...Is to Love, Love, Love Him

He's looking at you!

...and I do.

I've painted more of Dobler's fur, started on his nose, and am still working on his eyes.  We love him so much and he returns that love by the bushel; I just hope I can capture some of his love in this painting.

Once I finish his eyes and nose, I'll be adding more depth to his fur and, of course, adding his cute whiskers.  Oh, and eyebrows.  I know dogs don't actually HAVE eyebrows but Dobler has a long black "whisker" over one eye and a long white one over the other.

Then he'll be ready to travel (on paper) to Japan with his first mom.

P. S.  I enjoy studying the work of other artists and looking at their websites.  One of my favorite animal artists is watercolor artist Ron Krajewski.  http://www.ronkrajewski.com/

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Through a Dog's Eyes...

One of the sweetest dogs ever!
I started painting Dobler's eyes--eyes that can look into your soul.  I just hope I can do them justice.

Dobler is what we consider to be a Godsend.  When we lost our Annie back in January, 13-year-old Abigail became the only canine in the house--something she had never experienced.  She began to decline and we realized she needed another companion (as did we).

To no avail, we looked and looked for a dog that would respect Abigail's age and ailments yet add some excitement to her life.  Then came Dobler!

His owner adopted him as a sick puppy from the shelter and nursed him back to health.  Nine years later, she was faced with having to find a good home for him because the Air Force was transferring her family to Japan.  Sadly, they could only take 2 of their 5 pets with them.

It was meant to be that I would search on Craig's list soon after she posted the "Meet Dobler" photo.  It was love at first sight!

Dobler has been a wonderful and loving addition to our family.  It was heart-wrenching for his owner to part with him but we stay in touch with her and send photos of this wonderful dog that she raised so well and obviously loved so much.  We will forever thank her for the gift of Dobler.  This painting will be for her to take to Japan with her.
I'll repost "Dobler" when he's completed.
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Visiting Rameses' Mother

The Rameses mascot, 2009
Mike and I had a wonderful visit with the mother of Jason Kendall Ray this afternoon.  Jason was "Rameses", the Carolina mascot for 3 years.  In March of 2007, he was in New Jersey performing as Rameses at the NCAA Tournament.  Tragically, he died after being struck by a car.

Jason was an organ donor.  He saved the lives of 4 people and helped many others.  The Jason Kendall Ray Foundation offers financial support to transplant and organ patients at the UNC Comprehensive Transplant Center. 

Mike and I traveled to Concord to present Mrs. Ray with a Blue Heaven Art gift basket for the auction at next week's Jason Kendall Ray Foundation Golf Tournament.  We also gave her Rameses note cards for each of the 140+ golfers participating in the tournament.

We enjoyed listening to her stories about Jason.  He was a wonderful young man.

To read a story written by Wayne Drehs, Emmy-winning senior writer for ESPN.com., go to this link:  http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=rayofhope 
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UNC Watercolor and How to Paint Bricks

Sketch for Old Well and Rameses Painting
I'm working on a large painting (22 x 30) for an alumnus of the University of North Carolina.  It features the Old Well and Rameses, the school mascot.  I've painted wood, rocks, and stones but the brick walkway that will be in the left foreground will be my first bricks.

I decided to learn from what other artists have painted.  In my search, I found the website of Roland Lee, a wonderful Utah watercolor artist who paints American and European landscapes.  Some of his paintings include brick buildings.  Many of his works are of the Southwest and rural America.  His website is worth a look:  http://www.rolandlee.com/

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"Regan" and Oyster Envy

Regan, Great Admirer of Oysters
"Regan" is the yellow Labrador retriever of a friend who lives near the North Carolina coast.  His owner captured a picture of him looking up after "admiring" a big bucket of oysters on the back deck.  If only he could figure out how to open those shells!

I finished this watercolor portrait of Regan this afternoon.  I added a few touches of acrylic to highlight his whiskers; fur; and those soft, sweet, heart-melting eyes.

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