Saturday, December 19, 2015

Ch Jewelsets Split Second "ELLIE" (BIS Ch Saxony Snow in August ex BISS Ch Jewelsets Special Attraction)

Ch Jewelsets Split Second "ELLIE" (BIS Ch Saxony Snow in August ex BISS Ch Jewelsets Special Attraction)

This beautiful girl left us earlier this year.   She lived a full life but, even then, losing her was far too soon.   They are never with us long enough - even when they lived as long as beautiful Ellie lived.

Ellie's painting was a Christmas gift from one friend to another.   The painting was a surprise and today the friends had their Christmas get together and the surprise present was opened.  The painting is a mini painting and measures 6 x 6. 

Thank you to Pat for having me paint Ellie for you to give as a gift.   It is such an honor to be able to be part of such a special present.

Hugs and understanding to all those who shared in Ellie's life.   She will be in your memories forever.

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Commissioned painting of Brandie.

This painting is sitting her in my office and ready to be shipped out tomorrow.

This is "Brandie" CH Jamonds Brandie Wine Back with a Shamrock. I understand she is points away from her Grand Championship as well. I met Brandie back in 2013 - she was WB at the 2013 ISCA National Specialty - shown by her breeder and dear friend, Jackie Drummond.

She is a gorgeous girl and very loved by her owners, Bob and Rita Schmidt. I was so excited to be able to paint her for them. On a fun note, Brandie is a sister to my girl Faith (Brandie is from a repeat breeding so Faith is older). They both have the darkest eyes and gentle expression.

I met up with Brandie again in 2014 and took some photos of her. More photos were taken in 2015 and this painting is a result. The time allowed Brandie to mature and what a beautiful head and expression she has.

The painting is being shipped to Bob and Rita tomorrow. I can't wait for them to see it in person. The paintings are so much better in real life. There is a dimension and vibrancy that is lost when looking at the image on a computer screen.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Joe Cool - Pastel Painting of a Norfolk Terrier
Joe Cool aka CH Abershams Man in the Moon

This is a mini painting recently finished. The dog's name is Joe Cool. His registered name is CH Abershams Man in the Moon. It has been a pleasure to paint such a beautiful boy. I can see why he is loved so much - I'd just like to snuggle him and give him kisses. Thank you Celeste for having me paint your boy!
Reference photo of Joe Cool

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Painting Commission - Lennox

This is a painting of Lennox (Le Sphinx Killing Me Softly). The mini painting was a gift from one friend to another. I can't tell you how awesome it is when people commission me to paint a "gift" painting for someone.

Borzoi - Pastel Painting

I'd asked if the owner of Lennox could share some special thoughts on this lovely dog. She lives in Switzerland. Here is what she's shared: "I am still amazed at how accurately the artist Dawn Secord has made his wonderful charisma ........ She saw his wonderful expression and this says everything on him. He is the most special Borzoi of my life. A dog with a wonderful charisma.............again thank you so much!!!! He is now a senior 8 years can't believe how time flies......."

Thank you to all involved for having me paint your beautiful boy, Lennox. It was an honor.

Monday, November 2, 2015

New Commissioned Painting just finished.

This is Boo "Bruschi" - also known as BIS BISS GGCH Greengate the Boss at Beaubriar CGC, RN.

I met Boo back in 2006 in Michigan.   He was a very young dog at that time and absolutely adorable.   The one thing that was undeniable was his incredible personality.   He was a gorgeous baby, but I had no idea he would grow into such a beautiful adult.   I've asked his family to share a little bit of what he has done in the show ring.

He has won 2 BIS (Best in Show) and 28 BISS (Best in Specialty Shows)
Was #1 male IS for at least 1 year. Retired now, was ranked as #3 Breed and #3 All Breed when he was retired.
Owned and Loved by: Rick & Nancy Fiacco
Co Owners: Shelly DeChambeau, Bernie Elliot

Boo is one of those once in a life time dogs. 

Reference photo for the painting:

Monday, October 12, 2015

Portrait of Major for Emily

There is a very special story behind this painting.   At the 2014 National I was approached by this cute 15 year old junior handler, Emily, who was just learning to show dogs.  She didn't have her own Irish yet, but was showing dogs for others to learn the ropes.   She was so smitten with my artwork that she secretly commissioned me to paint her mother's dog as a gift.   Shortly after speaking with Emily, her mother approached me.   She wanted to commission me to paint Emily's first Irish setter once she had it.   Oh gee - what to do.   Funny thing is, this has happened to me before.  So, I knew what to do - I said  yes to both of them and would figure it out later.

Eventually, I told Emily's mother what was going on and we all laughed about it.   Her mother wanted me to keep the secret from Emily and let Emily think she was commissioning me when in actuality, the painting would be for Emily.

Now it is 2015 and Emily has her first Irish Setter, his name is Major.   Emily is so in love with this pup.  I was able to meet him in Georgia and can easily see why she loves him so much.  This pup has such an amazing personality, he even let a 3 year old stack him  (Major is pictured below with his breeder's granddaughter).

I asked Emily to share her thoughts about Major and this is what she told me;

Major is a fun loving, happy dog who has never met a stranger. He is My Heart Dog. I have never loved a dog like I love him.  He, at a young age, went to a nursing home and did amazingly well for a puppy.  I plan on getting his CGC next year and hopefully he will be a Champion next year too. He is one of those dogs you meet and he leaves an impression on you.

Thank you to Emily and her mom, Tammie, for letting me be part of your family and create this painting for ya'll.   I look forward to watching Emily and Major in years to come.

And of all the coincidences, her pup Major is out of Harmony, who is a litter mate to Drew (our male and Bling's father).   So Bling and Major are cousins.   Just a crazy coincidence.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Three Generations of Irish Setters - Pastel Painting

When I was approached to paint three generations of Irish Setters, I was thrilled.

I was able to meet all the dogs in person and take photos of them.  The center image was to be painted larger than the others is she the foundation dam.   Her owner wanted her image to be larger and stand out from her puppies and grand puppies.

The two upper images are her get - female on the right, male on the left.   From the female, a litter was whelped which produced the two lower images - two young males. 

Knowing the dam and the sire of the two young males, it is amazing how much resemblence I can see to various dogs in their pedigree.   The pup on the left most certainly reminds me of his uncle - upper right.  The pup on the right most certainly reminds me of his sire.  The pups are three now and I've seen pictures of the pup on the right.  As an adult he is a beautiful blend of his sire and dam.

It is so interesting to watch dogs grow and, like people, see how they develop and who they resemble.

Thank you so much to their owner for having me paint their portraits.   It was truly an honor to paint your family.

If you are interested in commissioning me to paint your dog, my email is or go to my website for more information

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our chicks are 12 weeks old!

Here is a video of our chicks.  Crazy to think they even hatched.   Not sure what to do with the two little roosters.   For now, we are keeping them.  My poor husband....don't think he signed up for a hobby farm!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Dottie the Italian Greyhound

This is Dottie.  I met her owners last year and we discussed the possibility of me painting Dottie's portrait.   As the conversation progressed, the idea of having two photos of Dottie in her portrait, a head study and a racing shot, became the goal.

Dottie's parents had some amazing reference material for photos.  But, I'd never seen an IG race so I met up with them and was able to watch their dogs run in person.   I took more reference photos and had a blast.   Those little guys ran like rockets!!!  I'd taken one of my Irish Setters with me, Bling, and someone asked me if she was racing.  We all had a good laugh over that one.

For the painting, they chose to have me paint a head shot of Dottie when she was younger.   She had a beautiful collar on but it obscured my view of her markings.  So, they took a photo of her in without the collar.   Great help!!  On Dottie's neck, the colors were subdued to ensure the viewer would be drawn to Dottie's face and to also make it more of a subtle area on which the racing part of the painting would be layered.

For racing part of the painting, the lights and darks were vibrantly emphasized so it would appear Dottie was running right off the painting at you. It was important that the racing image on the painting not blend into the portrait part of the painting.

Hope you enjoy the painting of Dottie as much as I did painting it!!

Friday, July 10, 2015

Mini Pastel Painting - the Perfect Gift!

This is a mini pastel painting 4 x 4.

It is the perfect size for a gift. 

More information is on the website link above.  On the above link, the painting that is being signed is a 6 x 6.   Another great gift size.  The 4 x 4 is $125.00 and 6 x 6 is $250.00.    Shipping, tax (if applicable) and framing not included.

I do a lot of gift certificates for paintings these sizes.   Email me or call me for more information.
(909) 393-7111

Happy July everyone!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Painting of Jazz

I've been working on this painting for a little bit.  It was one that was being worked on while doing two others.  There was so much detail needed in the background that it helped me to step away from it and work on another painting every few days.  Doing so keeps my eyes fresh.

The dog's name is Jazz.   He is the apple of his owner's eye.  In addition to being her everything, he is an obedience dog and a wonderful therapy dog.

Hope you enjoy viewing the painting as much as I did painting it.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Painting of Logan

I've known Logan since he was a young dog.  I met him and his lovely owner, Penny, back in 2011 in Oklahoma.   The internet has allowed Penny and I to keep in contact and for me to watch Logan bloom into a gorgeous dog.

Logan has such a wonderful personality.  We took photos of him for his portrait and there wasn't the gentle look Penny had wanted.  However, there was a relaxed photo of him playing in a chair that showed his soft eyes.  His body is rolled in a chair and that was not desirable for the painting we wanted.   I always steer away from fusing photos = ie - using a head from one and a body from another for fear of an anatomical failure.   In Logan's case, one of my photos would work for the body, and the head from the chair photo was Penny's preference, so I said a little prayer and went to work.

It worked!   Penny was pleased and felt one wouldn't be able to tell that two photos had been fused.   She had his soft eyes in the painting and his beautiful coat. 

I asked her to share a little bit of Logan's story and this is what she had to say:

     Logan is Grand CH Beaubriar Spirit Meant To Be, CGC. Lo & I met when he was still living with Shelly at 11 months old. For Lo & I it was love at first sight, so the day before his first birthday he moved in with his new Irish Setter brother Duncan and me. He has several co-owners who all love him, me, Shelly DeChambeau, Kathy Roscoe; Nancy & Rick Fiacco. He is a Multiple BISS winner. His favorite "hobby" is sitting in my lap. 
     My favorite story about Logan is, a week after he arrived at my house I took him to meet my mom who had recently moved to Assisted Living. When we walked into her room she called him over to her and he immediately hopped up into her lap where he sat for several hours why she cuddled with him. She smiled nonstop. That was the last time I saw my mom before she passed. I have the ever lasting image of my mom smiling with my sweet boy in her arms. She loved Irish Setters as much as I do.

Thank you Penny for having me paint your beautiful boy.  I hope you enjoy your painting as much as I have while painting it.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Best in Show at "The Cat Show" art exhibit

"The Cat Show" exhibit at Pinnell Gallery in Fallbrook, California opened today, June 6, 2015.

During the artists' reception, my painting, "Shades of Blue", was awarded Best in Show. So exciting!

Thank you to the Pinnell Gallery and the judges for this honor.   After the reception, we came home and hugged my little model, kitty Cash.

Originally, there were three paintings ready for the show.   One of the three paintings, "Come Fly with Me", sold before the show.   Three paintings had been committed to the show so I had to scramble and create a new painting to take the place of the one that sold.  

I had a number of reference photos of my bluepoint Siamese cat, Cash, from a few years ago.   No painting is ever rushed, so I took my time with this third painting - which is titled, "Shades of Blue."  This painting was one that really drew me in while it was being painted and I had to make myself stop when it was completed.  Sometimes I keep fiddling when that is no longer

View my art on Facebook!
necessary.  It is almost like a great book, one hates to get to the end because then the story is over.   That is what happened with this painting.   I could have kept painting!

Some things are just meant to be.

Thank you again to the gallery and judges.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Monet at the ISCSC Specialty May 30, 2015

It was going to be a very hot day at the specialty and we weren't going to show Monet though she was entered.  Rich and I picked up the arm bands for Bling and Faith leaving Monet's until later.   We thought it would be too hot for her.

We decided to show her.  We'd brought a box fan and had it on her in our set up.  She was handling the heat much better than me - ha ha!

To our surprise, she went Select with some outstanding competition that was in the ring.   There were 12 specials plus the veteran dog and bitch.   To say we were thrilled would be an understatement.   What really did surprise us was her attitude.   Maybe I should show her more often than a few times a year.   She really did have a blast.   Thank you to judge Mrs. Lowell (Arlene) Davis for this lovely placement.

Today she is being really feisty.  I thinks she is proud of herself....and proud that she did better than her daughter, Bling.  Yeah Monet!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Bling at Antelope Valley Kennel Club on May 25, 2015

Here is a video of Bling at the dog show.  She is so much fun to show!!

Click on this link to see the video:
      Bling stacks at the dog show

So proud of young Bling.  She went WB, BOW and BOS at the Mission Circuit, Antelope Valley Kennel Club under judge Ms. Elizabeth Muthard on 5/25/15.   She needs one more major for her championship.   Thus far, all her points have been from the Bred By class.

No rush.  Girls just wanna have fun - and we are sure doing that!

Monday, May 25, 2015

Chicks are hatching

Here is a video of our hatching chicks.

There is a fun story behind the chicks.   Not sure when I started wanting a chicken - seems like forever.   Why - gosh - who knows.   They are a lot more work than ever expected, but I sure enjoy them.

My first chicken was named Belle.   She was a black beauty sex link and I got her as a tiny chick back in probably 1991.   At that time I did murals with my artwork.  For fun, I hid Belle Chicken in all my murals - regardless if they were for a children's room or a commerical account.   I can remember when I painted a mural at our veterinarians' clinic.   The mural was to feature dogs and cats of course.  Then, hiding behind a fence was...Belle Chicken.   My veterinarian's wife was looking over the mural when it was finished.  She started laughing and said, "IS THAT A CHICKEN IN THERE!??"  Yes, it was!

So, back to our chicks.... here is their story!

Our chicks are hatching... we had no clue if the eggs had been fertilized. There is a wild bantam hen and a standard rooster that hang out by our barn. The little Bantam hen has been around for years.  She really doesn't officially belong to anyone.  Some years back she flew into our pool escaping a raccoon.   She is a cute little thing but quite wild.   So, she had made a nest and the dogs found it in the horse arena 21 days ago. She had just laid eggs in it that day.  I know that for sure as the dogs would have told me about it previously. 

We removed the eggs and the took them along with the bantam hen into our chicken coop with our three Silkies. She was not safe from predictors where her nest was.  It was also next to a drain pipe and a serious rain storm was headed our way and expected to hit that night. 

The Bantam literally flew the coop ha ha. I mean she officially flew out of there. Guess that's were the saying comes from. so the Silkies ( Daisy and Lilac ) have been sitting on the eggs. The two of them together have been partners in the nest box...and to our surprise the eggs had been fertilized and they are now hatching.

Everything we'd read indicated that the standard roos (rosters) would not be able to fertilize the bantam hen due to their size difference. Guess everything I read was wrong or the hen has been around the neighborhood and has other boyfriends.....though the chick that has hatched is yellow and there are no other white roosters in the neighborhood so, I think white boy is a daddy.  He is a big jolly fellow and I've painted him a number of times.   He follows me around and is really quite gentle.   For treats, I give him kernels of corn and he takes them one by one from my fingers as if he were taking them from a baby.  So, I'm pretty fond of him.   Sure hope all the chicks that hatch are don't need another boy around here!

Will post more videos and pictures as we get them!

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Featured artist in Dog Gone Art Magazine

I am the featured artist in this issue of Dog Gone Art.   My work and story are on pages 5 - 26.  I was pleasantly surprised at how many pieces of my work are in the article.  Thank you to the publisher for selecting my work. Gone Art Magazine - Featured Artist

To view the article from the above link (if having trouble) once you have clicked on "read more" under the cover of the latest issue (my painting of an Australian Cattle Dog standing next to her owner) scroll down and click on "down load" to down load the PDF file.

Hope you enjoy the article!

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Willy and the Truck

This is a painting recently finished.  It was a gift so I had to be very quiet when contacting Amy.   We didn't want her boyfriend, Nick, to find out what she was doing for his birthday.

Amy wanted to have their dog, Willy, in the cab of Nick's truck.  Amy sent me a number of photos of Willy and a number of photos of his truck.   The goal was to have Willy seated in the truck.   It didn't work out for Amy to take photos of Willy actually seated in the truck - sometime surprises are difficult to pull off.  So, I needed to combine a few photos.     Amy shared some back ground information on Nick, Willy and the truck.   Here is their story!......

This little jalopy… I mean, gem is a 1950 Chevy truck.  It is unique in several ways; it has a 1990 Chevy S10 frame underneath, it sits on airbags and it also has an 8 cylinder Chevy engine in it.  People are quite surprised when it screams by them on the highway or when they see it going up or down on it’s airbags! 

Nick paints and restores classic cars for a living and sometimes people are surprised that he wants to keep the truck in it’s patina exterior.  I can’t tell you how many times he has been asked, “So, are you going to paint it?” We love it the way it is and another little dent or rust mark only adds to it’s character!  Plus, we can drive it on the back country roads without worrying about every little pebble or rock hitting it.  Now, the next car will be a different story, that will be the “Sunday car”.

As for Willy, he is a 3 year old American Bully, a newer breed recognized by the UKC and of course, the ABKC.  He is owned by Nick and Amy, who have owned English Bulldogs together for the last 12 years but decided to venture into another breed with Willy.  He is, indeed, a different kind of dog.  He is more energetic than a bulldog and more needy, if that is possible.  He has such facial expressions and body movements, especially when he’s happy or excited about a new toy, that it makes us laugh to ourselves and with each other at times.  He is such a character, quite possibly our favorite dog of the 4 that we’ve owned so far, just don’t let the others know that.  With his handsomely cropped ears and long tail, we’ve always said that he looks like a big cat and therefore, he has always had the nickname of Willy Cat and actually is mostly just called Cat.  He loves toys of all kind but mostly his big, black Kong, sleeping in the bed (usually taking up ¾ of his mother’s (Amy’s) pillow!), eating grape tomatoes off of the vine and howling with his dad (Nick). 

After 12 and a half years together, we don’t really “do” surprise gifts anymore.  If one of us wants something, we usually discuss it and purchase it together.  However, I wanted to be creative and surprise my “manfriend” for his 31st birthday.  And

what better way to celebrate and surprise him than by incorporating two of his favorite things in an awesome painting, his 1950 Chevy truck and Willy.  I think he will be very surprised AND happy with his gift.  

Thank you Amy for asking me to create this painting for ya'll.  It was so much fun to be part of the surprise!!   Hope you love it Nick!   Please give handsome Willy a treat from me!

Monday, March 16, 2015

My pup

Went to the dog show yesterday and Bling picked up another point.   She is so much fun to show.  Haven't practiced her at all and she went in the ring like a little pro.

Is it illegal to have this much fun with a dog????

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Painting of Bebe

This is Bebe.  She is an English Setter.   I've always loved English Setters.  As a young girl, I just thought the setters were like Siamese cats and came in different colors.  At that time, I wanted a setter in every color.   It is fun to look back at how we viewed life as children.   Embarrassingly I must admit, I also thought a Flat Coated Retriever was a black Irish setter.  

When Bebe's owner contacted me to paint Bebe I was thrilled.  The painting was to be a gift for her husband.   So....we could have no Internet contact, no Facebook contact - we were in a stealth mode because Jennifer's husband could figure just about everything out.   She paid me with cashier's checks.....all stealth.   It is interesting how she handled my waiting list time frame.  Jennifer told her husband that the gift was on back order - ingenious!  Seems like nowadays, everything is on back order.Now, one has to ask, who is the more clever of the two??  This was the first time Jennifer was able to fully surprise Norman!! A win win for both of them.

To my delight, Jennifer's husband, Norman, called me in person to talk about his gift once it was received.   What a great guy.   He talked about how special dogs were to his family and how the painting brought forth some tears.   Seems like the true gift recipient in this painting was me.   I never expected to meet all the fine people I have through my paintings.

I'd asked Jennifer and Norman to share a little bit about Bebe and this is what they told me:

Bebe is a wonderful 8 year old English Setter.  After a lifetime of dog ownership, she has become my husband's all time favorite. We got Bebe when she was a year old from a breeder. She was shy and immediately took to my husband as her protector. A few weeks after asking Dawn if I could get on her waiting list to do a portrait, within 48 hours, Bebe became totally blind due to SARDS (Sudden Acquired Retinal Degeneration Syndrome). It has been a difficult adjustment, but Bebe is doing very well. She is totally spoiled and has trained my husband to make her toast for breakfast every morning! Dawn has truly captured her essence and beauty.

Thank you Jennifer (and Norman) for the honor of painting your special girl!