Friday, January 30, 2015

Bling loves road trips!

We are on the way to the ISCSC hunt test.  I told Bling this is a time out weekend.

No grooming for either one of us haha.  No suit or pantyhose for me. No clippers or thinning shears for Bling!

Rich and Monet are entered.   The rest of us are along for the ride.  Monet has no lessons, no training, but can find a bird like nobody's business. So our fingers are crossed and we'll see how she does!

Thanks to Christy for staying at our house with our cat, our chickens, & a feisty little bird

Friday, January 23, 2015


I've known Donovan's owner for a number of years now.   We've actually spent a decent amount of time together when we are at the same dog show.   One thing I've learned about her for sure is that she is passionate about her dogs.

When she first approached me to paint her dogs, it was to be a candid shot of two dogs.    When it came down to picking reference photos, there just weren't two photos of each dog that really complimented each other.   She decided to paint just one dog (for now) and chose Donovan.   I've known Donovan since he was a pup and have watched him mature into a wonderful animal.

I asked her to share some information about Donovan and her relationship with him, and this is their story:

GCH. Kilkenny's One Singular Sensation CD BN CGCA   aka Donovan. Donovan was a singleton (the only puppy in a litter) puppy bred by me.  Hence his name "One Singular Sensation".  This boy has given me so many firsts. My first GCH, my first bred dog that I put obedience titles on,  and several group placements. He far exceeded any expectations I ever had especially since he was an only puppy.  This never could have been accomplished if it was not for his co-owners Jayneann Wikler and Tim Sheridan.  Donovan is the love of my life.  Thank you so much Dawn for capturing his expression perfectly.
It is such a joy to paint people's animals.  I can't imagine tiring of it.   People ask me what I'll do when I retire.   "RETIRE" - really - how does one ever retire from something they love.   Someone will be prying a paint brush or a stick of pastel from my cold hand....then again, if I am found by someone who knows me, they will leave the artist's materials where they find them.
Thank you Lydia for having me paint such a sensational boy.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Payne - from puppy to adult

This is Payne - he is an English Cocker Spaniel.  If you've never met this breed, have to tell you, they are just adorable.

My husband I have been fortunate enough to travel with Payne and his family for a number of years.   This painting has been planned for quite some time, but his family was waiting for him to mature so that his painting could show him at different ages.

The photos used for the painting were taken in different lighting scenarios - one with back lighting, several inside with no natural lighting, and one ideal photo taken outside in good lighting.   The challenge was to get all his coloring correct and make all three images balanced in value.

Several times while painting, my mind was playing tricks on me and I'd really have to rework an area.    My mind would say, "If that was dark, and you want it light, then what should we do with the values in the shadows?"    Right brain left brain thing I think.    Our minds do not doubt a photograph.  However, in a painting, if something is off ...lets say anatomically, but that anatomy is what the photo had, the human eye assumes the artist did something incorrectly.  Even if the painting shows just what the photo did.  For that reason, I'm very cautious in what reference photos I use.   There are often changes needed in the painting that are not in the photo.   Or things are left out of the painting that are in the photo.   Just depends on the dog, the photos and the lighting.   Painting from photos can be a lot more complicated than one may think.

Thank you to Payne's family for having me paint your precious boy.   He is like a big stuffed toy - but he gives kisses where a stuffy does not....

Saturday, January 10, 2015


This is Kobe, Multi BISS GCH Jadestar Ride Em' Cowboy.

I've known Kobe for a number of years and have watched him mature into a beautiful dog.  Not only is he lovely on the outside, he is a dream of a dog with a gentle kind heart.

When his owners approached me to paint him, I was thrilled.  We met up at a dog show and I took a number of photos of him.   The photos which were my primary reference photos were taken in the shade.  He'd really been squinting in the sun therefore, we moved him to get some shots of him in a cooler area.   We didn't want him to become too warm and start panting.  

Three photos were used to create this painting.  One was his primary reference pose, another was for his eye shape (where he was fully relaxed and not squinting at all) and lastly a photo taken from him sitting in the direct sun for his coat coloring.

Kobe lives in Arizona.  His people family wanted a southwestern background.   I have a ton of photos in my reference library from all my trips between California and visiting my family in, reference photos of Arizona were plentiful.

Thank you to Kobe's family for having me painting him.   It was a wonderful experience and I'll keep a place in my heart for this wonderful dog!