Cincinnati Art Gallery exhibits Looking to the Light by Dawn B. Dwyer

Looking to the Light by Dawn B Dwyer

Looking to the Light by Dawn B Dwyer

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.

Laurie, Rebel and Dawn at the SPCA Doggie Dash

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.

Commissioned Shih Tzu – Winnie

Winnie

Commissioned Portrait “Winnie” 14 x 11

“After our Shih Tzu, Winnie passed in November, I decided to commission a portrait of her as a gift to my husband.  I was looking for an artist who not only had a high level of representational skill but also made the leap of capturing the heart and soul of the portrait subject.  As an Art History major and as person with a background in advertising, I had a true appreciation of the difference.  This is why I chose Dawn B. Dwyer.

Thank you for the incredibly special portrait of Winnie. You truly captured her essence.

Dawn, I don’t know if you were aware of my two daughter’s response to the portrait when you brought it over and they had the chance to see it.  They were so moved by the painting that they both cried when you left.

You were a true gift to our family!”           Barb Gehrig  Cincinnati, OH

Dawn B. Dwyer Explains the Creation Process of Making the Official Portrait of Euka, P&G’s retired V.P. of Canine Communication

Chosen Photo Reference for Portrait of Euka    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.

Initial sketch to block in shapes

Next I did a quick oil sketch to block in the shapes of the painting.

Dividing the Shadow from the Light

Portrait of Euka Unveiled at Procter & Gamble – Commission by Dawn B. Dwyer

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.