Wednesday, December 31, 2008

BLACK ON WHITE Friesian graphite drawing

I decided to start the new year with the elegance of Black On White. Many years ago, I worked exclusively in graphite, and despite the medium's delicacy and unforgiving nature, I loved working in shades of grey. One of my art teachers told me that one day, I would discover colour and never look back, and he was right - for the most part. Eventually, I moved on to watercolour and loved it, but every so often, I still get the urge to get out the graphite pencils and work in a black and white world. I couldn't resist drawing this Friesian, my first new Horse Drawing of the New Year, in graphite.
Heather Anderson

Monday, December 1, 2008

Sleigh Bells

December is upon us, and this year, we have snow already. When we first moved to the village we live in, there were a lot of horse people living here, and sometimes in winter, you could see people driving past in their sleighs. It was lovely to hear the sound of sleigh bells approaching. One winter, with a borrowed driving horse and sleigh, I tried my hand at driving, and it was wonderful. This Colored Pencil painting, "Sleighbells" with a willing Morgan and delighted Shelties brings back happy memories of that winter.
Heather Anderson

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Pool Party

This past summer, I was asked to do a very challenging commission. My client wanted a painting with 7 Golden Retrievers in it for a Presentation Gift. All the dogs were owned by the person who was going to receive the painting.
I decided to go with Coloured Pencil for this one. Each dog was to be an individual mini portrait so there was no attempt to place them all in proportion to one another, but I needed something to pull the whole painting together. As so many of the photos of the dogs showed them playing in and around the pool, it was a natural anchor for my painting. Many photos were used in this piece, several of each dog, and I hoped that I had made each one an individual.
POOL PARTY was presented late last month, and now I am free to present it on my website and blog. The recipient loved the painting, and to my delight, effortlessly picked out each one of her dogs. Happy faces all around!
Heather Anderson

Monday, November 3, 2008


Frosty mornings, dark, leafless trees, and silvery skies announce that November is here again. On cold, rainy November days, the Shelties take as little time as possible on their trips outside, much preferring to curl up on a cozy couch in front of a window to watch the world go by. I love November. To me, it is a month of mystery and dark elegance. I think if November was a horse, it would be a Friesian.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Here is our last Sheltie Hollow Spook. Bram is our leader, and he isn't about to let the girls get ahead of him. His favourite costume is this ghost that was made especially for him. He happily "haunts" the house for treats, and was gracious enough to pose for this little watercolour painting.

From Bram, Lily, and all of us here at Sheltie Hollow, have a safe and Spooktacular Halloween.

Heather Anderson

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Miss Witch

Whisper does things her own way. She wanted to be a Witch at Halloween, just like Lily, but can Sheltie Hollow have two Witches?
Of course we can, as long as one little witch comes up with a creative way to wear her hat. Now all we need is a third little Sheltie Spook and we will be ready for the big night. Stay tuned.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Eskie Witch

Halloween is coming, and the dogs here at SHELTIE HOLLOW are getting excited. They love to hear the scratching of leaves on pavement when the wind blows, and love to sniff the wonderful rich aroma of the drifts of autumn leaves. They really seem to enjoy putting on a costume. I think they are looking forward to the Trick-or-Treat cookies they get every year. Lily, our American Eskimo dog, thinks she looks very charming in her witch's hat and orange bow. We hope you agree.
This image is available on my website as cards or as a small print.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fall Fair

This weekend was our local Fall Fair. This is an event that we try to never miss. We love to go and see the children's art and all the produce, baking, quilts, and other exhibits in the agricultural hall, and then it's off to see the horses. We can spend hours, watching the various jumping, driving, and saddlehorse classes, and hanging over the rail at the heavy horse ring. I love the way the ground shakes when they trot past, and the sound of thunder from their huge hooves and the wild jungle of their harness. But even these giants get nervous before they go in the ring. I saw this lovely Clydesdale being quietly reassured as he was walked to the entrance of the ring.
"You'll Be Great" is a 10 by 13 inch watercolor painting, and it is available for sale.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Quiet Garden

Don't you just love Autumn? The air is crisp, with a coolness under the warmth of the sun, and there is a sort of quiet, leashed energy gathering, just waiting to burst out in another week or so with blazing colors and star-flecked frosty nights. We have been busy taking the faded summer annuals out of the garden and replacing them with pots of bright Mums for that necessary Autumn zing, and of course the Shelties have been helping by carrying garden gloves and other light things.
My painting "Quiet Garden" celebrates this wonderful time of the year. This pair of Shih Tzus are having a moment to soak up some sun while they admire a pot of bronze Mums. "Quiet Garden" is a Colored Pencil painting and is available for purchase.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Wonderful Party

The other day, my dog "niece" went to a wonderful party. Several dog friends received invitations to this party, and they arrived dressed in their best collars, scarves, and ruffs. There were games for them to play, dog treats to munch on, , and time to just lie on the grass and visit. Their humans had treats and visit time too, which made it very nice for everyone. In fact, both humans and dogs had a howling good time.
Maybe it is time to start planning a Sheltie Party here at Sheltie Hollow.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Painted Ladies

The end of August/beginning of September is such a beautiful time of year. The fields are golden with hay stubble, the corn gleams yellow/green on tall stalks, and the grass develops a soft look. Even the light has a warm, golden glow to it.
There is a hush in the air - a feeling of waiting, as if Nature is gathering her energy for the spectacular blaze of color to come.
I often pass the field where these two Painted Ladies graze in harmony with their surroundings.
They even have an occasional Painted Lady visitor of another species.
This Colored Pencil painting is available for purchase.

Heather Anderson

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Dog Days

Eastern Ontario has been pelted with a lot of rain this summer. We've been doing more inside than in the garden. Last week, we finished putting in a new floor in the studio, and already the dogs and cat are enjoying it and giving me ideas for new paintings. Here you see Lily reclining in front of the studio fireplace, probably dreaming of a dry lawn where she can get up a little more speed when chasing her sworn enemy, the Squirrel.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Then, Now, and Always

Our three Shelties give us delightful challenges, because they are thinking dogs, and it is all too easy to be outsmarted by our dogs. We love them to bits, and they love us right back.
But it is our Sheltie/Eskie mix who has put us on the sharpest learning curve. She was the classic "free to a good home" puppy, and when we saw her in the cold, damp, cluttered woodshed, we couldn't leave without her. Right from the beginning, she was hell on paws, and she has stayed that way for most of her nine years. It is only recently that we have finally been able to bring out the wondeful dog we knew was hiding under that tempestuous, beautiful blond fur. When an animal comes to live at Sheltie Hollow, they are here for life, and one of the main reasons for this is the love and trust these animals have for us and place in us. Lily loves me, and absolutely adores my husband. The look she gives him says more clearly than words, "Dear master, I love you, Then, Now, and Always."

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Where Are The Ducks?

When July gets hot and unbearably humid, I think back to the times I spent beside the ocean in Nova Scotia. I stayed with friends and each morning over a bowl of fresh picked raspberries, I would look out over the Atlantic, just a few hundred yards beyond the edge of the sloping lawn. The light was cool and pearly and the air was fresh and full of the tang of the ocean. Sometimes fog would roll in and blanket the area along the shore with mystery. I absolutely loved it.

Let me introduce you to the Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever, a native Nova Scotian who approaches duck hunting in a unique and creative manner, luring them to shore with his prancing and playing. In my new watercolor painting, this Toller is standing on the shore of a foggy inlet, wondering "Where Are the Ducks?"

Thursday, June 19, 2008

In Legend and Story

For weeks I followed the progress on a huge horse mural - the Horse Gift (Le Cadeau Du Cheval) that will be premiered in September at Spruce Meadows. It totally fascinated me that the artists involved were taking what amounted to abstract panels and turning them into horse paintings, that when put together, will form a new image .

But I couldn't take part - I had too much work, too much "stuff" happening that had to be dealt with. There was no way I could do a mural panel - was there?

One by one, the impediments slipped away and suddenly, I realized that I would be able to do one after all, and I wrote and asked if there was anything left for me. Fortunately, I wasn't too late, and I was able to join in the fun with Panel 19 that became IN LEGEND AND STORY. My panel is about how legend became stories, and those stories eventually became the horse books that young girls dream on. My panel salutes the glorious stallions of every color, the gentle mares, and the loyal geldings.

Many of those horse crazy girls are lucky - they never outgrow that love of horses and they grow up to be horse crazy women who make their horse dreams come true. I know they do, because I was one of them.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Horse Show Saturdays

The Horse Show season is upon us now, and there are lots of wonderful small shows at the various stables in the area. What could be better than a morning spent among horses and surrounded by beautiful rolling fields and forested hills. It is always fun to see the kids with their ponies and the special bond they have. The show ring photos that become painting references are fun to take, but my favorite photos to paint are the serendipitous ones - the horse who leans over and gives her young rider a nuzzle, or the rider who spontaneously throws her arms around her pony for a big hug. In any situation where animals are involved, it's the love and affection between human and animal that draws me and makes me want to get out my watercolors or colored pencils.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Welcome to Sheltie Hollow

June is a busy time here at Sheltie Hollow. We are occupied putting in the annuals that I have bought or grown from seed and checking the overall design of the garden. Do we need to divide or replace perennials, or do we need to fill in a bare spot?

The Shelties watch carefully and are always ready to lend a paw, digging in the dirt, carrying light objects, or finding and bringing us lost gardening gloves. At the end of a busy gardening day, everyone looks forward to a warm, soothing bath.