Thursday, December 25, 2008

Irish Setter

This painting of an Irish Setter was done from a professional photograph (with the photographer's consent of course). The dog's name is "Magic" Ch. Marlyn All About Magic.

There was something "Magic" about the photograph. The dog is so regal - so proud. The photo was taken outside and the way the light bounced off the flowing mahogany coat took my breath away. When I was asked to paint the dog I had so many ideas!

I worked from a total of three photographs with the primary reference pose being a photo of Magic standing in the show ring with his handler. The other photos were used as additional reference material for me to make some changes to his muzzle and tail in the painting. The party commissioning the painting had no preference on the background. With the highlights on the dog's coat it was natural for me to make the background dark to draw the audience's eye to Magic's face. I used the lighter color reeds to minimize the attention to the highlights on the body coat. My overall goal was to lead the viewer to Magic's face but keep them engaged in the entire painting.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

American Staffordshire Terrier

This American Staffordshire Terrier is known as "Brody" by his friends and in the show ring as BIS BISS CH Fraja NE Gold Ticket. He was a Best in Show dog at the tender age of 2 years old.

When his owners approached me to paint him I was thrilled. At that time he was about a year old. We waited a little bit for him to grow up and what a handsome boy he has become. It is amazing the muscle tone and body mass he had added during that time frame.

While his painting was in process I was in San Francisco at a dog show hurrying to the show ring with one of our Irish Setters in tow as I passed Brody and his handler. Exclaiming to my husband, "That is the dog I'm painting" - my husband responded, "Are you sure?" Without question I replied, "Absolutely!" Thank you to his owners for the fabulous photo reference material they supplied and for the honor of painting him.

To see a larger image of Brody - please go to my website at

Thank you for visiting my art and have a great day!

Dawn Secord, Artist

Saturday, October 25, 2008

English Setter "Waiting In The Wing"

This pastel painting of English Setter puppies and is titled "Waiting In The Wing". The painting was created specifically for the English Setter Club of America National specialty.

A lot of research went into the painting and I thank all those for their assistance. The reference photos were old and the puppies were gazing downward. The puppies were in different photos looking different directions. I opened up the eyes and had the puppies gazing forward.

At first I thought of putting some object in the painting to give the viewer an idea of what the puppies were looking at. Then, on second thought, it seemed more fun to leave the audience guessing at what was the center of the pups' interest.

The original of this painting is available as well as limited edition prints. To purchase the original or the prints please go to my website at

Thank you for taking a peek at my work and I wish you a great day!

Dawn Secord


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Irish Setter and Cowboy Boots

"Boots 'n Boys" is a pastel painting of an Irish Setter by artist, Dawn Secord.

This is a pastel painting of Luc, an Irish Setter. His human mom sent me a photo of him laying on his father's lap. Instantly I was drawn to the jeans and cowboy boots. Being from Texas - this scene just melted my heart.

The lines of light that are being cast from the blinds gave an interesting feeling to the composition. In the photo the lines of light were also across Luc's face. With artist liberty I chose not to include those as they took away from this gentle boy's expression.

This painting is available on greeting cards. To purchase please click here!

To see more of my work please go to my website at As always - thankyou for looking!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Boston Terriers

This painting is of two Boston Terriers, Ruby and Slugger. Originally, the portrait was to be solely of Ruby who had recently passed away due to her senior age. A matter of months later Slugger, another senior, passed away as well. Their owner contacted me to give me the devastating news and asked if we could put both dogs in the painting.

His favorite photo of Ruby showed her in a canoe. Once Slugger was to be added to the portrait I asked if the recipient of the portrait ( the portrait was a gift as a 5oth birthday present for one sibling from his other siblings ) if he would like me to paint the dogs in the canoe as the photo showed. He did!

In the reference photo the shore line was above the top of the canoe. I dropped the shoreline below the top of the canoe so that I could get the shoreline in the composition while keeping the poses of the dogs as large as possible. The canoe was also narrowed down a bit in the painting to allow more room for the surrounding landscape.

Ruby and Slugger - in your honor - this painting was done with love.
To view more of my artwork please go to my website at
Specializing in animal portraits

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Border Collie

This is Murphy, a Border Collie mix. Her painting has been finished for a few weeks now and I realized I had not yet put it on my blog or website.

Murphy is the second dog I have painted for her owners. I had met them several years ago at an exhibition in Beverly Hills where they commissioned me to paint their golden retriever. One of the greatest compliments as an artist is to have someone come back to me for another painting.

Murphy's owners brought her to me to photograph for her painting. It was wonderful to spend time with all of them. It was a very warm day and I was in Malibu at an exhibit. Murphy didn't waiver in her cooperation. What an amazing dog she is!!
I am so thankful to paint for a living and very little else is as rewarding to me as presenting to a person a painting of their beloved animal.
Dawn Secord
Fine Art Web Site

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dancing Irish Setter

This weekend I finished a painting I've been working on for some time. This is Daysie - an Irish Setter. She enjoys many different activities with her human mom. One of the things that Daysie loves is to dance in competition.

Along with the photos sent to me for this portrait was a DVD of Daysie at a competitive dance exhibition. My husband and I enjoyed watching all the dogs that were performing on the recording. We noticed immediately how interactive Daysie was with her "mom" during the performance. She was absolutely in her element.

The primary reference pose of Daysie showed her in an indoor facility. In her painting I placed her outside in a green meadow surrounded by wild flowers with subtle gentle colors in the background. I hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I did painting her.

Dawn Secord
Fine Art Website

Enjoying the Journey

Sunday, September 7, 2008


This is Jazzy a Borzoi. She was the most gentle soul you could ever meet. I had the pleasure of meeting her in person and getting to know her. When I went to take photographs of her she lived on 5 acres. Her owner and I sat in the yard and watched Jazzy while we discussed her portrait, her personality and how Jazzy came to be part of their family.

It was like watching a ballet performance. She had this effortless gait and floated as she moved gracefully across the beautifully landscaped property. In her earlier life she had been a show dog and once her show career was finished she was placed with her current owner. Jazzy had an absolutely wonderful life in one of the most loving families I've had the honor to meet.

This is the second painting I have done of Jazzy. She recently passed away and her owners wanted a painting of her with her ears up and looking gently into your eyes. To see Jazzy's other portrait or any other dog art please go to my website at

Thank you for looking at my art and have a great day!!

Dawn Secord
Fine Art Dog, Cat and Horse Art
Blogspot - enjoying the journey

Saturday, August 16, 2008

French Bulldog Painting in Progress

Today I was working on my painting of the French Bulldog as a demonstration at the Fallbrook Fine Art Gallery.

The City of Fallbrook is having monthly functions called "Wine and a Bite" this summer. Patrons purchase tickets which allow them admittance at galleries where food is catered, wine is served and artists are demonstrating on a work of art.

It was quite an honor to be the featured artist at the Fallbrook Fine Art Gallery. A surprising number of people came through. Many people were asking me about my techniques and complimenting my work. There was a young woman aspiring to be a professional artist full of questions. I can remember being in her shoes years ago. I answered her questions and gave her some tips. It was rewarding to give back as so many artists have helped me along the way.

The above photo was taken at the opening of the event when people were just arriving. The finished French Bulldog painting will be featured on my web site in the next week or so - please check back.
Thanks for checking to see what is going on with my art! To see more artwork, originals that are for sale and limited edition prints that are for sale please go to my web site!
Dawn Secord

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Irish Setter Family Painting

This painting was commissioned as a family tribute. The owners of the dogs live in a beautiful log cabin in Virginia.

There were eight Irish Setter puppies in the litter. I had taken over 100 photos of the puppies playing so there would a large selection of poses for the composition. Ultimately 41 photos of the pups were printed and laid out on my living room floor to finalize the composition. It was important that each puppy be interactive in the painting so that the viewer found themselves being led from one dog to another. Another 15 photos were printed out of the cabin and the parents. When working on a large multi-subject project such as this it is helpful for me to lay photos out to visualize the final composition.
For the cabin - most of the photos had been taken in the winter while the trees were dormant. There was one photo supplied that showed the summer colors and trees full. In the summer photo the colors of the horizon were breathtaking and it was so much fun to capture the colors behind the trees.

Lastly, and very important to me, was the American flag blowing in the breeze on the front porch. My husband and I are very patriot and we were thrilled to see the flag in the photos.

The painting is 20" x 30" and an extremely rewarding project. I hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I had painting it. On my website, there is an Irish Setter painting featuring five puppies playing that is available in limited edition giclee prints.

Dawn Secord

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Lhasa Apso - Pastel Painting

The portrait of Andy, a Lhasa Apso, is finished and it was so much fun to paint. Before beginning the painting I went over to get some swatches of Andy's fur and to visit him. He is the sweetest doggie soul you could ever imagine. There is gentleness about him that is indescribable.

Andy's owner was very happy with the painting. What touched her the most was the painting captured Andy's expression and personality. I will miss gazing into his eyes daily while working on the painting. Thank you Andy for being such a good and cooperative subject!

To see more of my work please visit my studio at In addition to dog art there are galleries of cat art, horse art, bird art, people portraits, still life, landscapes, beach scenes and floral paintings. A there are also original paintings available and a few limited edition giclee prints.

Thank you for visiting and have a great day!

Dawn Secord

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Painting Lhasa Apso in Malibu, California

I've been working on a painting of a Lhasa Apso for some time in preparation for the Malibu Arts Festival. My goal was to work on the painting in my art booth as a demonstration piece. With pastels there are so many layers that go into achieving the look I give hair that it is important the piece be well underway during the demonstration so people can see what the finished areas will look like. Being right handed I work left to right generally so that the areas that have been finished are undisturbed by my hand.

The painting of the Lhasa Apso, named Andy, was a very fun piece. I was able to meet Andy in person which is not always possible. From the time he was photographed to when his portrait was started he had lightened up a bit in color. So his owner cut some hair swatches for me to match his current color. There was a swatch of hair from his lower ear, his muzzle and his chest area. The color swatches in addition to the photographs were of great assistance.

In the next few days the finished painting will be posted - so be sure and check back!

To see more of my paintings please to to my website at
Have a great day!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Nick - English Setter

This portrait of Nick was painted in pastel. I had met Nick's family while traveling in Michigan. They had come to my art booth and mentioned they had a dog named Nick that they wanted painted as a gift. The next day they returned with a photograph that was amazing - a small snapshot actually. The lights and darks were a great contrast - his ears were blowing in the wind and Nick had a relaxed facial expression.

I readily agreed to use the photo as reference for the painting. My one and only concern was Nick's open mouth. The last thing I wanted the focal point to be in the painting was a red tongue smack dab in the middle of the painting. To avoid such I subdued the colors of his gums and tongue and emphasized the whites in his face.

The painting came out nicely and the recipients of the gift were more than pleased.

To see more English Setter art or Sporting Dog art - please visit my dog art gallery.

On her website Dawn has cat art, horse art, bird art, still life paintings, landscape paintings, beach paintings and people portraits.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Precious Moment - Irish Setter

"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

Monday, June 23, 2008

Skeeter - A Mother's Love

Skeeter belongs to some wonderful people that I have known for years. They also own Jack my dog Bailey Boy's full litter mate. The boys are 11 1/2 years old now. Where did the time go?

When Skeeter's parents came to me and wanted a painting it was so flattering. The main photo of Skeeter used for his painting was part of their Christmas card. In the photo his left ear was flipped behind his shoulder and he had two collars on. They also gave me a cd of puppy photos that were used as additional reference material. Generally I use a number of photos to create a painting and one primary photo is just not enough for me to gather all the detail needed.
This particular photo was not something that would have popped out to me as a great candidate for a painting. I worried there was too much going on and, at the same time, not enough going on. Skeeter's mom wanted the painting to show the reflected love between dog and owner without giving evidence to the identity of the owner. This way all dog lovers could enjoy the bond of love and be able to personalize the emotion.

Now that the painting is done the vision that Skeeter's human mom saw is so crystal clear. May this painting remind us all of the simplest message of what our dogs are for us - love - unconditionally - love.
Thanks for reading about my art and don't forget to give your animals hugs all day long!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Ringo - Irish Setter

I met Ringo's human parents a few years ago. It was exciting when they later contacted me and asked me to paint Ringo. We planned to get together in Arizona at the Irish Setter Club of America National Specialty to take reference photos for his painting. Until that time they sent photos of him to me from time to time.

Once in Arizona I was going up the stairs of the hotel and saw someone walking down past me with a beautiful Irish Setter. We stopped and chatted briefly while I petted the dog. The owner told me his dog's name was Ringo. I started laughing and said - OH! This is Ringo!!! It was a funny moment. Several days later we met up again to take the photos. Ringo was so cooperative during the photo shoot and there were many great reference photos for the painting.

When the painting was finalized Ringo's parents told me what they were most happy with was the way I had captured his gentle nature in his eyes. Ringo is now embarking on an exciting career as a therapy dog. I'm sure he'll bring many smiles to those he touches.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Jewel wins 1st place in Rally

Jewel is 9 1/2 years old. She was retired from the conformation ring in April 2008 at the Irish Setter National Specialty. At the National she won 1st place in the veteran sweepstakes class - 8 to 10 year old bitches. She then won 1st place in the regular veteran bitch class.

She has not been in an obedience ring in over four years. A few weeks ago I thought I'll go ahead and enter her in rally so she could go to the show with Monet. To my surprise she went through the rally course with ease. She won 1st place in Novice B with a score of 99. We look forward to more obedience competitions.

BIS BISS CH Rendition Treasured Moment CGC TDI - "Jewel"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Bennington Center for the Arts

Once a year the Pastel Society of America (PSA) sends invitations out to their signature members to apply to be juried into the annual PSA Signature Member exhibit. The Pastel Society of America is the most prestigious pastel society in America.

A signature membership is an elevated status of an artist which allows that artist to follow their signatures on paintings with the initials of the art association. I was juried into the PSA as a signature member. Non-member artists may only apply for associate membership in PSA once annually. Associate members that would like to be considered for signature membership may apply once a year for that status.

My work, "Golden Dreams", was accepted into this exhibit. The accepted works will be on display in Bennington, Vermont from June 7 - August 3, 2008 at the Bennington Center for the Arts.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Drew Secord - Irish Setter Puppy

We have a new member of the family. His name is Drew. My mother, husband and I picked him up on Sunday - May 11th and he was a great mother's day gift.
He is fitting into the family so easily and no one is more excited to have him here than 19 month old Monet!
It is quite apparent we are going to have to stock up on tennis balls!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Bonnie the Mastiff

The portrait of "Bonnie" was commissioned as a gift by a sister who lives in Wisconsin for a sister that lives in Arizona. Bonnie was a very special dog and an extremely beautiful Mastiff.

At the time of the commission, Bonnie was no longer with us. The photos that we had to work with were not the best quality for a portrait. They were old 3" x 5" or 4" x 6" photos that had Bonnie in as a small figure. Most detail was difficult to see clearly. All parties involved found as many photos as possible and each photo gave me a glimpse into who Bonnie was. One photo gave me her eye color - another photo or two clarified her ear set and shape.

It was a fun process and I thank the owners and family members for their patience and assistance in making the painting possible.

Friday, May 9, 2008

Monet gets another point towards her Championship

"Monet" Rusticwood Spellbound has another point towards her championship.

It is hard to believe that she is 18 months old already. Time is just flying by. She looks so much older than she is - but believe me her attitude is all puppy.

We are having lots of fun and learning together. Her aunt Jewel was so easy to show but Monet is quite smart with a mind of her own and sometimes it is difficult to tell who is teaching whom! It is exciting to see where the road will lead us. Good girl Monet!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sweetn'in - Irish Setter

Sweet'nin "CH. Scarlly's Sweet Success" was painted from a black and white photo. She had been a very important girl in the breeding program for Scarlly Setters. Over the years - and moves from one home to another - the orginal photo had been misplaced and all that was available of this pose was the black and white photo. Fortunately there were other photos of Sweet'nin that were instrumental in capturing her true colors. The painting will be shipped to Georgia in the next few days. It will be sad not to have it in my studio any longer.

My paintings are all a part of me and as much as I want them to go to the people who commissioned them a part of me doesn't want to let them go.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Duncan - English Setter

This is Duncan (Ch. Paisley's Showstopper, H. D.).

When someone contacts me to paint their dog from one of their photos (with me not having been able to meet the dog in person) it is almost like Christmas. I know "presents" are coming but I don't know what is inside until I open the package. When the package of photos arrived I couldn't open it quickly enough. What I found absolutely warmed my heart. This big robust gorgeous English Setter. The photos were primarily show photos with some profile head shots. Duncan's people parents wanted me to paint the pose of him lying down and resting. The other photos assisted me with his coloring and "getting to know him."

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Rich and Bailey

We recently returned home from the Irish Setter Club National Specialty. My husband, Rich, was the RV chairperson.
Rich drove around the grounds in a golf cart helping with parking and security along with various RV parking issues. He took our 11 year old male Irish Setter, Bailey Boy (Ch. Rendition Irish Cream), with him in the golf cart. Bailey was thrilled and eagerly awaited their daily "cruises".
Bailey sat in the front seat on a big soft pad and enjoyed the rides, the fresh air - and visiting all the girl red dogs!

Saturday, April 19, 2008


"Reflections" is my newest painting released in print. This piece was done specifically for the 2008 Irish Setter Club National Specialty held in April in Arizona. The background photos were taken by a friend who was traveling in Sedona. There had been a bridge in the background which was eliminated and more water was added to the painting.

The dog that was the model lives in Georgia and several hundred photos were sent to me by his owners. I didn't know what pose I wanted him in so they sent me every pose they could think of. Once the pose of the dog was determined I build the composition around the dog.

We consulted a cacti specialist in Arizona to make sure the cactus I put in the painting was indigenous to the Sedona area. I took photos of my dog's reflection in our pool to make sure I captured the reflection of the dog anatomically correct. More hours were put into this painting than any other painting I have ever done. The original is sold and a record number of prints as well. Prints and artist proofs are available for sale on my website at

Friday, March 28, 2008

Poised for Play

The Bichon Frise Club of America Health Foundation commissioned a painting of Bichon puppies for their 2008 National Specialty as a fund raiser. The title of the painting is "Poised for Play."

A copy of the breed standard was supplied to me upon my request so I could study the breed before beginning the painting. Even though the standard discussed adult dogs - the foundation information was applicable for puppies.

The most enjoyable part of the process was receiving and evaluating all the photos that were emailed. Naturally, the photos were awesome - how could they not be!! Sweet white fluffy dogs I could look at all day Thank you to the Bichon Frise Club of America for the honor of working with them. They are a wonderful group.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Honor to Andrew

Andrew is my youngest brother and one of my best friends. My brothers and I are all close in age and very special in each others' lives.

Yesterday I had to say goodbye to Andy. The flight back from Texas was very tough. Now I am home in California and all I want to do is go back to Texas.

Andy named my first dog - he was 14 years old at the time. He waited up all night for me to return home with "Beau Bear." I was 18 years old and had driven to Austin in a fierce rain storm not returning until after Midnight. Andy was a sleep on the sofa - unable to go to bed until he met my new puppy.

Andy always insisted on being active with my dogs and had a very special relationship with my first Irish Setter, Amber Lee. Andy is very much with me in my heart and I know he will always be there watching over me. I love you Andy.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Monet - Best in Sweepstakes

Last weekend, at the Irish Setter Club of San Diego, Monet won Best in Sweepstakes. We are so enjoying this young girl. She is 16 months old now. Time flies and she doesn't look like our baby girl anymore. When they are puppies we can't wait for them to grow up so they won't chew the things they shouldn't. Then when they grow up we dream of puppy breath and little soft cuddlers.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Portrait of Jade

This is a portrait of Jade, "Ch Rockherin Jade Star". The portrait was commissioned in April 2007. There is a waiting list for my portraits which is explained to all who commission a portrait. In January 2008 it was time to get organized on her portrait and I had been communicating with Jade's owners on getting pictures of her. She had such sweet eyes - gentle eyes. Many photos were taken of her until there was one that said - this is the one - the primary reference pose. The better the photo the more detail and reference material I have with which to work.

Jade was a senior dog when I was commissioned to paint her. In April she was a strong girl and doing well. Her owners sent me many photos taken over the course of January and beginning of February 2008. It was amazing how young she looked in the photos. Her owners had requested that I could make her a bit younger looking in her portrait. The initial sketching was done when I realized her owners had not identified what type of background they preferred for the painting. So, a quick call to Michigan to find out that missing piece of information and I was told the devastating news - Jade wasn't doing well and her owners were faced with making the decision all loving pet owners dread. My heart sank. She had been stable in January.

About 12 years ago I was painting a cat portrait in oil and had encountered the same situation. During the completion of the painting - the cat passed away from kidney disease. This is such an emotional situation for all parties involved. My heart breaks for the pet owners. How will the painting be received? Will it be a joy for Jade's human family or will it break their hearts? It has been an honor to have been able to gaze into Jade's loving eyes for the past few weeks while her portrait was painted. Tears are in my eyes as I think of her loss - I wish I could do more for her family. Thank you to her owners for allowing me to get to know her through her painting.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Loving Life

Our Irish Setter, Monet, is 15 months old. She has so much to teach us if we would only stop, look and listen.
She begins each day with a wagging tail and a positive attitude. She inspires me to be unaffected by negative influences. She is a constant reminder to be happy and enjoy life to the fullest. She makes me smile and laugh all day long.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Irish Setter Greeting Cards

Recently I finished this painting of an Irish Setter. Each year when my husband and I attend the ISCA National Specialty my goal is to come out with a new image of a setter on greeting cards.

The originating photograph was taken by a professional photograher. Permission was obtained to use the photograph for reference material to paint a portrait for the owners of the dog. I loved the pose of the dog, she is so beautiful and regal, and the fun blues used as the background color were a flattering compliment to her coloring. This was the ideal piece of my artwork to put into greeting cards this year. The photographer was contacted and permission was extended to use his image not only for the painting but for the painting to then be put on my greeting cards.

Thank you to all parties involved for being supportive of these new greeting cards. The cards may be purchased from my website at

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Buzzy the Thoroughbred

Buzzy's portrait was just completed. Buzzy had been a race track horse and is now used for competitive riding.

I took over 100 photos when photographing him for a portrait. His owner had me take photos of him in his English bridle, posing with their dog, standing freely and running in the arena. The photos were taken mid morning and the sun was just peeking over the hills and had cast back lighting on Buzzy as he ran towards me. The natural lighting effect was spectacular and ultimately played a large role in which photo was chosen to be painted. He is a very kind horse with an edge of energy. This painting shows both sides of him.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Art Show At The Dog Show Exhibit

One of my original paintings, "Golden Dreams", was just juried into the annual exhibit, Art Show at the Dog Show. It is so exciting to be juried into this show. This exhibit is for canine artists exclusively and always features many amazing artists.

The golden in the painting is Maggie. She is a senior dog and had gotten a little tired that morning. I had been photographing her for a portrait and she laid down on her owners' bed. The morning light was coming in the second story window and cast the most beautiful shadows on her. This painting was completed some years after the portrait of Maggie had been painted. The pose and the gentleness of Maggie captured my heart and I had waited years to paint her in this setting. The painting has been hanging in my living room for the past few months and now I will be able to share the artwork with others when "Golden Dreams" is exhibited in Wichita, Kansas this spring. Go to to see the show.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

People Portrait: Lindsey

Many people know me only as an animal artist so here is a recent painting of one of the people portraits that has been completed recently. The ocean behind the subject was much darker in the reference photo.

When the original colors were first laid in the ocean competed with Lindsey as the primary focus. Before painting in pastel I was an oil painter for over 20 years. With great frequency the skills learned over the years in oil painting have rolled over into my pastel paintings. To take the focus off the background I used some greys and blue greys to glaze over the existing colors to knock the ocean back into the distance. The waves then need to be re painted with lighter greys and some very light yellows. The result was exactly what I had intended. Lindsey popped out from the background.

This painting was done on pastel board and is 16" x 20", This was the first time I had used this surface for painting a person. The pastel board allowed me to do a lot of mixing right on the surface and gave me a feeling of working once again in a wet medium with the imediate results of a dry medium. It was a great experience and I look forward to using the pastel board more often in the future.

Dawn Secord Blog

Today is a big day. I have finally taken the time to start my blog. A dear friend recently suggested that a blog be started to keep my collectors up to date on what is going on in my "art" life. As with anything, a blog spot came down to time. I was thinking the other day what is something every one wants, rarely appreciates and never has enough of. The answer was simple in my life - it all comes down to time.

The painting pictured here is "Sweet Dreams". This painting recently returned from a month long exhibit in New York City. The exhibit was hosted by the Pastel Society of America (PSA) which is the most prestigious pastel society in the Country. The exhibit is an annual event. PSA accepts about 200 pieces of art Internationally. Being part of this exhibit was a great honor. To visit the PSA website please go to Limited Edition giclee prints are available of this painting.