Thursday, March 25, 2010



Years ago when I did a lot of animal commissions while in the UK, one of the most common dogs that I painted or drew were Labrador Retrievers or Golden Retrievers.  I even had a golden Lab myself, the wonderful Baggy, who I rescued from an animal shelter.  Baggy was found wandering the streets of Bridgewater, half starved and was a large Lab with a head like a boulder. He was quite old and I was always taking in waifs and strays so he came home with me.  He got his name because his skin was literally hanging on his frame he was so thin when he first arrived.  I soon fattened him up.

He had obviously been trained to carry at some point and would get anxious on walks if he wasn't able to carry a bag or his lead.  I had a little mini dachshund then so I would hand over her lead to Baggy and they'd walk slowly on ahead of me, he hanging on to her lead.  It used to amuse people as she was so tiny and he so large.  He was a great dog.

They are usually gentle dogs with kind natures, good around children and also great dogs to take hunting. Baggy was all of the above, but I don't know his record as a gun dog as I have never hunted.  This was one of his favourite spots, snuggled up with the girls and Daisy, the dachshund, pretending he was a lap dog.

I liked the expression on this dog's face.  He was alert, watching something or someone. And he reminded me of Baggy. So I did a quick watercolour sketch laying in basic lines first then just adding colour as I went.  Its about 9 x 12 on 140lb Arches.


A Brush with Color said...

Jeanette, Baggy looks JUST like our Calvin and Bert. Your painting is wonderful--such a soulful look on its face. Really beautiful. Brings back memories of our sweet dogs--they really are lovely dogs, aren't they? The photo with the children is sweet-are they yours, Jeanette!?

Jeanette said...

They are sweet dogs I agree Sue. Yes, these are my children, - quite a few years ago now. More than 20 I'd say.

Billie Crain said...

Your kids were adorable when they were little, Jeanette. We had a golden retriever named Dillon when my kids were little. He was such a lovable ninny. These dogs never stop being puppies, do they?

You captured the look in the eyes and those flabby 'feather mouth' lips they have in your painting. Well done!

jane minter said...

jeanette this is really beautiful portrait
baggy found a v loving home

Peggy Montano & Paintings said...

Jeanette, lovely photograph.
Look out...I may send you photos of my granddogs. Two Labs, one white, the other red.

Jeanette said...

Billie, Labs and Golden's are wonderful dogs with great personalities. I still miss Baggy.

Thanks Jane. I had him for only a couple of years but think that he enjoyed his time with us.

Peggy, Labs do get around. I'd love to see your grand dogs. Send them here, closer to their roots :)

Ann said...

Awww... that's a great portrait with such a sweet expression. I love the photo of Baggy with your girls too.

Anonymous said...

What a heartening story and a lovely painting to show this sweet dog. Expressive!

Jan said...

You always amaze me in that you can capture so much with so few strokes. This is fabulous and I had to chuckle over your photo - big dogs wanna sit in your lap too! lol