This watercolor was done back in college when our dog Blue passed away. This was the spot where he always loved to rest, usually in the flowers (unfortunately). Anyhoo, the piece is simply what it is, a portrait without the subject--his dish is still there, the door is still open, and the flowers are a reminder of the vibrancy of life, even in a place that is dingy and somewhat empty. This is one of my favorite pieces.
Blue had a heart problem, and being so old, there was not much we could do. He was a good ol' faithful friend, a peculiar dog with peculiar habits, but that only made him more endearing. When he had to be put down, we wrapped him in one of my old childhood blankets and buried him in my old toy box. The humor of the night was that it was cold and the ground was hard, so Phil and I were trying to bury him with a lantern swinging on a branch above us while we labored with a shovel and a pick axe. I'm sure if the neighbors saw us, there may have been some wondering what we were up too--it probably looked shady!
I did, before the end, do a final portrait of ol' Blue. Here are the sketches:
And here's the final, with a detail of his head--notice his characteristic smile.