Jazzy and Sebastian
Little dog – big cat!! Most people think of a dog being larger than a cat, but not this time. I was contacted by a client named Ginger who was interested in having a painting of her toy poodle, Jazzy, and her boyfriend’s Ragdoll cat, Sebastian, sitting together. She had a couple of separate photos of each pet alone, and Ginger told me Sebastian the cat was 1/3 larger than Jazzy. The beauty of art is that I can create a portrait of the two animals, side by side, as though they are the best of buddies! Below is Ginger’s response after seeing her pastel painting of just that. Thanks Ginger for the wonderful comment!
“OMG Lesley, you are amazing. I am crying already. What a wonderful picture of our kids. You’re right on target! Todd and I both love it!”
Jazzy Up Close
Jumping in the Lake
When a saw a photo of a dog jumping in water I decided to do this pastel painting just for fun and not for as a commissioned piece. I really don’t know where the photo was taken or the body of water, but it reminded me of my childhood with our family dogs. We would often take our 3 dogs to Lake Michigan in the summer to go for a dip. The hot, sticky summer nights in Wisconsin were the perfect time to to cool off in the chilly water. The dogs loved chasing after the driftwood sticks we would toss in the water for them. After everyone was cooled down, we’d all pile back in the station wagon and make one more stop on the way home at Dairy Queen. Good memories!
Many of my clients commission portraits over the years as they bring new dogs into their family. Karen, who recently passed away, was one I will always remember. She also came to me for dog training with her beautiful German Shepherds at Dairydell Canine, so I was able to really get to know her and her family. This oil painting of Tim was her most recent commission from me. Her previous two portraits of Sierra and Conan were done in pastel. Sadly, Karen died at the age of 60 due to complications from ALS. Even though her last three years were increasingly challenging, she never stopped trying to accomplish her goals and live a rich life. Artwork of her beloved shepherds was important to her and I feel blessed to have been the artist she chose to create those very special pieces of art. You never know what the future holds, so if there is something you want to do or accomplish, don’t hesitate. I greatly admired her passion for life.
The 2014 Cover
Table of Contents for 2014 Blue Book
I was very flattered to be asked create
the cover of the “Blue Book” the annual publication of all things related to Bluetick Coonhounds. For just about every breed of dog there is an organization that celebrates their special attributes, and the “Blue Book” champions Bluetick Coonhounds. The cover I created features a dog known as Annabelle, and was done in color pencil watercolor paints. The organization was so trilled with this years cover, they’ve already asked me to create next years cover too! I’m thinking of doing a scene in pastel with a coonhound in action. Very exciting! I’m hoping to create commissioned art of coonhounds for years to come. They are certainly a gorgeous breed!
Gift Portrait of Addie
In January 2015 I completed my goal of donating a portion of every commissioned piece of dog art since July, 2014, and gave a check to the senior dog rescue group, Lily’s Legacy http://www.lilyslegacy.org/
Located in the country not far from my home in Petaluma, my husband and I visited Alice Mayn, the founder of Lily’s Legacy. My husband took this photo as I hand delivered not only the check, but this pastel portrait as a gift to her for all of the hard work she does to help the many senior dogs in need. Alice had tears in her eyes, which or course made me teary! It was my second visit and my husbands first to see the dogs that are living at the facility, but looking for a forever home.
Now, for 2015, I will make a donation to Second Chance at Love Humane Society, an organization that rescues and rehabilitates dogs of any breed and age. So if you’re interested in a portrait, and also like the idea that some of the commission will go to a dog/animal rescue group, I hope you consider having a portrait done by yours truly!
“Dear Lesley, What can I say to adequately thank you for your incredible support of Lily’s Legacy as well as your spectacular painting of our beloved Addie. It brings tears to my eyes when I look at it. You really captured her! Bless you for caring about our old pups and we look forward to collaborating to save needy pups ongoing. Warmest regards, Alice “