Winter Finch (male)

Winter Finch (male) c 2017

WINTER FINCH (male) 5 x 7 oil painting by Dawn B. Dwyer

When I first began to feed the birds, I had a male Finch show up during the colder weather.  I wondered who this new bird was and followed it around from tree branch to tree branch, trying to identify him.  I really fell in love with this little bird.

After weeks of brief visits at my house, I was able to identify him as an American Goldfinch.  Now, I only saw him by himself and when he stopped by, I considered him a special guest at my feeder.  But when spring came and I hung a large finch feeder, he brought a dozen other American Goldfinches to my house.  And he transformed into his brightly colored feathers.

One of the things I love about the American Goldfinch is their group spirit.  Finches seem to show up at our feeders with 12 of their closet friends and family.  They really are the most social birds in our yard.         Here is a video of the whole gang on the Finch Feeder:  https://youtu.be/C97I37vrmVM

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Be Right Back oil by Dawn B. Dwyer

12x16 Be Right Back low c2015 wwwpxl Dawn B Dwyer

“Be Right Back” 12 x 16 Oil by Dawn B. Dwyer (Giclees available)

I was so excited to work on this commissioned painting.  Not only did it represent something really special to the family but also for me.

One of the beauties of art, is that we may all look at the same painting but see different things.  I love that and I’d love to hear your story you see as you look at this painting too.

For me it showed the relationship we have with animals and how they are as much a part of our families as any other member.

These are among two, of the very special animals I paint.  They are known for their healing work that they do as therapy dogs.  Their demeanor is so calming, that to be in their presence is truly an honor.  I was just so amazed by them when we met.

Animals have emotions and feelings …  just as we do.  The thrill of going on vacation and experiencing new things like a trip to the beach is just as important to them as us.

I can feel their joy as they look out upon the water, “Aren’t we lucky?” as they wait for their human to Be Right Back.

This painting was featured on a segment on WCET TV that aired on the Arts Bridge Show.  Did you miss it?  If so here is a link to watch it online at

http://watch.cetconnect.org/video/2365427190/

Dawn’s segment starts at 6:25 mins.

 

“EMPATHY” 20×16 Oil Painting by Dawn B. Dwyer

“Empathy” 20×16 oil by Dawn B. Dwyer

“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen

At the time Henri wrote this I am sure that he was only thinking in terms of a relationship with a human being. But in reality this is what a relationship with a dog is all about. They are always quietly there, in the background, watching you, ready to respond when you need them.  This is what the painting “Empathy” is all about … the loyalty, compassion and companionship. A friendship that is reflective of the connection and complete understanding between two beings.

Shedding Shyness … A Portrait can be Transformational!

Shedding Shyness by Dawn B. Dwyer 400 psi c2013

“Shedding Shyness” by Dawn B. Dwyer 12×12 oil

Having an oil portrait done of your pet can actually be transformational for them.  This is the fourth painting in a series of four.  “Shedding Shyness” has a beautiful story centered around the painting.

When I was first contacted by Sawyer’s Dad about doing her portrait he told me he was very concerned about photographing her.  You see, she was very shy and he didn’t think I would even be able to get  in the door of the house, let alone get a  photo of her.  She was very shy around people and especially strangers.

Well, Sawyer surprised us all.  She wanted to have a portrait done like the rest of the four legged family members.  I planned a very special greeting with Sawyer and she did beautifully and was even approaching me by the end of the photo shoot.  “Shedding Shyness” was one of a series of four commissioned paintings including, “Happy for No Reason”, “Roamin’ at Rest” and “Li’l Devil with a Dash of Angel”.  What an incredible group of animals.  Yes … there were 2 cats and 2 dogs that got along fabulously and were so much fun to get to know.

Having a pet portrait is a really big deal for you and your pet.  If you are living with a pet that is very special … consider having a pet portrait done.  It is a wonderful way to honor them as well as experience that “happy feeling” when you see them, when they are no longer with you.

Li’l Devil with a Dash of Angel

Li'l Devil and a Dash of Angel by Dawn B Dwyer c2013 psi 72 x 278

Meet Oliver, he has been one of my animal teachers.  When I met him, I was unaware that I could communicate with animals nor heard what they wanted when I photographed them.  But during his photo session I had a keen sense of knowing exactly what he was up to and what he wanted. 

This was an enlightening experience for me.

His Dad was helping me to pose Oliver during the photo session and to get him in the perfect position. He’d play with the cat, as well as chase after him when Oliver would take off.  It became obvious the cat was laughing and having a blast.

I found myself directing his Dad in what to do, to get Oliver in the right pose.  I also would hear the cat giggle as he would run over to me in between shots, to rub against my leg, saying, “Isn’t my Dad funny,” as he basically tormented him and made him play his games so that I could get the perfect photo.

After the photo shoot, I drove home and reflected on how odd it was that I knew the games the cat wanted to play and even heard him giggle.  How could this be?

My exposure to cats has been very limited, as I have mostly played with other people’s cats and not really had one for any length of time.  As a child, our cats always seemed to run off or we would exchange them for new cats because they were feral and not always the nicest cats for small children.

So it really made me question, “How could I know what a cat would want?” 

Oliver was a very powerful teacher that day.  He taught me that I really can hear the animals I photograph if I just take the time to tune into them.

This is number three of a series of four paintings for this family.

Often times people say, that looks just like my cat.

So I am making “Li’l Devil with a Dash of Angel” available as a canvas or paper giclee.  You will be able to get this in various sizes up to 36 x 36 excluding 12 x 12.

Please let me know if you have interest.  I would be happy to customize a giclee for you.

At Rest with Roamin’

Roamin'    12 x 12 Oil Painting  by Dawn B. Dwyer

At Rest with Roamin’ 12 x 12 Oil Painting by Dawn B. Dwyer

Ernest Hemingway once said, “One cat  just leads to another.”  How right he was.  This is just the first of two cat paintings for this family, the second one is just about done.  I will post as soon as Oliver gets his final whiskers.  Oliver is a black cat and is also adorable.

“At Rest with Roamin'” was one of four commissioned paintings.

Friday We Celebrate & Saturday We Share 6 Secrets

Join us this Friday and every final Friday of the month for the BIGGEST PARTY in town.  Pendleton Art Center where 900 + people wander on 8 floors enjoying art!  Make sure you come and visit us on the SECOND floor STUDIO 221, I have a special surprise, especially for all those Michael Jackson fans.

See VIDEO by clicking on the link below.
http://youtu.be/kSXZOaaPlPM

Fine Art by Dawn B. Dwyer  Studio 221

Fine Art by Dawn B. Dwyer Studio 221