October 2000, I walked my dachshunds, Lizzie and Edgar, in the neighborhood.
We stopped to see our neighbor, Joanlee Ferarra, and her two-month-old
golden retriever puppy, Guinevere. I'd never wanted to sculpt a fluffy
dog, but Guinevere was absolutely adorable. She won my heart with her
eyelashes: they wouldn't stop. In December, I mustered the nerve to ask
Joanlee if I could work on a clay sculpture of Guinevere in her kitchen.
She said yes, but my, how Guinevere had grown! Suddenly I had a new goal.
I would create a three-in-one puppy portrait. It would range in age from
two months to eight months! I redesigned the armature and quickly created
the four month portrait. Then, I blocked in the younger and the older
heads and waited for Guinevere to grow. When I returned in April to complete
the largest head, I could not believe how much Guinevere had grown. Her
head was an inch longer than I had blocked in. Because I didn't live with
Guinevere, I used photos for reference, but it was great to have Guinevere
for life studies for the four month and the eight month portraits. Finally,
I completed the youngest puppy from memory and Joanlee's marvelous photos."
- Joy Kroeger Beckner