This is a painting for my niece Nancy’s birthday. She lives in the Bearnaise town of Navarrenx in South-west France. My brother David and sister-in-law Lindy run an art gallery named after Olive, The Galerie le petit chien. For a small dog (she’s a Jack Russell) Olive is as plucky as they come. She thinks nothing of leaping into the nearby river Oloron, a huge, fast-flowing river, to retrieve a log the size of a lamp-post. Note from the painting that she has an olive-shaped mark on the top of her head, which is where she got her name. A dryish brush with little pigment added drawn across the paper’s rough surface achieved a textured fur effect. Winsor & Newton watercolour on 300gsm Langton rough paper.