All done with my portrait of Maple the Goldendoodle! I was commissioned to paint this portrait by a family in Illinois for their 10 year old daughter’s birthday. Lucky girl! The timeline was very tight for me to get this done in just a few weeks – especially for one this large at 36″x36″. I typically have to ask collectors to wait up to six months to a year before I start their paintings. Fortunately for this project, I’ve restructured my business in the past year in order to be able to make special accommodations every now and then!
Here are some photos of its subject, Maple, and the painting’s progress. It was enjoyable to work on this large surface, as I typically work smaller. My client asked me to incorporate many different elements into this portrait, and I think I did so successfully. If you look closely, you’ll see their requests: honey bees, a mask (the strawberries are from a fabric they use to make masks), Chinese elements and Indonesian Dewi Ratih wayang kulit characters. Of course, I included my ever-present tiny spiders, butterflies, starry skies, grass and flowers. I spent several days on Maple’s curly hair, and used Kosher salt to add texture to the painting’s starry sky surface.
I would like to give some credit to this painting’s success to Stretch Ledford, father of the recipient and the person who provided an astounding photo for me to work from. Better photos make better portraits! Stretch was kind enough to send a lovely endorsement of my work.
“Every time I stop to look at Robin’s portrait of Maple, my daughter’s Goldendoodle – and that’s often – I see something new. The spirited color palette and the many details – some subtle, others more prominent – give the work a spontaneity that bursts off the substrate. The iconography of my family’s shared life together – plumb blossoms, shadows of Dewi Ratih, honeybees – make the piece timeless. There are precious few things that bring equal pleasure to a precocious ten-year-old girl and her much older father. Robin has used her prodigious talent to gift us just that – a priceless piece of pure joy, mined from the vein of unabashed mirth that must surely occupy a large piece of real estate inside her own heart and head.” – Stretch Ledford, Illinois