Stray Dog Arts

Sadie, a life-size work of art.

This week I delivered a painting of a dog named Sadie, the loving companion of Christine. Sadie is also the Ambassador of Greetings and Queen of Shepherd Data Services in downtown Minneapolis--or, at least, I think she's deserving of such titles! Her portrait was commissioned as a gift from the employees of Shepherd Data for their boss, Christine.

My thought is this: either A) Christine is one incredible boss or B) Christine has some very incredible employees! I have a feeling, though, that it is an equal combination of both! Whatever the case, it is always a huge pleasure to play a part in such a meaningful gift.

Even though Sadie is a Minneapolis dog, I never actually got a chance to meet her before painting her portrait. Often, when a dog lives out of state or has passed on, I only get to know them through the act of painting. If you're local, more times than not, I jump at the opportunity to meet the four-legged babe I'm being commissioned to paint--but, for some reason, Sadie and I never got to meet in person beforehand.

It's pretty cool, actually. Through painting, I learned a long time ago that if you spend enough time looking at something, you will begin to understand it in nearly impossible ways. It takes me a long time to create a portrait. Unlike some artists, I'm not a quick painter.

The work I do comes from my heart and, in order for that to happen, patience is required. I'm also a bit obsessive when it comes to meeting my vision. I paint with a variety of brush sizes--some are large, but most are very small. No matter how long I walk this path of an artist, it never seems to get any easier. Sure, I've come to understand the paint, colors, light, shadows, and physique of animals in a much deeper way...but the stretch from one detail to the next has always been a hurdle that I find myself needing to jump over and over and over again. I think this is a big reason why, even after more than two years of painting dogs, I feel like I've only reached the tip of the inspiration iceberg. But I digress...

One thing that I really love about painting locally is getting the chance to deliver the finished piece in person. Delivering Sadie's portrait was especially incredible because I finally got to meet her in the flesh and fur!! It's kind of hard to describe how incredible it felt when she came walking out from her office to greet me. I'm not kidding: I nearly burst into tears!

Sadie is unique--through and through. But if only I could describe what it feels like to meet a being whom you feel like you already know! It's a pretty amazing feeling. No, it's a REALLY amazing feeling!

The entire staff circled around to watch the unveiling of the painting. Bubble wrap removed, everyone clapped and Sadie confidently added her chorus-like opinion. ha! Talk about feeling honored! As you might imagine, Sadie's howling ovations were an extra great perk!

Sadie is an incredible dog. And Shepherd Data is an incredible group of individuals working for an incredible woman. Meeting Sadie after painting her portrait felt pretty dang amazing. She is as beautiful as I imagined. Her eyes are as stunning as I attempted to capture with paint.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: I feel exceptionally blessed to be doing the work I do. Every dog comes with such a unique personality and spirit.

And Sadie is definitely no exception!

Good Dog!
Sadie, life-size portrait of the world's coolest office dog
36"x 18"
Oil on Canvas


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