I painted this painting over three months during the covid lockdown.
It was commissioned by my client in New York. its a painting of his favourite dog 'Rockie' His owner and family have a special bond with the dog and wanted to capture him in a painting.
I was unable to travel to New York for a sitting the final painting was compiled from various photographs that my client had taken. We worked together remotely on getting everything that I needed for the painting
I sourced images for the background of Switzerland. I was looking for a landscape that would complement the image of the st. Bernard and I found images of Lauterbrunnen and worked from them compiling everything digitally into one composition.
I wanted the scene to look like the dog had reached the peak after climbing a long way. Compositionally there is a strong diagonal line going from the bottom left corner to the top right corner.
I often like to add little details in my works that can be discovered.
On the lower left hand side there is evidence of human existence in all houses that depicted but on the right hand side this dissappears and there is a hut in the trees. I was reading Henry Thoreau's 'Walden' at the time of painting this.
In terms of colour, I wanted the background to complement the rusty gold tones of the fur. The distant backdrop is one of the silver and misty tones.
I like waterfalls and I will always include them in the landscape if I can. They appear on the left-hand side in the mountains..
In the clouds I have made one of the clouds look like a silhouette of a cat.
St Bernard's are extremely powerful and and the client sent me videos of the dog walking and dragging barrels behind him to keep his strength up.
Inner Strength, humility, confidence, and stoicism were my buzzwords during the creation of this painting.