In my blog post “Gone To the Dogs”, I wrote that I was painting portraits of 3 dogs belonging to my good friend Pat Noonan. The first was Elliot, a very handsome dude indeed. The second, is a portrait of her tiny Chihuahua-mix, named Pearl. Pat rescued Pearl from the pound a few years ago. She’s not particularly pretty. In fact, Pat tells me her husband’s response to his first glimpse of Pearl was to ask hesitantly, “Is that a dog?”
Pearl’s hair defies gravity, sticking up and out in a punkish Mohawk style. Her eyebrows are long, white wisps of wildness. The hair on her legs seems to be long on one side and short on the other. Her belly is pinkish white and nearly hairless. As she grows older, her eyes are clouding with cataracts too. But inside, Pearl is beautiful. Pat tells me she has a sweet disposition and has become a cherished member of the family.
To paint her portrait was a challenge. The photograph I was given shows her wearing a dog sweater, and looking down with clouded eyes. I knew right off that I wanted to give her eyes life again. I changed the view to one where she is looking at the viewer with a coy, come hither expression. hee-hee. I also chose feminine colors to show off her girlish appeal. With a name like Pearl, how could I not? The final touch was to hang a huge pearl pendant from her neck. Thus, the painting title became “The Girl With The Pearl”.
She makes me smile. I hope she does the same for you.