So, this one was a tad difficult to get going on. I had so many ideas. I’m not the best at drawing, I have a habit of getting the proportions wrong – most things I draw look a little bit squished.
Thinking that might not be the best look on a person I thought it might work for one of the dogs if I go with a cartoony look. Nothing says cartoon more than a Basset Hound! So Hank, our old rescue that we had to say goodbye to during the second covid lockdown, popped into my mind.
We have photos and quilt creations of Charly, Wilbur (in sihouette above) and Maggie but none of Hank, aka Hank the Tank. He was the biggest Basset we ever had and a complete and total pet. All he wanted was to be minded. As long as your arm was around him he was ok. A good philosophy for life I think. A hug a day keeps the blues away.
We got him at the age of 10 from a lovely lady who had to move house and couldn’t take him with her. Bassets have a lifespan of 10-12 so we weren’t sure what we were in for but we had him for 3 Christmases’ and we loved him.
He got thinner as he got older and my main mission in life was to make sure he was eating enough so I spoiled him rotten. Towards the end he wasn’t able to jump and couldn’t get up on the couch so we would take turns sitting on the floor with him watching TV. We all missed him so much, but Gordon more than he had missed any of the other Bassets we had had before, which was a surprise. Maggie was very mopey for a few months too and eventually we plucked up the courage to get a puppy so now we have Humphrey who is heading towards being as big as Hank and he’s only a year and a half.
So I wanted to do something with Hank as the main subject for ages and I thought Portrait, could be anyone, pet etc. fit the bill. Great you would think, so why the difficulty getting started?
I couldn’t decide how to make a pet portrait of Hank.
- Go really cartoony with Ticker Tape and make something to go with the Wilbur quilt I made a few years ago?
- Go some bit realistic and make an applique quilt with different shapes and colours applied in layers.
- Try a collage style pictorial quilt - I am very drawn to these at the moment. I did make a collage flower and discovered you need lots of fabrics in various shades for this one! I’m fairly sure this would take ages to do too.
I dithered, I dathered (I’m sure that’s not a word!) and I got nowhere very fast. My friend Suzanne reminded me that I am slow to start a project and can take my time to get going. Deadline looming I settled for what I thought would be the quickest and went Ticker Tape.
I have taught this in a day long workshop and estimated 2-3days to complete Hank. Well, that was waaaay off. My friend Paula says however long you think it will take you to make something, double it. For me and my slow starting ways I am thinking triple it. So, I didn’t get this finished in time. But I like it and I like where it is going (even if the eyes are a bit cray-cray). There will be a finished Hank portrait at some stage in my future!
I have learned procrastination is the universe telling you a decision needs to be made, getting started is harder than finishing, never be afraid to rescue an old dog (they all break your heart a little bit no matter how long you have them) and sometimes the deadline isn’t the point, enjoying the process can be just as important.
Looking forward to seeing what everyone else has done with this month’s challenging theme.