I'll be arriving in Athens in early January, and shortly after that will be travelling to the northern city of Thessaloniki with some representatives of Amalthia. There's a large agricultural convention there - ZOOTECHNIA - where I'll be showing some of my artwork, including sketches I'll do once I arrive. But I wanted to have some large studio paintings to show as well, and so I asked Amalthia to supply some photographs before I left Australia to paint from here in my Melbourne studio.
These beautiful Greek sheepdogs caught my eye. A large and ancient breed, these dogs are derived from the ancient molosser variety, from which modern breeds like the mastiff, English bulldog, great Dane and boxer hail.
I've kept this painting strictly portraits of the animals I was sent photos of, whereas next year I'll show more of the landscape and environment in which they've developed when I have the great privilege to visit shepherds in the mountains of Greece who still use these animals to protect their flocks from bears, wolves and other very real threats they face daily.
Breeders in Athens and other urban areas are also working to preserve this Greek dog breed, and I'm really looking forward to sketching and painting many more portraits.