One of my favorite paintings, really. The dog that inspired this painting is named Jake, he is a 10 year old English Labrador, he’s loving, obedient, intelligent, and playful. The original hangs in the Multiple Sclerosis Center at Swedish Medical Center in Seattle. The Board selected the piece for its calming and playful energy. I had been on a canoe trip down the John Day River when I caught the backlit image of him shaking off. He’d been sitting patiently in the boat all day, so when we finally landed ashore for the night he made a point to play around in the water, getting out, getting in, getting out, getting in. Weeks later I began the painting in the studio with a collection of uncolorful photographs to work from. I had intended to add white in the finishing touches. Whites would have created a more realistic palette of colors, more true to life, but as I stepped back and looked at the painting I realized that these jazzy yellows and blues leant themselves perfectly to a title, “Shakin’ Off the Blues.” The title of the painting was realized just prior to finishing the painting, and it was exactly this title that kept me from introducing white to the canvas.