Wednesday, July 1, 2009

It's A Dog's Life...Snooky

I am thrilled to present my most recent sitter...Snooky. Top I wish it was the one below!

Sadly, Snooky passed away a while ago, the dear pooch pal of a dear friend of mine in NYC and her family.

He was as much the part of her family as the husband, and kids. And had SUCH a personality. The loss of Snooky was painful for all who knew him. And I knew my dear friend was crushed. We all were.

I started this portrait just after his sad passing promising my dear girlfriend I would try and paint him for  her - during her grief.

I am not a dog painter. Look to Terry Stanley,, for how it should be done. Terry is doing some amazing dog portraits for an unbelievable price along with helping dog charities. She is a wow. So I put Snookie to one side...for a long while feeling a bit embarrassed that I hadn't delivered to my friend.

It was in my studio for close to two years.  I didn't think it was good enough. For many months I was wondering if I should go back in or start all over again. So once again it was turned against the wall.

Somehow today, in my new studio,  with a new energy that a new studio provides, I picked up my painting of Snooky and realized I had caught Snooky. And I really realized I liked what I done. Not perfect but I liked it. Just a few strokes more,,, and I knew I was done.

Funny how that happens after a long passing of time. My original plan was to paint him in a very classical way and that is what held me back.

The two days I painted this from my heart, I did it with a palette knife, orange and blue color harmony, just trying to go for the shapes of his head, not details....painting is all about the shapes, values, color vibration and losing detail. A dog, a tree, an apple, a human face. All the same really. 

But my rendition of Snooky wasn't classical. It wasn't like those incredible Victorian dog paintings, (like Sir Edwin Landseer, 1802 -1873, see above painting) I had seen in her husband's yummy art collection. 

I think I got intimidated. But as my mentor, Everett Raymond Kinstler, N.A., says, it IS important to paint in YOUR own time period. That is also of the reasons I like Terry Stanley's current dog portraits. They are fresh and modern. And who should even try and paint like Landseer? It has been done and DONE well.

Anyhow, I am glad the passage of time helped me see that a painting done from the heart on a certain day with a certain contemporary vigor, has value. And I am glad I didn't mess it up today when I added those few last touches. I was mindful of that!!!

Hope you like Snooky! My friend has yet to see it.

He was a darn good pooch!

This is 12" x 12".


by Artist Terry Howell Stanley, PSA said...

Such lovely words from an artist whose work I admire so much has just made my day - week - year....
I think Snookie is wonderful! Thanks for the plug :-)

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

I think we are equal then! Because I admire you dear one and I know you made mine! Day, week!!!

Marian Fortunati said...

Snookie is wonderful, Johanna!!
I think you must have conjured up his spirit while you painted...

GREAT work!! as always..
Did I mention that I also love the way you write??? You always make me smile!

Rhonda Hartis Smith said...

Wonderful tribute to Snookie!

Portrait Painting By Johanna Spinks said...

thanks Rhonda and Marian. After dogs and plein air, I need to get back to work!