Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Year's Greetings, and a Special Commission...

First off, many Happy New Year greetings from Matt and I! Although this photo was taken last summer, I bumped into it this morning, and the sheer joy captured within serves as a proper representation for our benevolent wishes. It also does well as an advertisement for Percy Medicine, a true throwback to the cures of the early 1900s. They still exist, right over in Waco, Texas - we were in town to take part in our good friend Radio Dismuke's annual Record Collector's Party Broadcast (look up his online radio show at And now, on to the commission...

Two of our dear friends, one a member of the Singapore Slingers, are the proud owners of two Dobermans, as well as a Maine Coon and Turkish Van. As we well understand, they hold their pets on the same level as parents do their own children - so it only made sense that a portrait was in order. Scott, the husband of the twosome, ordered it as a Christmas gift for his wife, Cassie - and a series of photographic and personality-descriptive emails ensued. Images of the dogs and cats, as well as point-by-point analysis of their characters, came along - something that I keenly appreciated, as an animal's personality is just as important as physical characteristics when working on a portrait.

Here are Breitling and Skylar. Breitling is actually one of the top champion Dobermans in the country, both in showing and agility. He is now retired, but ever the graceful creature. Skylar came from a rescue group, and is a truly loving girl. As I worked on the sketches, I came to see many physical similarities between Dobermans and Greyhounds - as I later learned, the breeds are very closely related.

This is Risha, the Turkish Van. Another champion, also retired from the show circuit - she sounds like a hell of a character, very much her own entity. I was unfamiliar with this breed, and understandably so - they are very rare, and have their own set of unique personality traits. Example? They often enjoy swimming...

This is Emily, the Maine Coon of the crowd. Scott tells me that she "lives on a level of existence all her own", and has a habit of picking tit-for-tat fights with Skylar, on a daily basis. Finally, I should add that the background, made of blue-shadowed ribbons, is a little tribute to the accomplishments of these animals. On top of the championships in the family, Breitling and Sklyar are both therapy dogs.

Finally, a photo of the framed piece, ready for Christmas morning. I was thrilled when Cassie told me how much she loves it - although I hadn't yet met the animals when I worked on the illustration, she let me know that I had caught them perfectly, in both appearance and nature. So pleased that it went so well.

And now, with the new year's arrival I'm working on several new animal-centric pieces, with aims toward new prints, as well as possible designs for other printed products. Keep an ear out for updates. And, again, Happy New Year - our best wishes for a wonderful 2011!

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