I have always been an avid gardener. In the spring I love to start by filling colorful pots on my deck with fresh plants from our local garden centers. When Tila was a puppy, I was happily potting away, turned my back for a moment and found my puppy in a whirl of lavender plants. In reality, there was only one plant de-potting puppy, but in this painting I thought it was more fun to have two.
In my imagination, Pyrs have a secret life at night we don’t know about. They hear the conversation of owls and mice, smell the scent of moonbeams, and more. This painting came out of that part of my imagination.
A little Pyr puppy wakes in the dark of night and is frightened by the shadows and the sounds. His mother comforts him with “Don’t be afraid of the dark, the Pyr in the moon will watch over us.
And look very carefully at the moonlight that comes in the window! It lights part of the wood floor and lights the Pyrs up in its beam subtlety changing the colors of the rug as well. I worked very hard on that!
It seems there is nothing a Pyr likes better than a full moon, a brisk wind and the soft delicate first snow flakes of December. I took a photo of Tila shaking off the snow, reveling in the blowing snow and used that as the inspiration for this painting.
In the same spirit of “Nothing is White” I tried to give this painting the reflected blue light in the snow we often see in moonlight.
This original will also be available at the Great Pyrenee’s National Show 2012 at the rescue table with the money going to help rescue dogs that lack a “Forever Home”.
I have this wonderful photo I took of Tila. On a warm summer day, after helping me garden and grill on the BBQ, he came in and parked himself in front of the candles and sat down and to my astonishment, looked as if he was sitting and meditating. I’ve always thought Pyrs had a spiritual and mystical side. And this proved it to me. This is the photo I used as the basis for my first painting. I have to say that this inspired the painting rather than me trying to copy it exactly. There were things in life (like the drool and dirt on Tila’s chin from the garden) that I didn’t want to make into the painting. I also wanted it to have a warm tone rather than the harsh dark background the photo has. So I had a vision of the end result as well as a mystical pyr to help me find my way.
Of course Tila helped by nudging me for treats from time to time to make sure I took enough breaks to step back and take a good look at my painting. He was absolutely right, you have to step back, assess and sometimes just stop until you figure something out.
The one thing I found out after “Nothing is White” is there are more shades of tan and brown and grey on a white Great Pyrenees than you can imagine. Let alone mix the colors. I had palettes with nothing but brown and badger and tan and various shades of cream trying to match those few hairs under the nose or over the eyes.
I did my planning and made a few preliminary sketches. And finally after days and days of working on it and letting layers dry (believe me this Pyr painting has an undercoat) I was done. Well not quite done…
Before I could start showing off my painting to my friends I had to get muse approval.
So after a proper examination, I was approved.
And at last I can say Ta Dah! Done the final work Tila Mediates.
While I know I’m just taking my first steps as an artist, I’m happy to say that the original painting is going to the rescue table at the Great Pyrenee’s National Show 2012. So hopefully some kind person will buy it there and the money will go to the rescue of Great Pyrenees Dogs that have not yet been located in their “Forever Home” yet.