For many years I painted portraits of animals. Pets and show champions paraded across endless and joyful illustration boards and blank canvases with pen and inks, pastels, and oil paint. Prints and book Illustrations graced my life. I feel deeply connected to them all. My most unusual portrait requests included a pet raccoon and a ferret!
I eventually "retired" to paint what "I" want, wide eyed and restless in total abandonment free of schedules, styles, agendas, colors, lines, and designs.
Paintings evolved. Colors brightened, new subjects appeared as if by magic including dreams of angels and visions from Louise, my friend. She dreamed or saw images of me on my spiritual journey path. We talked in person or by phone as Louise communicated her experiences. I took notes and made sketches to paint later. Animals, wild and tame, continued to present themselves including big cats, wolves, and many horses. I painted with "wild" abandon!
And I continue to write spontaneously storing memories along my journey, a miracle timeline.
Recently I began to feel lonely for a dog, cat or horse portrait? Why? I longed to feel connected again to painting a specific animal or group of animals. The painting will reach forward in spirit, going beyond paint, and radiate energy outwards to viewers. A painting opportunity was calling to me. I felt it! When will it appear?
Over a span of months, I connected with a new friend. We felt we knew each other, and talked about many subjects but never painting. One day "Out of the Blue" we both discovered we are both artists! We love oil paint and the process of painting! We love brushes and canvas!
Joy and Wonder
"What do you paint?"
"I paint landscapes and flowers."
How about You?"
Without hesitation, "Animals."
I pulled out a photo of Lovely Rita, my Cheetah painting. I carry her with me.
Judy J. exclaimed, "I am looking for someone to paint my two black Cocker Spaniels! Can you paint my dogs?"
Judy J. sent me some E-mail photos. Those photos never appeared in my inbox? The one that came later was the exact photo for the portrait! Judy had taken the picture herself. "This is the One," we both knew.
The awakening painted journey began. I studied the photo and lightly free handed a pencil possibility onto a primed canvas that I had already painted with a very thin wash of light ochre. This "grounding" color would add inner light for the future painting. Oil paint dries thoroughly between layers to insure permanence of texture and color. Fat (thinker paint) over Lean (thin paint) is a basic rule. I followed simple guidelines used by Claude Monet, "pure paint on pure canvas," no additives, quick drying techniques, or top coatings.
Excitedly I began painting at the top left hand corner with a large soft chisel brush, stroking in a grey tan background. With a smaller chisel brush, I added the tapestry pillow. Moving to the top right, I loved painting the patchwork quilted fabric! I remember quilts my Mom and Grandma made by hand. I felt the stitches. I love chisel brushes, bold strokes or sharp lines as needed in one tool. Next with broad slashing strokes I blocked in the dogs, leaving plenty of options for corrections as needed. I felt like I was working in stone feeling "the bricks and mortar stone cutter's art." I felt energy surging into the painting and into me. Inner joy is here.
As I am painting the Spaniels, I am feeling a sure sense of very fine detail. Something new is happening! I am the right brained spontaneous impressionist painter with quick brushstrokes shrouded in mist and light. With the spaniels, I also felt my logical left brain working in integration with intuitive right brain abandon, a harmonic blend.
I worked in the dogs slowly and carefully over many sessions, always working left to right as my Dad had taught me so as not to get wet paint on my hands. The light was just right in my kitchen for painting. I breathed in love and light. I feel deep peace.
Several times I felt like a surgeon/ architect juggling three pairs of glasses, a magnifying glass, and one brush with only a few thin hairs in it. This technique completed tiny hairs on the dogs, one by one "brushing out the coats". Several times I had paint brushes in both hands and a compass to check proportions. Next I put the shine onto the ebony coats with the same tiny brush, a mix of Payne's grey (a blue grey) and titanium white. Livy's eyes shown brightly with added highlights!
"The dogs are coming alive!"
I feel gratitude in the presence of the dogs. I feel love and wonder in the fact that I was pain free in painting them. In earlier years my joints, muscles, and tendons had ached or felt sharp pain after exertion. I can bend! I have energy! Tai Chi and Yoga help me to gain strength, flexibility, focus, and joy in life. Friends are Here~
The Big Day was painting Carbon's name on his blue collar. I had been putting this off! How am I going to paint letters? I had heard a comment by Dr. Oz, ** "You have one chance to get it right...." I understood what he meant, he about doing successful heart surgery and me, getting the name on the collar "one time thorough." In paint, if a letter smudged or wasn't centered, a re-paint would not be as lively in color and energy. I poised, like a diver on a diving board. Success! I feel relaxed freedom and inner happiness.
As I placed the dog painting on the mantel to check the likeness my husband exclaimed, "They are alive!"
Next he said, "Don't touch them! They're finished."
Remembering Judy J's words,
"There is Nothing like Painting~Nothing!"
I Feel the Power of Once and Forever Again~
Key Words: cat, dog, horse, cheetah, crane
The Human Angel
Tonal Vision, the power of music
Running with Horses
Out of Box Experience
Call to Colors
Stars and Snow Spirit of Phoebe, Phoebe is a Spirit Cat
Thin Ice and Homecoming, the Courage of Black Wolf
Double Vision, two cranes are better than one
Art Work by Dahlis
Collie Club of America, 20 limited edition lithograph prints of Famous Collie Champions of the Past, commissioned in 1982.
Collie Concept, book written by Mrs. George H. ("Bobbee") Roos, and illustrated by me and other artists, won 2nd place in the Best Breed Book Category, Dog Writer's Assoc. Awards 1982.
Collie Review Magazine covers, Murry Drucker, ed. and publisher, four covers of Top Show Winners of the Year.
* Deepak Chopra, Oprah Winfrey, The Energy of Attraction, Nov 21, 2014, I am Grateful for Divine Manifestation. 21 Day Meditation Experiences, from Deepak and Oprah, various topics, the next one begins March 16, 2015, free online, register Chopra Center Meditation.
** Dr. Oz Surgeon Oz positive stories about heart surgery patients and their families. The Dr. Oz TV show, medical advice for better health.
Paul Lam,M.D., Tai Chi for Health worldwide
Yoga Journal DVD Yoga Over 50 and Peggy Cappy Yoga for the Rest of Us (all levels)
Cat's Purr Cd by Chet Day. Nature Sounds, binaural beats. and Lucy, a real cat, contribute relaxations for cat lovers.
One Direction, album Four, track Night Changes. Books: Who We Are and Where We Are (series)
Dahlis Roy: Visionary Artist, Author, and Tai Chi Instructor
Dahlis and Laddie, photo by my Dad. Lad, my first collie, was 6 months old here. I was 13. At age 15 I would paint and sell my first commissioned portrait of a champion Collie, Ch. Linbarin's Future Model, "Bobby."
Unconditional Love, oil on canvas by Dahlis Roy based on photo by Judy J. of Livi (left). Carbon rests his head on Livi's back. "They are bonded."