All commissions are personal and unique for the client but this one really was special for me too. Our good friend Noreen in Chicago told us the sad news that her beloved dog Chi had died. Dogs are traditionally known as “man’s best friend” and I understood that this pet was a true companion during some memorable moments in Noreen’s life, including during the early months of the Covid 19 pandemic.
When she asked me to do a drawing of Chi for her I was both touched and uncertain. I am not an animal portrait artist, which is a very specialised field. But I wanted to create something for her that would be unique and uplifting. Looking through several photos I got a sense of the personality of Chi and soon settled on featuring him in one of their happy places. Hollywood Park, Chicago, is where they went for regular walks and I was instantly attracted to their favourite tree. It’s easy to see why as it’s so commanding and beautiful. To me, in this drawing, it works as a comforting permanent presence. It doesn't overshadow the dog but shelters it
To represent little Chi I tried to capture his lively personality with his jaunty feathery tail and intelligent face. The lead is a representation of the connection between owner and pet and also a symbol of letting go.
This was Noreen’s first reaction when the drawing arrived in Chicago: “Look what arrived after a rough day...my heart is joyful..with a few tears shed. It is magnificent!"