I had the privilege of living with this funny, goofy, sweet-tempered dog who had much more than her fair share of personality – and she knew how to use it.
Life with Luna was truly an adventure. After 11 years, she left us a few weeks ago and we miss her more than I can say. I guess somehow, I thought she would always be with us even though she suffered from a variety of health problems throughout her life, none the least of which was severe epilepsy. But through all of the amazing things she did – her favorite when she was young was to bite down on a plastic sprinkler head and pull back hard, watching as the PVC pipe snapped several feet under the ground. I won that round by replacing all of the plastic sprinkler heads with brass!
Although she destroyed more than any other dog I have ever known – she really knew how to have fun – she also gave more love and kisses than I thought possible. Even now I can see her coming to me first thing in the morning, her whole body involved in the wagging of her tail at her joy in seeing me and greeting the new day. She was a very happy dog for most of her life, brought a lot of joy into our lives and will not be forgotten.
Last summer I really saw her for the wise old girl she’d become. I think she really did possess all the answers to life’s big questions, but she was not about to tell. In tribute to all the things she taught me, I created 12 greeting cards. If you’d like to see her bits of wisdom, please go to http://artworkbyjohanna.com/types/luna-dog-greetings/ (And in case you’re wondering, yes, she really did sit upright like that in her chair.)
The next several weeks are going to be fun. I will be working on the creation of my Top 10 Dog Portraits. I’ll be using this year’s Top 10 Favorite Dog Breeds list created by the American Kennel Club.
I can’t wait to paint the look of happy goofiness of a Black Lab or the serious concern of a German Sherpard, right down to the rolling jawls of a Bulldog. And of course number 6 is already complete – the Boxer!
Donating artwork can be a good way to get your work noticed. At least that’s what all of the art marketing books keep saying. And as it’s always for a good cause, I keeping donating. Although I’m never really sure if I’m getting any marketing benefit out of this. That’s still OK because the revenue from the sale of my art at the auction does support work I believe in.
This time I’m donating five giclee prints of different
boxer paintings from my Jazz Dogs series to The Blue Ridge Boxer Rescue that serves North and South Carolina. I’m working with a friendly woman named Gina. I asked her to go to my website using this link http://www.johannauribes.com/jazzdogs.php and select 5 prints she thought would do well at their charity auction. She chose B4 the Wink, Buster Lounging, Luna Dancing, I’m Yours (my favorite, see the masthead of the blog), and Shapes & Shadows 1. In fact if you’d like to view her choices, use the link above. See if you agree with Gina. Are those the best Jazz Dogs or do you think other pieces might have been better?
It’s been awhile since I last posted. Sorry to all of those who will eventually read these posts – when I finally figure out how to provide the trail that allows you to find me!
Excitment is unfolding though. I’m getting responses from Dog Rescues. They are taking me up on my proposal to feature my ad for Best Friend Portraits on their websites in exchange for a percentage donation from each portrait. For now I’m focusing on Boxer Rescues, but this summer I will expand to many dog breeds.
Ah, this is the dilemma of every artist! After years of perfecting my skills, I am at the peak of my artistic skill, so now is the time to reach out. I know my work brings great joy to those who commission pieces from me. My portraits are so lifelike – capturing the essence, the inner spark of each subject – that it’s like having your best friend right there with you.
When I paint a portrait it’s as though I am developing a kind of relationship with my subject. As I travel over the contours of each face, taking the most time with the eyes so that the subject’s true personality can shine through, it’s like getting to know them. When the portrait is complete, I actually miss my subject, similar to the way you feel when you finish a great book and you no longer share the world of those characters every day. That’s really why the portrait artist craves more commissions. Yes, of course income is necessary, but I like to have a relationship going with a subject as often as possible.
So that leaves me with the prospect of marketing. Not always the favorite task of an artist, marketing is vital. How am I marketing my portraits at the moment? For me everything obviously begins with artwork, so I am taking on the fascinating challenge of creating a portrait of every breed of dog, beginning with the 10 most popular breeds. Then I will move on to cats. I have a wonderful model in my very mellow, black cat named Bug (more on Bug later). As I already have many paintings of my two boxers, I’m starting my marketing there. I recently sent out requests to 50 Boxer rescue sites to post my ad for Best Friend Portraits in exchange for a 10% donation from each portrait commission received from their site. Why start with animal rescues? While many love their pets, people who go to animal rescues for their next pet are serious and loyal. So when their best friend passes on, I would like them to have the joy one of my portraits can bring by allowing them to keep the memory of their best friend alive always.