I am a cat person. Always have been. I get teary eyed when I watch cat commercials on TV and a meow will touch my heart like little else. So, it has taken me a while to understand the "dog thing." I like dogs, but they aren’t cats.
However, something happened when my husband got a girlfriend. Her name is Hersey and she is a chocolate lab. I began to understand that unique connection between a man and his dog. And, more succinctly, between a man and his hunting dog.
Hersey and my husband have been best buddies since she came home with my neighbor as a pound puppy about 3 1/2 years ago. Wanting to see this relationship in action, I had the opportunity to go pheasant hunting with my husband and "his" dog. It was fascinating watching them work together. Hersey’s heart and nose rival the best hunting dogs. Her movements exact when she flushes, her drive to the downed bird impressive, and her joy in the retrieval - infectious.
Below is the start of the painting, The Retrieve. This is my underpainting, a turpentine wash of burnt sienna and raw sienna.