Each year, generous artists agree to donate a special work of original art - usually a custom framed painting - commissioned specifically for that year's National Specialty and featuring a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. The artwork is used for the cover of our show catalog and often on an Annual for the Club. The actual artwork is not revealed until it is displayed during the National Specialty at the Charitable Trust space in the ringside area. At the conclusion of the National Specialty, the Charitable Trust holds a very special event - a Banquet and Silent Auction. The National Artwork is auctioned off during this event and is one of the highlights of the evening. The money raised from the auctioning of the National Artwork has raised thousands of dollars over the years to help fund research that improves the quality of the lives of our Cavaliers. If you've never attended, please consider yourself invited to our Charitable Trust Auction & Banquet.  Can't attend but would like to help? See our "How to Help" tab on this site.


"Blue Ridge Cavaliers" Artist: Joanne Opel

Original Oil 16 X 20

All Joanne needed for inspiraion for this painting was to look out her window and watch her Cavaliers run up the hill.  Her free and loose style of painting is perfect to capture the brilliance of the summer colors in a Blue Ridge Mountain meadow.  All four colors of Cavalier Spaniels are simply running for the joy of running on this perfect day.  They love to play catach me if you can, racing across fields and up and down hills just for the fun of it. 

Joanne has been breeding and showing Cavaliers on a very limited scale for twenty years under her Kilbrook affix. She has been drawing and painting all her life; she finally got the opportunity to paint full-time (more or less) when she retired. 

It's always challenging o get the true Cavalier expression, whether groomed to perfection, chasing up a hill or soaking wet in a pond.  Her work has mostly been in oils, but she has also worked with pencils, pen, and watercolor.  She ’s always trying something new.  Since all of her dogs are currently Blenheim’s, she had to borrow friends’ dogs and colorize my dogs to get all the four colors correct in the painting.