Dog Days

“Did you know that there are over 300 words for love in canine?” ~ Gabriel Zevin

Have I mentioned that I discovered that I really like to paint dogs? Yes, really! I never had a dog until I was in my early 20s and he was my first baby. I miss him still everyday. I actually painted two paintings of him many many years ago, although I still have yet to do one of my current furry family member! I do have a photo in mind that I will use…

Several years ago, my sister in law sent us a card that had a photo of her dog attached. And I loved the photo so much, that I kept it by my computer. I always wanted to paint it, but I just never had time. Every time I’d see the photo, I’d think, I need to paint that. Earlier this year, I finally did it.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills | Birthday Dog, gouache and graphite on paper

I mean, see? That composition just needed to be painted! I think part of my hesitancy was that it would be hard. ha! And I wanted it to look like her and I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to capture her personality. But what I discovered, was that yes, it was challenging, but I just had to do it because if I get that urge to paint something, I just have to do it or else it will keep pulling at me, like a toddler tugging at my leg begging for attention. And then, there’s the fact that I had so much fun painting her.

Recently I had two photos that a friend of mine had sent me of her beloved dog. Again, it took me several months to make room for the creation of the portraits. At least this time it was months and not years. It was at the end of this summer, after a long summer of not having real studio hours, not feeling well, not feeling up to creating, that one night, I decided, ok, I’ll give it a go and I pulled out my watercolor paper pad and my bag of gouache and watercolors.

Bridgette Guerzon Mills | gouache and watercolor on paper

And I remembered: I love mixing colors and painting. I feel most at peace when I am mixing paint and looking at a subject and trying to get it down on paper.

And I remembered: this is me. No matter what the subject, this is what feels like me. It probably seems like I am constantly in my studio, but I’m not. Especially during the summer. And lately I’ve been feeling so….bleh. I’ve wondered at time if I have the opposite of what most people have with SAD- because I love winter and winter energizes me, while the summer heat/humidity drains me. Luckily deadlines keep me in check, but it’s been difficult.

The following week after I finished the two portraits I did for my friend, I got back into the studio. It was like a kick in the butt. Still not having steady hours, but almost there.

If you are interested in commissioning a pet portrait, I would be honored. Please feel free to get in touch! All I need is a great photo. I’m drawn to doing the portraits with the big white space around the subject.

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