They say you never forget your first. In this case, it was my first commission. My assignment was to capture the dearly departed Rudy.
I have always thought how strange it is to be close to somebody at work, but there are parts of their personal life that you know nothing about. In this case, Tim was my boss, my colleague, my friend, my tailgate mate, golf partner, and fellow teetotaler. (...you guys will believe anything...) I had met his way better half Carol, but I never met his dog....until after Rudy died.
Tim asked me to paint Rudy as a clandestine X-mas present to the family he left behind. "Sure, no problem...just send me some pics." The pics showed a striking resemblance to my long departed pup, Woody. So it wasn't hard to get to know Rudy's ears, fur, and soft muzzle. I had scratched them a thousand times before.
So to personalize this commission, I asked Tim to tell me about Rudy. "Did he get into the trash, what did he chew as a puppy, was he a pig?" These were all Woody-isms. Tim said, no, he was the perfect dog. He even went to the top of the hill to poop so his master didn't have to clean up after him before mowing the lawn. But more than anything, Rudy liked playing with the boys. And Rudy's favorite game was Rudy Hockey.
Rudy took many pucks off the snout and mid section. He was the goalie for and against Team Holmes. So the commission was for a painting of how his family saw him...a noble and wise companion. And the other pic was for how Rudy saw himself...a gamer who was always ready for the next chance to extend the game with a scoreless tie.