Saturday, May 31, 2014

Painting of Kelly & Mick

I've know Kelly and Mick for a number of years now.   When Mick was  young, Kelly had him in a crate in her vehicle.   They were in a terrible traffic accident.   Mick's crate was sheared in half and he was running lose on the freeway.  Kelly was airlifted to the hospital.  Someone caught Mick, who had some lacerations, and took him to a veterinarian.   The vet scanned him for a microchip and called his owner, Kelly's husband.   He told the vet, his dog was with his wife.   The vet said no, your dog is here.   That is how he found out his wife and dog and been in terrible accident.

Life is so fragile and sometimes it can be taken so quickly.   Kelly is one of those people who make an impact on your life, and her dog Mick is the same.   Those who know her are so very thankful she was not taken from us at that time.  You will never see her without a smile on her face and Mick will always be wagging his tail.

Mick is a very important part of her life and the background for this painting is one of their very special places to visit.

Here is what Kelly posted on her Facebook page:
Celebrating 10.5 years with my boy Mick - American Canadian Champion Westeirann Estrella Magic with a beautiful pastel painting by Dawn Secord . Thank you Dawn! I will cherish this forever can't wait to get it in a frame on the wall.

Thank you Kelly for having me paint you and your special boy - it was an honor!

Photo: Celebrating 10.5 years with my boy Mick - American Canadian Champion Westeirann Estrella Magic with a beautiful pastel painting by Dawn Secord . Thank you Dawn! I will cherish this forever can't wait to get it in a frame on the wall.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Commission of Emma

This is a recently finished commission of Emma.   When her family approached me to paint her I was thrilled.  Another art collector had suggested to them that I paint Emma as I had painted their senior dog, Ruby.   As an artist, nothing is more heartwarming than to know someone is asking me to paint their dog because someone else is so pleased with their painting.  

When they brought Emma to me to take the photos, my heart melted.   She is a veteran girl with the softest eyes and the most amazing ears.   We took a ton of photos of her and it really was a hard decision to determine which photo best represented Emma.

The painting was done a few months ago, but the family allowed me to hang on to it until the ISCA National Specialty so I could have it there on display.

If you'll be at the National - and want to see the painting in person - please come by my art booth!

Thank you to Emma's family for choosing me to paint her portrait and thank you to Ruby's family for suggesting it to them!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Poster "Celebrate Seagoing Show Dogs" is now for sale!

When the book came out, the author, Marsha Hall Brown, and I were trying to decide which illustrations to put into print and which ones to feature on a poster.   At one of our meetings we had a brainstorm, why not have a commemorative poster that includes a number of the illustrations rather than focusing on the cover of the book.

The commemorative poster is titled, "Celebrate Seagoing Show Dogs" and is for sale on the book's website.  This poster features a number of my illustrations from the book Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore.

The poster is 18" x 24" and retails for $12.00 plus tax.   Close to my heart and included in the poster (as well as the book) is an Irish Setter and English Setter.   The author is offering free shipping for any orders that are made before July 1, 2014.   If you are interested in taking a purchasing the poster - go to the book's website at

To see more of my work - go to my website at

Friday, May 9, 2014

Irish Setter Puppy Painting Number 2
Here is puppy painting number two.   The first painting can be seen on my facebook page at:

To push the emotion in the painting a bit further than that of the photo, I rolled this pup's ears back a tad more than what her ears were doing in the actual photo.   That is the fun with painting - no rules - no being limited with a photo.   Following is the story about this painting.   If you want to participate in the voting on which painting I should put into print, please go to my facebook art page and share your comments!

Here is a second puppy painting that was done for a show.   When the first puppy painting was completed, I was asked if it was going to be put into print.   Originally, that had not been the intention.   The two paintings were simply for a show. 

When going through all the different reference puppy photos in my library, the reference photo for this second puppy painting kept talking to me.   There was something about the eyes that drew me in and kept me there.  At first, it seemed the pup was longing for something.  After looking at the photo numerous times it no longer had that look, but rather a thoughtful look.  The emotion the pup was displaying was very thought provoking - what the heck was that pup thinking?  I figured, if I kept going back to that photo, well, I better paint it.

So, my question to you is (now that I've decided to put one of the two into a limited edition print) which of the two should it be?   Would love to hear your votes - is it puppy painting number one or puppy painting number two?  In puppy number one, I used some fun fruitful colors that were used in a painting of my dog Jewel,  years ago (you can see a snippet of Jewel's painting on the top of my blog) that were more of a fun cheery approach.   Puppy painting number two has more bold colors.    

The emphasis was not color harmony in the painting but to direct the viewer to the eyes of the pup.

If you want to see the original reference photo for puppy painting number 2 - go to my blog at 

Don't forget to send me a comment and let me know which of the two you prefer!   Thanks so much!

Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore Illustrated by Dawn Secord, Artist

Those who know me well know I've been illustrating a children's book for the past three years.   The author of the book is AKC judge and dog writer, Marsha Hall Brown.   It is exciting to be able to say....the book is finished and published.  It has been a wonderful journey working with Mrs. Brown.  

Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore is a great story of learning that the grass is not always greener on the other side of the fence, that competitors can be friends and teamwork accomplishes more than going solo. 

The website is under construction and will sell a collector's issue of the book (autographed by author and illustrator
along with a dust jacket and book mark), the original illustrations, prints and posters.  http://www.showdogsescape.

For now, the book is available from Barnes & Noble  and at Amazon. com 

Follow the book on Facebook and Twitter