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
I have been busy with more prints in the Dog Tag series based on the most requested breeds from people I meet at shows and online. So here are the next 4 in the series which brings the total to 17 breeds!
Border Collie: Hand printed in a soft blue-grey ink
Beagle: hand-printed in an earthy khaki-brown ink
West Highland White Terrier (Westie): hand printed in a light sky blue ink
Schnauzer: hand-printed in a sophisticated dark grey ink
The next three breeds in the Dog Tag series, to make it to 20, will be ready in the next couple of months and then I’m taking a break form the series for a few months to work on some other printmaking ideas that I have been thinking about. So many ideas and so little time!!
To purchase and find out more about the prints, visit The Enlightened Hound’s website
Dogs Today magazine spotlighted the Cockapoo in their “Dog Crush” feature this month…
…and, I’m happy to say, also featured my hand lettered Cockapoo “Dog Tag” print…
There were lots of interesting Cockapoo facts for prospective owners…
The most popular names are Ruby, Teddy, Alfie & Archie (I know a couple of those!)
The most common description of them in the magazine’s survey was “daft as a brush, but lovable” … although I think this might be an rose-tinted underestimation – as a cross between 2 pretty smart working dogs, cockapoos also have a reputation for being rather clever, particularly when it comes to pesky achievements like opening doors (which apparently 1 in 5 are able to do!)
Interestingly over 45% of owners had experienced prejudice over their choice of dog!
“Live and let live” is what I say.
I was very happy to find this vintage plan chest for a slightly early birthday present on ebay. It is made by a company called Sellex and I was keen to find out a bit more about them but an internet search proved fruitless. The only Sellex I can find is a Spanish furniture company, founded in 1977, that makes rather nice modern furniture. I am pretty sure my plan chest predates them… its made of solid oak (top, drawer fronts and main structure) and oak veneer (panels) and ply (drawer bottoms, back panel). Interestingly, ply was invented in the 1850s and was used in modern furniture production from the 1920s onwards. My plan chest still has its original brass cup handles and label holders.
I bought it from a retired geologist who used it to store geological charts and maps. After a thorough cleaning and waxing, I am using it to store printmaking papers and some bits of ephemera and maps.
It has bought some well needed order to my studio!
Definitely a contender for a best birthday present ever!