Alan and His Best Buddies

Alan lives on a farm at Mt Barney, a beautiful part of South East Queensland which he shares with his wife Sylvia and his two pals Rex and Wally.

Alan endured a horrific accident some years ago when he was crushed by a falling tree and endured excruciating pain and months of rehabilitation while he recovered, but eventually he was able to return to work and build his new home and farm in this idyllic location.   While the trauma and long term damage never goes away,  life is always made easier when you have a great wife and family – and especially if you own pets.

Alan’s two furry friends certainly make cuddle time even better and this painting captures him in a thoughtful moment sitting on his veranda at the top of the steps while the dogs clearly enjoy spending time with their master.

Commissioned by Sylvia as a gift to him for Christmas 2017, this painting is a special thank you to him for his strong resolve, tenacity and endurance – and especially his love for her and his children.

Not to mention Rex and Wally.

Two Black Labs – Guide Dog Raffle

I was invited to support the Guide Dogs stand at the last Dog Lovers Show at the Brisbane Showgrounds back in November and provided an animal portrait prize as the major fundraiser for them.   A lovely lady called Claire contacted me a week later to say she had won the prize and was very excited about what it might mean.   She lives in the northern suburbs of Brisbane and at my request sent through a number of photos for my consideration.

The prize was for a picture of one animal of the winner’s choice but Claire has two beautiful black Labradors – one is around 2 years old and the other is an almost grown up puppy.   She couldn’t decide and neither could I, so I’ve gifted her with a picture of both.

I used two photos to come up with the picture attached – I hope she likes it.

Black Labs are flavour of the month it seems – I am starting another one soon.

“Jackson” – angel in disguise

Oh, how we miss Jackson.   Those who knew him felt something special in his presence – I personally think he was from another realm and I’m sure his owner agrees.   Mention his name and we all feel our energy alter somehow.

Jackson – a striking Samoyed/Golden Retriever cross, passed away a year ago today on 11 October 2016.   He was such a physically attractive animal, but also in another way – it was like he was a visitor from some higher place and I for one, certainly felt it.

I started the painting of Jackson when he was still alive after learning of his serious illness.    I had fortunately taken a photo of him a few years earlier when he was a regular ‘colleague’ in the complex where I worked and was resting under the Jacaranda tree just outside my office.  However, even though I started his portrait when I found out he was sick I couldn’t do anymore – maybe I didn’t want to think about what was coming.

12 months since his death have passed – while he was never “my dog” – in a way, he was.   I worked on his image – checked and rechecked not only the line and form but the essence of his character and personality.   I got into his psyche and I admit I cried when he died – I still get emotional remembering him.

How much more so the pain of his loss for his owner, Sonya?   Farewell beautiful Jackson……and acknowledgement to you Sonya……of your grief.

Prepare a place for us Jackson where you are – if you would?

We are also headed your way.

 

Most Successful Exhibitor Award

Hello everyone – out-of-left-field, this award has come my way!

When I learned the annual Canungra Show was a couple of weekends away, I toyed with entering some of my paintings.   Believing they were already well known, I nearly didn’t bother.   Of course they are only known to those who know my website and on the basis I wouldn’t be boring everyone to tears I decided to bravely submit a few pieces that were already framed.   I also asked a few clients if I could borrow back their commissioned pieces.   At the last minute I had “Molly” framed as there was a Monochromatic category and she would be perfect for that.

Duly done, Friday lunchtime saw me lining up to register my pieces.   I saw some lovely work being submitted by truly gifted artists and was pleased the standard was high.

Judging took place on Friday night before the show opened on Saturday.   I wasn’t able to get to Canungra before 2.00pm on Saturday and when I did the show was fully underway.

It’s interesting the nervousness I felt as I entered the art exhibit building – it was like being a small child again and approval being so important and risking failure – knowing adulthood is attained through that experience.   I didn’t feel very adult to be honest.

Nothing prepared me for the shock when I turned the corner and saw nearly everyone’s favourite painting “Deejay” front and centre on the awards board with the ribbon displaying “Most Successful Exhibitor”.   That’s when surrealism clicked in.   Obviously I had to see which of my painting awards constituted that amazing outcome.   As I rushed around trying to find them all – it turns out they all did!

If this is my 15 minutes of fame…….I will savour the moment for a little bit longer.   Yay!!!!

Border Collie – “Bear”

It seems that lots of pets I know are called Bear.

I have a black cat called Bear, I know two other dogs called Bear besides this one – they all have something in common – they’re very shaggy or woolly and generally mostly black.

This particular Bear belongs to a man who lives near where I work and when I met Bear for the first time, I knew he would be my next portrait.   He is such a charmer!

He’s a much loved family member – no reference to ‘mere animal’ please!   As far as his owner is concerned Bear is human and subsequently treated very well.   Bear obviously realises this and happily sat and ‘smiled’ for the camera when I took a series of photos.

The rest is history.   I didn’t know whether to copy the background Bear had in the photo which I didn’t like – a rather large rear end of a four-wheel drive dominated top right corner – or add in an enigmatic one – I ended up with enigmatic.    Hope it doesn’t look too twee.   I’m thinking however upon reflection I might add in the amazing view Bear enjoys out the back of his home – down into the valley below.   So don’t be surprised if the background changes.

Bear loves bringing twigs and branches home – his favourite toys are bits of wood, so Bear has a semi-chewed example in front of him in the painting.

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