This year I have the chance to take part in Dog Art for Old Friends, a benefit auction where artists and celebrities paint / decorate fibreglass dog statues which are auctioned to benefit Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary in Mount Juliet, TN.
I have painted and drawn more Hungarian Vizslas than any other breed of dog, also I’m mum to one, so when I got to choose a breed this was my choice.
My original idea was to paint the statue like a real life Vizsla to make it look realistic, but when it arrived I thought it looked like a blank canvas and maybe I could do something more with it.
Old Friends Senior Dog Sanctuary is dedicated to caring for senior dogs who found themselves in shelters facing a high risk of euthanasia due to their age. I decided to make the project a reaction to the cruel, horrible, miserable fact that senior dogs in shelters are overlooked in favour of younger dogs to the point that they are often quickly euthanized.
I want to show the journey of one dog in different stages, from a tiny newborn bundle of helpless wrinkles, to a bright-eyed, needle toothed puppy, all the way to a wise and sweet senior because at every stage of their lives they are the same dog, and it is as much of an honour to share their lives whether at puppy-hood, adulthood or when they’re grey-faced and perfect.
I decided upon seven images showing seven different stages, with paw prints linking them together. I was hoping Rua would be my model for the most part, but she finds it difficult to stay still for more than five seconds. I requested reference photos from various Vizsla groups on social media and people were incredibly kind, I’m hugely grateful especially to Jim Mallard Photography for use of his images of Maya.
After a couple of coats of primer, I have just started with some initial sketches in pencil. I’m going to use acrylic paint then a glass varnish for the finish.