At the 2016 National Dog Show, Philadelphia, PA

2016 National Dog Show - Chris Duke

Click image to enlarge.

November 19, 2016

Dog lovers so often possess an acute sensitivity to all living creatures. Spending time with dog owners at the 2016 National Dog Show on November 18-20, 2016 in Philadelphia, my awe of the dogs extended on out to their people. The great beauty and mystery of dogs comes to life in well told narratives of love. Our dogs light us up. My husband John, daughter Inga and I love connecting with friends and their beloved canines. This year's show was fabulous. We love the spirit of the show.

Stationed next to the extraordinary therapy dogs, I had unsurpassed placement. Therapy dogs are beautiful in their peaceable intention. These dogs are healers.

I loved painting 2015 Best in Show Skye Terrier Charlie with his handler Larry Cornelius for the National Dog Show official poster and program cover. I revel in the mystery of the fathomless depth of our dogs. In flicks of paint and line, one humbly captures mere indications of the evolution that took millions of years to culminate in the refinement, majesty and allure of each individual dog. This work was especially subtle. Dog portraiture is compelling. Painting Charlie, I wanted to capture some essence of the dog beneath that gorgeous coat of hair. Charlie is a Skye Terrier of such effortless grace that many predicted he would be the show's top dog in advance of the final judging.

For reference, I used the magnificent photo of Charlie and Larry taken by Rhonda Cassidy, photographer par excellence (at mydoglovesrcphotos).

The wisdom and observations of the stellar National Dog Show television announcers, David Frei, Mary Carillo and John O’Hurley, often stay with me. I love their reminder that the very best dog, as one sits and watches the show unfold on Thanksgiving afternoon, is the the family dog cuddling at your side.

I was delighted that my posters were free of cost as a gesture of thanksgiving from the National Dog Show to all the people who love this show. My art was also utilized on the line of National Dog Show merchandise. Everything always looks beautiful!