Phoebe and Mozzie: Puggobiography

PHOEBE AND MOZZIE CHRISTMAS PRESENT COMMISSIONS DECEMBER 2019 Gayla Smith/Smith Girl Arts Happy pet stories warm my heart. We all know there is a dark side to the fate of some of these innocent souls, so I love to get a story that ends in "happy tails".  Such is the story of Phoebe and Mozzie, two pugs who found their way into an extremely loving home and two pugs who won the "dog lottery".  My dear friend, Jamie Whetstone Wells, was still living in Texas prior to Christmas 2019. Jamie and I have had a friendship made of diamonds and memories that will always be with me. We have shared music, Red Wench gigs, life and stolen moments. Jamie asked me to do a painting of each of her pugs for her husband, Wil. for Christmas. It was CRUCIAL that I pleased the Wells family!  She sent me a LOT of pictures full of expressions and faces with stories to tell. Lots of pictures help me to capture the spirit of the animal and what they may be saying to us with their sweet gazes into the camera. Also, having many pictures in certain lighting assists me in color choices that more accurately authenticate the animal's "look".  Mozzie was the most difficult. Mozzie is very black in color and in most shots either looks forlorn or absolutely clownish. I always look for that ONE shot that tells me what I need to know to paint the picture. One of the shots had Mozzie on a polka dotted blanket ( I love polka dots ) looking so submissively at whomever was taking the shot. It helped to use some grays and whites to make defining cuves in Mozzie's body. It was a learning challenge to capture the necessary definition and melting expression.  The shot I chose to work from for Phoebe had what I viewed as an "oh crap, why in the world am I in this giant flower pot?" look.  The expression was that of temporary worry, yet priceless, as she was standing in this colorful pot showing off her "beige tan". I loved doing the colors in the pot and surrounding the pup with blue to pop out her very neutral coat.  Jamie has since moved with her husband and pugs back into the heart of the Buckeye state landing a great job and a brand new life on our home turf. I know her family is overjoyed about this. "I second that emotion".  Friends for life. Partners in crime. More memories to make.  Thank you for the commissions, Jamie. I was so happy to hear that Wil loved the work when he received the paintings for Christmas. YAY.  Phoebe and Mozzie landed in heaven when they met the Wells family.