This is Zeus, who posed for me for a painting of another German Shepherd. I didn't have adequate photos of the original dog from which to create a portrait and the dog had died, so I had to recruit a local "look-alike" as a model. The client rejected this painting so I started another one and continued working on her portrait until I achieved something she liked. But I kept this painting of Zeus, since I liked the portrayal. I wasn't sure what to do with it. It is years later now from when I first painted this Shepherd, but I recently felt inspired to finish it. I changed the background and placed this large and rather fearsome-looking animal in a girly lavender background of butterflies and bluebirds. I like the contrast and the implications. Zeus is a sweetheart of a dog.
Three Sedras Sedra 1
Sedra, whose story is here, was not available as a subject when I was painting her portrait so I had to rely upon photographs, which is always more difficult and requires more participation from her person to help me portray the essence of Sedra. The first attempt to capture Sedra was from a photo taken just days before her death, and I think the somber mood and unwellness of Sedra shows. The next attempt was to portray Sedra in the woods which held her favorite walking paths, and squirrels! For this I used a combination of a photo of Sedra's face with the body stance of the earlier portrait. Paulette, Sedra's person, was very happy with this version, but I wanted a more direct Sedra and a background of livelier colors, so I painted a third version of Sedra in Volunteer Park near her home. She isn't a ball dog, but the ball was necessary for the sake of the composition, so Sedra merrily complied and pretended to be one.