This is Stanley. Stanley was a commission, so I’ve never met him, and know nothing about him, other than that he is adorable, and loves boats. Well, I suppose, technically, I really only know that he looks adorable, and tolerates boats, but that didn’t stop me imagining a love of sailing, or perhaps yachting, which may or may not be the same thing, but is certainly harder to spell.
Yachts got me thinking about the True Love in High Society (“My, she was yar”), and then I amused myself by trying to work out which of my favourite film stars Stanley would be. Not Bing Crosby from High Society, Stanley is far too handsome for Bing (Bing would have to be a French bulldog with those ears), and I don’t think Stanley’s a Cary Grant from the original Philadelphia Story (he’d be something longer-limbed, a lurcher, perhaps, but with a terrier’s sense of humour).
I put these thoughts on a back burner for a bit, and then it came to me, via another movie yachting scene, this one in the original Sabrina, with Humprey Bogart … no, not Bogie himself, he has more of the lived-in face of a hound (a beagle, Henry?). But how about Harrison Ford of the remake?
Stanley and Harrison Ford. Of course. The type of ruggedly handsome face you can’t take your eyes off – that’s this dog down to a T.
Now all I need to do is pair up Stanley, aka Han Solo, with Benson, aka Chewbacca, and I’ve got the beginnings of my own fantasy canine remake of Star Wars. [Inevitably, I am not the first to do this. Don’t you just love the internet.]
Anyhow … there is a dog portrait on the way, I promise.
Here I am deciding on fabrics for Stanley himself, from three different beiges – two linen, one raw silk – picking out his Liberty print background, and sorting threads (and yes, all 10 were out on my table at the end of the afternoon, and had all been used).
Here he is underway, in what is perhaps my favourite picture, looking a little scruffy round the edges, and coyly staring out through the stray hairs:And here is the final reveal, Stanley all cleaned up and done – it’s a bit like that part in the Harrison Ford Sabrina where he takes off his glasses, and it turns out he’s really handsome (I’m guessing that happens, I don’t actually remember anything about that version – without Audrey Hepburn, I wasn’t that fussed).Ta da
If you would like a bespoke portrait of your own pet have a look at the commissions page.