Picking up where I left off….

painting by Mary Jane Volkmann

“Waiting for a Word”

A year and a half ago I went out to Fair Oaks and started this painting.  Fair Oaks is a gorgeous estate in north central Florida, renowned for its diverse beauty and the welcome extended to artists to visit and paint.  On that particular day and for some unknown reason I had endless trouble with my paints and canvas and I returned home extremely frustrated.  My normal routine in such a situation would be to paint over the canvas and use it for something else.  This time, however, a little voice in the back of my head said “DON’T!” and I actually listened.  I kept the painting on my studio floor facing the wall and from time to time I would turn it around and study it, trying to figure out what I was going to do with it.  On each subsequent trip to Fair Oaks I would stop at this spot, take a long look and sigh.

One day Linda Blondheim and I decided to head over to Fair Oaks and study the changing seasons.  Linda brought her dog and as we got in the golf cart and started out we heard the pounding of feet on leaves and suddenly one of the resident dogs was on my lap!  This happens every time one or both of us heads out in the golf cart, but that day I heard the answer to the question about my unfinished painting!

Mary Jane Volkmann and Linda Blondheim, artists

I realized that I had subconsciously been studying the personality and expressions of this beautiful dog who would explore the estate with us and when bored, run like the wind, then return seemingly to ask, “Are you coming?”.  I snapped as many photos as I could and later when I returned to my studio I started sketching. The painting is now finished.  This is the first time I’ve painted a dog and I’m hooked.  I’m now hounding myself with ideas for two new paintings of dogs in different settings on the estate…

~ Mary Jane Volkmann




8 thoughts on “Picking up where I left off….”

  1. I LOVE the dog. We had a Welsh border collie when I was about 8 and I just loved him. This is so like him when he used to rush off and then look back as if to say, “Well are you coming then?” You have captured the dog to a T. You can imagine him rushing back. Remember Goldie jumping up on your knee in our house. They know who likes them… Kiki

    • Thanks, Kiki. Yes, there is something so heartwarming about the trust and the joy one feels from these dogs. No matter how one screws up they love us just the same!

  2. Wow! Mary Jane that painting is amazing and you captured Shane perfectly. He is always looking back at you waiting for you to catch up so he can run again. Anna and I are so glad you listened to that voice in your head and finished this one. Looking a this is really helping us to deal with home-sickness.

    -Mark and Anna


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