Pic and Nel

I must confess that I am particularly pleased with this portrait of Pic and Nel, which I completed at the beginning of 2013. Pic is the Jack on the seat and Nel, the Sprocker (Cocker/Springer cross) on the foot-rest. Their master, Toke, who is a farmer from South Derbyshire, commissioned me to paint this piece at the end of 2011, and specified that he wanted it to include the other love of his life, his old Massey Ferguson 35 tractor.

Toke spent many hours painstakingly restoring this wonderful vehicle and he takes great pride in it. When he initially approached me, he had a slightly low res photo of the two dogs on the Ferguson, in almost identical posses. They just naturally jumped up there one morning and he managed to snatch a quick photograph on his phone.

For me, the greatest pleasure was painting the mechanical components of the composition, simply because it was so different to what I normally paint. It was a real challenge. I think the finished composition is rather pleasing and I’m considering publishing the image as a limited edition print.

As a side note, Pic, the Jack , was involved in a terrible car accident a few years ago. During the collision, she was catapulted through the windscreen of the car she was travelling in and broke her neck. Toke thought he would lose her, but to everyone's delight and surprise she made a full recovery and you would hardly know she had been through such a traumatic episode.