Millie: 2014 The Year of the Dog Detour, graphite in jumbo Moleskine WC Notebook, 8x11.5 inches

Studies for Oil Painting: “Millie: 2014 The Year of the Dog,” graphite in jumbo Moleskine WC Notebook, 8×11.5 inches

This has been an amazing year in my corner of the world for many reasons, and only some of them are related to art-making. There have been numerous (happy) detours away from the studio, including my son’s wedding and the birth of my first grand-baby, Sadie. And then there’s Millie, my Formosa Mountain Dog who was rescued from life on the streets of Taiwan when she was four months old, flown here and fostered by a local rescue group until I adopted her a few weeks later.

Over the past year with me she’s overcome some fear and health issues to become a wonderful, funny companion. Most mornings we’re out hiking 3-4 miles on forested trails in the beautiful hills or along the SF bay where she can run off leash and play with other dogs. Afternoons she hangs out on the studio deck, keeps an eye on the neighborhood, dismantles things in the garden, chews sticks and sleeps in the studio while I draw or paint. Now that she’s almost a year and a half she requires less work on my part so I’m expecting 2015 to be a lot more productive!

I spend New Years eve and day reflecting on my art/life during the passing year, and considering/setting my goals/intentions for the year to come. I will share a summary of that here soon. My first painting of the year will be a portrait of Millie that the above sketches were a study for. I’m loving my new jumbo Moleskine Watercolor Journal and happy with this first page in it!

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Animals, Drawing, Sketchbook Pages
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Join the conversation! 11 Comments

  1. A lovely New Years post, Jana – and the drawings are great – she seems to be a gentle dog and good companion. All the best for a very creative year. Carol

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  2. Such a lovely post about your eventful year – weddings and babies and puppies! Your new companion looks gentle, perhaps not so much in the garden and I love your drawings of her.
    Have a wonderful 2015, Jana.

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    • Thanks Carol! She is a gentle soul, though very much a dog, too! I hope your 2015 if wonderful and creative too. Jana

      On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 11:53 AM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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  3. You’ve captured her mischievious side in the drawings above. Glad she’s calming down. I’m still waiting for Degas, but then she’s bigger 😕

    3/4 miles in one go, wow. We do a total of 4/5 miles over our morning & afternoon walk.

    I can’t wait to see the painting.

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    • Thanks Sue, Some days it’s cumulative 3-4 miles, but there are a few favorite hikes where we get it all in on one shot. It does seem street puppies learn early on to be independent (stubborn?) and in Millie’s case, rather goofy. But it’s wonderful to see her settling in and being happy with her life as I’m sure Ms. Degas is too. But boy does it take time away from art to keep them well exercised, trained, (mostly) well-behaved and/or supervised.

      Janak

      On Wed, Dec 31, 2014 at 12:15 PM, Jana Bouc, Artist wrote:

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  4. Enjoyed your visual and pen journals through the year. Keeps me inspired on the creative. Thanks so much and happy New Year!

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  5. Thanks for sharing your art and sketchbooks with us. I know a blog is sometimes a thankless exercise, but I love yours and am so glad to have found it. And I love all the personality you’ve captured in Millie.

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  6. Millie looks kind. The type of friend I’d love to have with her head rested on my lap as I read, watch a movie, or simply sip on a cup of tea.

    Her story is a hopeful one, and I am glad that she has a lovely owner like yourself to give her a good home, and also create wonderful portraits of her.

    May your year be great. I look forward to seeing your upcoming creations!

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  7. Sounds like a wonderful life for a dog! I love your sketch 🙂

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  8. Fantastic drawing! Thank you for being a rescuer…my two rescue dogs are asleep on the couch. Minus 4 here so we are not walking today. I’m the whimp, not them! Enjoy your lovely dog. I’m wishing you warm days of sunshine.

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