ittle Ghosts, after Heinz. Oil on panel 18x14”. Special commission, 2021🔴
I am grateful for those who trust me to bring their commissions to life. I ask for a story and as many photos as they have.
Today for the first time in my life, I saw a magpie in Jackson Hole. (Photo 2) When I was looking at references of a German shepherd named Heinz for this piece, I saw he made friends with a magpie and so this vision came to be:
“The pack changed a lot since April, my wonderful boy Heinz passed away April 8th. Cancer took him from us. He was the center of our lives.
When he left, my heart broke. He was so special. He healed my broken soul. He was my baby, my shadow and protector for almost 12 years. The dog I dreamed of when I was a child and young girl. But nothing is forever and I try to be grateful he was in my life.
What I give you as an inspiration:
I grew up in a wealthy home but without a connection to my parents, and
without feeling loved and cared for. My mother left when I was 9 and I was sent to a boarding school. I felt abandoned, lonely and terrified of life itself. With my class we visited a wolf sanctuary and I was fascinated by the beauty, grace and size of these animals. There was one young wolf who had to live separately because the pack mobbed him and he got injured several times. But his personality still so strong and unbroken I fell in love with him. Canis Rufus was written outside of his enclosure. Never forgot this. When I played outside, I imagined to be him. Lonely but strong. He was my hero. I had my own reality and in my imagination I was Canis Rufus (Red wolf).
Decades later when Heinz came into my life, Canis Rufus came back to me with him.
But Heinz is gone now and I want to set both free. 💫🌙 May they fly high.
This shall be my inspiration for you…. 🐾🐺
Every color is up to you and your feelings about my inspiration. I want you to be free in your creation .”
And so I woke up the next day with this composition in my mind:
The little red wolf, the spirit of the magpie who befriended her beloved Heinz, and ‘may they fly high’, words I’ll never forget.
The little ones leave the biggest holes when they have to go.
I say this a lot but there are really two types of people: people who own dogs, and dog people. Dog people tend to understand this the most🥺
Title is from Mrs. Potter's Lullaby, a song by the Counting Crows: "if dreams are like movies then memories are films about ghosts"
This is a really personal commission that I was honored to take on. This is a bit of a ghost story but not the haunting variety.
Aliza and Her Monsters