The original Louie painting (hanging in the West Ashley Vet Clinic, Charleston, SC in 2012.)

ser·en·dip·i·ty

/ˌserənˈdipədē/

noun: serendipity;  plural noun: serendipities

1.  the occurrence and development of events by chance in a happy or beneficial way.

 

 My first commissioned animal portrait.

My first commissioned animal portrait.

My first commissioned dog portrait accidentally happened in the summer of 2008...

The year before, I had purchased a home in Charleston and started using the extra bedroom as a painting studio.  Painting things that I love in my spare time, I started on a larger piece featuring my best (four-legged) friend, Louie, walking on the beach, captured with his lizard-like tongue swiping across his nose. 

It was so much fun painting my favorite muse.

That summer, the husband and wife team from the small pest control company I had hired, came to do their inspection of my home.  A few days later I got a call from the wife of the pair that went something like this:

"As we were inspecting your house this week, I noticed through the window a large dog painting on an easel..."

"Did you do that?..."

"I have four pit bulls that are like children to us, and I'd absolutely love to do some sort of trade …. a year's termite bond service in exchange for a portrait of my dogs?"

She went on to tell me so much about each of the dog's lives and mailed me a variety of photos with a written narrative on each dog.  This was foreshadowing for how so many of my conversations would go in the years to come....and, so, I traded my first commissioned dog portrait for a year's worth termite bond services!!