Blue Ribbon Winner

"Pleez", 11" x 14" pastel on velour

“Pleez”, 11″ x 14″ pastel on velour

A big surprise at the 2017 Art of the Horse, Horse Expo art show. They opened the show up to dogs and other western art, so I thought what the heck. “Pleez” did well in some prior shows, winning “Excellence of Show” in the Sacramento Fine Arts Animal Art Show two years ago and a 3rd place ribbon for pastels last year at Art at the Classic Draft Horse Classic Art Show. And now the painting takes first place in the pastel Division at Horse Expo.

I’m particularly fond of this painting of my girl Dakota as a nine week old puppy giving me ‘that PLEEZ look!’ The bed she’s laying in has long since been destroyed and replaced… and she has grown into a beautiful, very tall lady, currently 2 1/2 years old.

The painting is now retired from show business and will hang in my home as part of my private collection. It is available as a print or printed on various items at my online Pixels Store. And as always… I’m available for commissions and would love to talk to you about creating a portrait for you to hang in your home.

2017 Calendar Featuring Dogs of WAG

2017dogcalendarcoverHot off the press!! My fifth annual 2017 Calendar featuring the Dogs from WAG (Western Agility Group).

Sometime in 2010, I thought it might be fun to paint a few pet portraits. I had taken art classes and workshops and painted my own dog, Jasmine, many times. I asked Susan Rappillus, one of the owners at WAG (Western Agility Group) if I could paint her agility champion Fritz. Well… that’s where my life changed! As my list of commissions grew, I happily quit my job in 2013 and became a full time artist! The group at WAG has been extremely good to me… in fact, to date I have painted over 80 dogs from WAG. Every one is a part of a large, happy agility family.

Dogs are a passion for me and what a joy that I’m able to spend my time capturing the character of each individual in pastel. Calendars measure 4.5″ x 5.5″ and cost $10, plus tax. Please choose the option of including dates of agility trials at WAG, or without dates. Please contact me if you have any additional questions.

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Happy Holidays

"Kona Bella Christmas", 8" x 8" pastel on velourHappy Holidays! I have been so busy creating Christmas commissions that I never found time to send out Christmas cards. But… today is Christmas and I didn’t want it to get by without sharing my Xmas card for this year. Kona Bella is my brother Joe’s newest family addition. His dream dog has always been a chocolate lab… and I was excited to be part of finding this girl for him. And what a joy to paint her with a Santa hat on.

2015 was a bittersweet year. Bitter because we started the year mourning the loss of our girl Jasmine. Sweet because we found our new girl Dakota… a very sweet Shepherd mix of some sort. Also sweet because I had so much to do with my art. I completed 42 paintings in 2015, far more than I would have thought since I didn’t paint for the first six weeks of the year. I participated in several art shows and even won a few ribbons. I set up my vendor display several times throughout the year and met a great deal of fun animal-loving people. I also taught some classes for the first time… which was both terrifying and extremely rewarding.

So bring on 2016… and all the new paintings I will have opportunity to create. I have so many ideas in my head I just wish there was more time each day so I could make them all a reality. I’m also planning to teach a few workshops throughout the year… so stay tuned for dates. I know the first one will be March 11, 12 & 13 at Gallery IQ in Rocklin, CA. Until next time… I hope everyone has a very Happy New Year!

Jasmine

Jasmine, 14" x 11" pastel on velourA couple months ago I painted Sierra at nine weeks old. I call the painting “Puppy Power” and it can be seen in an earlier post on this blog. Since then I decided to take some time and paint my other girl at the same age so I would have a matching set of my two girls. This is Jasmine. She is one of the best highlights of my life. My husband and I adopted Jasmine into our lives 12 years ago. The day we brought her home, he told me she was my dog and he wasn’t going to get attached. It took Jasmine all of one hour to snuggle her way on to his lap… and in to his heart… and of course mine!

Jasmine became my first agility teammate and together we made our way to a couple of championship titles. Through Jasmine, I was introduced into the wonderful world of agility… a place where I have met so many great people, and painted so many beautiful dogs. Jasmine was also my first subject to paint in my art… and there are many paintings of her around our home as a result. But this painting is going to remain special in my heart as it is a reminder of the time when she first came to live with us, and change our lives for the better. She loved chard and would play with a leaf until she finally decided to eat it, and then come looking for a new leaf.

Jasmine was diagnosed with a couple different types of cancer. The vets told us to expect only another eight months. That was two and a half years ago. She is still making us smile… and cry… at times. And she is still bossing us around all the time! She still runs a little agility with me and we still go for short walks. She oversees Sierra’s training sessions and gets after her when she doesn’t pay attention. She is a dignified lady… and still one of my favorite art subjects. And I’m sure this is not the last painting to be created of this beautiful girl.

UPDATE: It is with heavy heart that I report that our sweet girl Jasmine lost her battle with cancer on December 20, 2014. She was a true highlight in our lives and we will miss her forever. RIP my sweet girl.

 

2014 Calendars Are Here!

2014 Calendars Have Arrived!

2014 Calendars Have Arrived!

The 2014 Calendars featuring dogs from WAG has arrived. This is my second annual calendar containing paintings that I have done throughout 2013 of dogs from Western Agility Group (WAG), which is where Jasmine, Sierra and I train and compete in the sport of dog agility. I am grateful to all the WAG folks who have commissioned me to paint their agility partners. Agility dogs are not just special family members, but become constant teammates in a wonderful, fun and very addictive sport.

Calendar size is 4.25″ x 5.5″. They come either with or without WAG trial dates included. Price is $10 each.

UPDATE: 2014 Calendars have sold out! I am in the process of ordering more. The only option available is without WAG dates. Please contact me if you have any additional questions. Thank you to everyone who purchased a calendar for all your support.


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Kermit

Kermit, 9x12 Pastel on Velour. Copyright Meb Harris.

In my continued attempt to update my blog with some of the paintings I have completed in the past few months… this is a commission from last February of Kermit, owned by Dorris Wiglesworth. Dorris asked me to paint Kermit as a surprise birthday gift for her husband. She told me that the surprise was a great success as her hubby loved the portrait. It’s always a great feeling to know that one of my paintings brings pleasure to someone’s special somebody.

Kermit is another of the WAG dogs that I’ve had the pleasure of painting. Sometimes I’m amazed at how quickly a painting comes together… this was one of them. There were several of different colors in Kermit’s face, but they blended perfectly for me and he just popped out of the painting.

I have been asked how I’m able to blend using the pastel medium. As I paint on velour paper, I’m able to layer different colors over each other in order to ‘mix’ my colors… as if I was using a liquid medium such as oils. Pastel uses the same pigments as oil paints, without the oil binders. And sometimes with pastels, that perfect color doesn’t exist as the colors are limited. But that doesn’t mean you can’t achieve that perfect color by layering the dusts with a very light touch. The challenge in the pastel world is finding those colors to layer to get the desired color that brings the reality of the animal to life.

Sam

SamWIP_LR-CROne of my favorite people in this world is Walt Nagle. When I was 12 years old, a little red dog came in to my life. I named her Shannon. She became my best friend for 18 years. Shortly after Shannon showed up as a stray, I discovered Mission City Dog Training at the neighborhood park. Walt Nagle was the trainer and there was a group of dogs and owners learning all about obedience. I was not part of the class, but sat with Shannon off to the side to watch. Walt came up to me and asked if I would like to join the group. I happily did! I stayed with Walt and his group for seven years and Shannon and I became obedience junkies… competing in any dog trial that would allow All Americans… as she was called. So what does this have to do with this portrait of Sam?

Sam is Walt Nagle’s current dog and I really enjoyed painting this beautiful little corgi for him. I have since moved away from that neighborhood, and many years have gone by. Walt is still training at Mission City Dog Training, helping people to train their dogs to be part of the family… as Shannon was. And I have never forgotten his kindness to me that day and all that he taught me. So it is with pleasure that I add Sam to my blog.

Portrait of a Pug… Cirby

Copyright Meb Harris

Copyright Meb Harris

I’m pretty delinquent on posting my paintings to my blog. In fact, this portrait was a commission for Beth Sanford and was a Christmas gift for her husband last year. Cirby was so much fun to pull out of the painting with those wonderful eyes and that cute pug nose. I never really paid attention to how different these flat faced breeds are until I spent time studying Cirby’s little face and trying to perfect the nose. And for some reason I kept thinking about “Men In Black” while painting and that famous line… “If you don’t like it you can… ” Love these dogs!

2013 Calendar featuring Dogs of WAG

2013 Calendar featuring Dogs of WAGI am happy to offer my first calendar featuring dogs from y favorite club, Western Agility Group… WAG… where Jasmine and I have run many fun agility courses, and Sierra is beginning her agility training. Located in Elk Grove, CA, WAG is host to agility trials of different venues throughout the year. It’s a wonderful place to spend a weekend playing with our dogs… watching their goffy antics as they run through the courses. And what a great place to find beautiful dogs to paint!

Each month features a different dog painted in pastel. Most of these were done as commissions throughout the year, with the owners allowing me to feature them in this collection. Calendars are 5.5″ x 4.25″ and $10 each, which includes tax and shipping. A certain amount also feature the dates of all the known trials being held at WAG throughout the year. Gets yours now before they run out!


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Pastel Pet Portrait: Sadie Lynn

Sadie, 8 x 10 Pastel on Velour

Sadie, 8 x 10 Pastel on Velour

I completed another commission portrait. This is Sadie Lynn, the Border Collie. She is from the same family as Achilles the Doxie. I really wish the images that I post were of the same quality as the original. The colors are close, but the softness of the velour paper never really pops in the digital image. Sadie Lynn was a joy to paint and really just came alive on her own as I applied more layers of pastel. All that black in her coat has layers of dark blue and purple under it, which creates the rich black color. To just apply black causes a more flat looking coat on the dog. There are more than eight layers on this dog.