A good friend recently had to say goodbye to her gorgeous flat coat retriever, River.
It was sudden and shocking news. I wanted to create something uniquely personal for her in River’s memory and also use drawing as an outlet for my thoughts on this sad news. River was a beautiful boy, so handsome and good natured and his love of water really lived up to his namesake.
If you are familiar with my prints, you will know that hand-lettering is my ‘thing’ and as someone who bought one of my prints recently commented, I have to be “both a printmaker and a wordsmith”, so I decided to write a poem about River and combine it with illustration in a vintage style.
Here is my Ode to River, in pen & ink on Japanese Hosho paper…
The diminutive Yorkie is the 21st breed in my Dog Tag series of prints.
Bred in England as an expert exterminator of vermin in 19th Century mills, mines and factories, this feisty terrier was also a handy pocket sized hunter’s companion, with enough guts to flush out badgers and foxes from their dens.
Originally known as the Broken Haired Scotch or Toy Terrier the Yorkies were re-named after a reporter at a show was heard to exclaim that the breed had much improved since it had been in Yorkshire!
It was not long before this tiny and devoted breed made the transition from its working class roots to high society, when it caught the attention of Victorian well-to-do ladies, for whom it became a playful companion and pampered pet.
Keen of eye and sharp of tongue, what the Yorkie lacks in size it certainly makes up for in spirit. Sprightly and self-important, with a silky steel blue and golden coat, the Yorkshire Terrier remains a terrier at heart.
The print is available framed or unframed from The Enlightened Hound
I have been meaning to do a Christmas card for ages and then I usually leave it too late… but this year I’ve managed to get organised and have been busy illustrating and lettering to create ‘The 12 Dogs of Christmas”
It is a doggy twist on the cumulative song ‘The 12 days of Christmas’, dating from 1780!
I have been reading lots of heart breaking stories on social media recently about unwanted and neglected dogs and the wonderful work so many people do to help them – from the large well known charities to devoted people who work many hours on a shoestring to rescue these poor animals.
So I am donating half the profits from the sale of these cards to a worthy doggy cause. I have asked my newsletter subscribers and Facebook followers for any recommendations of people or companies who make an outstanding contribution to dog rescue… please feel free to comment with any suggestions on this post too. I will post an update after Christmas on where the donation has gone.
The Christmas cards are printed in the UK on thick textured card and come with a festive red envelope.
They can be purchased in packs of 10 for £10, plus P&P from The Enlightened Hound
I am excited to have reached 20 breeds in the “Dog Tag” series of prints with these two new additions – the French Bulldog and Poodle. Next, I will be taking a little break from this series to pursue some new ideas but as I still have many requests for other breeds (think Yorkie, Boxer, Great Dane, Bulldog, Pointer… and the list gets longer) I will be returning to the series next year!
There’s a lot of hand lettering and illustrating involved in these prints…
Telling the story of the breed in an original and quirky way can be a bit of a challenge in around 30-35 words!
The French Bulldog print is hand printed in a dark sepia black and the Poodle print in a soft french grey ink.
The French Bulldog has a colourful history accompanying the rather politely named Parisian Belles de Nuit on their evening sojourns. Apparently they were a useful way to break the ice with potential customers to start a conversation! They were also the dog of choice for the french in-crowd arty set and cafe owners in the 19th century. They were bought over to France from England when the Industrial Revolution forced traditional lace workers to flee to France to find work.
Also with a colourful history, the poodle was a popular feature of the travelling circus. Like the Frenchie, the poodle was the a la mode accessory for high society. The poodle’s frou frou reputation belies its origins as a dog bred to retrieve waterfowl from muddy swamps and rivers!
Here are all 20 breeds in the Dog Tag series of prints…
Prints are 30cms square and each one is individually hand printed and signed.
Sniff them out at The Enlightened Hound
After a brief hiatus (redesigning my website to look good on mobiles as well as desktops) I am happily back to printing. Here is the 18th print in the Dog Tag series which tells the story of the German Shepherd in a dog tag design.
As always, each print is printed by hand on my etching press – this time I chose a deep blue, inspired by military and service uniforms to reflect the GSDs reputation as an outstanding service dog.
What is clear from researching this awesome breed is what an enormous contribution they have made to society and community over the years in a huge variety of roles, including Red Cross work, search and rescue, security, police work, military aides, detection dogs and guide dogs.
Prints are available framed and unframed from The Enlightened Hound