Skip to content

Vernon artist’s pooch portrait puzzle raising funds for SPCA

A puzzle of Patricia Lawton’s painting available at Davison Orchards
Vernon artist Patricia Lawton with a puzzle she created out of a painting of a scene at Davison Orchards Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2023. (Brendan Shykora - Morning Star)

A Vernon artist has turned a scene at a local hot spot into a watercolour masterpiece.

And then, she turned that masterpiece into a puzzle that is now for sale for a good cause.

Patricia Lawton is a big fan of dogs. She carries treats in her pocket to give to dogs she happens to pass by, with their owner’s permission. And she has a special affinity for Harlow, known as the “greeter dog,” at Davison Orchards.

“I just think she’s a wonderful dog,” she said of the well-known pooch, adding she even included Harlow in her Christmas card last year.

Lawton painted a portrait of Harlow based on a picture she took of her at the Orchards during Halloween season last year. Her portrait is back-dropped by a jack-o’-lantern and an iconic red truck at the Orchards.

As it’s currently peak season at Davison Orchards, Lawton decided to turn her portrait of Harlow into a puzzle, with help from The Jigsaw Puzzle Guy in Vernon, and is selling them along with custom greeting cards at Davison Orchards.

Lawton says she’s ordered 10 puzzles, each 500 pieces, but more could be on the way depending on the demand.

She says all proceeds she earns from the puzzles will be donated to the SPCA.

In Lawton’s mind, there’s an appetite for puzzle-making out there these days.

“It’s kind of a sign of the times right now, people have seen enough TV,” she says.

Lawton has painted by commission for decades. She doesn’t like painting mere scenery; she needs to have a person — or a pup — in the painting, a subject for the imagination to fix upon.

“I think every painting has to tell a story,” she explains. “I love painting horses and dogs and children.”

She says some of her other paintings could soon turn into puzzles if there is enough interest in the Harlow puzzle.

For now, she’s working on a few commissions, but is always happy to take on more work. To get in touch with Lawton for a commission, email her at or give her a call at 250-542-6497.

READ MORE: Missing painting ‘rides’ into Vernon store 5 years later

READ MORE: Art gallery gives life to vacant Enderby warehouse

Brendan Shykora
Follow us: Facebook | Twitter

Brendan Shykora

About the Author: Brendan Shykora

I started as a carrier at the age of 8. In 2019 graduated from the Master of Journalism program at Carleton University.
Read more