Whippets, Weimaraners, and all dogs: Interview with artist Justine Osborne

Friday, June 26, 2015 by

Our second interview this issue is an old friend, Justine Osborne, who was part of the book Great Dogs Amazing Artists: Canine Art Today... I still love Justine's magnificent art pieces so invited her to do an interview for Canine Collectables Courier.

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After our greetings, we settled down to the questions, my first was to find out if Justine let her artistic skills capture subjects other than dogs, "Dogs keep me busy, but when I am appreciating other art, is is quality of paint marks and perhaps with no coincidence two of my favourite painters are obsessive in their subjects. Morandi and Lucian Freud. I enjoy the scrutiny of a subject." And are there any special breeds, "In my drawings definitely Whippets, they have such beautiful lines to them. In my paintings I still love the Weimaraner, the delicate tones the unusual eye colour, really intriguing to paint - they suit me perfectly as a painter. I also love painting Pugs, the eyes are incredible, and the furrowed brow. Really it is this constant variety that keeps me interested. In fact I have become more and more interested in dogs the more I paint them, which is about 12 years now."

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Along my usual side path, I wanted to know if Justine collected any dog themed items, "I have just the one Basset Hound now, called Morris. I collect art books,  and dog art books. I also have my first Snoopy and a pull along Snoopy too, and was a real Scooby Doo fan growing up.
"My favourite dog books are 'Boswell's Life of Boswell' 1958 it  is a beautiful, funny, philosophical take on the life of a Basset Hound Boswell, I am charmed by the pictures and calm humour of the book. With his ears in his dinner bowl he says "I put a good deal of myself into everything I do".
'How to Live with a Neurotic Dog' by Stephen Barker 1960 this is hilarious, and a brilliant read for all those little hound idiosyncrasies we all deal with!
"For me personally having dogs is about simplifying life, the quiet companionship, being able to go out for long walks. The hilarious moments. Having a special bond. So this is a very timeless thing. Having dogs allows you to step out of the modern world for a while! This I enjoy!"

Alas, having only 24 hours in a day is a challenge for most of us, artists astound me with how they fit in their creative work, Justine said, "I have a studio in my garden (photo at the end of this interview), so Morris, my Basset, and I will go out there in the morning with a cup of tea. If it is a painting day, then a good eight hours straight, but these days liaising with galleries, packing up orders, making work for exhibitions takes a lot of time, which means I have to be super organized! The best days are when I really can get lost in a painting or drawing. I always work standing up, so a lot of pacing backwards and forwards to view the work in progress."

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Justine has a line of super ceramic pieces to compliment her paintings, "Victoria Armstrong from the Dogs In Art gallery, a specialist dog related gallery here in the UK approached me with the ceramics idea she had featuring my charcoal drawings. I saw some samples and was really taken with reproducing what is generally a delicate charcoal drawing onto pottery, the surface becomes smooth and glossy, very unlike the original paper drawn on, intriguing. They now are in shops in the UK, and a wonderful way to reach more dog owners who might not have known about my work before."

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selection of available prints

Some of Justine's paintings are available as prints, let's let her explain, "Some of the exhibition paintings are now Limited Edition Prints, and I also have a Sketch Print range, featuring the drawings. Originals tend to go to galleries, but I try and sneak them on to my website when I can."

The question nagging me is to ask if Justine undertakes commission work, "I love working with owners and their dogs and take commissions from all over the world. Essentially just from an emailed photo, I love hearing a little about the dog too. Owners photos are brilliant for candid, opportune photos which really show the dogs trust in their owner, and often show special moments, that are impossible to stage."

To see more of Justine's artwork: "The best way to hear about latest work and products  is on my Facebook Page - https://www.facebook.com/paintmydog.co.uk"  and contact her via

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