Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Breed Paintings

Dalmatian, 22x28 acrylic on canvas, $1400

I'VE BEEN A dog fanatic since I was a very little girl; I was called Dog Girl in grade school. As a child I read every dog book I could get my hands on, saw every dog movie. I have lived my entire adult life as a professional artist, and in the last 5 years I have painted over 1000 dog portraits, shipping them world-wide.

Coronation, Pug, SOLD

A YEAR AGO I started these "Breed" Paintings. I love every part of the process. First, I research the breed, eventually settling on a time period that will lend authenticity and flavor. I rent movies in that time period, pulling off still frames for building and clothing reference. This is my Pug painting. In 1689, William of Orange from Holland and his wife Mary sailed to England to ascend the throne as joint monarchs. Their many pugs accompanied them, and attended the coronation, adorned with orange ribbons around their necks. This was the beginning of the Pug's popularity throughout Europe, the fad being an orange ribbon or collar on your pet. This is my interpretation of the event, titled Coronation.

Shar Pei, SOLD

I FOUND THE Shar Pei history fascinating. After being almost wiped out in China by the Communists Revolution, a man named Matgo Law saved the breed in the 70's. I learned that his first pup was found in a basket in Hong Kong. His 2nd dog, Sweet Pea, was the foundation of all the Shars in America today. This is my rendition of that basket of puppies. Unfortunately, it turns out the story is not true. I thought if Mr. Law was a young man in 1970, then he is my age, and I did a search for him on Facebook. I found him and he was kind enough to answer my request for information, saying that part of the story was not true. I guess I shouldn't trust what I read. Oh well, I'm sure there were pups in a basket at some point.

Yukizakura, Shiba Inu, 22x28 acrylic on canvas $1400

MY BIGGEST OBSTACLE was acquiring copyright -free photos to use as reference for the dogs. I started a Portrait Giveaway contest on my Facebook page where I give away a $250 portrait each month, stipulating in the rules that all entry photos become free for me to use in future projects. In the last 4 years I have given away over $10,000 in paintings. Each month, the theme is different, like "Non-sporting Group, Puppy, 6-9 weeks old, full body." I keep a file for every breed, and when I feel I have enough photos I start designing that painting. This painting of Shiba Inus was a delight to work on. The sliding Japanese barn door is from the movie "Seven Samurai made in 1954. The painting is called "Yukizakura," the Japanese word for the phenomenon when snow falls on the cherry blossoms.

Dogue de Bordeaux, SOLD

ON THIS SECOND painting I was able to find this photo of a chateau in the Bordeaux region of France; the person that took the photo stayed there (as it is a bed-and-breakfast) and kindly gave me permission to use.

Bernese Mountain Dog, SOLD

MY FIRST ONE. I wasn't sure I could pull it off, but a challenge is what I live for. Berner people on Facebook are amazing, and photos came pouring in. I learned in my research that Bernese Mountain Dogs primarily took weaver's baskets to market, and I was able to find a free photo of the Bern mountains in Switzerland. The cabin is from the 1968 version of the movie "Heidi."

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