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.
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!