Bruno came to life slowly, but surely. I fell in love with the photo of this pensive, soulful German Shepherd and had to capture him in oils. Every time that I stepped up to this canvas to create Bruno, I felt like he was always there patiently waiting for me to pick up a brush and bring him to life with every stoke. It took a lot of time to paint this humongous 4'x5' canvas, but over the months so much has changed and so many exciting things have happened.

Mostly I've learned that painting is just like playing with dogs. You get lost in the moment and nothing matters except the Now. Now is the time to enjoy the moment because we are so lucky to have each and every moment in our lives. Our dogs teach us to be mindful of the present. To take time to watch the present moment with complete happiness and ease. When I play with my dogs or pick up a brush, I LOVE the fact that my mind becomes still and completely happy. The wandering thoughts of worry, stress, uneasiness or self-criticism start to slip away and I'm able to fully indulge in the experience. We see the world while our dogs smell it. To get lost in colors, must be how a dog follows a scent in a field- completely focused and immersed in the fun and joy of following his nose. To enjoy, appreciate and take in all of the smells, colors, textures and beauty of this world is living. Dogs live every moment of their lives with such happiness that I can only wish to experience life as a dog. Painting in Becky's studio with her has taught me so much and not only about painting. I've learned how to appreciate living in the moment with complete happiness. I can't even explain how happy I am with my Daisy girl laying by my feet while I paint for hours with not a care in the world.

As I write this post, Bruno is staring at me right now and I feel safe with him now watching over my house. When I started my business six years ago, one of my very first dogs that I started taking care of was a nine month old German Shepherd puppy named Isabella. Six years later we are still taking care of our sweet Bella every day. This painting reminds me so much of Bella at the dog park, watching over her pack of doggy pals. Bella is either running around, walking in our shadows (literally), or laying close by under a tree with the same pose and expression as this painting of Bruno. Shepherds are always watching, waiting and loving their human companions. Capturing the essence of a dog is my favorite part of the painting process. Can't wait to paint the next creature!