I'm sure there are a few of you wondering what ever happened with the dog photo winner and her prize.
Last year, I told you about an incredible artist who is extremely talented and has a particular love for painting portraits of dogs, especially Labrador Retrievers, of which she currently has three...one of each color.
I first discovered Debbie Stonebraker when she donated a photo to an auction for Military Mascots (http://www.militarymascots.com/), an organization Greg and I got involved with to help US Military Service members care for their canine companions and military canine partners. Debbie was helping them raise money with her donation.
I read up on Debbie and was not only blown away by her beautiful work...
...but was also brought to tears as I read her story of how she was the artist of the portrait of Sirius, the only law enforcement dog killed in the 9/11 attacks. You can read more about that in my original story about Debbie here in TechTrax: Debbie Stonebraker...Dog Lover, Artist. But I warn you, if you're an avid dog lover, have the tissues handy!
I immediately added her information to my Pet Lovers page. Debbie and I got to chatting, about dogs, of course. Later she agreed to offer up a watercolor portrait of a pet or child to one winner in a special drawing here in TechTrax. Sandy Sparks won our drawing.
We had promised to show you the painting after the summer hiatus. Sandy was thrilled to have won and wanted to have the portrait done of her beloved dog, Micki, who has passed away the previous year. But she was having trouble finding a suitable photo of her dog. I can appreciate that fact. Sure, now with digital cameras and huge hard drives, I probably have 3,000 photos, at least, of The Barker Gang. But not everyone is a dog photo fanatic like me and not everyone may have the capabilities to take tons of digital photos.
Before we knew it, the summer was ending. And although Sandy finally found a photo she thought would work...
... Debbie was by then getting hit with all kinds of holiday portrait orders. Sandy was very understanding and told Debbie not to rush.
After the holiday chaos, Debbie dug in to work on Micki's portrait...and here (drum roll, please) is a digital image of the finished painting.
(And realize that this is just a digital image, that has been resized to accommodate this article, so the original is, obviously, much prettier and the color is much better than what you see here on the web!)
I'm so jealous! Debbie's dog portraits are quite sought after. I hope to one day commission her to create a painting for me of my mutts.
In the meantime, I take advantage of all the great dog stuff she has on her web site. I started out with this cool shirt: http://www.cafepress.com/stonebrakerart.9324329. It was a huge hit during the July 4th holidays while walking the mutts in the park. Everyone wanted to know where I got such a great shirt.
Debbie has a bunch of cool shirts and other gear available for sale through her site. You can most likely find one that proudly displays your favorite breed. She even has Christmas ornaments.
You can find all her beautiful dog offerings at the following links.
Please do check out her stuff. And if you're a lover of Retrievers, you must check it out!
But don't think she's stuck in the sporting dog arena. Debbie says she enjoys working on good photos of other breeds. And you can find clothing and gear portraying many different dog breeds on her site. If you'd like to contact Debbie to discuss having a portrait done of your faithful pal, you can contact Debbie Stonebraker directly via: firstname.lastname@example.org
And be sure to check out her main page where she shows off tons of her finished portraits. I love checking them out to see the original reference photo with the resulting painting. Dog lovers can easily get lost for quite some time in here: http://www.stonebrakerart.com/index.html
Thanks so much, Debbie, for donating your time and talents to TechTrax! I wish you much success with your gorgeous artwork and custom gear. I know I will be back again and again to pick up more. In fact, my July 4th shirt is wearing out, so it's time to reload before summer!