Thursday, December 25, 2008
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
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 http://www.dawnsecord.com/.
Thank you for visiting my art and have a great day!
Dawn Secord, Artist
Saturday, October 25, 2008
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 http://www.dawnsecord.com/.
Thank you for taking a peek at my work and I wish you a great day!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
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 http://www.dawnsecord.com/. As always - thankyou for looking!
Friday, September 26, 2008
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Monday, September 15, 2008
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.
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.
Saturday, August 16, 2008
Sunday, August 10, 2008
Sunday, August 3, 2008
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 http://www.dawnsecord.com/. 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!
Tuesday, July 29, 2008
Thursday, July 24, 2008
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
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.
Monday, June 23, 2008
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.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Saturday, May 31, 2008
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
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. http://www.benningtoncenterforthearts.org
Friday, May 16, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
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
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
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
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
Saturday, April 19, 2008
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 http://www.dawnsecord.com/
Friday, March 28, 2008
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
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
Monday, February 25, 2008
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
Saturday, February 9, 2008
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 http://www.dawnsecord.com/.
Tuesday, February 5, 2008
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
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 http://www.artshowatthedogshow.com/ to see the show.