No straight lines: Interview with artist Lee Ann Shepard
I usually have my head spinning with just too much information, but among the many, many artists and artworks I now get to see thanks to the magnificence of the internet, one of the ones to really stick in my mind is LA (Lee Ann) Shepard; I came across her glorious Clumber greeting cards a couple of years ago, and supplied a set to our Clumber club championship show as trophies; I did say I valued Lee Ann's art highly didn't I!
So I was joyous when Lee Ann accepted my invitation to participate in an interview, as now I can share her beautiful paintings with more people! Lee Ann has an enviable collection of breeds represented in her portfolio, and I asked her which breeds she really enjoys capturing on paper, "I love to paint all dogs, but I am always attracted to the eyes - something about Dachshund eyes always makes me smile!" Perhaps other animals are great to paint too, "I actually am a bird lover, and I would love to start painting all kinds of birds, as well as flowers; I used to paint them all the time! The one thing I am terrible at painting is anything with a straight line!"
Considering Lee Ann's love of birds and flora, does she own a dog? " I have always owned a dog. When my husband became terminally ill in 2006, he got me a Golden Retriever pup and named her Sunshine. And of course she is the light of my life."
Dogs, fortunately say all our readers, are an important part of the modern western world, Lee Ann says "Dogs are our healers. No matter what, they make us smile and keep us going.
"No matter what challenge you have to face in life, it’s always easier if your dog is by your side!"
In the world of books I asked Lee Ann for some comments, "I have actually had some of my art in books and on book covers; my favourite is probably The Newfoundland Dog by Robert C. Parsons since I love giants and my art is on the cover!"
How you can add Lee Ann's work to your dog collections? "I sell open edition prints of my original work. My original paintings are all sold.
"Yes - I do take commissions. I simply need good photos to work from. My prices vary based on subjects and canvas size."
Lee Ann's son's American Bulldog -Dozer
Lee Ann's nieces' Havanese- Domino
Lee Ann's son's Pembroke Corgi- Gimli
and Lee Ann's favourite Dachshund, Heeler and Kelpie paintings
About Lee Ann Shepard https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheDogLover
I have always found pleasure in drawing and painting since I was a very young child. I trained at art school in Cleveland, Ohio, USA and thought I would someday work as a commercial artist. But as often happens, my life evolved quite differently than expected and my art became more of a hobby over the years. I married, moved up North to snow country (Canada) and spent my time working along side of my wonderful husband in our small furniture design business in a little Ontario cottage town north of Toronto, raising our three kids and enjoying a simple, happy lifestyle. Life was idyllic.
In the summer of 2006 our world was turned upside down when my husband went to the Emergency room with a blinding headache. He was diagnosed with a deadly brain tumour. I could no longer run our business alone and I had to find a new way to make a living so that I could stay at home, take care of my husband and support our family. I had been drawing and painting animals for my own enjoyment for years, so I thought I’d try to sell some of my dog paintings online. My paintings immediately started selling and I began to gain a following which afforded me the opportunity to spend every wonderful moment with my husband as he bravely fought this devastating disease. We were so blessed as we had another four and a half years together. But on September 26, 2010, my beautiful husband, Gary, lost his battle.
During his illness, I was very driven to paint, so that I could put food on the table and keep us in our home. My husband was always my inspiration as well as my most positive encourager. At first, I painted to pay the bills, but it became my passion very quickly. This is the legacy he left me. He was very proud of me, and though my art career was forged from tragedy, it is certainly the silver lining that he left me with.
I love to paint animals, plants and people but my passion is painting dogs! Every painting I paint, I try my best to capture the spirit of these wonderful companions. I've learned so much about the breeds over the years and I learn a little more with each new painting. There is nothing I enjoy more than a fire in the fireplace, a paintbrush in hand , and my Golden Retriever at (or on) my feet. No matter what challenge you have to face in life, it’s always easier if your dog is by your side!