Tuesday, July 31, 2018

July 31, The Last Dog

A favorite book of mine is "The Mouse and His Child" by Russell Hoban, and made into a movie in 1977, is actually an incredibly philisophical book, and one part it about 'The Last Dog" and "The Dog Beyond The Last Dog", meaning there's always something next... which I love!  And so, I couldn't just stop at the last dog yesterday, so I had to paint THIS one today. I didn't have quite enough of my favorite black smooth coated dogs in this project...  But I don't know whose dog this is!  He and his owner came by my tent at the Grand Marais Art Festival and I snapped a bunch of photos, and here he is!
And I'm also in the process of getting all the dogs ready to hang at Diamond's tomorrow~  I hope to have them all up by noon, and then the Opening Celebration is on Thursday from 6-8!  Come on over and see the dogs in their glory!  Wahoo!

8x8 acrylic on wood

Monday, July 30, 2018

July 30, Esme!

Yay!  Today is the last day of my 30 Dogs in 30 Days project, and this is ESME!!!! Isn't she sweet?!  This is one of those photos that is almost TOO cute, in that the subject is so adorable, she looks like a cartoon!
I'm hoping I did her justice!
Here's what Sally says about Esme!
I adopted Esme when she was around 3 as a rescue from Joplin, MO. It seems she had a tough start down south, but adjusted well to life up north in Lutsen. Her latest chapter with me is as an apartment-dwelling city dog here in St. Paul, where she enjoys making the neighborhood rounds and walking the paths along the Mississippi. She loves to play with her kitty BFF Stella, who loves her right back. Esme is spunky, playful, and quirky, and I adore her. :)

10x10 acrylic on panel

Sunday, July 29, 2018

July 29, Sandy

It is amazing how much it is possible to read from a photo~ the eyes of this dog speak so much!  Here's what Dawn says about Sandy~

This is Sandy, a much-loved force of nature in the body of a Cairn terrier.  Sandy's indomitable alpha spirit brought joy and laughter to everyone around her -- even her beta buddy, Wylie, a Westie, who experienced the power of Sandy most directly!  She was with us for too short a time, but will always be within us in memory.

8x8 acrylic on panel

Saturday, July 28, 2018

July 28, Izzie for Kellie Rae!

And here she is, the amazing Izzie!  What a face- I was working on this at my sister's house this morning- we had a sleep over last night. It was great! Except that she bought some facial masks (masques?) for us, which was super sweet, though I just couldn't wear mine.  It made me feel really claustrophobic~ which seems weird maybe, but it was that it covered my entire face with just little holes for breathing through... didn't realize it would bother me that much!
Anyway, it is a delight to paint at my sister's house!  She's got it set up so beautifully, just about everywhere you look is a still life~  I'll be painting some of her kitties in baskets soon!
And here's what Kellie Rae said about her Izzie~
Izzy has a soulful, almost humanistic face. She’s black but many colors show up on her body like you would see on a crow. Depends how the light is hitting her fur.

10x10 acrylic on black panel

Friday, July 27, 2018

July 27, Baxter!

Sometimes dogs just absolutely fit their names.  This is one of those-
And didja notice how not un-fluffy this one is?
What was I saying about painting so many fluffy dogs?
And Holly said this about Baxter~
Here is Baxter, a Norfolk Terrier, after a bath so he’s a little shaggy.

8x8 acrylic on wood

Thursday, July 26, 2018

July 26, Barbarossa!

I am in the last few paintings now- just four after today!  And I invite you all to come join me next Thursday, August 2nd, at Diamond's for the Opening Celebration! It'll be from 6-8pm, in the back room, and you are welcome to bring your dog as long as they are at least as well behaved as YOU!  Yay! 
This one was a hoot, and I'm realizing I somehow ended up with a number of very fluffy dogs again...

Barbarosso (means red beard in Italian) was rescued from one of the Southern high kill States. He is mostly red with a black vest and some kind of Australian Terrier mix. He is about 20# and at least 7 years old. His Dad calls him Little Man which he also answers to.

8x8 acrylic on wood

Wednesday, July 25, 2018

July 25, Bella!

Look at how the Bella's stack up! This one is Bella, the sweet dog at Articulture, owned by Liz.  She was an active participant in the animal camp there this year, and this painting is from a photo of her looking at a guinea pig!
Here's what Liz says~
All these years (she's almost 10) I never tire of watching this instinctual herding behavior. Even the photo that doesn't show an animal - I can tell by that intense look in her eyes that there is one at the end of her mesmerized gaze.

8x8 acrylic on wood

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

July 24, Chica Bella!

Could you have resisted this face?  Come on, tell me honestly? LOOK at that expression!  This is Chica Bella, who is a lucky dog who gets to go to school every day and hang out in the library!  Here's what Rita told me about her~

This is Chica. She’s 41/2 and she was a rescue from Mexico. These are her school pictures, she goes to work with me every Thursday at Meadowbrook Elementary School in the library. 

8x8 acrylic on wood
Spoken For!

Monday, July 23, 2018

July 23, Rex for Philla!

I've juggled the list a bit- Rex has gotten tossed around a little and I decided to do him today because the photo of Henry the wonder dog was a bit blurrier than I'd realized and his sunglasses are on crooked, and I think that one might be better as a later painting in a much more improvised style...
Besides, I felt like painting a black dog after all those fluffy white ones!

Here's what his owner, Philla, an amazing artist on the East coast, says about this creature~

Rex was a wonderful poodle! He lived for over 14 years and was much beloved by my three kids, Austin, Danny and Adelaide. He loved to leap about and actually would bounce very high up when especially excited. As a young dog he would chase deer in the fields near us and was an incredibly elegant sight to behold. When my sons had friends over playing frisbee or the like Rex would get the frisbee and then no one, absolutely no one could catch him. 

He seemed to have supernatural powers: when I would be cleaning the dishes all of a sudden I pick up a plate with a stray bit of steak on it and think to myself should I give this to Rex and his head would snap up and he would stare at me. I swear he could read my mind!

8x8 acrylic on wood

Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 22, Chumley!

Goodness!  This is another fluffy white dog! Chumley- and it cracked me up when Laurie sent me the story of his name- see!

Chumley is a rescue from Red Lake Rosie's via Pet Haven, who arrived with the name of Chucky. That made his human sister think of the evil movie doll (below left) so we brainstormed other Ch- names, hence Chumley (below right; the name of the walrus friend of Tennessee Tuxedo on the 60s cartoon) or Chums -- a name we've all enjoyed these past 8 years. He's a good little a.m. sleeper, loves his squeaky toys, and is greeted by the whole neighborhood on his twice daily walks. Chums helps keep his octogenarian mom young!

8x8 acrylic on wood

Saturday, July 21, 2018

July 21, Thor for Ashley!

Guess what?  This one isn't for a cousin~ it's for a niece!  Seriously, I did NOT solicit exclusively from my family for this project! Though it does seem a bit like that, doesn't it?  Hmmm~

Here's what Ashley says about this large, loving, child-friendly dog!

A little about Thor is he came to us as a puppy and has continued to be nothing short of life saving. He is going to be 5 this year! He has a cuddly loving nature. He enjoys naps with his mom and little humans. 

16x20 acrylic on canvas

Friday, July 20, 2018

July 20, Buster and Daisy!

These are a pair of sweeties! Look at those fluffy faces!  And, of course these belong to another cousin of mine, Marcia!  Wouldn't it just be?

Here's what Marcia says!

We have had Buster, black and white, for 14 of his 18 years and have been through many changes but he has always been able to adapt.  He can always make us laugh with his silly playfulness, even at 18!  His sister Daisy, blonde, is the alpha male of this duo.  She is very smart and loves to play and the snow but not the rain.  She has calmed down quite a bit since becoming diabetic with cataracts but does well considering her impaired vision.  What a joy to have these 2 in our lives.

10x10 acrylic on wood

Thursday, July 19, 2018

july 19, Gus for Rosemary~

See, and I've been so tired all day, and it took me this long to get this one painted, but it was fairly painless and I really really like it! Whew.  It's really impossible to determine whether a specific photo will yield a great painting or not because there are just so many different variables. I had to take two naps today- we've been getting up earlier than usual all this week to get to the summer camp I teach at my school, and the last couple days we've been bringing our friend Jess along, and somehow we haven't really been able to get ourselves to bed much earlier. Case in point. I should be getting into bed in about twenty minutes but I'm not sure that will happen.
As for this wonderful face, I couldn't resist painting another dog that makes me think of Gandalf.

8x8 acrylic on wood

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

July 18, Annie!

This sweet creature is Annie, and she lives with Martha, who has a huge heart!  I am including pretty much all that Martha wrote me because it is such a great story and I did not know any of this at all!
As for the painting, I am having a hard time with it- not sure it is finished. There's something about the subtle shading and the colors on her face and I just can not get it done to my satisfaction, so I'll be going back into it. Anything you all see or suggest is great!

About Annie, the pointy nosed beagle with giant ears: I adopted her from the Madison College Vet Tech Pet Adoption program, a mouthful I know, but an admirable program. The Vet Tech department brings in 20 or so pets-cats, dogs, small animals- each semester to be the "patients" (guinea pigs?*smile*) of the students, who also take care of their everyday needs. They pull animals from local shelters and obtain retired research animals, mainly beagles. We have several institutions in Madison that keep beagles for research/testing purposes, including the UW, VA Hospitals, Covance (drug testing company) etc. I don't even want to think about the fate of most of the research animals, but the Madison college vet techs get about a half dozen each semester. (I suspect they use this resource in part because the animals are healthy and not neutered, so the students can observe/assist with that surgery at the college.) Anyhoo, at the end of the semester the student-run adoption program finds homes for all of the pets. They have open houses, meet and greets, etc. to do this. The adopter gets a pet that has been well "vetted" and comes with a very clean bill of health, all shots, teeth freshly cleaned, neutered. Not necessarily housebroken or trained, but well loved and socialized, and sort of leash trained. Most of the animals are older.

OK, back to Annie, she was a lab beagle, involved in some "non-invasive" research, but bred for research and never lived in a home. Her age was given as 4 years last August. Annie loves everything! People, other animals, the outdoors, food, being a lap dog even. I've attached a pic of the poster the students had on their pet adoption board, and that pretty much describes her. I've had people from the program tell me she wasn't timid like many of the lab beagles are, quite the opposite. Somewhat sadly my other two dogs just won't play with her, they must be too old and stuck in their ways, but the cat does play with her, it's funny to watch them wrestle and Dot is forever stalking Annie and surprise! pouncing. She obsessively chews up sticks and paper but has no concept of fetch or play, like tug of war, with normal dog toys. Food a-holic too.

Ironically, over a year ago I met a gal whose primary job is caring for research animals at the U. She told me a few things: that the dogs cannot be housed alone, they always are with a kennel buddy, tho' the buddy changes a lot. So, they are dog social. And they are handled regularly by people, and given LOTS of treats, so people are not scary. The companies that breed research beagles have selectively bred for compliant personalities too. About the only thing she doesn't like are loud mechanical noises, like dryers and the outside AC unit.

So, TMI I know but "retired lab animal" is a whole large class of rescues I have learned. I think I got lucky with my happy little gal. We're still new to each other but I look forward to doing more training and the like with her in the months ahead.

8x8 acrylic on wood
I think spoken for but not til I'm happy with it...

the poster Martha saw to adopt Annie!

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

July 17, Spud!

Ain't this a cutie!?  This is one of those photos that aren't great and so leave some room for playing, though I'm not sure what Ingrid will think about it...  But here's what her mom wrote about this sweet critter!
Spud has a goofy lopsided smile. He doesn’t bark but expresses himself by sneezing and snorting. We’ve only heard a single woof out of him a few times in the 10 years he’s lived with us and it always surprises us and him too when he barks. He’s a rescue and I think he had a pretty hard life before he came here. He’s very smart and can roll down the electric windows in the car himself. He also honks the horn in the car if he thinks we’re taking too long when we stop at garage sales. He is very well behaved most of the time and we call him a little gentleman in a dog suit.

And Ingrid is the daughter of another cousin of mine~
And I do also have to tell you that sadly but peacefully, my cousin Krissy passed away a few days ago. Her Tiger lives on with her husband, but her absence leaves a big, bright space in my heart~

8x8 acrylic on wood
This one is up for a surprise auction~
because sometimes surprises are just needed!
 Starting bid is $50!

Monday, July 16, 2018

July 16, Sister!

This is the most gremlin-y looking dog I have ever seen!  And yet, there is this intelligence in her face, in her eyes, that just shines through.
And I chose her partially because of this incredible photo, which shows that intelligence, and also once Gina wrote this about her~
Thanks for considering her. She was a force to be reckoned with. She came from a puppy mill where she’d lived in a cage her whole life and used to make puppies. We got her when she was 7 after she’d been rescued from the mill. She looked like death warmed over and we thought we’d be lucky if she lived a year. She lived 3 years and 3 months. When she came to our home she decided almost immediately that she was the princess of the house – I don’t know how that is even possible after the horrific life she’d lived. Let me just say, she embraced her new lifestyle fully. We loved her so hard. She was my girl and never not by my side. Everywhere we went people fell in love with her. She was featured on Susie’s Senior Dogs, twice, was featured on Dogs of Instagram, and also in Dogster magazine. She was more popular than anyone in our family. She had more likes on her facebook page than I did, as she should because she was way more amazing and interesting than me.  I squeezed a lifetime’s worth of love into those 3 years and 3 months and I miss her terribly, still, every day.

8x8 acrylic on panel

Sunday, July 15, 2018

July 15, Mabel!

This is Mabel!  And what a lovely face she has! I was working on her today at the Grand Marais Art Festival, and getting constantly interrupted and then we had a quick twenty minute gullywasher right at the end of the day when there was about half an hour left and then everything was wet and we had to pack it all up- so I've just come back from listening to Liz Siverston's band The Splintertones out at the Skyport Lounge (we had to go!  It's practically church up here!!!) and have been sitting at our picnic table with the lake lapping in the background, painting up Mabel and now posting for you!  Yay!  What a day!
And here is what Amber says about her Mabel~

"Mabel is a rescue dog from Iowa.  I first welcomed her into my home during my final years of psychiatric residency and we've been inseparable every since. She served as my main companion when we moved back to MN together in 2016 and has become a loyal, loving, and important member of my family.  She is vivacious, affectionate, goofy, territorial, and exudes of sweetness.  She loves being outside, twirling, getting treats, head scratches and belly rubs, as well as rolling around in anything smelly.  Mabel also loves it when my boyfriend and I make up and perform songs about her during our daily walks around Northfield."

8x8 acrylic on wood

Saturday, July 14, 2018

July 14, Lulu the Water Dog!

SO I am up in Grand Marais at the Art Festival, and I've been really busy today talking to people and selling paintings (Yay!) and had to really push to get this wonderful image to this point!  I am not sure whether it is finished or not, and I may do a bit more work on it later, when I have some more time, but I have to say I was super excited to paint it- it's a bit like painting an otter, with those browns and the blues around the leaping Luna!

And here's what Karin says about Lulu!
Here’s my description:  Louise (Lulu) is a sweet 5-year-old vizsla and typical for the breed, a true Velcro dog. Though she’s a bit nervous, she lives life with great enthusiasm and makes us laugh every day. She is alternately afraid of and excited about the pool. 

10x10 acrylic on panel
spoken for!

Friday, July 13, 2018

July 13, Cole!

So this is another sweet one, and his coloring totally reminds me of my Jojo that I wrote about yesterday a bit...  
I've painted a few of Lynda's fantastic dogs already!  And this is another one! She has this to say about him~

 He is grandson to the first black and tan you painted for me. Her name was Allie.

His name is Cole. He is a Coursing Ability Champion and is one of the sweetest boys I have ever bred.
My neighbors (one of whom is holding him) corrupted him as a puppy by letting him lick their wine glass. He loves them and goes crazy when he sees them.

Hopefully he will be an AKC Champion before the year us up.

8x8 acrylic on panel
I believe this one is also 
Spoken For!

Thursday, July 12, 2018

July 12, Oliver!

One of my first dogs was a cocker spaniel mix.  We loved Smokey~  he was just a sweet natured small dog who smelled like brussel sprouts.  Then when I was a young adult in a serious relationship, we adopted Jojo, who was an English Cocker Spaniel, with those giant brown paws and brown eyebrows and a scraggly black coat. I think he had been seriously abused before I found him, because he was skinny and scruffy and he never barked the entire time I loved him. After just four years, he developed mouth cancer and the tumor was so huge, we couldn't save him. That is still one of the saddest days of my life, the day we had to say goodbye to him. Sometimes I still feel his presence, just under my chair...
SO when I saw Oliver's face in my inbox, I had to paint him.
I know you don't blame me!
Here's what his owner, Marie, said about him~
This is my sweet Oliver, age 15.  He suffers from heart failure but is the sweetest guy ever.  He came to me as a stray at age around 10 months.

8x8 acrylic on panel

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

July 11, Jane Isay

Here's another sweet face!  Are you catching on to how I choose my subjects? I do look for those faces that have something there- and this one, it's her little crooked smile!  This is Jane Isay, and this is what Lisa her owner has written about her~

Jane Isay came to us to foster for just one day about two years ago. She is a “foster fail”. She was  a rescue Bijon. She was around twelve years old, nine pounds, blind in one eye, two bad back legs, no teeth and frightened of everything. She took her time and we were patient and we can’t imagine life without her. She likes her meds wrapped in Kraft singles. She like to curl up on the back of the couch near our shoulders while we read and write. She enjoys short walks with the husband.

8x8 acrylic on panel

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

July 10, Webster!

Ah, this is a special one!  Jillian won a fundraising auction (which I don't do often) at her son's school for a 10x10 commission and she was willing to be a part of this project, so here is Webster!  I have to admit, her choice of favorite photo was not one I would have chosen, but this is certainly an endearing critter!
Here's what Jillian says about Webster!

“We went looking for a different dog but came home with Webster; he opened one sleepy eye and we couldn’t resist this funny creature. He and his puppy siblings were found abandoned in a barn; the only thing we know is their mother was likely a miniature poodle (presumably, their father was some sort of terrier).  Webster is watchful, steady, anxious, affectionate, chatty, and loyal.  He is our family’s heart-filler, the best brother to his three human siblings, and a truly tender-hearted treasure.” 

10x10 acrylic on panel

Monday, July 9, 2018

July 9, Dottie Dog for Arlene!

And today's dog was painted rather earlier this morning than usual!  We have a bit going on today, and I love getting an early start- besides, I couldn't sleep with all the thoughts and ideas running through my brain!
This is the delightful Dottie!  And this is what her owner, Arlene, has to say about her!

Little Dottie and her sister were left on the step of a Wisconsin shelter seven years ago. She was thrilled to be adopted, and is exuberant in showing her love for family, food and frisbees. She is part Lab and maybe part Border Collie, which would explain her four white paws with black polka dots.

10x10 acrylic on panel

Sunday, July 8, 2018

July 8, Birdie!

It's funny but fluffy cute dogs can be some of the toughest to paint! Where ARE those eyes?  How do I make them look shiny and alive and still have the fluffy fur all around them?  And how do you paint all that fluffyness?!
So this is the adorable and sweet Birdie! And here is what her Jenny says about her~

Birdie came to live with my 84-year-old father-in-law last year. We first met her in March 2018 and instantly fell in love. She is a darling, darling little dog; she loved our dogs (Olive and Daisy), and in the evenings she liked to sit with her mouth around my hand. We love her so much! 

8x8 acrylic on panel

Saturday, July 7, 2018

July 7, Korvia! for Jules~

Today's dog is a beautiful black dog, which are among my favorite of all animals to paint~ if you look closely, you can see many many different colors in that coat~  lovely!  And Kor's owner Jules, says this about him...

This is Korvia or as we call him, Kor.  He was adopted from a rescue in December as a Christmas present and
they told us he would be between 40-60 pounds. He topped out at about 108! Fun fact about Korvia is that 
the word "korvia" means ears in Finnish and as you can see, he's got those in spades.

10x10 acrylic on black cradled panel

Friday, July 6, 2018

July 6, Charlie for Becky~

And this is another cousin's dog, my cousin Becky~ who has fostered a few dogs, and I can't remember if Charlie is a foster-fail, or a regular rescue~
I had a tricky time with Charlie's eye, because there's that lovely dark area around his eye, and that lovely fluffy fur with different highlights... I think this is better~ and the background works better too!

8x8 acrylic on panel

Thursday, July 5, 2018

July 5, Obi

And this is Obi! My friend Zanne's mom's dog!  And Zanne hasn't sent me any info about Obi, so I'll bug her about that, and I'm gonna wager a bet that this puppy is named after a character in Star Wars- whadaya think?
And my friend Zanne has now told me the story of Obi's name...

"Obi's sister's name is Padawan, which might cause one to believe that Obi is followed by Wan Kenobi, but in fact, he was named after the Hebrew prophet Obadiah. Obi came to the family at 8 weeks old, and at the time, my mom didn't want another dog, especially a puppy. However, she says that the day she took this picture was the day she fell in love."

 This one has taken longer than usual, probably because I've been watching "Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee" and that makes me look up at the screen a lot- I have to admit, I am so happy that Jerry Seinfeld is on this planet, making me laugh, because some days it seems theres not so much to laugh about and he just cuts through crap and makes you see the absurdity.  Love it!

8x8 acrylic on cradled panel
click HERE to play with this puppy!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

July 4, Tiger for Krissy

Occasionally I change the order of the dogs, and today is one of those days. My sister alerted me to the fact that our sweet cousin, Krissy, isn't doing well in her battle for health, and I had her dog Tiger down to paint on the 30th of July, because I'd forgotten to put her in earlier- so I painted Tiger for today.  Thank you, Arlene and others for allowing me to shift you around a little!
We are hoping to get this image to Krissy at the hospital so she can see that little face- if you have the willingness to send good energy to my cousin, I'd appreciate it~ the more love sent her way, the better~

8x8 acrylic on cradled panel

Spoken for~

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

July 3, Scout, for Rachel

This was a wonderful challenge to paint- the shapes of dogs' muzzles are curvy in places you don't always notice until you are attempting to draw and paint them...
Scout has that multi-colored fur that can require many layers of paint to get the effect you are looking for- and here's what Scout's owner, Rachel, says about her~

"I learned about your 30 dogs in 30 days challenge from my friend Brian Fewell. I think this would be a wonderful way to memorialize our dog Scout. She passed away this spring at 14.5 years. We adopted her from Paws and Claws when she was 12 weeks old, and she was definitely a once in a life time pet. She is survived by my husband and I (mom and dad), 3 human brothers (13, 10, and 8) and 2 fur brothers. We are still trying to get used to life without her."

8x10 acrylic on panel

Monday, July 2, 2018

July 2, Olive

Olive has one blue eye and one brown, and that wispy wonderful fluffy ear fur, and she's posed so beautifully on that pale green carpet which contrasts nicely with her warm tones. It is always helpful to look at my work when I post it here because it is removed enough from the immediacy of my touch and I can be a bit more objective.  With painting fur, I worry about getting too detailed. I don't want to paint every last hair- I want the impression of the movement of the fur and not the fur itself, but that can be tricky when painting some glorious beastie like Olive here...
I am happy with most of her, though I may touch up her chin because it looks like she was just drinking milk...

8x8 acrylic on panel

Sunday, July 1, 2018

July 1, Zelda Banana!

Yay! It's been a lovely, rainy, cooler morning and I have been listening to West Side Story while painting the first dog of this year's 30 Dogs in 30 Days, the incredibly adorable and charismatic Zelda Banana!!!
I don't have a story for Zelda yet, other than that she is the cutest pug ever, and that her friends all adore her, but I will update this post with her story when I get it...

Whew!  And I've also had some fun painting outside yesterday, in the heat before it go too buggy...
I'm including the list again in this post, and it's been updated a little...
Thanks for following~

8x8 acrylic on panel