This one was a commission. I had it mostly done back in March when everything shut down but I did a couple of final tweaks recently and finally got to hand deliver it to the new owner. I was quite pleased with how it turned out – the setting and the dog’s expression were such a pleasure to paint. And I’m happy to say the new owner was delighted. In case you’re wondering, this beloved pup was part (mostly?) Irish wolfhound.
Tom wrote a touching poetic tribute to go with the painting.
There is a dog that moves the hearts of men, whose soulful eyes see further than our own: far into realms and regions past the ken of those of us whose spirits dare not roam beyond these castle walls of bone and flesh and into spaces where the angels fly unhampered by how gears of logic mesh to make this cold illusion where we die and are not swept into the heart of God where our absent friends are joyously awaiting us. Do not mistake a dog for one without a soul. At peace and free: where there is love, there still she is alive to greet us in the morning as we strive.
Here is another painting from the wonderful west coast of Vancouver Island. This was a very popular spot for people to take their dogs. Lots of happy pups cavorting on the beach and in the water. This painting was too large to do alla prima but I still worked quite quickly so that the under layers were still wet and moving enough when I added on the next day. It was three consecutive days of painting.
Tom’s wonderful poem speaks of things not seen directly in the painting, expanding on the visual in the imagination.
A cove that curves in shadow cool
beneath the overhanging trees;
clear waters, shallow tidal pools
reveal the secret of the seas:
that as above so too below
the seaweed wavers row on row
like flowers in the empty fields
and fishes dart as do the eels
like birds through sultry summer air
between the stems, above the buds
avoiding clouds that dance and scud
like waves concealing glimpses rare
into the world that dwells below
while above the flowers blow.
A happy dog to wish you Happy Chinese New Year! This is a small ink and watercolour I did for a card.
And a happy poem to celebrate from Tom!
Puppy dog, “Woof!” he barks with joy
as the Moon and year turn New
heralding the call, “Good boy!”
while time is passing over, through
the weirs that humans set to catch
one fleeting moment, striking match
that sets the fireworks alight
to bring us joy upon the night
when bounding in from twelve years gone
the faithful dog at last returns
his loyalty forever burns
like the light of new year’s dawn.
Faithful, friendly, happy, true
may this year bring all to you!
After reading Tom’s most recent Seuss-ian poetic offering (see previous comments) I immediately had this image in my head of Cindy Lou listening enthralled to tales from the stranger’s travels. I have a sketch from one of those tales started as well, but even though I’m having way too much fun doing these drawings, one per day is all I can manage!