last year we worked on a book from stories sent by folks we know from our internet business. The stories were amazing and so were the photos we received. It took about 5 months to do 10 paintings and edit the stories. The paintings were a part of a one person show I had in Leavenworth, KS. and we reproduced the stories so that people could maybe understand what inspired the painting. All of the stories were thought provoking and inspiring. The stories are proof that pretty ordinary folks go to great lengths to make a dog (or cat)s life better. And, I’m sure they don’t stop at animal assistance. I have a feeling that saving a dog is only part of what they have done to make the planet a better place to live on.
That being said, I’ve decided to work again with some of the remaining stories and photos I’ll be needing a few more stories…but I have plenty to keep me working for awhile.
This one story was so complicated, that I think I was more than a little afraid to even begin the process, but it offered a great challenge,(and a high hurdle), so I felt I should start here. The painting is called “Heaven on Earth”…all dogs rescued by a team of woman who wanted to make a difference for dogs who would probably never be adopted from the shelter because they were too old or because they had a black coat.
Helen is no long here on earth, but she will always be in my heart. She taught me how difficult it can be to bring a dog home from a shelter. And she taught me that I could do this and learn so much from the experience.
I’m working on a smaller canvas size…and it seems more difficult than larger canvas work. When I worked on larger canvas, 40X50″ plus, I would just start painting and something would happen….now I come up with a concept and even a drawing before I begin. Maybe the pre-structure limits my expression…kind of like coloring in the lines! In any case, usually what I plan doesn’t work anyway and the painting evolves into something I didn’t plan. That’s probably because painting isn’t really about thinking….it’s about finding what feels right.
Sometimes a visual idea, when transferred from the brain to the canvas, can go south! I’ve been gazing at this one “leaping” dog painting I did last year. Everyday when I come into my studio…there it is on the wall. And, every time I’d focus on it, I felt that it needed work but could never come up with a solution. Sometimes, the only solution is just paint over an idea that doesn’t work… and sometimes there is just a small clue that spurs me on to make a change. And, as in any change one makes, all changes require faith, courage, disappointment and finally, a solution that works! so, here is “Dogs in Tall Grass” acrylic on canvas. Enjoy