It was hard work for me to get the right position for this portrait.
Henrietta took photos of me in various positions. First position – the usual sit and stare at camera. Next I was asked to sit on a chair …But it is so tempting to just put your head down. And she kept snapping away.And then they asked me to put my head on the arm-rest. That was so awkward.I decided I didn’t like that and gave her an alternative position And she kept snapping away.
Henrietta kept saying how she loved my furry paws and would like to incorporate them. Mummy liked the idea very much – something different. So Mummy lifted me in her arms and I looked over her shoulder. So this is the end result. Mummy at first thought it was the photograph! We’re very pleased with portrait number 6!
May’s comment: It was never planned as such but quite by accident I managed to have Darcy captured every year of her life in some art form other than the thousands of photos that I have of her. I used to think having a portrait of your dog is daft but now I have outdone even my own expectations! LOL!
I seemed to have changed my mind when she was three. Since then I now have some of my favourite photos of her captured in various ways. It wasn’t done in sequence, just whenever I come across an artist who made an impression.
For example, this is my all-time favourite photo of Darcy when she was less than a year old –
those brown round button eyes staring at me with unquestioning love, complete trust and her crooked smile. I had taken the photo with an old iPhone, so the resolution was not fab and even trying to print it on a 4×6, it wasn’t very good.
Then I met Stacy from Art Sea Craft Sea at a dog event and saw her amazing work – free-hand machine sewing. I asked if she could make it work. And it came back fabulous!!! It’s almost three-dimensional.
The next one was a gift from Ken Robinson. I was working with him on a project when he took another one of my favourite photos of Darcy and digitally painted her. That was from a photo of when she was about two. And then came the big commitment to have her painted in oil. We met Sara Abbott at Harrods where we saw her paintings at The Pet Kingdom. I loved how she managed to capture their souls, and the expressions. I toyed with the idea for a long time. Finally I did what I thought I would never do – commission a piece of art of my dog!We discussed how we should capture Darcy in the portrait. I asked for a pose where she is looking up at me, as she always does – with that intense but loving stare. She was three when she posed for that portrait.
Then we heard about Sally Muir’s “A Dog A Day.”Already with an oil portrait, we had to have one in charcoal. It was a 15 minute sketch. I don’t think Sally had done a cockapoo at that time and its difficult to do a light coloured dog in charcoal.
I have thousands of photos of Darcy but this is one of my favourites. She was four.Taken by Ursula Roxy Atchinson at the original Henry Root, it looked like we were having a conversation. This was still the time of me and my dog, i.e. before George entered our lives later that year.
Of course with George now in our lives, I had to have one done of the two of them that Christmas. We were amazed at the drawings of Gareth Edwards who draws with ball point pens.
Last year, when Darcy was five, we went to a Dog Show where Sally Muir was doing 15 minute sketches again. And this time she was more ready for a blonde cockapoo! So here we are, this is the latest addition to our collection –For her sixth birthday (this Sunday) – beautifully captured by Henrietta Abel Smith in chalk.We had seen her portrait of Jaffa and thought – Henrietts’s the one for Year Six!Absolutely precious!