Dogs


During the seventies and eighties I glued scrap paper drawings into sketchbooks using rubber cement.

Thoreau, pencil sketch 1976

The cement has turned a ghastly brown, discoloring all of the drawings.  It also lost its bonding ability and the drawings are no longer attached to the pages.

I recently posted a “family history” entry that mentioned a woodsman, JT, from New Hampshire.  Thoreau was his dog.  It turns out that JT had been the inspiration for my brother to return to New Hampshire and become a timber framer.  At the time, thirty years ago, my brother, Howard, wrote a letter to JT acknowledging the inspiration.  JT and his friend, Susan moved to Alaska and that was the last I heard of him until a few days ago when my brother called to tell me he had tracked down JT, believing he might have returned to New Hampshire.  Not only did JT remember my brother, he had my brother’s letter tacked to his wall!  Imagine that.

Howard and I met JT when we were climbing together in Franconia Notch, New Hampshire.  That afternoon I had a close call with death when a couple of young boys threw giant boulders off the top of the cliff right above where Howard and I were climbing.

Thoreau, Jason and his draught horse 1976

Howard and Jason, Thanksgiving 1976, Waban, MA

Link to Family History Index Page.

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Watercolor portrait of Bambi and Buddy:

Watercolor Portrait of Bambi & Buddy

Thanks to the hours spent yesterday on the pencil sketches of the two greyhounds, I was able to execute the watercolor without tightening up too much.  I had become acquainted with the dogs by drawing more than just the position I planned for the painting.  By drawing them lying down, standing and sitting, my brain registered their unique body postures and allowed me to suggest them more loosely with the flow of paint.

Sketch on watercolor paper

A gift for a dear friend of the family.

Adopted Greyhounds, Bambi and Buddy

At one time I accepted commissions for dog portraits.  For a number of reasons I stopped about twenty years ago.  Now, I only draw or paint dogs that meet two criteria: I have spent time with the dog and I care a great deal about the dog’s owner.  When a pet meets both, I am able to approach the portrait with attention and heart.  The sketches shown here are preliminary studies for a watercolor painting meant to be a birthday gift for Jane, my father’s companion.

Pencil sketch, 'Bambi'