Tuesday, May 11, 2010


I don't do portraits as part of my painting practice. Human portraiture requires a different kind of focus and doesn't really interest me as an artist, though I admire it when it's done really well. That said, I have done the occasional horse or dog portrait for special occasions/people. I even painted Zappa a couple of weeks after I lost him.

This is Carlos. The painting (more an illustration really) is teeny tiny, only 4" x 4", in acrylic on Stonehenge rag paper. Carlos was the first Australian Shepherd I bailed out of a shelter (in Bellingham, WA) and found a home for after adopting Zappa. Carl named him. Julian and Connie, who eventually adopted him from us, are snowbirds who
gave a gentlemanly dog with a rough start a really good life. Carlos died last year when they were in Arizona. Connie is turning 80 this month and doesn't have very long to live herself, having just last week been diagnosed with a terminal illness.

On impulse I decided that Carlos and his precious Blue Boy, who he
never went anywhere without, needed to be painted for Connie's birthday. It was a bittersweet painting experience and I could've kicked myself for not double checking the drawing before I started painting as the proportions aren't right. What else did I learn? That I really need to invest in a pair of reading glasses (!*&$?!#!). This photo is of Carlos and Zappa, two peas in a pod.


Blogger Ellen said...

Aw, so sad. It's really wonderful that you painted it for Connie, I'm sure she will appreciate the gesture and memory of Carlos. And you did a great job. 4"x4" especially. (you don't have reading glasses yet? I bought my first pair last year :( )

11/5/10 5:40 p.m.  
Blogger Romeo Morningwood said...

What a magnificent thoughtful gift...it's so personal.

11/5/10 5:53 p.m.  
Blogger dinahmow said...

I echo Donn.

(I now have several pairs of reading specs, even a pair over at H's studio!)

11/5/10 7:27 p.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Thanks, homies. I should pop over to Pharmasave right now -- and wow myself when I look in the mirror at those newly-redefined wrinkles. God help me.

11/5/10 7:52 p.m.  
Blogger Ilva said...

Don't talk about bad eyesight because of age, I'm so sick of getting more and more (or should I say less and less) dependent on reading glasses. Carlos looks wonderful, I like that look that you caught, the play with me look!

11/5/10 11:05 p.m.  
Blogger valerie walsh said...

oh i am in love :D

12/5/10 8:31 a.m.  
Blogger Ian Lidster said...

Wonderful gift. Poignant. I should get you to do Max.

12/5/10 11:19 a.m.  
Blogger andrea said...

Ilva: It's been coming for a couple of years now -- just didn't want to face it! Heh.

Val & Ian: Thanks. He was a super pooch.

12/5/10 1:22 p.m.  
Blogger ninjapoodles said...

That little portrait of Misha is something that I will treasure all of my life, and will comfort me after he's gone, probably moreso than the many photographs I have of him. Even though you did it, I don't think you have any idea. I'm just so grateful.

19/5/10 9:19 p.m.  
Blogger p said...

what a wonderful inspiration andrea. i'm sure your painting will mean so much.

3/10/10 5:12 a.m.  

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