"Precious Moment" is one of those magical moments of a mom and her baby. The reference photo was not staged.
The owner of the dogs was there with her camera at the right time and caught a magical moment. She has told me several times how excited she was to have been there at the right time and the right moment to take the photo. She wasn't sure which puppy was in the photo as most of the puppy was concealed by the mom's coat. The owner has a favorite puppy from that litter though so she tells herself that is the puppy in the painting!
In the photo the mom's head was pushed up into the side of the whelping box so I had to use other dogs as models to determine the angle of her head. My client confirmed that I had gotten the head correctly before I proceeded forward. For the painting I took the whelping box out of the composition and had the dogs laying on soft blue bedding. We all call Irish Setters "Red Dogs" when actually the color of their coat is more orange. Blue is a complimentary color to orange which is why I chose the background to be that color. The client who commissioned the painting was very happy with the completed piece. When she was in my studio picking up the painting she was looking at the various paintings I have on the wall - landscapes - still life - seascapes and of course the animal paintings. She asked me what I enjoyed doing most. I told her it was giving the animal paintings to the client - I never realized how much happiness my paintings could bring and that undoubtedly is my most cherished part of painting.
Limited Edition Prints of this painting are available on my website at http://www.dawnsecord.com.