Have you ever wondered why you do the things you do? Taking stock, I asked myself why I have a compulsion to paint dogs, cats, and horses. I do dip into the world of Fantasy every so often, but always, always, I come back to dogs, cats, and horses.
I don’t want to change these animals in my paintings – to experiment or play with colour, shape or texture. It would be an artistically valid thing to do, and I admire the artists who do it, but it doesn’t satisfy the artist in me or the animal lover. I think animals are so beautiful just the way they are. I love the challenge of painting the different textures of their hair, from short and sleek, wavy or bristly, to long, luxurious and soft. Their colours enchant me, all those whites, creams, silvers, tans, golds, russets, chestnuts, sepias and blacks, and every shade and tint in between. I love all the shapes; the infinite variety of dog shapes, the soft and round, or long and lean of cats, and the pure poetry of horses. But it is their eyes that simply ensorcelle – Dark, liquid and trusting, emerald, sapphire or topaz bright, or soft, gentle and deep. I melt when I look into those eyes.
My love affair with animals has been going on all my life and will never end. I have to paint – I’ve no choice. It’s as necessary as breathing. And for the most part, all I want to paint are the animals I love. I paint these lovely creatures as carefully as I can to celebrate them, to share my love for them with the people who see my paintings, and to get into that special zone where, just for a little while, the delightful animal I’m painting belongs to me.
The Sheltie image above was done in Coloured Pencil, and is available as 4 x 6 Note Cards in packages of 6 for $8.00.