Today I wanted to share a story about a chance meeting with a guy’s father, who I met in STAPLES, who knew how much his son and daughter-in-law loved their pets. As a result of him taking my business card and giving it to his son. A very lucky wife woke up on Christmas Day to find a fine art 12 x 12 oil painting of her beloved yellow lab under the Christmas tree. Her husband had commissioned me to do this painting along with 3 others (another dog and 2 cats) so that he could surprise her. He knew how much she loved theses beautiful animals and wanted to give her something that would last for years to come. How romantic I kept thinking as we put together the plan. I just love it when I see a man go way out of his way to put together an elaborate plan to surprise his wife and do something that he knows will really make her happy. What an incredible way to show how much you love someone. Pet Portraits fill up your senses in so many ways when you look at them. A certain look reminds us of a particular moment that we shared with them. “Happy for No Reason” does just that. If you have spent time with a Lab you know this look. They are the sweetest dogs and have an incredible happy spirit. This painting is SOLD but if you would like a Giclee (high quality print version on canvas or paper) I will have them available early 2013 and taking orders now. Please just contact me. The sizes will vary from 6″ x 6″ to the largest version 36″ x 36″.
I was once told by a Gallery owner that every painting has a story and this painting, Looking to the Light is no different. It started a little over 9 years ago when I was talking with a real estate client of ours. We were both telling each other how we had gotten puppies. To our surprise, they were both born on the exact same day. Laurie’s was a Yellow Lab named Rebel and mine was a Min Pin we named Ally. When we realized this, there was a special bond and when we spoke we would always ask about the others dog. Sadly eight years later Laurie told us that Rebel was diagnosed with cancer.
When I heard this there was a sudden urge to go to her house and photograph Rebel. We had lost a puppy at 13 weeks old and I remember how much I cherished the few photos I had. So I called Laurie and Billy and asked if I could come over and photograph Rebel so that I could do an oil painting of him. He was a beautiful lab and I felt compelled to do a painting of him. They thought their Realtor was a bit nutty, but they said, “Sure come on over if you want.” They didn’t get it and I didn’t either at the time, but this painting would become a very important painting for both of us.
Because I was doing this painting for myself there was no rush and in May when it was just about complete, I called Laurie and invited her to see the painting at an SPCA event where I was showing my art. Everything was done except a little work around the muzzle and the whiskers.
After that day, I got busy with other things and never did put the whiskers on until several months later. On Aug. 31, 2011 I decided to finally put the whiskers on and then enter the oil painting into a contest. After I added the last whisker, I immediately called Laurie to say it was done and to ask her about a title. When I called she didn’t answer the phone. The next day there was an email from Laurie in my inbox. I couldn’t believe what I read.
She said that when the phone rang she was at home but didn’t answer because they had just said goodbye to Rebel one minute before I called and were actually carrying his body out of her home when the phone was ringing. She said it was odd, as she was saying goodbye to him that she thought about the painting. When you look at the timeline, I was putting the last strokes of paint on the painting as Rebel was taking his last breaths. I have my doubts that this was all just a chance happening?
When I first showed the painting in my studio at the Pendleton Art Center, it was amazing to watch how people would gather around that one painting and marvel at how real it looked, it was without a doubt the show stopper. So I knew this was the painting to enter into one of the most difficult art exhibits/contests, ViewPoint 44. And now, I am proud to announce that “Looking to the Light” has been accepted into the ViewPoint National Juried Show. Only 70 paintings were chosen out of hundreds that were submitted from around the country.
I would like to invite you to The ViewPoint 44 Show held at the Cincinnati Art Gallery on 225 E 6th St. Cincinnati, OH 45202. The ViewPoint exhibition will be available for viewing Monday thru Friday 9-4 pm Saturday 10-3 pm till August 31, 2012.
This is the process that I did to create the official portrait of Euka. I will post a few pictures each day till we have the completed painting. So be sure to check back each day to eventually see the completed painting.
Creating a portrait of an animal always starts with a photograph. Once I have the photo I will work with it to find the perfect composition. Euka got to sit on some chairs for this photo because we wanted to be sure she would givet off the essence of feeling important. By elevating her from the floor it changed her demeanor.
I was also looking for a certain light to make the portrait more interesting. So there is cool light coming from the window on the right side of the portrait and warm light in the shadow.
Next I did a quick oil sketch to block in the shapes of the painting.
Hours before the reveal at the Procter & Gamble Mason office, Dawn B. Dwyer was photographed with the oil painting, Euka, which was about to be unveiled to the Procter & Gamble Pet Division. Euka served over 50 dog years as the V. P. of K9 Communication. During her time of service she was even featured on the cover of Fortune Magazine, in 2004.
A grand retirement party was held in her honor where the official portrait of Euka was revealed. It was an honor for Dawn to be chosen to capture this magnificent yellow labrador retriever in an oil painting. The whole experience was a lot of fun! Dawn will be posting the “Making of the Portrait of Euka” in the next few days at www.dawnbdwyer.com
You can also see more of the oil paintings of Dawn B. Dwyer on April 27th & April 28th at the Pendleton Art Center.
pet portraits | wildlife | marine life | nature
I will be easy to find, just come into the Pendleton Warehouse Studios and take the elevator straight up to the top floor (8th). STUDIO 804-B
Final Friday and Second Look Saturday
Not only will you be seeing my work but also 8 floors of Studios will be open to the public. Studio walks are a lot of fun and held the Final Friday of each month from 6 pm to 10 pm. Studios of the Pendleton Art Center are open to the public, giving guests the opportunity to view creative art space, as well as purchase one-of-a-kind artwork directly from artists. Second Look Saturdays offer another opportunity to experience the Pendleton and its artists from 11 am to 3 pm. Below is a link for information about the Pendelton Art Center/Cincinnati and directions.
In the works and on the easel …
This painting was inspired by a night dive I did. With only a flashlight in hand to illuminate the darker water at 60′ an Angel Fish appears with all it’s beauty.
I really need help with the Title of this piece, so if something comes to mind please leave it in the comment section. The painting is not complete yet but close enough for you to get a feel of it and an idea for a title.
This event has always been a lot of fun! It is not only a walk but there are various vendors to visit prior to the actual walk. I have been a participant of this event for many years and both my dogs and I love it!!! I have even come alone with just my dogs and ended up meeting new friends by the end of the day. There are usually lots of goodies your dog will enjoy as well. In the past there have been over 600 participants and it is quite amazing to see all the beautiful dogs that come to this event. It’s quite a spectacular view and inspiring to be a part of this large wave of animal lovers that come together for the Doggie Dash. We all gather to have a great time with our pets (otherwise known as the furry family members), while doing something very important…raising money to care for animals in need.