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Rhett is my shadow; he follows me wherever I go… bedroom, kitchen, bathroom. My husband says “I look for Rhett if I need to find you.”


Two years ago, a dear friend's chocolate lab was aging rapidly so I decided to paint their beloved dog as a gift. I agonized over this painting, redoing it over and over again, never quite feeling I was capturing Mocha in the best way. So much so…that I painted a younger version of Mocha as well. I gave both paintings to my friends and their reaction of “joy” is the reason I love to paint dogs.


Cayenne. Mac.


After painting a few more dogs as gifts for friends, I put them up on my Facebook page and before I knew it, people I didn’t even know, were placing orders with me via Facebook.


For now, my studio is in the garage. My husband reminds me of all the people who started their dreams out of a garage. When the weather is nice I open the garage door and let the natural light in and it feels like I’m painting outside.


I enjoy listening to music while painting, especially iHeart Radio where I can create my own music playlist...Sting, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac. I also enjoy jazz and southern rock. When my daughters are around, I listen to more current music such as Rihanna, Lorde and Maroon5.


Seamus. Rhett.


When I am painting, my desk is covered with two pallets of various


watercolor pigments, my sketchbook, photographs for reference, brushes water container, pencils, eraser, hairdryer and my iPad for music.


At present, I have four dog portraits on my drawing table in progress. I’m also prepar- ing for an exhibit for the months of April and May showing all of my paintings at the Boca Beach House Restaurant in Boca Raton.


(Above): Colleen’s desk during her project, painting Mr. Spot.


There are three paintings that I really cherish — watercolors of each of my daughters painted by Chuck Passarelli when they were young.


Gigi. 68 THE NEW BARKER www.TheNewBarker.com


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