This is Ziva. She is a gentle kind girl with the most beautiful brown eyes.
I met her owners probably 7 years ago when creating another painting of a different dog for them. We met in the LA area and they did not have their dog with them. Fortunately, a few months later, I would be traveling in Northern California. We were able to met up so I could photograph their dog.
Jumping ahead several years, now it was Ziva's turn for her painting. We met up in Palm Springs where I could take photos of Ziva. She truly is a breathtaking girl - I fell in love with her. We took numerous photos of her for reference material. It was a difficult choice to pick a primary pose - Ziva is quite photogenic. The photo chosen was not an ideal photo of her ears being up and alert. The other reference photos allowed me to see different ear positions so the ear position could be changed in the painting. Also, there were some really circular highlights on her coat that were distracting in the painting. They were first painted in, but later I took them out. They just looked odd. My eye didn't question the highlights in the photos. But, in the painting, it just wasn't right and needed to be adjusted. Lastly, there was a significant shadow cast on her chest from her muzzle that didn't need to be in the painting. Photos are just a road map for me to get to "that" dog's painting but I am most certainly not attempting to copy a photo. My paintings have to be better than the photo or why have a painting.
The painting was finished several months ago. It is always wonderful to ship the paintings to those who commissioned the work, but sad for the painting to leave my studio. It is funny, they are like my children. My heart is is every painting.
My normal system is to display the finished painting in my office for a week or two to clear my head. I then take time to view the painting and make sure nothing jumps out that would need an adjustment. It is amazing how a fresh eye can reveal things that previously went unnoticed. So much time is spent with each painting, it seems like I simply become too familiar with the piece. A clean fresh eye is a great chance for me to do a double take. More often than not, no changes are needed. Once in a while something jumps out that may need a little tweak.
Thank you to Ziva's family for having me paint for you again. It is an honor.
Saturday, August 26, 2017
Thursday, August 10, 2017
It is always so touching to be asked to paint a dog who is no longer with his family. We have all been there. Liam was a very special dog and left way too soon.
Here is Liam's story:
Here is Liam's story:
Liam’s registered name is “ Glendine Sweet William, CGC, RN “.
There is a saying that a person gets the dog they are meant to get and no truer words were said about my life with my boy Sir Liam! Liam joined our family after a 22 year hiatus from having Irish setters due to the loss of my extremely precious and bonded girl, my Katie. I must admit, Liam was the smartest dog I have ever owned. I could show him something once and he would know it forever. He knew every toy by name and also all his close family by name. At parks, Liam would climb ladder and go down slide just because he could. He was amazing at agility too. Liam loved everyone and everything. All he ever wanted to do was to please us. Unfortunately, Liam was not a healthy boy. I cannot even count as to how many ICU stays he had but he always came home better and happy with good quality of life. Three specialist did not think he would live to be 2 years old. But my boy Liam refused to quit. We were blessed with having him in our hearts and lives for 5 ¾ years. We said goodbye on December 6, 2016 and our hearts and soul still ache to have him back with us. Thank you so much Dawn for doing this special portrait of Liam to allow us to be able to see him daily!
It is an honor to have been asked to paint Liam. To Liam's family, I hope the painting warms your heart and brings those special memories to you each time you look at it.
Friday, August 4, 2017
This is Oscar. His official name is GCHB CH American/Canadian Ramblin’ Red Brisbane. His owner and I talked about painting him a few years ago. He was young at that time and she thought it would be best to wait a few years until he grew up. A few years later, here is his painting. He is an amazing dog with a prize personality.
I’d asked his owner to share a little bit about him. Here is what she shared:
Oscar was among the Top 20 Irish Setters and qualified for the Irish Setter Club of America’s Health Foundation Top 20 competition in 2016. He was the winner of the OVASA of Canada CA, Irish Setter Division. He was bred by Peter, Anne Marie and Randy Kubacz. (Pendoric Reign of Fire out of Ramblin’ Red Special Agent Starling). He is owned, cared for , and loved by Nancy Salmon and Peter Kubacz; handled and conditioned by Peter. Oscar is the 5th Ramblin’ Red Irish Setter owned and loved by Nancy. As she concludes, “Each has owned My heart.”
Thank you Nancy for having me paint your special boy.
Following are the main two reference photos used for the painting.