About Doggy Doodles
Hi. Welcome to my website. My name is Shiannon and I’ve been drawing, painting and haunting art museums for as long as I can remember. I’ve picked up a lot of useful techniques and tips along the way, as a part of life learning and Tafe and university studies. Each has played their own part in shaping the artist that I have become today. I also believe that I am still evolving in my journey, and will continue to branch out in different creative directions.
I started my journey as a child, when I was given a large blank scrap book and a bunch of crayons. Mum thought it would keep me quiet in my pre-school years while she went about the chores. She was suitably impressed by my efforts and encouraged me by adding pencils and paints to my collection. She wasn’t as impressed when I broke into the back shed and did my own version of realism with Dad’s red and yellow house paints on myself, the walls and the floorboards. I managed to survive this and move on into school and find my eventual niche in a world of colour, chalks and paper machete.
Throughout my school years I developed as an artist, excelling in art classes and mixed media. I was always involved in some poster project or design for the latest school newsletter. I would draw anything. I had over 50 scrapbooks. During this time my grandmother came to live with my family and brought her much loved dog, Angel, with her. I had been badgering my parents for a dog for years, so this was a godsend. It was only natural that I would adopt Angel and develop a love for animals that would enrich my life in more ways than I could possibly comprehend. I would draw Angel at every opportunity, and plaster my walls with my efforts until I thought ‘I had it right’. It was enough to drive the rest of my family crazy. My brother would lock his door in fear that he would find a poster-sized Angel on one of his walls.
Since Angel, dogs have been my constant companions. From my very first dog, a beautiful German Shepherd named Nishka, to my current brood – two lively Bichons named Angus and Ruby, and one loving little Maltese named Dylan. I’ve had a go at drawing them all. It gives me something much more than a photograph.
Around 1996 I was diagnosed with a brain tumour, and my plans for study in art and design were put on hold. I had worked over the years in various capacities, from secretarial to painting murals on walls – and I had wanted to continue my education and develop my skills. It took a long time to recover, but through it all were my family and my dogs. I continued to doodle and sketch my fur kids – sometimes from my bed.
I eventually enrolled in a Tafe arts course and went onto complete a Certificate III in Digital Art. After that I gained more confidence, and when my health improved, I went on to achieved a Diploma of Multimedia and a Bachelor of Multimedia Studies. My education enriched my knowledge of the various media and mediums that were available to the artist, and I honed my skills with pencils and pastels. At first I favoured pastels for most of my work, and developed various techniques. At times I would try combining pastel and pencil to see what effects I could create. Sometimes I would use pencil on its own for a finer and more precise work. As a result, I have learned a lot, but I believe that there is always something more to learn. Along the way I have also learned that you don’t necessarily have to have constant good health to make a commitment to be a good artist.
My journey is not yet over, and I am always looking for new techniques and new subjects to study. I enjoy what I do, and my love for animals makes it complete. There is nothing more satisfying than being able to study photographs and capture the ‘essence’ or ‘spirit’ of my latest fur child for their loving parent.
Thank you to all who have helped me along the way so far, from my trusty website developer to the wonderful subjects that make my work possible, your loving companions.
‘If one looks closely enough, one can see angels in every piece of art’ Adeline Cullen-Ray.