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30 Dogs 30 Days - Nita

As the Painting a Dog a Day project grew, so, too, did my own to-do list. My studio profitability had shifted from larger commissioned works which took weeks to complete to the smaller daily paintings. I was doing 3-5 daily commissions each week, varnishing and shipping them out within days. In between creating/ blogging/shipping each piece, I was fielding emails, perusing reference photos, writing quotes and having conversations with new collectors about their own portraits

Each commissioned portrait brought new people into my life, and with that came all the stories inherent with getting to know a pet and what they meant to their family. (Do you know that the vast majority of the animals I paint I never meet?  I rely on email communication and a mess of photos to piece things together.) It was always fascinating, getting a glimpse into others' lives and loves.

I think it was 2010 or so when Nita's Mom, Lisa, first reached out about a portrait. Her dogs were goofy, grinning Golden Retrievers, and Lisa wanted a painting that reflected their huge personalities. A professional photographer, she had documented their life adventures in photos (I was gobsmacked!), so she wanted paintings that were more than a mere likeness. Lisa gave me artistic license to take the portraits to the next level. She was speaking my language!

Nita's first portrait led to another. Then another. I have seriously lost track over how many times her dogs/photos have inspired a painting  (I'm sorry, Lisa!). It is always a joy to work together - a photo inspires a concept that I share with her, then more photos follow and my brain explodes while she laughs at me. Lisa has become a sister to me, and I am forever grateful for that.

That's what happened with Cannonball, pictured above. Nita was a dock diving fool, and I wanted to capture the delight of that moment when body and water collide. We have all cannonballed, and we all know that split second when the world is silent and our breath holds......

You can see Lisa's photography here.
And you can order prints and other goodies featuring Nita (and Bear, her partner in crime) here.

Now go do something today that scares you, just a little, like your first cannonball into water over your head.
Warmly, Kim

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