The Last Hunt

by Lesley on January 11, 2017

Kirby's Last Hunt

Kirby’s Last Hunt

A man contacted me to paint a portrait of his dog, Kirby a black lab.  Mr. Kirby was a hunting dog but also a family dog and much loved.  The photo he wanted me to use shows the last hunt together in North Dakota.  In this pastel portrait, Kirby is looking out the field where his is anxious to retrieve.

The photo I worked from only “suggested” a sunset and I could barely see the water in the distance.   I played up the water and added the sun going down.  Very symbolic of the last hunt and last days of Kirby.



English Labs and English Retrievers

by Lesley on January 5, 2017

English Lab - Gretzsky

English Lab – Gretzsky

The thing about the English…they like their cream!   These two dogs are both a beautiful cream color which is challenging as the paper I use is also off white.  In this situation, the owner has commissioned me for more than a dozen portrait.  She has them all framed a like and in groups around the home.  It was important to her that the style matched all of the others so, I needed to make this work.  Here is the result.  Most important is that she is very thrilled!

English Golden Retriever

English Golden Retriever – Brooks



Erma in Graphite

Erma in Graphite

Erma’s life was a service dog’s life. Originally she was breed at the Bergin Canine University for a life helping someone in need.  Now retired at 12 years old she is with a loving family.  The husband wanted to surprise his wife with a portrait of Erma so he set the wheels in motion!  This was done as a Christmas gift to his wife. The portrait was done in graphite.  I love all the curly cues in her ears!

Below is his comment following the gift giving…

Hi Lesley,

She LOVED it!  It brought tears, always a good sign.

We have it hanging in a prominent spot where we can always see it. Great job Lesley. It was also good meeting you and your two dogs.

Happy New Year




by Lesley on December 28, 2016

New Safety Activity

New Safety Activity

Since we are all dog lovers here I wanted to share a new product that I have recently put on the market.  As a dog trainer I have seen the results of dog bites to children and hear the stories of how these bites happened.  Most of the time the bites may have been avoided with a little advanced information to both the adults with the dog and the children themselves.   Having been an elementary school teacher for many years I saw the value of having learning materials that were hands on for children.  Allowing the children to interact with the learning activity helped the child stay engaged in the learning process.  The product called “Stop, Look and Paws” is a sticker sorting activity.  Children look at images of dogs and decide if the dog may be safe to pet or not safe to pet and place it on the corresponding side of an activity board.  As they make their decision of where to place the sticker on the board parents are instructed to ask “why did you make that decision?” Giving the children a chance to share their thoughts is so valuable because they may or may not be understanding the dog’s body language giving you a chance to give feedback before a real life situation would present itself.  The dog sticker guide is included to give adults background on each sticker to help with the decision making process.  Since the stickers are re-useable they can move them to a new location if they change their mind.   If you are interested in owning your own “Stop, Look and Paws”  activity go to   


Think Early for Christmas!

by Lesley on November 3, 2016


Westies in the Snow

Westie Dogs in the Snow

Every year I am impressed with people that plan in advance for their portraits.  People are already getting their requests in for their loved ones.  Here is one that has been completed and shipped out across the county.  Their are locals that have completed their paintings but I can’t let you see these yet as the I have been requested to be careful not to share and spoil the surprise!  This pastel painting measures 11″x 14″.  The two dogs, named J.J. and the one is the back is Maisey belong to a man and his wife.  They have a path to walk their dogs on regularly and this is a typical winter scene for them.

Below is the note from my customer…

Hi Lesley-

I has been meaning to contact  you and was even planning on sending an X-mas card (made from the pastel). As it turns out I lost my patience and gave it to her before Thanksgiving.  Should have waited, but what the heck.  She was stunned. Loved it. Its hanging in the living room and I will send you an iphone picture that my wife took. It looks great.

Portrait framed and in my customers home!

Portrait framed and in my customers home!

Thanks again…success!


Portrait to Cesar Millan

October 19, 2016

Saturday, October 15, 2016 was the Bay Area Pet Fair held in Marin, California.  I was working that day at the Dairydell Canine booth and Cesar also was working at the fair promoting a new show coming up next year and doing some demonstration training with dogs in the audience. This was just too convenient […]

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Roper Retrieving

October 5, 2016

Roper Retrieving is a pastel portrait that I did for a surprise gift to a great guy.  This piece measures 10″x 20″.  Roper was a special dog and pasted away this past July.  He is greatly missed as are all of our much loved dogs.

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Elegant Baci – Greyhound

October 5, 2016

I’ve had the pleasure of creating several art pieces with greyhounds as the subject over the years.  Truly  beautiful dogs.   This handsome guy with a brindle coat is named is Baci.  This piece is one of my color pencil/watercolor paint pieces.  The head measures about 8″by 10″.    This lucky dog lives with a couple in […]

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Yappy Hour Event to Benefit Bergin University

September 29, 2016

What could be better than drinking wine and being around lots of beautiful canines!  September 9th was a very special event in which I partnered with Bergin University of Canine Studies at a wine happy hour or “Yappy hour” to share my art and announce that for the months of December 2016 – June 2017 […]

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AKC Canine Gallery – Second Year!

September 6, 2016

I was lucky that AKC was actually featuring Golden Retrievers for this edition.   As it turned out, that is the portrait I happened submit.  This portrait of the golden retriever I did is one of my all time favorites.  I so glad it was featured in Family Dog Magazine.

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