Dennis, The Frony Pony
15” x 30”, Acrylic on Canvas
Oh Dennis. You grew on me instantly! I recently was going through an online inspiration sandwich looking for animals to paint for my donation to Animals for Natural Therapy. While perusing the photos of horses, chickens and pigs, I came across this amazing donkey. He was giving it all to the camera and had so much personality and a hair-do that couldn’t stop. I knew this was the guy! It’s not often you have a donkey give you so much personality, sassiness, hair-realness, and happiness, all in a photo. I took the photo and did my typical digital re-coloring and tweaking it to be a painting. Pink ponies with a hair fro can never really be a bad thing to paint.
Animals for Natural Therapy is a great organization that I have a personal connection to. ANT helps many children find self-esteem and growth through the direction for taking care of animals by listening to the animal. Learning empathy and awareness. We had the opportunity to get connected with ANT for our oldest son. He was dealt a hard deck of issues with life, and has issues finding connection and healthy relationship with peers. This hurts his developmental growth, self-worth, and creates a detachment, since he never feels like he fits in. As a parent, this is so defeating and you wonder what you can do to make their lives better. When we adopted our boys, we knew there were going to be challenges and issues, but you really don’t realize it until you are in the thick of it with a child who looks through you, and not knowing how to connect to them. This was so foreign to who we were and knew how to deal with. When we heard of ANT we thought through our therapist team, we thoughts why not? We really had so little to lose. We tried it and our sun grew an attachment to this horse named Obi. He nicknamed him Obi Bryant since he was developing an interest in basketball. Our son, actually looked forward to seeing Obi, and in a short period of time decided to do things he never did and engage to do things he only spoke of. Now this is always a daily challenge, but truly feel that animals can help heal people. That’s why we own them right? To help us be unconditionally accepted and cared for. To never be judged. To know, they always want you, if you want them.
It’s funny when you start a mission in life that is so honest and true, how things fall in to place more organically and the universe allows you the time to get everything done. I was really excited to be painting this crazy donkey. I used to paint a lot of whimsical and child like fun art. I did some fantasy art for many years and developed creatures, worlds and designs that were implemented in homes during my mural stage. This made painting Dennis very easy for me. He needed to be fun and loving and something someone would giggle, and smile at when they saw him. I knew he needed to be pink and purple, because everyone should love pink ponies and rainbows. Not to mention, he needed amazing eyelashes, since he already had an amazing fro mane. I really wanted this piece to exude fun and a happy personality. Before I knew it, Dennis was complete and everyone instantly had a bond with Dennis in the house. I knew it was perfect for ANT. It’s becoming easier to let go of the art. Knowing Dennis, the Frony Pony is going to bring joy and happiness to so many others, gives me the greatest feeling of success and purpose. #rippleofpositivity #yearofpurpose
Learn more about the 2018 Gala!
As an artist, it is always great to get feedback from each event. I was so happy to get this from Shannon!
“The couple who bought your painting on Saturday night were so thrilled. They just love it. The man wanted you to know that your painting will be the first item to decorate their first home. The woman wondered if you might be willing to do a commissioned painting of their dogs?
We feel so grateful that you shared your fabulous craft to help support our work! Thank you for spreading joy and smiles with that horse!!”
Shannon McCune Dickerson, Program Coordinator