The Border Collie pictured here is called Buffer, his home being Australia. Border Collies were originally bred for intelligence and obedience and have been the most popular working dogs for herding livestock, particularly sheep. The breed was developed in the Anglo-Scottish border region of Great Britain. They are extremely athletic and energetic and generally excel at sheepdog trials. They are often referred to as the most intelligent of domestic dogs. Border Collies were introduced into Australia and New Zealand as early as 1858.
The use of dogs for herding sheep makes good economic sense for many farmers. In a typical pasture environment each trained sheepdog will do the work of three humans. In vast arid areas like the Australian Outback or the Karoo Escarpment, the number increases to five or more. Attempts to replace them with mechanical approaches to herding have only achieved a limited amount of success. Thus, stock handlers find trained dogs more reliable and economical.
Border Collies also make brilliant pets, being quick, intelligent and very loyal. Buffer was one such family member and he loved the beach and the sea, hence the background to this painting, which suggests sand and waves.
This commission was yet another gift from my friend Carrie to her friend, the owner of Buffer, in Australia. The reference photo was distorted but I am glad to say I managed to adapt it to the painting which was the perfect birthday present for Carries’ friend as well as being a lovely surprise.
Watercolour 12×16′ 30x40cm