The Night Before Christmas - 10" x 8" oil on hardboard/masonite
Here is The Night Before Christmas; I have enjoyed this painting and I hope you like seeing it.
A lot of people consider my paintings to be rather emotional - in a good way! I think this painting fits into that category and I know that many have put different interpretations on it and I love to hear people's different views. As for me, what do I see in it? Well, I'm not sure I should say and wonder if that would spoil everyone's enjoyment? Perhaps for now I should keep silent and see what others think.
The Night Before Christmas (WIP) - 10" x 8" oil on hardboard/masonite
As those of you who read my blog will know, after a hard day's work of painting portrait commissions, I like to relax in the evening by painting! This is my present painting - very much a work in progress at the moment and of course I can only work on it in the evenings.
When the painting is finished it will be offered for sale and once sold I will make a donation from the profits to Dalmatian Rescue of Puget Sound. I have been very impressed indeed with this rescue and in fact all the Dalmatian rescues along the West Coast of the USA that I know of seem to co-ordinate very well in rescuing the, what appears to me, inordinately large number of abandoned Dalmatians. I hope you'll take the time to visit their site - although if you do, you'll probably get hopping mad as I do seeing the attitude so many people have towards their pets. I must point out that the Dalmatians in this painting are much loved pets and belong to the photographer, Suzi Wahl who kindly gave me permission to use her photograph as reference for my painting.
Christmas is now very definitely in the air and as the Dogs Trust in the UK say - A Dog Is For Life, Not Just For Christmas!! (I would also like to add that the Dogs Trust never destroy a healthy dog - hooray!)
If you have any enquiries, please email me at email@example.com
As I can't post my present paintings as that is what they are - sorry for the pun; they are commissioned as Christmas presents - I will be posting a sample of Christmas cards instead and I hope they will get you in a Christmassy mood and maybe even spur you to getting your shopping done early this year. In this, I would say don't follow my example as I can every year be seen flying around the shops at the last possible moment but even so, enjoying the lovely decorations, Christmas music and hustle and bustle (actually I love it!)
If you want any further information (about paintings not shopping!!) please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feebee and Coco - 12" x 8" oil on hardboard/masonite
I almost want to say, no - don't faint - it's not a dog painting! Well I hope you enjoy this change of subject as much as I did.
I'm not sure if I've mentioned the cat I owned as a child; he was a beautiful ginger and white and not once in all his life did he ever scratch me. He would knead his paws with pleasure when sitting on my lap but always made sure his claws were sheathed before they touched my skin. I cannot to this day talk about him without starting to cry and I will never own another cat. However, it's a pleasure for me being able to paint cats as then, like the dogs (and other animals) I paint, while I am working on them, for that time, they are mine! I suppose no-one other than the owner will ever know an animal as closely as an artist painting them. Thinking about it, I imagine that for an artist our brushes almost become an extension of our hands and when we paint, it is as if we are touching the animals. Ah, well, I think maybe I'd better stop talking before everyone decides I am definitely a little odd!
To commission a portrait of your pet please email me at email@example.com - or indeed if you have any questions re painting.
Yes, another Cocker Spaniel (okay for my American friends, English Cocker Spaniel). This painting was a gift and so I could not show it at the time it was painted. These dogs have such sweet and appealing faces it's hard to remember sometimes that they are energetic and talented gundogs. Over the years, I have met very many of these dogs and have found them to be as affectionate as their sweet faces would imply! If you are an artist contemplating painting one of this breed, I can only say to make sure you get their meltingly sweet expressions just right!
I hope you enjoy viewing this painting as much as I enjoyed painting it. If you would like to commission a painting of your pet, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Cocker Spaniel - Sh Ch Dillonpark Ambrogina - 20" x 16" watercolour
My apologies for lack of posts recently but back to normal now. Unfortunately I can't show you some completed paintings as they are gifts and I wouldn't be very popular if I spoiled the surprise!
However, here is a painting I can show you; the cocker spaniel - or as my American friends would call her - English cocker spaniel - Show Champion Dillonpark Ambrogina. I will have to check with her owner when I next speak to him but I believe I am right in saying she is the all time top-winning black cocker spaniel bitch in the UK and as you can see is a very beautiful girl.
I did manage to take one work in progress photo. I have done a lot of work on her eyes even at this stage as I always find it helps to build a relationship with the subject. (I think maybe it's a good thing that artists have a reputation as being a little 'odd'!!)
The ears show the first layers of paint which just mark out areas of shade and start to build form and there is no attempt at detail. However, you can see I have been putting in the coat and much more detail in her head, although this too is at a very early stage.
If you have any questions or would like to commission a painting of your pet, please email me at email@example.com or you can click on the Commissioning a Painting tab above.
Looking To The Light - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
Here is the finished portrait of little Sydney who I wrote about a couple of posts ago. I feel a bit tearful now she is finished and in a way am reluctant to stop working on her. I suppose that maybe it is the close relationship an artist feels with her/his subject which is the reason for this - I feel now I am letting her go.
On a practical note, I hope you can see the amount of work which has been put into her eye since the WIP - I sometimes think I spend as much time on eyes as on the rest of a painting! To those who wonder how such a small area can take such a long time, I can only say that I keep altering the expression until I feel it fits the dog. As I explained in the Charleigh Bear Boxer portrait, this means that it will not always be the same as in the reference photograph, or even if the same, some parts will be exaggerated and others played down. I would also point out to would-be dog portrait artists, that you should take note of the eye shape - it is so important and so frequently got wrong and remember not all dogs of the same breed will have identical eye shape. After all, breed standards, which are blueprints as to the ideal of a particular breed of dog, are very open to interpretation and of course mongrels or mixed breed dogs will have a huge variety of eye shapes.
Late last year I painted a portrait of Spencer the English Setter. On Monday Spencer celebrated his 13th birthday and his mum sent me a photo of him at his party. You can see him here, looking so sweet you just want to hug him, with friends chosen because they would leave all the cake for him! What a lucky boy and a lovely photo which brings a smile to my face every time I look at it.
Looking To The Light - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
Here is my latest 'evening' (or 'relaxing') painting - or at least as far as I have got with it.
I had very mixed feelings about painting this particular Dalmatian called Sydney as her story is rather a sad one...
Sydney was a puppy rescued by Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia, and she was suffering from a disease called megaesophagus. The rescuers did all in their power to try and give Sydney a chance at life - and in fact worked extraordinarily hard to do so. Her progress was followed by many of us on facebook, enchanted by this sweet, frail puppy. Very sadly her struggle with life became too much for her little body to take and she was released from this existence with love and compassion.
It still brings tears to my eyes as I write this and you may wonder why I decided to go ahead with her portrait. I suppose for me it is a way of honouring both her existence and the massive efforts made on her behalf by DRSWV. I think it goes without saying that the donation from this painting once it is finished and sold, will be going to the rescue who did so much for her, and who give so much time and care to rescuing and finding forever homes for Dalmatians in need - Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia.
I was approached by Charleigh's owner, Louise Hitchen, shortly after CB's tragic loss giving birth to a litter of puppies. Unsurprisingly Louise was in a terrible state having lost her 'baby' and wanted a fitting tribute to her lovely girl.
I think it goes without saying that as an artist in this situation, the responsibility to create an accurate memorial, both in physical appearance and in character, weighs heavily.
Louise supplied me with a lovely, professionally taken photograph as shown below:
You will notice that I have changed the reflections in her eyes quite considerably which may surprise some. The reason for this is that although it looks very appealing in the photograph, when put into painting form, if I had kept them as they are shown here, they would have appeared lifeless - you can't always paint exactly what you see in a photo.
Here is the first WIP
As CB was a brindle, the painting in of the black hairs takes a long time to prevent them just looked 'daubed' on.
The second and final WIP is shown below:
You can see one side of the face is finished here and the other side is at the 'undercoat' stage. I fractionally altered the amount of visible 'third eyelid' in her right (as you look at it) eye and decided to leave out her back as I didn't feel it added anything to the painting and drew attention away from her eyes.
I am of course delighted that Louise is thrilled with Charleigh's portrait (despite it causing a few tears) and also pleased to report that because of the dedicated hand-rearing and wonderful care given by Louise, the whole of CB's litter survived and have grown into strong, healthy puppies all now in their new homes. All except for two that is - they have been kept to become Louise's very own loved and spoilt babies.
If you would like to commission a painting of your own pet, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the 'shop' button in the menu above and go to the 'commissioning a painting' page.
Well, this is going to be my last work in progress for this painting. I found it very difficult to get an accurate photo of it, partly because the light kept reflecting off the wet oil paint and partly it seems because of the different tones in the painting which the camera had difficulty in capturing. This is as close as I can get it for accuracy and is a reasonably accurate copy.
I know that quite a few people starting out painting find it difficult to give their paintings depth and this is usually due to lack of tone. I always suggest to novice artists who have this problem, to make a monochrome copy of their painting as it will then often reveal to them the lack of difference in tone. For interest I made a monochrome copy of this painting as shown below:
You can see that the painting still retains depth even when the colour has been stripped from it. The difference in tones keeps interest in the painting and this is what we artists are striving for.
The painting will be finished shortly (I hope!)
If you have any questions, please email me at email@example.com
This is Ever Hopeful a little further on - only painting in the evenings still as I'm busy with commissions during the day. It's frustrating though, as I'm itching to get it finished, but I must just be patient!
If you would like me to paint your own pet, just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or click on the 'shop' button in the menu above and then the 'commissioning a painting' button.
This is totally off topic but if you have 10 minutes to spare in your busy day I thought you might enjoy sitting back listening to the music and reading the words of the well known but nevertheless always apt "Desiderata".
I hope that if you were maybe feeling stressed before watching this, you now feel relaxed and at peace. :)
I think most reading this blog will know that I paint full-time. A lot of people think that painting all day must be a very relaxing occupation - well for some it may be, but not for me. I love it and am obsessed by it, but when I am painting portrait commissions, it is hard work as a considerable amount of concentration is necessary to ensure the painting is an accurate portrait. So, after the day's work is finished, the dogs are walked and dinner eaten, what do I do to relax? Paint of course! The difference with these 'evening' paintings (also quite often painted during the day when I can't bear not to get on with them!) is that I don't have to make the dogs featured look exactly like the photographic reference - although I must admit that a lot of them do, but the difference is that they don't have to, which removes the element of, well, I suppose, stress.
The painting above is one of my 'relaxing paintings' and I still have quite a way to go with it. The plan at the moment is that it will have a dark background when finished. The owner and photographer of these dogs is Dawn 'Simengaard' Jaworski, a friend I met on facebook - thank you Dawn for sending the photo to me.
There are quite a few advantages in painting dogs for a living and one of these is that you meet such very nice people and make good friends. One of my friends, made through my paintings, is Lisa Husar. Lisa is a professional photographer and she specialises in photographing wildlife. I am not exaggerating when I say that her photos are stunning - if you don't believe me, have a look at her website teamhusar.com and you will see I am right!
Lisa commissioned this painting for her neighbour and friend after the tragic loss of his beautiful bitch, Chance. As is usual for me, this painting was quite tough to paint - as the painting grows, so does my sadness in the knowledge that the dog is no longer. I suppose some people would think this very odd, but I know that my fellow artists who paint animals will fully understand; when you become so involved with a painting, it is as if, while you are creating them, they live, and when of course you know they don't.............sadness is bound to follow.
I hope that when the painting is dry and I am able to ship it out to the US to Lisa and she presents it to Chance's owner, that he will not only appreciate her kindness and generosity but also that the painting will bring him some comfort in remembered happy times.
All You Need Is Love - 6" x 6" oil on hardboard/masonite
I have recently updated the home page of my website and put a little slideshow on it. This is one of the paintings which I included in the slideshow as I think it clearly demonstrates the affection well loved dogs have for their owners - ah sweet! I contacted the photographer of the reference photograph, Noel Zia Lee, to check that she was happy with this - and she sent me a very nice email - thank you Noel.
This painting is sold and a donation from the profits was made to Old Dog Haven - doing so much to place unwanted elderly dogs in forever homes.
If you would like to commission a painting, please click on the shop link in the menu above or email me at email@example.com
The August challenge on the Daily Painters International Art Gallery blog was "Reflections" and so I thought this painting, completed last year, would be a suitable entry. I also posted it in the Artists International Gallery and was amazed at the incredible amount of comments (all nice by the way!) it received - and from a bunch of very talented artists. Of course I was absolutely thrilled.
If you would like to commission a portrait please either click on the link in the menu above (shop), or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
My thanks to MandCo at Flickr for the reference photograph
A friend on facebook posted the following and I thought it worth repeating...
It came to me that every time I lose a dog they take a piece of my heart with them. And every new dog who comes into my life gifts me with a piece of their heart. If I live long enough, all the components of my heart will be dog, and I will become as generous and loving as they are.
Well one guess and it was wrong! I do hope that it is working correctly in all browsers. Ah well now to reveal - I'm not sure how you write the sound 'dah dah' !
Anyway, for those who would like to implement the effect on their blog this is what you need to do:
(always save a copy of your template before you make any changes in case you can't make the new one work)
Login to Blogger Dashboard, go to Layout → Edit HTML and add the following code right before the </head> tag:
If your photos on your blog are new, that's all there is to it. However, if they are older - and this was the vast majority of mine, then you need to edit the html code on each of them. Near the top of the post you will find a line which begins: '< a href ' If you find the code s1600, all is fine, but if it says s1600-h, you will need to delete the '-h' part of it. (this will drive you to the edge of insanity by the way)
I found the above information from this blog deluxeblogtips.
Now to the Dalmatian part of this posting, you may remember the rescue of a Dalmatian named Fletcher who was gravely ill with pneumonia. Well, I am more than delighted to say he is fully recovered and although it was very hard for his foster mum to let him go, he now has a forever home and his new owners are thrilled with him and he has apparently settled in very well.
Well I have been very hard at work today on my blog and I wonder if anyone will be able to notice what the difference is? I have tested it on Internet Explorer and Firefox and I prefer the effect on Firefox - actually I much prefer to use Firefox anyway and hardly ever use IE these days.
I hope someone notices what I've done! I will tell you all anyway once hopefully there have been some guesses, and if anyone wants to do the same, I will tell you how. :)
After the short legged dachshunds, I thought today a rather longer legged hound might be fun. Unlike dachshunds, salukis hunt by sight not scent and they are both very elegant and very fast! It is said that as a breed they tend to be rather aloof with strangers, so I was somewhat surprised when I went to a saluki show a couple of years ago and was met with many wagging tails and affectionate greetings. I suppose some have that 'stand-offish' temperament but clearly a lot don't!
Ch Kanix Hilda At Stargang - 20" x 16" watercolour
I thought it might be fun, following my posting of a Longhaired Dachshund, to show a dachshund with a different coat. I hope you can see that the coat on this dachshund is somewhat shorter and rougher than the previous one! It is a Miniature Wirehaired Dachshund for those unfamiliar with the breed.
22" x 18" watercolour on Saunders Waterford NOT paper
This is a portrait I have been working on for a while and just recently completed. I can show it here now as the owners have seen it and are very happy with it. These two sweet girls have passed on through old age, having spent their lives as much loved pets. It was quite emotionally tough painting them - it always is hard painting dogs no longer around. It may be difficult for non-artists to understand this, and the rapport the artist builds up with his/her subject, even if only seen in a photograph (as most of mine are), but I am sure any pet portrait artists reading this will understand only too well. Nevertheless, it is a privilege to be able to pay tribute to much loved animals.
During this week I have been informed of several emails to me being returned as undeliverable. I have now discovered that my 'quota' had been exceeded. However, apparently all it needed was for me to tick the box marked 'unlimited' for the problem to be resolved!
So, if you have written to me at email@example.com recently and had problems getting through, I do apologize and ask you to try again, as hopefully it is all sorted out now.
(Needless to say my daily Japanese spam email comment on this blog got through - still at least with the advice of my friends here, it now comes to me for moderation (ie delete) before it appears here!)
Dalmatian In The Sky - 10" x 8" oil on hardboard/masonite
This painting was inspired by the monthly challenge on the Daily Painters International Art Gallery blog, the theme of which for July was 'Illusion'. I must admit that I very nearly didn't prepare a painting this month, partly because I have been busy with commissions but also, I am ashamed to admit, because I simply couldn't think of an 'illusion' subject!
However, I am pleased to say that my brain finally (after a lot of bullying) produced an idea for a painting which I am showing today. As I hope is obvious, the Dalmatian is walking through shallow water in which the evening sky is reflected and my aim was to make the Dalmatian appear to be walking in the clouds - almost - but with the ripples on the water to tie it to reality and also maybe create some confusion in the viewer. After some tweaking (I really need someone on hand to stop me continually messing with finished paintings!) I am quite pleased with my 'illusion' painting and I hope you like it too :)
Once sold, I will make a donation of 10% from the profits to Save The Dalmatians. You may remember I told you about the rescue of Fletcher who was suffering from pneumonia and was very gravely ill. Following my last update I am absolutely delighted to tell you that he is now eating very well, slowly putting on weight and showing himself to be the most affectionate dog imaginable. As I said previously how he could ever have been abandoned is beyond understanding. Of course buying my painting will help Save the Dalmatians in their work, but if you don't fancy buying a painting, why not spare whatever change you have in your pockets as you read this and make a donation direct - it only takes a few minutes through paypal. Click here and you will go straight to Save The Dalmatians.
To view a short video of Fletcher (together with his foster mum's own 2 Dalmatians) - click here
This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped
If you have any questions, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I'm still busy with commissions at the moment but just squeezed this little painting in - generally painted in the evenings while most people are relaxing or sleeping - well that's how it feels sometimes! Actually, if I am honest, I find it very difficult to just sit and watch tv and either like to have a crossword to puzzle over or a painting to work on. I love the pensive expression on this little dog and did toy with the idea of naming the painting 'Pensive Pomeranian' but thought better of it.
The donation (10% once sold) from this painting is going to Save The Dalmatians. I have been following the progress of a dog named Fletcher, rescued from a shelter and suffering from pneumonia. A poor, painfully thin dog with no appetite and very ill indeed. However, the rescuer has taken him to the vet and Fletcher is on antibiotics and every sort of food which the rescuer can think of. The most recent update on him is that he is starting to eat on his own and gives his rescuer the most beautiful Dalmatian smiles. For those interested, I will let you know how he progresses. If you would like to help Save The Dalmatians direct, please visit their website where you can make a donation through paypal - it only takes a few minutes and every single dollar helps.
UPDATE: Fletcher is doing very well. He has now regained his appetite and is eating well and possibly just starting to put on a little weight. He is coughing much less and gives his rescuer the most wonderful smiles. He loves to lie on his back for tummy rubs and is a very affectionate boy. It is absolutely impossible to understand how he could have been abandoned. It looks as if he has a home waiting for him once he is fully recovered, although I think his rescuer is going to have a tough time letting him go!
Well, not a painting, but this appealed so much to me I thought it would be nice to share it.
One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.
He said, "My son, the battle is between two wolves inside us all.
One is Evil - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.
The other is Good - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?"
The old Cherokee replied, "The one you feed."
I'm thinking of starting a wolf painting soon as they are a species I hugely admire. I'm not sure at the moment whether to paint one of my small oils, or perhaps make it into a larger painting. I wonder?
If you have any comments, it's always lovely to read them or if you'd like to contact me privately about anything my email address is email@example.com.
Here is the finished painting of Tim commissioned by his owner/breeders Ted and Margaret Jones of the Radclyffe Mini Smooth Dachshunds who have kindly given me permission to feature Tim's portrait.
Very sadly while I was painting Tim, Ted emailed the sad news that Tim had passed on. However, he had lived a good, very long life and died of a heart attack whilst being carried. We could only wish that all dogs had such lives. Nevertheless, I know I am not the only animal portrait artist who finds it truly sad painting deceased pets. We get to know the animal so well as we work on them for so very many hours that they almost live for us - well they do for me! The consolation though is that it is a priviledge to be able to produce a hopefully fitting memento for their owners.
Thank you Ted for your very kind words about the painting.
As promised, I have made the effort to take some photographs of my painting process during my latest commission. I'm just trying to make up my mind whether to include them all in one post or do a few! I think I will post all of the WIP's - there are 3 of them - in one post and then the final painting in its own one. I hope this will be acceptable.
In the above painting, I have drawn the outline and some important features of the dog, painted in the wash blue background and started laying in the base washes on Tim himself. I hope you can already see that in some places there are several layers of wash. I think this is a place where new watercolour artists often have some problems, in that they either make their washes too wet and disturb the colour underneath with a resultant mud effect or put the watercolours on with too little water, making them look harsh and unrealistic. I would say obviously practice is required and also a lightness of hand/brush.
Photo 2 of WIP
In this photo you can see even more layers added and I should have mentioned in the previous photograph, that there is just the tiniest hint of grass in the background. I suppose one other point which is relevant as far as I am concerned, is that I have painted in Tim's eye with a fair amount of detail even at this early stage. I like to do this with 'my' dogs as I feel then that I have a relationship with them - I imagine that sounds a little crazy, but that's me!!
Photo 3 of WIP
This photo shows the layering in of brush strokes to form the hairs. As I've mentioned previously, I don't paint the hairs invididually as I'm not very fond of the effect. Instead I splay out the hairs on my brushes (not very good for them by the way) so that I paint several hairs at one time. I also go over many areas with a brush very, very slightly dampened with clear water to blend in some of the hairs. This is a difficult operation to complete successfully as I am trying to get the watercolours to lose a little of their colour and run slightly but so slightly that it is barely visible. Yes, sometimes it goes wrong and needs gently lifting and repainting.
This is the last of the WIP's and the next post will be the final painting.
If you have any queries, please either leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'll be happy to help.
The Circle Of Life - 7" x 5" on hardboard/masonite
This painting is very special to me; it was inspired by the monthly challenge on the Daily Painters International Art Gallery which this month has been anything to do with dots and/or circles.
I think anyone who has the slightest knowledge of me wouldn't be at all surprised to see that my rendition of a 'dots' painting would involve a Dalmatian in some form or other! However, this painting also reflects the 'circle' aspect in that it involves 3 generations of my own dogs - the circle of life. The black spotted dog is Emma. She is no longer with us and I don't think a day goes past that I don't think of her - we miss her more than I can say. She was Hazel's mother - Hazel is the liver-spotted girl - and in this painting Hazel's puppies are snuggling up to their devoted grandmother with the complete approval of Hazel. It was a very beautiful scene and reasonably unusual as often bitches will not allow even their own mother anywhere near their puppies. In this painting the puppies are 9 days old and their spots are just beginning to appear. Dalmatian puppies are born pure white, except for any with patches - solid areas of colour usually on the head - and pigment round their eyes and on their noses. At this age they are totally helpless with their eyes shut and their ears not yet open. We of course kept a puppy from this litter - we only breed when we want a puppy ourselves - and this little girl became our Angel who in her character often reminds us of her sweet grandmother.
I hope that this painting will be purchased by someone who will also find it special.
(and to those who wonder, sold to the person who bought my first painting posted online and who has become a special friend)
This painting is straight off the easel and will need several days to dry before it can be shipped.
Another summery painting - inspired by the rotten weather in the UK! The weather forecast is for it to become much warmer towards the end of the week, so maybe my 'painting mood' will change then! I really like the feeling of warmth on this dog's face and the breeze blowing the hair on its ears.
In fact I have some commissions which I will be working on for the next few weeks, but I will try to keep posting paintings as often as I can - I might even attempt a WIP (work in progress for the non-artists among you) if I can only remember to stop painting and take the necessary photographs!
Here's Looking At You - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
I decided to paint this little dog as I was very taken with the lighting and I love it's little alert, sweet expression - I hope you do too!
The 10% donation to charity from the profits following the sale of this painting will be going to a new charity for me - it is Dalmatian Rescue of Southwest Virginia. I decided on this charity having read of one of their rescues on their facebook page; a truly tragic story about a poor, abused Dalmatian named Chelsea (now RIP)
I hope you will all bid like mad on this painting to get a high price and so a high donation. If you don't want a painting though, it would be great if you'd consider visiting their site - just click on their name above - and make a donation direct. I simply don't know how they cope with the awful things they see and hope I can be instrumental in helping them financially, even if in only a small way.
If you wish to discuss anything, email me at email@example.com
My thanks to Marlie Kanoi at Flickr for the reference photo
If the purchaser of the wolf painting The Sound Of Music reads this, please contact me. I have emailed you several times to try and confirm the address the painting should be sent to but have had no reply. My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ah well, I thought you'd like to know that I have taken the advice of those who commented - I have changed my settings so that comments are no longer immediately published, but have to be checked by myself before appearing. I think it's such a shame that this is necessary but I have just become so thoroughly irritated by the Chinese comments advertising their porn and other sites, that I decided that on my blog free speech is going to be moderated. As I say, I am really sorry this has been necessary but that's life!
Husky Baby Blue Eyes by Anne Zoutsos - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
I recently saw a photograph of a Siberian Husky with the most beautiful blue eyes. I didn't think the photo would make a good painting and so painted this husky instead and gave it gorgeous blue eyes like the other dog!
As usual, I will be donating 10% of the profits from the sale of this painting to charity and the one to benefit on this occasion will be Save The Dalmatians (another breed sometimes born with blue eyes)
This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped
Labrador In Black - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
I originally planned this painting to illustrate a dog portraiture point I wished to make. Quite often when painting dog portraits, an artist will be presented with photographs which are far from ideal. If possible the best course is to ask for further photographs to be taken but unfortunately sometimes this isn't possible - for instance when the dog is deceased or it is a surprise present for someone and more photographs are out of the question.
Very often the advice given to artists in this position is to find photographs of the same breed of dog to use as reference. Whilst it can be useful to look at several photographs of the same breed, and read the Kennel Club Breed Standard, I would never recommend copying features from a different dog as they vary such a lot. To illustrate this, I had hoped to feature three recent portraits of black labradors together with the one above, showing the differences between them. However, when I looked at the paintings I realised that two of them did actually share the same features (just as well as they were the same dog!) so my little lesson wouldn't work. Oh dear, I obviously need to be more organised!
So what do I recommend in these circumstances? Well as I said above, look at as many photographs of the breed you are painting to get you in the 'breed mood' and buy a good magnifying glass. Also of course you can always ask for certain details, ie colours of nose and eyes. If the photograph really is so bad that a portrait cannot be painted from it, then don't. While some owners are really surprisingly unobservant and could probably be happy with any portrait produced, I consider it insulting to both the dog and owner to mainly paint a portrait from a different dog.
This blog post is somewhat different from usual - the painting is for sale as normal and has a donation to charity - also as normal but what is different is that this girl needs a home. She was rescued in the nick of time from being destroyed and is in safety being fostered. However, she needs a loving home of her own. It is because of this that the painting was created and although I am based in the UK, I will be listing it on ebay US in the hope of as much publicity as possible in the country where she lives. If anyone reading this can think of additional ways of publicising her status and need for a home, please do all you can. I think I can do no better than quote what the photographer of this reference photo has written about her.
"This girl was once loved and lived in a home with a couple, even sleeping with them in their bed at night. The woman discovered she was pregnant and they dumped the dog at the pound, stating they did not care what happened to her. This pup would have been put to sleep tomorrow morning had a man named Ryan from Denver not made the trip all the way to Burns Flat, Oklahoma to pick her up today. She is now safe in Colorado Springs, CO. where she will be fostered until a forever home can be found.
This beautiful girl's name is Bryndelyn. She is scared, timid, and shy, and likely really confused; first at an outdoor shelter - not understanding why, a long trip by car (fearfully ducking when passing bridges), and now a new home that's just temporary (note from me: she is now coming out of her shell). Add to this, she has recently had a litter of puppies. She didn't do anything wrong, except to have irresponsible selfish owners. She is about 41 pounds, still needing to gain some weight. 50 pounds should be ideal for her. She has been spayed, so there will be no more puppies for this beautiful girl. Can you find it in your heart to love her and give her the real love and security she deserves? Please share this with anyone who may need a best friend and all the loving they could ever ask for! "
Jack Russell Terrier And Sky by Anne Zoutsos - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
So far the spring has been pretty poor here in the UK. I really long for hot summer days and so am tending to paint some lovely summery paintings! This painting is of a Jack Russell Terrier set against a hot, blue summer sky. I can almost hear the swifts, returned for the summer, screaming their cries as they perform their air acrobatics - lovely!
Papillon Fringes - 6" x 6" oil on hardboard/masonite
This painting came about as the result of a challenge on Daily Painters International Art Gallery of which I am a member. The challenge was to create a painting connected with 'fringes' so I painted a dog with fringed ears!! The papillon is so named as it is the French word for butterfly which the head and ears of this breed are thought to resemble - and I rather think they do.
When you look at the little dog's face in my painting it is hard to believe that he is a rescue dog. He was rescued from a puppy mill after living his first six years in a cage. He never new kindness, cleanliness, walking or a soft bed. His world was very small and dark, but it has slowly got bigger and brighter. He is now a well loved and happy dog. The reference photo for this painting was taken by his owner RichMurphy at Flickr who has given him his new life.
I will be donating 10% of the profits from the sale of this painting to Noah's Bark pet rescue
This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days and as the auction is for 7 days, this should work out just fine
For more information email me at email@example.com
A Kiss From A Rose - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
I thought you might wish to see the latest painting I have listed on ebay - again with no reserve (which is just a bit nerve-wracking!!). Once sold I will be donating 10% of the profits to Save the Dalmatians - do check out their website to see all the rescues they do.
Border Collie - Play! - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
Another summery painting! As I look out into my garden - or yard as my American friends will insist on calling it :) - the view is stunning at this time of year. The blossom on the plum tree is over but the tree is now in full leaf. The pear tree (a wall trained tree) still has some blossom left but the old Bramley apple tree is magnificent, covered in pink blossom as is the ornamental cherry - beautiful and the wall trained apple too! Add some flowering shrubs into the mix, together with some spring flowers and the result is just superb - even the sun has made an appearance! No wonder then that I am enjoying painting 'summer' paintings.
Once this painting is sold the donation of 10% from the profits will be going to Noah's Bark pet rescue
If you would like any further information please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped
My thanks to kate.gardiner at Flickr for providing the reference photograph
Labrador Expression - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
As well as summer mode, I seem to be in Labrador mode at the moment! There's no particular reason for this; in the instance above, I thought the dog had such a sweet, appealing expression, that I just had to paint him.
I check in on facebook more or less daily as I have quite a few friends on there and it's nice to see what's going on with them. However, some of my contacts on fb are very involved with dog rescue, and frequently I am reduced to tears by what I see - indeed I tend to try and glance quickly at their posts, as, if their stories are too awful, I don't read them. Yes, I know, this is something to be ashamed of - and I am - but perhaps we who care, need to do what we can. I cannot cope with the shocking details of cruelty meted out by my fellow man, but I can help raise funds to help the efforts of the rescuers and this I do as well as I am able.
The donation from this painting once sold is again going to Save The Dalmatians - they are in real need of funds and so I am concentrating on them at the moment, although I will move on to some other charities soon.
This painting is straight off the easel and will need to dry for several days before it can be shipped
My thanks to jespahjoy at Flickr for the reference photograph
I wonder if I might ask my followers and anyone else interested a question? It is regarding whether to allow uncensored comments on my blog.
As a general rule, I am not hugely in favour of censorship. I have put my settings for this blog so that anyone can make comments on any of my posts but I am having a problem with comments which are merely advertising. Most of these, although not exclusively, are Chinese and advertise porn or drugs or some just other forms of advertising. I am notified through my email when these are posted, and so I come here as soon as I can and delete them but I am thinking perhaps I should change my settings so that no comments can be posted until I approve them. Frankly it goes against my principles but perhaps I am being silly and I would very much like to hear what you all have to say.
Labrador Beach - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
Our lovely sunny weather has been continuing although it is still very chilly in the evenings. It has been making me long for the hot, sunny days of summer and this seems to continually be reflected in my paintings!
As a breed Labrador Retrievers love the water and need very little excuse to take the plunge. The dog in this painting is having a whale (sorry for the pun!) of a time and is keeping cool while playing on the beach and in the sea.
Jack Russell Terrier In The Shade - 7" x 5" oil on hardboard/masonite
I think my next painting should be of an airoplane as I am beginning to miss seeing them in the sky since the volcano erupted in Iceland and spread its ash over the UK! We have been having lovely sunny days since the eruption and when I look up into the clear blue skies, it's hard to believe there is ash in the atmosphere.
At the moment, with all the trees gaining their leaves and flowers seemingly to grow by several inches daily I feel in the mood to paint 'summery' paintings. The dog shown here is resting away from the sun in the cool shade and looks very comfortable indeed!