November and December were busy months for me as the Animal Print orders steadily trickled in. A long-time Gadora reader, Ann, sent a request for her husband’s 60th birthday. Would I paint their two Chocolate Labs? It came with an inquiry about my own dearly departed (and once doted on) kitties. How was I doing since they were gone? I rather adore this woman. She’s quick to comment and share her design (and personal thoughts) and as such I feel sure we are kindred spirits.
Meet her Hazel.
And his Cody.
I’m typically quite reluctant to post any Animal Prints on Gadora before they are received. Online posts are deceptive as the watercolors are infinitely more interesting (and detailed) in person (…and I hate to ruin any surprise). But Ann’s portraits went to Colorado while she flew off to Florida to tend to her family.
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.
A noble request came via Nevada (and another from YoungHouseLove): “My husband’s beloved yellow Labrador retriever, Daisy, passed away in February. I think he would be so touched to have a portrait of her.”
On May 10th, this request came from Seattle: “A friend of mine just lost her 2-year-old dog that was the light of her life unexpectedly last night. I had planned on getting in touch with you for her birthday and commissioning a painting but now I would like to do it as soon as I can.” Meet the angel: Gracie.
And Gracie’s surviving companion: Reilly… looking so very saddened by the ordeal.
It’s January in Texas. Winter. Yesterday was a sunny 75º so Gadora and AJ got out in it. Seems every creature around this house (including the humans… the count is 6) has been suffering from cabin fever (and Cedar fever, but that’s a different story altogether). MAKES US BONKERS. After some minor finagling with the fence out back, that partially blew down after the last arctic winds, Gadora slung open the back door and every one happily filed out. AJ and I made our way to the front, suited up, and got to work.
Gadora has a few projects up her sleeve. There’s the pair of dainty dressing vanity tables (separated from their middle) that I intend to revive, the set of 4 ladder-back chairs whose caning needs tightening, the awesome antique dresser that wants a new-car shine, and a few smaller pieces almost complete. Oh but wait ’til you see the wire planter basket Gadora turned into a hanging lamp!
Thank YOU Texas for giving this girl a reprieve from summer’s heat, staving off the cold, and the good company with which to get it done.