Archive for the ‘Golden Retrievers’ Category

Yes, this blog was meant to be shared with my mother (A Shared Blog … Well, Sort of!), but, sadly, she passed away on Friday, March 12th, 2010 from a brain hemorrhage. When I am able, I will write more, however, there is one thing that I would like to share with you today … it’s a poem that a dear friend composed for me and it’s titled Eternal Bloom.

Eternal Bloom

Among the flowers of the field
So many blossoms thrive
Which share their essence, unconcealed,
To keep our spirits live.

One bloom may shed a golden glow
Another, crimson hue
And after rains and zephyr blow,
A petal sparkles dew.

Yet now one flower made a shift
To live in fields above,
Elysian beauty whose dear gift:
The bloom of mother’s love.

Jean Hodgin, Professor Emerita and Poet Laureate
North Shore Community College, Danvers, MA

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For quite some time now, I’ve been trying to get my mother (Gertrude) to share this blog with me. She is, after all, a nature lover just as I am. But, she is also an artist and illustrator with accomplishments that far exceed my own. She has been my art teacher and she is my most trusted artistic adviser as much as I would hope she considers me to be her most trusted artistic adviser. Most important, however, is that she has been and will always be my best friend and life confidante.

But, while we share much in the way of art, we also have many, many differences. Choice of foods comes to mind; my mother loves sweets and feels that I want everything with tomatoes. Choice of reading matter is another difference; she likes mysteries and crime novels, I prefer biographies and autobiographies. Which brings me to one of our biggest differences, that is, I also enjoy writing and she does not.

Okay then, in the eyes of some this may seem to be an insurmountable obstacle! Well, not so for my mother and myself. You see, we have always worked well together, using each other’s strengths to work as a team. Thus, here’s the deal we’ve made … from time to time, I will be posting some of her art with a little bit about the piece such as her motivation, the challenges in achieving the look she wanted, and so on. In other words, she will provide the images (her art) and I will do the writing. This is how we will “sort of” share this blog! 😀

An Introductory Piece

Oil is, perhaps, Gertrude’s favorite medium. So, what better way to introduce her artwork here than with this 24″ by 24″ oil on linen canvas titled Patriots!

Gertrude does pet portraits on commission, but, after seeing a photograph of this pair of golden retrievers in a local newspaper, she decided that this would be a project that she’d like to do just for fun. The dogs belong to a couple that used to live near the beginning of our street and they took the photo while hiking in the White Mountains of New Hampshire shortly after the 9/11 attacks. Gertrude contacted them to ask for permission to paint their dog’s portrait and to ask if a color image was available. The dog’s owners were thrilled and gladly mailed a copy of the original color photograph.

At first, Gertrude had planned to simply paint the dog’s portraits just as they appeared in that photograph, however, trying to create a feeling of “depth” (from the mountains in the background) proved troublesome. No matter what she tried, the background just seemed to interfere, taking attention away from the dogs. Putting the painting away for a while helped and finally, Gertrude came up with the idea of creating a kind of “portrait photographer’s backdrop” approach. In this way, the background does not interfere, the dogs become the focus of attention and the viewer is able to concentrate on the dog’s expressions.

Well, there you have it, my mother’s first entry to our blog! So, … what do you think?

I know that I’m impressed with my mother’s artistic abilities, but, just as important, I can’t say enough just how thrilled I am to FINALLY be sharing this blog with her, even if it is just “sort of!”

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