Monday, June 29, 2009

Buddies Dog Portrait by Della Burgus

This is a commissioned portrait of two dogs who obviously enjoy life and each other. It was taken from a photo, and I had to make a few little adjustments in order to get a good composition. There is a difference between commissioned portraits and my regular work. A great likeness is the major element in a portrait, but the goal is a little different in my regular work. While it is important to portray the special qualities of the breed, the painting is more about composition, lighting, design and color. Of course, the "spirit" of the subject is always crucial. I love painting portraits of people and/or their pets, even though it is quite exacting and somewhat tense for me. But the rewards are well worth the effort - nearly always joy and a little laughter, sometimes tears and hugs. What really matters is that I "got them" and created something that will be treasured for years to come.
While there is much more freedom in my regular work, it seldom evokes the same reaction. Unless, of course it reminds someone of a loved one, either two or four-legged!

With the slow economy, I hope you will remember the needs of all our furry and feathered friends. A portion of the sale of this painting will be donated to Old Dog Haven. It is a great organization, so if you get a chance, click on the link below and check out their work. And, hug your best buds today, whether two- or four-legged!

Old Dog Haven

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Black Horse

Sorry, this one is sold

This is an oil painting on stretched canvas, 10 x 10 x 1.5 inches thick. I listed it on Art Helping Animals and eBay last night, and scheduled it for Daily Painters today, but it sold before I could blog about it here. Certain breeds of dogs and horses seem to inspire loyalty in their people, and the Friesian Horse is one of them. I get requests for paintings of them, and the paintings never last long. They are beautiful animals, usually gentle despite their strength, and they move so gracefully.

Most artists I know would agree with me that "black" animals are the most difficult to paint, because they aren't really black at all. There are warm colors in the shadows - browns or rusts, even reds in the right light. And the highlights aren't white, they are blues or lavender. Or sometimes it is the reverse, depending on the source of light. I have been working on a commissioned portrait of a black lab and it seems to be taking forever. It seems that way to my client also, I am sure. But it has to be just right. The temptation is to paint them black, but if you do that, the painting looks flat and the animal looks artificial, not alive. I work hard to put life in all my paintings.

One of the nicest things about selling art online is getting to know great people from all over the world. Since many of my subjects are animals, most of my collectors are animal lovers like me. This painting was sold to a wonderful lady who has lots and lots of animals, she actually raises Friesian Horses, takes in dogs to foster for the humane society and ends up keeping them.

If you haven't visited Art Helping Animals, please do so. You will find the work of many artists who donate a portion of their sales to animal charities.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

Distinguished Dachshund by Della Burgus

Distinguished Dachshund

Pastel on Sennelier Pastel Card
Image size about 8.25 x 9
Mounted on foam core board
Matted and ready to frame.

Click to view eBay listing

20% will be donated to DARE Dachshund Rescue and Education

A pastel painting of one of my favorite breeds. They are loving, loyal, intelligent, sensitive, as well as independent and stubborn. For many years my brother and his wife shared their lives with a wonderful dachshund. He was a great pet and quite a character. Neighborhood children would ring the doorbell and ask if "Oscar" could come out and play. Later one of them explained that he would sometimes escape from the back yard and run to the school across the street to play with the children at recess, so he had made friends with all of them.

I have been reading a book called, Angel Dogs, by Allen and Linda Anderson, and I am looking forward to reading about Angel Cats, Angel Horses, and I think, Angel Animals as well. We will have to leave it to the theologians to debate whether or not our four legged friends can meet the criteria required to be classified as an angel, but I do know that God speaks to us through all of His creation, and that certainly includes all the big and little animals. The one theme running through most of His conversations, and the most important lesson He wants us to learn is LOVE. From our pets we learn to give love and to receive love, we learn all about unconditional love, which seems pretty rare within the human race. We learn that it is in giving that we receive, and that it is the little, honest things in life that really matter. Things like the wag of a tail, a nice warm purr and the look that comes from those warm, loving eyes. We learn to allow our hearts to break and when we have said good-bye to our very best friend, we learn that it has all been worth it. We learn that love, true love, never really dies.

Hug your furry friends today, and give them an extra hug from me. They are all gifts from God, you know, and we need to treasure all his gifts.