Hi, I'm Dominica, Whippet-owner and artist, who was born and raised in Suffolk and lived in this wonderful county nearly all my life ...
I grew up on a farm to the east of Ipswich, surrounded by wide-open spaces and animals; perfect inspiration. I drew from an early age. Beatrix Potter was my idol and Art was my favourite subject at school.
My first love was Pup Dog the Whippet, then Goldie my Connemara Cross.
I studied Art at A level then went on to Reading University to read Latin and Classical Studies - mainly to prove I wasn’t the dunce of my very large and talented family. Well, suffice to say, that’s still work in progress …. !
In 2008, I picked up the pencil again and for the last ten years have devoted my spare time from tutoring English to drawing dogs in pastel, by commission.
Drawing dogs has been a most rewarding part-time hobby for me as well as a good discipline which has taught me perseverance and patience. I began with pastels for their ease of use and have stuck with them - not only for that reason but because I feel they suit my style which is not entirely photographic or hyper-realistic, but soft, sensitive and more impressionistic. As an acquaintance once said - ‘you overlook the finer details and cut to the chase, homing in on the heart and soul rather than every single hair and whisker’.
Looking back to my earlier works, I can see that I’ve come a long way. I use the best materials these days, Sennelier pastels on artist sand-paper and the difference that’s made is striking. Also, I recently took up oil painting classes last year so I have added some oil portraits to my collection and one of my first attempts (of Olive, my current 'first friend') was accepted by the Ipswich Art Society last April for their annual exhibition. You'll find Olive, my Whippet, in the Gallery and below. I am slowly growing in confidence with this medium.
‘We still can’t get over the amazement we feel that your portrait of our little Megan is so like her, so full of life that it is positively mesmeric. We can’t praise you enough.”
Margaret, Norfolk. October 2017
In June I will be taking part in Suffolk Open Studios for the second year running so if you’d like to pop along and see some of my work in the flesh, my studio will be open on the 16/17 and 23/24 of June 2018. Please see www.suffolkopenstudios.org for details.
I have recently published a range of cards called ‘Suffolk Dogs’ which are on sale in various outlets across Suffolk. Please see the ‘cards’ section for details and if you’re interested in commissioning a portrait of your dog, do bear in mind that high-quality, eco-friendly cards could be part of the package.
Do call me if you have any questions about my work or would like to commission a drawing - I’m always happy to chat …
Thank you for listening
"I can't even put into words how happy I am with the portrait of Bramble, Tali and Liffe. You have managed to capture not only the likeness but the true characters of my dogs. I was so thrilled with it, I couldn't wait to give it to my hubbie so I've unveiled it to him already plus all my friends and family!"
Emma Winter, Raydon. November 2017