I had an interview appointment for a painting yesterday with Peapod and Bella. Bella is a youthful and somewhat goofy 9 year old Bernese Mountain Dog, and quite of inferior status to Peapod the cat, ruler of the home. Peapod, however, is 13 years old and suffering from blindness and loss of sense of smell, and has metastasized cancer. Peapod is still the boss, but everyone knows she will not be on this plane of existence much longer. She is still moving about, but is disoriented. She is so beloved, that her humans follow her around to ensure that she doesn't accidentally step off a stair and tumble, or hurt herself in some way. It is so hard to say goodbye, and her humans know that is coming very soon. I feel very grateful that I was able to meet her while she is still active, but it is obvious that Peapod is not herself. She only stopped pacing briefly for a short groom in the sunshine, but then returned to restless wandering. It was nearly impossible, as you can see, to sketch her. The final sketch in the group is for the painting idea, of both animals on the front porch, Peapod basking and Bella . . . deferring.
Past clients have told me that there is some way that the painting keeps their beloved animals with them, even after the goodbyes. This is the happy part of what I do, capturing the spirit of the animals, forever.
"We are there in sadness. We are there for happy times. We are there for loving. We are there to share life. " PETS (by Ron Henry for one of my early business cards)
And then there is Bella . . .
Proposed sketch for large painting of Peapod and Bella on the front porch.