October 9, 2008

"Sam"

Oil on museum quality, archival ampersand gessobord™ panel - 8” x 8”


This is Sam, or should I say was Sam.  Sam died last July 30th at the age of 14-1/2. He was diagnosed with cancer of the mouth when he was 10.  His owner was told that half of his jaw needed to be removed but she couldn't do it since the prognosis was that he would only live another 12 months even with the surgery.  She ended up taking him to a conventionally trained Cornell vet who practiced homeopathy too.  With a simple cryosurgery procedure and Chinese herb treatments, he lived another 4-1/2 years and is now one of very few documented canine cancer successes.  It was heart failure that finally took him out.   The original reference was of him sitting on a garden bench in the bright sun.  I chose to let my inner fashion illustrator come out and gave Sam the Richard Avedon/Irving Penn grey-seamless treatment.  His fuzzy free spirit is thus unencumbered by all the extraneous, distracting elements. 

17 comments:

Kay Crain said...

OMG, Mark. This could not be any cuter! Well done. Poor Sam...I'm sure his owner will love this.

Alice Thompson said...

You go far beyond just painting with amazing skill. You capture the spirit of each animal portrait so wonderfully! I love what your doing.

Roxanne Steed said...

OMG---this was the first thing to grab my eye on DP this morning! What a wonderful pet portrait, his owner will certainly treasure this. Thank you for sharing his story as well- it IS a tribute to "man & beast". This is soooooo beautiful!-Roxanne

Anonymous said...

Mark,

This piece is fabulous. Sam looks like he was a happy fun loving dog. You manage to capture the full dog/cat/person in your portraits. They are always so alive with personality!

City Farm Girl

Diane said...

What a spunky fellow... there is joy and mischief in those eyes...

Anonymous said...

I am the fortunate "Mom" of this wonderful example of God's creations. And yes, Mark did capture his spirit and mischief. The small story Mark attached to this painting touches on the whole story. In spite of the cancer diagnosis and subsequent treatment, he continued to thrive and live life to the fullest. That was the most amazing part about his medical treatment plan ... his quality of life never suffered! He terrorized "his" squirrels, ate human grade meat, chased snowballs, even got skunked and snugged till the end! And he was loved by all.

Thank you Mark!

A Most Grateful Jill

m collier said...

Well Done !!!!

Artoutwest said...

Adorable, you did such an outstanding job!

Terry Rafferty said...

Mark, you are definitely back in the groove. This is fabulous. Thanks for sharing Sam's story as well.

JB said...

Mark, this portrait leaves me speechless. I knew this beautiful creature, and through your amazing work of art, can feel the essence of 'Sam' (aka Sammy, Sambo) as he once truly was!! Absolutely remarkable...

Sammy's Aunt Jan

Mark Adams said...

Thanks for the kind words everyone. I had fun with this little guy and I'm feeling good about my creative abilities again. Thanks, Sam!

~:~ Holly said...

Dad, again your skillful way of capturing Sam's spirit and the sweet story you have written, have brought tears to my eyes. You are such a talented and amazing being. I am honored you are my father, thank you for lending your creative talents to us all.

Edward Burton said...

What a sweet portrait of a very special dog. You really captured his spirit. Beautiful painting.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Holly. I am lucky that I can splash around in paint while others toil. When I feel happy, strong and confident in the studio, that comes through in the work. Having a sweet daughter to stroke my ego doesn't hurt either. Kiss the girls and pat the tummy.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Edward. I get to enjoy his smiling face in the studio for the next 2 weeks while the piece dries. I miss all my paintings when they leave the studio but I'll really miss this little guy. Even at 8' x 8" he has a lot of presence.

smellyrhinostudio said...

So completely beautiful!

Mark Adams said...

Thank you, Rebecca.