Posted by on Sep 26, 2013 in Blog | 0 comments

I always encourage people to send me good quality, clear pictures because, quiet simply, pertaining to portraits – if I can’t see it, I can’t paint it. 

Or, at least, it is much more difficult for me.  Even though my style is loose and colorful (not Photorealism in the least), I still need to see details.

Needless to say, that does NOT always happen, and most of the time, I totally understand why. 

What if you want a memorial painting done and you only have older, crappy (for lack of a better word) photos?  I have a hard time saying no, even if my “rules” are posted, because I too have some very meaningful photographs from days past that are pretty crappy. 

What if it is a surprise gift and all I have is a not-so-hot photo?

That is basically what happened recently with a request for a  memorial painting of a very special dog, Bodie. 

Put in the words of a friend, animal rescue volunteer and former foster mom to Bodie:

“I have a heavy heart tonight. We lost a special boy today…He was my first foster for Saint Francis Service Dogs and he broke my heart in half when he was placed with a partner. The,n I saw what positive changes he brought this family and I knew they were meant to be together. We have traveled together, laughed together, learned together and tonight we will smile together remembering how much happiness he brought everyone who knew him. You served well. We love you Bodie:)”

This was to be a special painting, so I worked with what I was given.

She wanted me to capture Bodie in his younger days, even though the only picture she had was less than perfect.



She also gave me a more recent picture to help out.



Here is my translation!!

Bodie Final!-WM

‘Bodie’ – 9 x 12, watercolor on Yupo paper

Intelligent.  Strong.  Calm.  Loving. 

That is how I perceive him from his foster mom’s words and the two photos I was given. 

That is what I wanted to capture in the painting.  The specific details of how he looks are just not as important. 

I want to capture the spirits of my subjects. 

That is what people remember, and that is what I want my portraits to invoke when their loved ones view them. 

I hope I did Bodie justice.  He was obviously a very important and very loved dog.