Community News

The Dog Painter

Apr 07, 2016 Editor

by Michele Murphy

“I was born to love animals I guess,” says Sidney’s Cheryl McBride. “My mother loved animals, and so I did. I have yet to meet a dog that I don’t like.” She speaks fondly of Bomber the Beagle from her childhood.

McBride also loves painting, and is passionate about typography, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that eventually these three worlds would converge, creating McBride’s expressive, tender dog paintings – complete with words.

The daughter of an Eaton’s career man, McBride calls herself a prairie girl. They lived in Moose Jaw, Medicine Hat, Winnipeg and even Thunder Bay at one time or another. It was at the University of Saskatoon that she began her schooling in fine arts. She later switched her focus to graphic arts thinking that it would increase her chances of making a living in the arts. She earned her degree at the University of Winnipeg, and began a career in graphic arts at Eaton’s – a design career that would span 25 years and bring her to the Island, and eventually Sidney.

McBride worked in local print and design shops – Manning Press, Silk Questo, the Malahat Cheryl_McBrideGroup and finally Suburbia Studios as their production manager, before retiring in 2013.

Throughout her career McBride continued to paint, some years more than others. Her love of expressing herself through acrylic on canvas never waned. But it was just ten years ago that the idea of painting her canine friends came to her. Inspired by her “particularly handsome” Siberian Husky named Sundance, and Rio, her ever-so-adorable Westie, her new path began.

McBride started with small-format paintings for friends, and after a visit with friends back on the prairies – that included a rather extensive collection of photographs of their whippet and Husky cross – McBride began incorporate words into her work. Her love of dogs, painting, and typography had converged.

noble2As a designer McBride says that she’s passionate about working shapes, form and colour into her work through type. “Because I’m handwriting the words, I don’t go crazy with the lettering, but I do pay special attention to font style, layout, whether to use a serif or non-serif font, or caps,” says McBride.

When she’s not creating dog paintings, she works with landscapes and abstracts, or can be found in her garden with her husband Lloyd, or walking Rio, or playing with her two young grandsons. She also spends some of her days volunteering at the
local Humane Society, because she just loves dogs.

McBride isn’t sure where the dog paintings will lead. She says that she’s happy to do it as long silveras the passion exists, and would be thrilled it there’s interest from buyers.

Contact Cheryl by email if you’re interested at toothandnail@shaw.ca. She’d really love to meet your dog.