, that was requested.  How I arranged the others was left to my judgement.

Long story short, with a goal of no one's ears being in anyone else's face, it worked out.   The important factor was to have the subjects' faces as large as possible and fit in all those ears in a flattering arrangement.

Hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I enjoyed painting it.   Thank you to Julie for entrusting me with such a large and important project.


Following is one of the proposed compositions for the painting.  It was not the final placement as seen above.  Also, we used a more recent photo of Rio in the middle - featured below the composition.  Such an enjoyable project!!
http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html
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Monday, October 3, 2016

Sir Finn - A portrait of an Irish Setter

This was such a fun painting to do - well - I feel like a broken record saying this, but I never tire of painting people's animals for them.   It just touches my heart.

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This is Finn.   His owner wanted a standing painting of him from the very beginning.  In the primary reference photo he was pulling down on his tail a bit.  I had to laugh when she asked me to fix the tail (and she did have a great photo of his top line and tail as another reference photo).  So, the reason I had to laugh - my dogs all pull down on their tail when I am showing them if I grab the tip of their tail.    I've never trained them to hold their tail out by holding the tip of it.  If I try to pull on the tip of their tail, the tuck their hiney down and it is laughable.  I had a judge pull Jewel's tail once and Jewel fiercly tried to wag it out of the judge's grasp.   No, we didn't win, but the judge did laugh at Jewel's antics.   Finn has a lovely top line and tail set.   We most certainly did need to show that in the painting!

Sir Finn is my very special heart boy.  In this painting he was just 2 years old.  He is now 3 and has earned 6 titles.  His  reg. name is CH Captiva One Last Time BN,RN,RA,THDN, CGC.   Sir Finn Excels at his therapy work and has a real bond with Alzheimer patients.  He was with my mom when she passed away last year and it was so very amazing how gentle he was with her and is with other patients.  He wants to please me with everything he has within himself, whether it be obedience or just cuddling.  He is a true gentlemen.  In agility classes, he listens and stay with me but is now getting too fast for me so we will see what this brings.  He has a heart of pure gold and is so very calm .  Even the day we brought him home from Canada,  he, a 10 week old puppy, calmed my very sick Irish, Liam!  Sir Finn has never found a person or critter he has not liked no matter what they do or say.  There will never be another Finn.  I do thank Dawn Secord for capturing him so amazingly and in a few more year hope to have a head portrait of him.

Thank you Rita for having me paint your beautiful boy!

http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html


Sir Finn - A portrait of an Irish Setter

This was such a fun painting to do - well - I feel like a broken record saying this, but I never tire of painting people's animals for them.   It just touches my heart.

http://www.dawnsecord.com


This is Finn.   His owner wanted a standing painting of him from the very beginning.  In the primary reference photo he was pulling down on his tail a bit.  I had to laugh when she asked me to fix the tail (and she did have a great photo of his top line and tail as another reference photo).  So, the reason I had to laugh - my dogs all pull down on their tail when I am showing them if I grab the tip of their tail.    I've never trained them to hold their tail out by holding the tip of it.  If I try to pull on the tip of their tail, the tuck their hiney down and it is laughable.  I had a judge pull Jewel's tail once and Jewel fiercly tried to wag it out of the judge's grasp.   No, we didn't win, but the judge did laugh at Jewel's antics.   Finn has a lovely top line and tail set.   We most certainly did need to show that in the painting!

Sir Finn is my very special heart boy.  In this painting he was just 2 years old.  He is now 3 and has earned 6 titles.  His  reg. name is CH Captiva One Last Time BN,RN,RA,THDN, CGC.   Sir Finn Excels at his therapy work and has a real bond with Alzheimer patients.  He was with my mom when she passed away last year and it was so very amazing how gentle he was with her and is with other patients.  He wants to please me with everything he has within himself, whether it be obedience or just cuddling.  He is a true gentlemen.  In agility classes, he listens and stay with me but is now getting too fast for me so we will see what this brings.  He has a heart of pure gold and is so very calm .  Even the day we brought him home from Canada,  he, a 10 week old puppy, calmed my very sick Irish, Liam!  Sir Finn has never found a person or critter he has not liked no matter what they do or say.  There will never be another Finn.  I do thank Dawn Secord for capturing him so amazingly and in a few more year hope to have a head portrait of him.

Thank you Rita for having me paint your beautiful boy!

http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html


Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Kristopher - original painting

I have had the pleasure of seeing Kristopher in the ring and out of the ring for a number of years now.   He is a lovely dog with a kind heart.

When his owner approached me to ask me to paint him, I was thrilled.  I love painting.   It is always an honor to paint for someone. 

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So, we took some photos and then came the tough job of picking which photos best reflected the true Kristopher.  Below are the reference photos.   The head study photo I took.  The movement shot was done by the official show photographer (who was quite kind and permitted me to use her photo for this painting.)   Thank you to Dale for trusting me with her boy.

Here is what Kristopher's owner told me about him:

Kristopher is a once in a lifetime dog.. He has accomplished so much more than I had ever
hoped for. The thrill of winning the breed at Westminster was overwhelming.  He has continued his winning ways by taking back to back specialties in Seattle this past weekend and on to a group 2 at the all breed show on Sunday.  He now has 12 Specialty wins and has won it 5 times in Seattle.  
He also has 3 champion offspring and 6 more are pointed.  His youngest boy took a 5 point major in Seattle at 15 months at only his 3rd show. He is aging well and looks so distinquished with his graying muzzle.  I am so very proud of this dog.. I co-bred this litter with Ginny Swanson and it is a miracle that he is even here. When the litter was 7 weeks old they contracted parvo.  Kristopher was one of the sickest, the vet did not expect him to make it but he had a tremendous will to live and look at him now. In fact the whole litter survived to the amazement of the vet.  He is a Silver Grand Champion and close to getting his gold.  That will be a nice end to his career.
http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html
http://www.dawnsecord.com/PrintsForSale.html

Thursday, August 4, 2016

A painting of Guinness for Celeste

A dear friend, Celeste, has been so patiently waiting for the painting of her beloved horse, Guinness.   He had been a member of her family for many years. 

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When the painting was in process, Celeste shared this with me about Guinness (she was mentioning the person who owned him prior to her):

I bought him when he was nine.   He had been on a friend's farm from a youngster, trained and shown by her.  So, she knew him well.  That is probably why he was so hot and forward as that was they way she liked her horses.  He was an exciting ride and the kindest horse I ever knew on the ground.

People who own horses understand they are like a big dog.  They know who you are and love you.  When I was growing up in Texas, I had a friend who had gotten a working horse from a cattle ranch.  The horse's owner passed away out on the range and the horse stayed with him until someone came and found them.

The bond between a horse and owner can be as close as with any other animal.   

http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html

The reference photo is shown above.  This photo was taken before our wonderful digital cameras and was a 3" x 5" photo.   Guinness had gotten into the house.    No surprise there (he sounds like he was quite the character)!  My challenges were to overcome the lighting caused by the flash and to see his bone structure hidden  under his halter.    It all came together and I can't wait for Celeste to see the painting in person!

Thank you Celeste for having me paint your special boy! 

Dog Days of Summer

It was great fun judging this art show.   The finalists have now been identified so it is safe to post them.  Thank you to the Brandon Gallery for having me judge your show.

The opening reception will be this Saturday, August 6, 2016 from 5 pm - 7 pm.   I am very much looking forward to meeting the artists.  Hope to see you there!

Brandon Gallery, Fallbrook, CA

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Dog Days of Summer

I had the honor today of judging the artwork submitted for "Dog Days of Summer" at the Brandon Gallery.  The show included animal art that not only included dogs, but cats, and a few chickens!


When arriving at the gallery, the amount of artwork that had been submitted was shocking.   When driving to the gallery I thought, the pieces will just jump out at me like at the dog show.  Sometimes that dog enters the ring and you just can't take your eyes off of it.  Well, I felt like I had a ring full of blue ribbons once I started looking at the work.

The artwork was lined against almost every wall and then several deep on the floor along the walls.   Holy Smokes!!    I walked through all the art several times just enjoying the pieces.   My goal wasn't to try and pick the placements at first sight, I just simply wanted to take in all the work.   There were 2 dimensional pieces, 3 dimensional pieces, photographs, and one very unique multi-media piece.  There was work that was traditional, some whimsical, some very modern and from all mediums.   WOW - the body of work was awesome and all from local artists.  UNBELIEVABLE!

I don't want to give away what happened next as choices were made and why.  Nor can I show what pieces won.   On August 6th I'll be at the gallery to meet the artists and discuss my choices.   I can't wait.    All I can say is WOW - some really amazing work.  I loved my Best in Show.  Gosh, I loved all the placements.   So often I hear a dog judge say to me when I exit the ring, on any given day - any of these fine dogs could have been the winner.   Those thoughts circled in my mind as I looked at all the art before me.    So many winners and I could only pick one.

Thank you to the Brandon Gallery for trusting in me to judge the work.  It was truly my honor!







http://www.dawnsecord.com

Sunday, July 10, 2016

A painting of Alec

What a fun painting!   After taking photos of Alec for this painting, his owner kept going back to two photos she was having trouble deciding between.   So, we did the obvious - painted both.  
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It truly was difficult to choose the best reference photos for this painting.  Alec is so photogenic.  

When we decided to use both photos, I wanted to really set the laying down photo away from the head study so I played around with the bottom of the painting.  Finally, layering some middle value ultramarine blues did the trick.   The fun thing about pastels is that there are so many different techniques that an artist can employ without having to wait for the paint to dry.

Here is a little background on Alec from his loving owner:

BISS GCh./Can. Ch Courtwood Going My Way. 
Alec received his name on they way home from Sue Hahnen's home when he was a puppy.  My son and I talked about all kinds of names and my son said he sure looks like a smart aleck of a puppy; the name fit perfectly.  He became my smart "Alec" and the keeper of my heart. 
Sandra Kraft
 
Thank you to Sandra for having me paint her special boy and to her dear friend, LeeAnn, who was the mastermind behind our project.
http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html

Monday, June 27, 2016

Pilgrim and Yosemite

This is a painting of a dog that I've know his entire life.    He lived a full life, but not matter how long our pets live, it just is never long enough.

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Before he passed, his owner had planned this painting.  I had a file of photos of him.   I never expected I'd be painting him when I did.   I've asked his owner to share about the Pilgrim, Yosemite and the painting.   Here are her words...

About 30 years ago, I made my first trip to Yosemite National Park.  I was so taken by the beauties of nature, that I thought I was in Heaven.  The rock formations, the waterfalls, the wildlife and the vegetation, all made a beauty that made me want to spend my life in eternity in Yosemite.
Pilgrim came into my life just over 10 years ago.  He was my BEST friend for nearly 10 years.  He was beautiful, but more than that, he was the true meaning of love.  He made me laugh and smile on a daily basis.  He laid by my side day and night.  He greeted me with smiles when I went away and had to leave him home.  He cried a sound that said "I'm so glad you're home!"  When he gave me kisses, I told him "I love you" and he emitted a sound that said "I love you, too!"  Only someone that loves a dog as I did Pilgrim would believe and understand that.


When Pilgrim was about 9 years old, I began to think about a portrait I wanted painted of Pilgrim at Rainbow Bridge.  I searched for a bridge where I might be able to take a photo of him.  I could not find anything appropriate. I always knew that when I lost him, I would have him cremated and have his ashes taken with mine to Yosemite.  He died without warning.  I told my artist friend, Dawn Secord, that I'd like to have the portrait at the Bridge include Yosemite.  I sent her many photos of Pilgrim and the awesome pictures I had taken at the park. She chose a photo I had taken at Tunnel View, where the view is breath taking.  El Capitan, Half Dome, Bridal Veil Falls and the Valley fill the scene with so much more. She painted it with such precision and added the block walkway for Pilgrim to cross over into Heaven with a rainbow and sun filtering through the clouds.  It is TRULY an AWESOME portrait.  Tears fill my eyes when I look at it.  It depicts the feeling I have for the place that will welcome me and those I love.  No words can describe the beauty I see and feel when I look at this painting.


Thank you, SO MUCH, Dawn Secord, for capturing my feelings for a place and a friend that I love most!


http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html

http://www.dawnsecord.com/galleryhome.html
http://www.dawnsecord.com/InTheNews.html

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Duet - Portrait of an Irish Setter

I was commissioned to paint Duet last year.   I'd taken some photos of her in Georgia when I was there last April.

Her owner really enjoys the playful side of Duet - who is quite charming.   Knowing Duet's portrait was to focus on the fun loving Duet, we took photos of her playing with toys, chasing toys, watching toys - anything and everything with toys.  We just didn't get the perfect reference photo.  My camera had been malfunctioning on me and the focus was delayed.  So frustrating to be out of town and having your equipment fail.

Some months passed and I was sent a number of new photos of Duet.  One caught my attention immediately.  Duet's head was cocked a bit to the side and there was a sweet yet slightly mischievous look in her eye.  I contacted her owner and we both agreed - we had our reference photo.

Duet lives in the in a lovely area with flowers blooming all around her.  When asked about the background for the painting, her owner told me, "She also is know for running through the flowers…mostly lavender, white and purple lilacs and white and pink peonies."  It just was perfect to add some fun girly colors in the background.

It was great fun painting Duet and capturing that rollicking side of the Irish Setter that they represent.
www.dawnsecord.com

http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Cliff Drive Santa Barbara - original pastel painting

The show is just around the corner!  If you are in Southern California - please come by!  Would love to see you.

The painting featured below is titled Cliff Drive Santa Barbara.  It is an original pastel painting and is available.
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40th Annual Art Exhibition and Sale

California Images & History

April 22, 23, & 24, 2016

Civic Center Plaza, 245 E. Bonita Ave., San Dimas, CA
Celebrating 40 years, the San Dimas Festival of Arts 2016, California Images & History begins on Friday, April 22 with a Premier Opening & Reception at 6pm and will continue through Sunday afternoon, April 24, until 4pm.
Previously, the Festival proudly showcased artists who reflected the ‘Old West Attitude.’ Beginning last year, the Spring show adopted a new theme: California Images & History. This change better highlights the vast diversity of the state with art that exemplifies the splendors of the coast, vast mountain ranges, flourishing wine country, and Hollywood.
This year the Festival will feature their 2nd Annual Plein Air Event on Saturday, April 23rd. The public is invited to view a select group of artists set up their easels and paint San Dimas’ picturesque downtown area, including the Historic Walker House, Martin House (located on the corner of Bonita and Walnut). For the Plein Air landscape purists, painting will also take place at the last year’s location at the Tzu Chi Foundation during the same time as the downtown event. (The 100-acre campus is located at the end of Valley Center adjacent to ViaVerde.) More info below... 

Sunday, April 24th will feature the Quick Draw at 1:00 pm in which participating artists have one hour to complete a work of art with the prying eyes of the public. It’s a frenzied and exciting event in which artists reveal their talents, and good humor under a big white tent. At 2:15 pm the Quick Draw Auction begins and all the art that was created al fresco is auctioned off.
 The California Images & History event will begin on Friday evening, April 22 with a Premier Opening Reception at 6pm.
Viewing of all the unique and original fine artwork is free of charge and open to the public on Saturday April 23, 9am–9pm, and Sunday April 24, 9am–4pm. The Friday Premier Opening Reception and the Saturday Awards Dinner requires a reservation.

Saturday, March 12, 2016

A Second Painting of Finn

This is another commission of Finn. The first one I did was the recent post of Finn on point for his owner. She had commissioned me to do a second painting, a head study, for her which was to be a gift to be given to Finn's breeders.
 
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http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html
The second painting was finished and shipped as a surprise to the recipients, Helen and Walt. I asked Cristin to share a little bit about Finn's breeders and Finn. Here is her story, I met Helen and Walt about 5 or so years ago when I decided it was time for another big red dog in my life. Helen had a litter of puppies that I went down to see as well as her kennels. Unfortunately, all the puppies were spoken for so I had to be placed on the waiting list for the next litter. About a year later, the new litter had arrived. I went down to see all the puppies and actually thought I'd want Finn's brother as Finn was just the sleepy less active one and his brother was up and all over the place. Little did I know Finn was just fooling me that day as he has certainly lived up to rollicking side of the breed description. From then forward Helen and Walt have been wonderful friends. They introduced us to the show world as well as the field and have taught me lots about the breed. So as Finn was the reason I got to know Helen and Walt, as Finn adores them both, and lastly since he was her first grand champion I decided to have his portrait done for her as a thank you for my lovely boy and the years of friendship. 
 
Thank you Cristin for having me paint your special boy.  It was my pleasure!!

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Callie's baby girl, Skipper.

Several years ago I painted two lovely young but mature Irish Setters. I'd photographed them in Wisconsin while traveling. When I gave the painting to the dog's owner, she was as excited as I was with the painting. Some years have passed and that lovely young female has grown into an amazing adult and had her first litter of pups. To my delight the owner had me paint the tiny pup she kept from this litter. I'm not sure I can express the joy in my heart to have painted the pup after painting its dam. I've asked the human mom to share the story of this special pup. Here is what she shared:

As you may know, this was my first litter ever, born during an ice storm when we were without power. Skipper was the name of my childhood dog, a boxer my parents got as a puppy about the same time I was born, so we grew up together. I had never even thought about naming another dog after him. Because this litter was immediately dubbed the Squeakers , my daughters were amusing themselves during the very long day (Callie took a 5 hour whelping pause after the third puppy!) giving all the puppies baby names that started with "Squ" but when purple girl girl was born, for some reason, Jen looked at her and said Skipper. Even though she was the seventh puppy to be born out of 10, I just had the most visceral reaction to her. I swear she crawled over to me as soon as we put her down after drying her off. For 8 weeks I had to force myself not to bond with her in case she wasn't the pick bitch!

Anyway, my other daughter Jessica took this picture of her the first day her eyes were fully opened. She was just starting to figure out how to focus them. She was the first to escape the whelping box and still believes the top of the pool table in the family room is her private perch. Her registered name is Carillon By Candlelight because we had no power the day she was born.

I love the painting! Not only because it is my sweet Skipper but also because it is a wonderful way to remember the joy of my first litter. Thank you so much.

Thank you Carolyn for having me paint your dogs.
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http://www.dawnsecord.com/commissioninformation.html