People often ask me who the white dog is that shows up in my paintings on a regular basis. Is he (or she) based on a dog I know? The answer is no. The white dog I paint is the “every-dog”—that is, my artistic representation of every dog that has ever been found wandering a rural road or city street, or begging for food at a gas station, or awaiting a home at a shelter, or brought into a family, by any means, by people eager to love and care for him. When you purchase a white dog painting from me, a portion of the proceeds goes to the shelters and rescue groups in my area.
I’ve had dogs as long as I’ve been alive. As a child, we had a very large, solid black German Shepherd named Gemini. After Gemini, my father fell in love with Welsh corgis, and until his death, we had an ongoing series of fat little copper corgis.
My first dog was a one-year-old, long haired, black-and-tan mixed breed, who I adopted from the Atlanta Humane Society when I was sixteen. She was with me for fifteen years, during which time I adopted two additional dogs, a solid black lab/great Dane mix that was advertised in the paper as a “free German shepherd puppy,” and a yellow hound someone abandoned at my place of employment. In all I have had ten dogs, all rescues I found in shelters, on the rural roads where I live, or in the care of rescue groups. I’ve also fostered lots of additional dogs until I could find them a home. As fate would have it, with the exception of one, they’ve been every color except white.
In my paintings, there is a recurring imagery of flowers, mostly tulips. Sometimes an elaborate bouquet is the central focus of a painting; other times, a bouquet appears in a painting of a scene, for example, on a dinner table that is also laden with food, or erupting from a vase that sits between a couple in a living room. These are flowers—vibrant, textural, with a feeling of movement—that I love so much I paint them with obsessive regularity. Customers often tell me my richly rendered tulips make them feel happy and hopeful, which is exactly what they do for me. Each time I start a new painting that includes tulips, I feel a sense of excitement and joy, and I can’t wait to see them come to life on the canvas.