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.

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