I am excited to announce the official launch of the Canine Portrait Project. If you made your way to this blog you probably know most or all of the details by now, but I would still like to start by introducing myself and the project.
My name is William Gilliam, but you can call me Wil. I have loved making art for all of my life and I primarily love to paint. I am passionate about animals of all kinds and endlessly interested in them. I find dogs to be particularly fascinating. I am amazed at the diversity that mankind has urged this animal group to express. I am also, like many people, captivated by the emotional connections a person can have with a dog.
Naturally, because of my interest in both art and dogs, I have ended up doing many portraits of peoples canines. I enjoy making portraits of pets, I feel that I am pretty good at it, and I have been wanting to have a larger catalogue of dog art for some time. When a new friend told me about a fundraising website called kickstarter.com I knew I had to try it out and the Canine Portrait Project was born.
Basically I am going to paint 150 portraits of dogs. Currently the AKC recognizes just over 150 breeds, but many are slight variations that closely resemble other breeds. I decided that 150 was a nice, round, somewhat manageable number. In addition approximately 15 of these portraits will be mutts.
In one months time using the kickstarter.com system of raising funds I secured $5000 in funding to pay for the materials to make all of these paintings, the cost of creating limited edition giclee prints of the art, and the cost to self publish a book containing all 150 portraits.
I could not and would not be doing this if it werent for the incredible generosity of 28 wonderful people who pledged their money to back my dream. I know that a lot of people are struggling right now and that money is never easy to come by, so the fact that these people used theirs for the sake of my art project gives me a deep sense of responsibility to create something awesome.
I wanted to start this blog as a way of collaborating with these backers, other friends and family, and the public. I will post lots of pictures and updates showing the artwork in progress, passing along stories of peoples pets, showing page layouts for the book etc. In return I am hoping for a lively comments section and lots of feedback and suggestions. I welcome any advice, and I am really hoping to get some great ideas from this community of art and dog lovers we are building. So please dont be shy!!! I am nice and I will be kind if you comment!
Lastly I would like to ask you to spread the link to this blog around, its bound to have tons of content and the more input the better I believe. I also need many many pictures of dogs. I will keep a running list of breeds needed. I am really hoping to get submissions for all breeds and not have to source random dogs to make a portrait. I feel like it would be something really special if all 150 dogs in my book were submitted by people who knew about the project and wanted their best friend immortalized!!
Thank you so much for your interest in my project, please stay tuned and check back often. Im going to be painting like mad!!!!