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The Portrait of Jasper The Labrador

The Portrait of Jasper The Labrador-Sarah Taylor Art

So a few weeks ago I started to tell you about Jasper, a lovely Labrador who I had the honour of painting.

This week I’m going to tell you more about how the commission of Jasper came about, and Jasper’s big charity walk.

Jasper’s Mum & Dad first saw my work a few years ago at a Cumbria Life Home Show, which sparked their interest in my bright mixture of organic splashes and structured geometrics. They also saw some of my work at the Theatre By The Lake, where incidentally I will be exhibiting again at the end of this month (There is lots of painting to be done before then, so I really should hurry up with writing this blog!). Jasper’s mum tells me that they were considering buying an original then, but a friend of theirs beat them to it, and bought the one they would have liked!

After some thought, Jasper’s parents, with their heart still set on an original painting, thought that Jasper being the handsome fellow that he is would make a great subject for a painting, and that the painting would be a great way to commemorate their 30th wedding anniversary.

I have to agree, Jasper is the perfect subject for a painting, and although they weren’t sure at first which images to use, his parents sent some great pictures of him. They were worried that the eyes might be difficult to capture in particular. Eyes are very important to me when painting, and I try my utmost to ensure they are as realistic as possible. I have been assured that I have captured Jasper’s eyes in his painting, and I’m glad to hear that everyone recognises the painting as him.

Throughout the process I sent images of the painting at different stages, and Jasper brought his family to my studio a couple of times to have a look as well. Thankfully they were blown away (!) with the result. There were even a few tears when they came to the studio to collect the painting, it’s such an emotional experience to see your painting for the first time. They tell me the finished piece isn’t just any Labrador, it’s without a doubt Jasper, and I couldn’t really ask for better feedback than that.

Other than the sort of colours they would like to see in the painting, Jasper’s family put complete faith in me to create such a special painting, which is such a privilege, and I thoroughly enjoyed creating this treasured commission.


Anyway, enough about me, I’ll tell you more about Jasper and the bouncy sausage loving character behind the painting.

Jasper, who is enthusiastic about life, fully embraces living in the beautiful Cumbrian hills, and loves walking and playing chase (he doesn’t mind if he is being chased or is the chaser, as long as he gets to play!).

Many years ago Jasper’s Mum got into difficulty in the Himalayas. Not somewhere where help is easily at hand. Thankfully a wonderful woman named Val, and local Nepalese came to her rescue and the story has a much happier ending than it could have done.

To say thank you for saving his mum, Jasper will be taking part in his very first sponsored walk across Dufton Pike and High Cup Nick, raising money for Val’s charity; LED. LED provide essential healthcare, education and other resources to remote mountain communities in Nepal and Peru, like those that helped save Jasper’s very grateful owner.

Although he loves to walk, because of joint problems associated with Labradors he has had to be careful not to walk too far while he is still young, so this will be his biggest walk to date. Now in training, he has his very own Wainwright’s map to start ticking off.

I have been told on good authority that although Jasper may tell you otherwise, Cumberland sausages unfortunately can’t be donated to this worthy cause. If you would like to read more about this fantastic charity or sponsor Jasper, you can see more at the following link: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/jasper-hunt

I’ve more stories to tell you about lots of other special commissions, but for now I really should get back to painting! I’ll write more soon though, and leave you with this picture of Jasper enjoying a well deserved pub stop at the end of a hard day training! 


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