Friday, December 26, 2014

Border Terrier Portraits

Several months ago a secret project was completed.  Three individual portraits of three border terriers were painted that were to be given as Christmas presents.   After the paintings were commissioned, the senior dog of the three, Chloe, was unexpectedly lost to illness.   I saved her painting until last to paint.  Chloe held such a special place in Amy's heart, it was very emotional for me to paint her.

It has been so much fun being part of secret Christmas presents.  This year has been a record in creating them for folks. 

Over the past six months paintings have been completed and shipped off to be given to loved ones on this special holiday.

These three paintings were shipped to Amy's mother to keep the paintings out of her home so her husband wouldn't find them.  Thank you to "Mom" for helping Amy keep her surprise.

I'd shipped the paintings a few months ago.  It has been a long wait for Amy to post the paintings on Facebook so that I could in turn post them myself.

Thank you Amy for letting me be part of your Christmas!  

Monday, December 22, 2014

Australian Shepherd Painting


This is a painting recently finished that was a surprise Christmas gift. Turbo, is a rescue Australian Shepherd. Years ago Turbo was in a shelter with no family. He'd been there for several months which was unusual for the staff to keep an animal that long. Some very kind people came along and found that he was slated to end his stay the next day. They couldn't allow that to happen and Turbo went home with them.

Turbo is now 12 + years old and having health problems. When his owner, Lori, came to me to paint him as a Christmas gift for her husband, my heart melted. Lori sent me a number of photos of Turbo. The one that made me take a deep breath was the one of him years ago laying on a bed with the most adorable blonde haired child. That child came to my home tonight with her parents (now a lovely young woman and a college graduate) to pick up the painting.

What a wonderful life this family has given Turbo and what a precious gift of love he has given them in return. It was an honor to paint him for them. Merry Christmas to the Robertsons!

Saturday, December 20, 2014

This is a painting of Tori, CH Jewelset What Dreams R Made Of, ROM.

The painting was to be a surprise Christmas present for Tori's family.  I asked the person who commissioned the painting to give me some background on their relationship with Tori's owners.   Here is a glimpse of what she told me:

     "Through Julie and Kim, I discovered the excitement of going to dog shows and I've met so many nice people,  I've held newborn puppies for the first time in my life, I've share victories and championships with them, they took me to my first National in Ohio, and have had more fun than I ever thought possible. I knew Tori was very special to Julie and Kim and I hoped with all my heart that this gift would bring them as much joy and happiness as they have given to me.  Thank you, Dawn, for helping me do this... XOXO"  

It is always a joy to paint for people.   There is something special about painting an animal for someone, that as an artist, I never expected.   It is almost impossible to put into words.  I can tell you, my heart skips a beat when I'm finished with the painting and hand it over to those who commissioned the work.  I had the same feeling when we had our puppies and handed the puppies over to their new families.   You have something you love in your hands that you are letting go of, but you know it is going to the home where it is supposed to be.  In that moment - there is warmness in my heart.

I hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I did painting it.   Thank you to Pat for allowing me to be part of your surprise.   Merry Christmas to all!

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Book signing in San Diego - would love to see you there!

Our book, Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore, has been well received and won several awards.

Marsha has been awarded:
  • The Mom's Choice Award for Excellence
There is one illustration of a cat in the book.   To our humor and delight, the cat illustration is currently our award winning illustration.
  • Certificate of Excellence by the Cat Writers' Association, Inc.
  • Best Cat Illustration of the Year 2014 (Single Illustration category) by the Cat Writer's Association, Inc.
In addition, Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore has been nominated in three separate categories for the prestigious Maxwell Medal by the Dog Writers Association of America.  The categories are:
  • Best Single Illustration (in all genre)
  • Best Series of Illustrations (in all genre)
  • Best Children's Book
Winners will be announced in New York City at the annual Dog Writers banquet - the Hotel Pennsylvania on Feb 15, 2015
Books are available for sale on the book's website at  
If you are interested in one of the original illustrations, please let me know.  A number of them have been sold.  Please email me if you have a question concerning the originals - they are not yet on the book's website.
The next public book signing will be in San Diego, California at the landmark Hotel Del Coronado.
  • 1500 Orange Avenue, Coronado, CA, 92118, telephone 619-435-6611
  • Signing will be from 11 am - 3 pm on Saturday, December 20th.  The location will either be in the signature room on the mail floor or outside the Blue Octopus Toy Store.   Would love to see you there!