Tuesday, August 28, 2012

A Good Dog Day Afternoon

This past Sunday I got to meet little Magaidh (Gaelic spelling of Maggie) at the park with her owners, Ryan and Heather Marie Wells. It was a sweet afternoon, as I previously had only known her through her owners photos and stories. And from those I drew the artwork that will be in the book. The purpose of the meeting was to get photos of her with the artwork because she has bladder cancer and after two surgeries and chemo and nothing more to be done, no cure available, her loving folks are at the point of making a difficult decision. I've been there, with my seventeen year old cat. It was and is the hardest thing in the world. But I believe with all my heart that having an animal you love put out of their pain peacefully is the greatest expression of love there is. Magaidh has a few more days on this earth. I am confident that they will be the best days of her life. That's all any of us, animal or human can hope for or work on, making every day the best day of our life. This dog, this story, these people, they are a big part of why I'm putting this book together.
The photos above (except for the artwork that I scanned) were taken by Ryan and/or Heather Marie Wells.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Little Dog Cute

I did this little dog drawing just because. He belongs to a gal I know in Austin. She's going through her dear mother's things and she had offered me a bunch of art supplies. I told her I would trade her a scratchboard or two of her dogs for those supplies. This is Tino. I don't know much about him, but he is darned cute. I love dogs and scratchboard. Yippie! The book is really coming together. I haven't seen it in a few days, turned it over to Liz Lester Design after reading through and making corrections on the 1st pages. I will debut it October 11th at the Anne Kittrell Gallery at the University of Arkansas. In November there will be a book event at the Wally Workman Gallery in Austin, TX on the 13th. Stay tuned, I'll give you all the information as I know it.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Eddy the "Bucket Boy" Dog

Eddy's photo was listed under "Beagles" on the rescue site that he was on. His owners have no idea why they were looking there, they certainly were not "Beagle people". And Eddy clearly is more of a Staffy-Lab-Spaniel mix, so it was a mistake all the way around. A very fortunate mistake. His story though shows how it takes a village to save a life. I won't share it all here, suffice to say, his early nickname was "Bucket Boy" because he had been found on a construction site in one of those five gallon buckets. He was so weak he couldn't stand on his own. Through the work of two different rescue groups and a foster family, and then finally his forever owners, he survived and has grown into a sixty pound bundle of love. His owners say, "When people ask, what kind of dog is he? We answer, Perfect."
I am in the midst of reading the 1st pages, making corrections and changes. I have not gotten tired of reading all of these stories. And believe me, I've read them many times. I know each of these dogs by their names and their stories, although I haven't met most of them. The fact that I haven't been bored once with this project gives me hope that many will enjoy the stories and my illustrations as much as I have. I love the fact that these dogs and people are what you might categorize as "ordinary", no heroics or amazing tricks, just normal. (nothing wrong with normal)And despite the lack of Lassie or Rin-Tin-Tin qualities, all of these dogs share such an extraordinary love with their owners. That is what gives me chills as I work on this. Thanks y'all.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Prairie Dogs

Oh Frisco and Sadie, I knew you well. These two were dog-sitting clients of mine, and belonged to my good friends, Jo Edna and Reina, when I lived in Austin. They were fun and adorable. I say 'were' because they are off in 'Doggie Heaven'. Their owners like to imagine that they are chasing prairie dogs and coyotes like they used to do at their New Mexico home. (they were lucky to have two homes!)
Work is wrapping up on my portion of the book. I will soon hand-off to Liz Lester Design and she will turn it all into a real book. It's been a long haul, I'm ready to be done and on to the next project. I will debut the book in Fayetteville Arkansas at the Anne Kittrell Gallery at the University of Arkansas in October. And the Wally Workman Gallery, Austin in November. That's also when they will start shipping out to all y'all. (I hope!) Wish me luck. My eyes hurt from starting at the computer. I would much rather be drawing dogs and cats and monkeys than focusing on this detail portion of the project. I really am a 'Big picture' kind of gal. But, I know I must do all of it, not just the fun part. Stay tuned.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Dog In The Bluebonnets

Here is sweet Sam, or Samson if you're feeling formal. He's standing in a field of Bluebonnets. If you don't know what those are you must not be from Texas. They are everywhere in the springtime in TX. I miss them, and I miss TX. Even though it is hot as hell, it is where I've spent at least 17 years of my life. The jury is still out on NW Arkansas.
Work on the Dog Scratchin' book is on a brief hold as I move my home and studio this week. I plan to get back on it on Weds (that's tomorrow!) and get all of it to the great designer Liz Lester by the weekend. Whoo hoo!
Wish me luck, and I hope I don't get a heat stroke. Next time I move it will be in the wintertime....and to someplace that doesn't get this hot...ever. Where would that be?

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Dog Lookin' For A Story

Oh Cooper Douglas. His owner has said, "If Cooper could talk he would keep me up all night". I wish Cooper could talk. He wants to tell his story, but doesn't have the words. I don't have the words either. Hint, Hint. I know Cooper, and I could tell about how he loves to curl up comfy in really fancy chairs. And how about..oh wait, that's right, I'm supposed to be telling his story with his owner's words. Anyhow, he is the sweetest Aussie? mix. It's getting down to the wire, and by the way, I'm moving home and studio so I'm a bit wild eyed and frantic. Must.Finish.Book.