This is a painting of three litter mates - Irish Setters. The theme of this litter was New Orleans. I have shown against these dogs for a few years and have enjoyed getting to know them. When their owner asked me to paint the girls I was thrilled.
We took quite a few photos. The hard part was choosing which photos we collectively liked best. And...there were a number of them!! My goal is to not reproduce a photo - my goal is to make a painting using a photo as reference material. If you look at the photos and the final painting you'll see shadows in the photos that are not in the painting, colors in the painting that are not in the photos, high lights in the painting that differ from the photos and most importantly - the eyes have a life like quality.
For the background, the owner of the dogs wanted something to do with New Orleans. We toyed with making the background the French Quarter and having Mardi Gras beads around their necks. (well....the beads were my idea - over zealous with the theme!)
Ultimately, we both felt a gentle landscape was the best choice. As a surprise, I added the Spanish Moss hanging from the trees. When I've traveled through Louisiana, the hanging moss has always fascinated me. It gives the trees a very gentle dreamy quality.
Thank you for taking a peek!