A number of years ago I finished an English Setter painting and wanted a professional critique on the anatomy of the subjects. As an Irish Setter person, it is important I hadn’t painted an Irish Setter with spots. A well-respected breeder suggested that I contact the person “who wrote the Setter book.” An outstanding idea indeed!
So, I went to the American Kennel Club website and did a judges search for Marsha Hall Brown, author, dog judge and English Setter breeder. A simple email introduced me and requested the assistance for a professional critique. To my surprise she was happy to come over.
A few years later she asked if I did cartoons. No, my only interest was painting realistic animals. Long story short, a sketchbook showed me how easily one can misinterpret another person’s views. A thumbnail sketch for a scene painting peaked Mrs. Brown’s interest. As she looked at the sketch she exclaimed, “That is a cartoon!” Well, no, to me it was a loosely done anatomically correct thumbnail sketch. Lo and behold, what was a cartoon to one was not to another. A partnership was born over that sketch, and a journey to create a children’s book with anatomically correct canines would follow.
“Show Dogs Escape to the Seashore,” is a children’s book written by Mrs. Marsha Hall Brown, which I illustrated. Thumbnail sketches were created for each illustration and from there, original pastels were painted. (Yes, traditional illustrations!) To our delight, the cover of the book featuring the seven key characters racing around the beach on an island far, far away in a convertible Woody earned the coveted “Maxwell Award” for best single illustration at the 2014 widely respected Dog Writers’ Association of America’s writing competition.
We look forward to our next adventure and more “cartoons”!
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