Tuesday, March 13, 2012


12" x 12" acrylic on masonite panel

"Every boy should have two things: a dog, and a mother willing to let him have one"
- Anonymous

Remember a few posts ago when I talked about green slime? When I get feeling green slimey I know that artist's block could be just around the corner. So I decided to fight back before it got me. Ha ha! Take that!

Something that always works for me when I'm trying to get rid of artist's block is switching mediums. I don't know why. I think it's just trying something different. Especially something that I'm not entirely proficient at, because then I'm extra thankful to return to the comfort of my watercolors.

So I broke out my acrylics and painted this piece of my son and one of our dogs, Chauncy. This scene took place right after my youngest son was born (who is now three). This is my middle child (MC Cook) and he had a lot of things that he wasn't too happy about happening in his life at the time. 

His older brother had just started first grade so he lost a friend and playmate from 8 am - 3 pm. And his mother was constantly holding this squirming, crying, and sometimes smelly baby and couldn't play with him whenever he wanted anymore. Life was hard.  

But there was always this dog to play with. Or lie down on. :) They became very good friends, and it was one more reason for me to be thankful that this giant sweetheart of a dog came into our life.  

You know how some paintings are more enjoyable to paint than others? And I'm not talking about fun, I mean something a little deeper than that. I don't know what to call it, satisfying maybe? In any case, that's how I felt about this painting. I LOVED painting it. Even though it was challenging (I still feel like I don't know what I'm doing with acrylics). I think it's because I was reliving a memory from a very sweet time in my life.

Art is good.

Life is good.

Huzzah!! :)

Have a good week friends!


  1. What a beautiful painting of your son with his dog. So big and cuddly! I love your paintings, Crystal..they are always so close to the heart. I love the title you chose, as well.

  2. Good for you for running at the possible artist's block head-on and kicking it out of the way!

    Wonderful painting, and I always enjoy reading the story that goes along with it. I really do love how you handled the acrylics; very painterly yet has all the detail needed :).

  3. I have the same way of handling artist block. I never thought about it but when I feel a dry spell coming on I switch to something else. I love this painting of your son and his friend. Aren't dogs and children wonderful subjects to paint? It seems that you wprk every bit as well with your acrylic paints as you do with the water colors.

  4. Ahh... This is just ADORABLE!
    Charlie so misses Codi :0( She was his best friend too.
    What I do like about acrylics is those visible brush strokes. I seem to do a lot of blending with my oils, but I really want to try embracing those textural marks some time in the near future. They really bring it to life! :0)

  5. It's just beautiful, Crystal. Love your commentary too.

  6. Crystal, it's great! You have captured your son's frustration with life perfectly. And then there's Chauncey - "I'm with you, man, no matter what."
    A great big HUZZAH to you, Crystal!!!

  7. Wow!, great painting, and such a great subject. It's one of those precious moments you see with kids and dogs.

  8. Amazing art work.. liked the theme as well!!

  9. Je pense que le sentiment que vous ressentiez à peindre ce tableau est magnifiquement bien traduit dans votre peinture... Vous avez donné tout votre amour, tout votre ressenti...
    Une belle toile.
    Gros bisous

  10. When I first saw this pic I thought why this little kid is so annoyed!! After I read your post only it was clear. You have been such a mean mother to him. LOL. Irrespective of the medium your trademark style is very clear in this painting.

  11. What a powerful piece, I think it speaks to the heart of most of us who found a friend in our pets while growing up. Appreciate the post and the strategy for keeping artist block at bay :-)

  12. How sweet! Dogs are such an important part of our families. What devotion illustrated here!


  13. very touching and you have captured both the souls very beautifully :) Love the expressive strokes!

  14. Crystal, I so relate to the middle child loneliness - my middle one was set adrift and took YEARS to find his way - our baby was noisy, and determined, and I couldn't take my eyes off her for a second. Thank goodness for your lovely big dog.... you did an excellent job here, and it really gives you pause to contemplate on the moment.


Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment they really do mean so much to me! Because not all bloggers have their email enabled so I can reply directly through email I will try to reply here in the comments. If I don't please forgive me, life must have been hectic that day! :)) Huzzah!!

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