Received a succinct one-liner request, “Hiring you to do Brooke and Dan’s wedding present.” The couple? A dashing duo: everyone who knew them from the beginning knew they were sooooo going to get married. The request: from THE friend who started Gadora on this whole Animal Print adventure on DailyCandy. The pressure to get this right was high.
She sent the usual slew of snappy pics of Puppy and after perusing the pack, we settled on a soft bone portrait.
Shortly after the Young House Love post, Gadora received a request, “I just became familiar with your work from reading Young House Love, and I think a watercolor for my mom of her dearly departed yellow lab Sundance would be the best gift for her ever, EVER.”
Her pictures were film, so Cristina sent a hand-written letter. “Here are the pictures of Sundance “Sunny.” He passed away last fall and my Mom loved him like a child. He was a terrible, awful, devilish puppy, but with some serious dog psychology from yours truly, he became a really great dog and companion for my folks. =)”
Her note kind of made me adore him. I once loved a cantankerous cat. A terrible, awful, devilish cat who hardly met a friend. With a lot of love and utter patience, broken-spirited creatures can make for the best companions.
Seems like forever ago, Gadora painted and sent out a lil pet portrait of a wee pooch: Hamburgerto some creative blogger types in Virginia. They LIKED it! Sherry and John posted it on their amazing blog-turned-life-changer Young House Love.
I couldn’t thank them enough for their original mention, but thought I’d offer their readers a Fab Freebie: one 8×10 watercolor to any lucky reader, anywhere. They agreed.I’d paint a furniture watercolor of a readers’ most revered piece, or a watercolor of their prized pet. At least 1,453 design enthusiasts checked out their blog that day (with comments), and many made their way over to Gadora. Contest Winner? These two lil piggies from North of the Border: Piglet and Tigger.
Gadora had never painted a guinea pig before. They would be my guinea pigs* of sorts for their species, get it? Sure, I’d dipped and brushed out a litter of kittens (albeit separately), several packs of dogs, a brood of hens and a horse, of course!
Once upon a time, there was a kitten named Linus Kitten P. who was born in the country of Greece. The humans who owned her mother did not want this kitten, so as soon as her mother left Linus’ side, Linus was taken outside and left all alone. A short while later, two kind and wearied travelers saved Linus and took her on a boat trip and an airplane ride across an ocean. She was sent to live in Canada in a real home with children, where Linus was ever so loved and cared for. She had found her very own family!
This family liked to travel and before she knew it, Linus was whisked off in another airplane and sent to live in the United States. There, Linus had a nice life. The children in the family played with her. There was always a warm lap to sleep on. Linus and her family lived there for a very happy six years.
The family decided to move again, back to Canada. In her new home, Linus had more room to roam inside than she ever had before and she could go outside and lie in the grass to watch the birds. During the cold winter, Linus slept the days away in the coziest places in the house.
Life was good.
But, just when Linus got used to her new home in Canada, the family moved again, to another country called England. And this time, Linus would not be able to go with them for a little while. She was lonely while she stayed in Canada. Eventually, Linus boarded another airplane and flew across the ocean, where she and her family had a very happy reunion.
Linus is happy to travel with her family but really, a warm quiet place to sleep with lots of love and attention is all she needs. And as she looks out the window, she wonders, which country will she visit next?
Gadora relishes the first sighting of an Animal Print “subject.” Some pictures of your pets simply make me squeal. There are a plenitude of fine- and funny-looking pooches, kittens and guinea pigs out there. The Etsy request for Arlo “Shmoo” Guthrie’s portrait—German short-haired pointer-mix adopted from the Humane Society—came with a slew of pics. Which pic to choose from? (You’ll see them after the jump.) This is one. stinking. cute. canine.
Arlo’s portrait is to be a gift for “his best friend,” Cristin’s boyfriend. Of the first pics (below) Cristin offered, “I adore this photo of Arlo—he is in his element. A true lover of outdoors and adventure, he never fails to look out on the world with his wise eyes. What I love most about this image in particular is how he looks while doing so… ear cocked, bird fluff hair blowing in the wind. What you don’t see, however, are his beautiful squinting eyes. (If you play with the contrast you can get a glimpse of them, which is all I really want… just a hint of two eyes. Oh, and maybe to lose the camera case in the bottom right.)”