A dear friend and co-worker recently lost her beloved dog of 12 years.
My heart broke for her knowing how difficult it is to lose such a faithful, loving family member.
I sent her a little card to express my sympathy. I thought my Charlie Dog card was fitting in this situation.
When my friend received it, she asked me if I would paint her sweet “Slinky” (named after the toy dog in “Toy Story“) so she could give it to her son to hang in his room.
I was honored that she would ask me and believe that I could do it. I was also a nervous wreck! I am not a professional artist. I have never been “commissioned” to replicate such an important family member. I am not good at “realistic” watercolor art.
But I do love my friend. And I do love a challenge. And I wanted to be able to do it. So after trying once with the same abstract technique I used to create Charlie Dog and failing to achieve the love and life that drew me to Slinky in the photo my friend sent, I attempted to paint Slinky more realistically – not realizing black dogs are likely the most challenging to paint! Painting #2 was another fail. I really didn’t have much time invested, so I decided to give it one more go. Third time is usually the charm – right?
I asked a few questions of a sweet, talented, artistic blogging friend from the UK who creates AMAZING paintings of animals, Rebecca at ReCreate. She gave me a few pointers (and generously provided a few photos of her beautiful Cassie – a similar looking black adopted dog), which was just enough to give me the confidence to try again.
So here is the painting of dear sweet Slinky. A smart girl who loved her family more than anything. A sweet girl who drew you in with her loving eyes. A faithful companion to two young boys who loved her as much as they love each other.
Rest in peace sweet Slinky. Know that you are missed, that you are still loved dearly, that you can never be replaced, that you taught your family so much about love and happiness and what is most important. Your memory will live on forever, and this is my tribute to your life.
Sweet dreams, cheers and hugs,
Here is the real, beautiful Slinky in the photo I used to create her painting from: