It's safe for me to reveal another of my newest paintings, which has now been opened as a Christmas surprise. This is a new dog portrait of a rescued puppy very dear to my heart, named Hunter.

Hunter & Ellie Mae soon after he was rescued.
The short version of Hunter's story is that our friend Kathy found him wandering in the woods over Labor Day weekend 2012, homeless and totally emaciated. Rick and I agreed to give him a home and try to get him healthy. The vet said his condition indicated that he had been living in the wild for months. When we finally got him to hold down food and had success curing his red mange and other afflictions, Hunter gained about 20 lbs in 8 weeks. He was smart, happy, active, alert, and grateful for being rescued - a good little brother for our Ellie Mae and a delight for us. However, his longtime dependence on wildlife for food had turned him into a danger to our 4 outdoor cats, and we knew we would need to find another forever home for him. Anyone who knows us and our pets knows how fussy we are, and Hunter was no exception. After fostering him for 11 months, we finally found a home for Hunter which far exceeded anything in our wildest dreams. A wonderful couple from Pennsylvania named Pat and Dave adopted Hunter and the happiness they have given to each other over the past year and a half could fill volumes!
So I created this portrait with love and gratitude for Hunter, Pat, and Dave. I used reference photos which I had taken on my porch last May when they all came to Tennessee for a fun visit. Hunter is a dog who looks you right in the eye when you communicate, so I wanted a front-on pose to capture his intensity. I liked the backlighting of this shot and his relaxed demeanor. My porch floor is not really reflective, but I added that effect just because I think it's cool. Reports indicate that Hunter thinks I captured him handsomely!

This is painted in acrylics on stretched canvas. For the framing, I used a custom dark wood frame with an inner linen liner in off-white; this combination accents the lights and darks in the painting. A linen liner works sort of like the mat on a framed painting on paper. Merry Christmas Pat, Dave, and Hunter!

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