Mr. Blue, finito

While my work was hanging at True Grounds, no painting elicited more emails and phone calls than this one.  Some were very touching, even (and I so appreciated them!).

As I wrote when I first started Blue, he is a big, mushy explosion of joy. While I was painting him, I was hoping that that sense of joy would translate through the brush… through the paint.  Based on the response I got, I think it did.  Although there were portraits that I felt were as good or better,  their expressions were more somber.  Most people who contacted me talked about Blue, and it just goes to show that no matter how crazy we get, people are still drawn to joy.  Thank you, Blue.

And, yes, he really is cross-eyed.  It’s part of his charm.

Blue, getting there…

Blue is looking more like a character out of a children’s book, and I can’t help but notice the way that each of the dogs have been represented so differently, in style and technique and all.  In working from my subconscious (as I know we do), I find it interesting that Blue the Pit Bull is a mushy children’s book character.  I like that.

Blue, started

Blue never fails to elicit a smile from me.  Even when I’m having an annoying day, I get to Blue’s house and can hear the thumpthumpthump of his tail on the other side of the door, waiting for me to open it.  Once I do, he explodes out of it, bouncing like rubber in fits of joy and laughter and wriggles.  Blue is a Pit Bull and, as such, is on the receiving end of a lot of fear and misunderstanding.  But Blue and I let them think what they want – we go on to have a super fun and happy and friendly time.

Bed Head, almost done

There were two things that I was trying to capture in this portrait: (1) the truly epic proportions of Matt’s bed head, and (2) his facial expression – which combines a sleepy acquiescence to it, and the laissez-faire, self-deprecating seriousness with which he stands there, displaying it in all its glory.  To me, that is what made it so funny.

I must admit that I failed on both accounts; but – ah, well – it’s my first oil portrait of a person, and I had a blast doing it.


I still need to do the glasses, so it’s drying, for now.