Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas Commissions

All of the commissions at this time of year are 'surprises'. The studies have to be collected in secret. In most cases the photos were supplied -the animals had passed and the studies were whatever the client could find without the recipient finding out...

In this first painting, the client wanted me to incorporate images of all the family pets that were with them throughout the decades. This was a surprise gift from my client and his siblings to their parents. What a lovely idea! What a challenge! I had very limited source material- and all the photos were taken from very different angles. This is what I came up with.

'Extended Family'

'Mickey' was a sweet little guy who passed away and is greatly missed by the client's parents. Like the painting above, this painting was also a gift from the client and her sibling to their parents. Mickey liked to sit in the front window of the family home and watch the world go by. This composition reflects that.

'Princess Delilah'. True to her biblical namesake Delilah is adored like a true princess. The client liked my off-centre compositions and we decided it would be fun to play with the princess idea by putting a little tiara on Delilah's head. Even though this painting is a surprise gift for the client's husband, I was able to sneak over and snap some studies...

'Tyler' needed to be a rather small painting as it was going to be carried on a plane for someone in the States. This work is 16" x 16" and quite straight forward. The client only had one photo that I could work from- Thankfully it was a good one!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Double Trouble

In each of the following paintings I had to take the photo studies individually and then put the images of the dogs together afterwards. A bit challenging but rewarding!

Two wonderful Dandie Dinmonts. Both characters, each very different than the other. Gracie in front, loved the camera… Healey was more reserved; as you can see, they are each in their element. Their favourite toys are in the foreground- the pink one for the girl and the brown one for the boy.

Toby and Maggie
This is Toby and Maggie. These girls were like two little kids-playing and chasing the ball. I decided to depict their home the way kids themselves might represent it- like a crayon drawing, loose and ‘coloured in’.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


Presently, I have an exhibition of my Dog Paintings at the Miles Nadel JCC in downtown Toronto. Here are some new images created for that show.

This boy is a Chinese Crested. Look at the royal stature of this little dog. I put him against this red as it is the consistent accent colour of his human’s interior design choices; and it suits his personality perfectly. Chihuly has no reservations telling you of his likes and dislikes- besides, he’s so darned cute you listen.

The following two works were painted just for the exhibition and just for fun.

Karma is a big wacky boxer puppy. She was mid gallop when I caught her sneaking a peek at me from the corner of her eye.

What a beautiful graceful dog. Tenney is a rescue. I wanted to mimic the curves and angles of Tenney’s form in the surrounding graphic landscape.

Friday, July 2, 2010

3 Very Different Compositional Styles

This is Lady. Her little pink tongue always sticks out... I just had to photograph her and when I saw the results I knew I had to paint her. I love the composition of this image. 'Walking Lady' refers not only to the little Pug but her human as well.

This young and playful Collie is Jesse. His human wanted bold colours with a bit of the 'Pop Art' feel. This is what I came up with. I love how he's smiling at us.

Speaking of Collies, the photos of these gorgeous Collies were provided for me. This was commissioned as a gift for a London Ontario family. All I really had to go on was that the middle dog was the only female and the senior dog of the pack. Painted on wood panel I allowed the natural grain to be part of the floor in the composition.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Well hello Sailor!

Actually this dog's name is really Tucker. He is an un-neutered two year old who's always happy to see you. I changed the name on his collar to Sailor since, well... you get it.

Monday, May 10, 2010

A little dog on a big canvas

This is Bizou. He is a tiny Shitzhu... barely 9 lbs.

His human liked the idea of the off center composition and wanted it quite large as a gift for his bride to be. This canvas is 24" x 30". By painting Bizou larger than life, I was able to depict every detail of this adorable pup's expression. What fun!

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Works on Panel

In preparation for some upcoming exhibitions I've been creating paintings that will be offered for sale. The following three works were painted on birch panel. Painting on wood is a very different experience from canvas... the paint glides over the panel surface rather than hugging it, as it does on the canvas. I'm really enjoying the effect and where appropriate I allow the grain of the wood to be integrated into the composition.

After all, wood tends to be very important to dogs...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

2 new commissions

I call this painting
'Three Amigos'. These dogs are all shitzhus or shitzhu mixes: Bugi is front left, Elly is in the middle and Tinker is on the right. The coloured panels in the background relate to each dog's harness and reflects each dog's seniority. Sadly Bugi died shortly after this painting was finished. He was very old and infirm. I'm so glad I got to know him, he was a dignified little guy who I considered a buddy.

This is Molson. He's a Labradoodle. His humans commissioned this painting as a gift for their new baby boy. They wanted a minimal background... an image the boy could grow up with, that would always remind him of his fun loving, energetic, first family dog.