Back in the late ’90s I had the chance to go duck hunting for the first time in the prairie pothole region of central North Dakota. One of the strongest memories from those few days is the wonder of watching a good bird dog work for the first time. I remember being surprised how loud Roxy breathed through her nose as she held a bird in her mouth and strove for the shore. I remember the eagerness and the focus of these dogs as they fulfilled what they were born, bred, and loved to do.
On that trip the birds were fun, the company with the boys was great, but man those dogs were fun to watch! All these years later I still am amazed at the abilities of these magnificent beasts.
I’m putting the finishing touches on a hunting dog portrait of a beautiful labrador retriever, and it has brought back some of those memories of mornings on the marsh. The stench of the muck, the cold, wet October wind on my face, and the sound of wings.
The client chose to have the piece done on a slab of 3/4″ maple. Its been a little different surface to paint on – smoother than I’m used to, but not bad. She wanted the rough painterly edges inset from the border. I have to say it’s not a bad look!