Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Newsy Tuesday's FiveSibes Book Nook Review: Indomitable Spirit by Jewel Mathieson

You know how much we love books here! Besides being an author, I'm an avid reader since, well birth! And when a good canine book comes along, I love to share it! Today, we are reviewing Jewel Mathieson's second book featuring her beautiful colored pencil medium style of artwork of beautiful snow dogs! Jewel is a very talented self-taught artist hailing from New Zealand, and I am honored and thrilled that she chose my Gibson to be one of the amazing dogs featured in her second book, Indomitable Spirit.

DISCLOSURE Please note that this is not a paid book review. While I did receive a copy of Jewel's book, Jewel had invited my Gibson to be part of her book, and I was given the option of purchasing the beautiful original artwork of my Gibson that was featured in the book, which I did purchase. I am not a paid affiliate of Blurb. All thoughts, reviews, and comments about the book and Jewel's artwork are solely my own.

"Woo! There's my brother Gibson!"
Books are works of love. They do not happen over night. This I know from experience! It may take years to go from an idea or concept to completed book in hand. Whether you get published via a publishing house or choose to self-publish, getting to the point of being published is no speedy, easy task. But then again, labor of loves should not be! Let's flashback to February of 2013, when Jewel and I first talked about her second  book, Indomitable Spirit. I had fallen in love with her beautiful artwork in her first book, Born to Run, which, of course, also highlights beautiful sled dogs. I did an in-depth artist interview with her upon its release back in March 2013 that you can read HERE, including more about how she started as an artist and her support of rescues across New Zealand, Australia, and the United States.

"I'm busy looking at the pretty pictures!"
When Jewel first began her model search for the dogs for her new book, she had previously taken notice of my wooly FiveSibes Siberian Husky boys--Gibson and his younger brother Wolf--and she was interested in including one of them in her new book concept. After sending her a few favorite photographs, Jewel selected Gibson's captivating photograph because of his wooly beauty and how different he looked from other snow dogs. And to be honest, Gibson, with all of his challenges of living life with Canine Epilepsy and the side effects of his medications, he truly encompassed that "indomitable spirit" Jewel was looking for. And I was so thrilled! I could hardly wait for this book to come out. She knew it would take several years, as Jewel actually hand-creates the individual pieces of artwork of each dog she includes in her book, and there are 46 portraits in this book! Upon completion, Indomitable Spirit is every bit as beautiful as its predecessor, Born to Run. But, of course, it's my favorite of the two because it features my Gibson (among 45 other stunning snow dogs)! I cannot think of any higher honor than to have one of my Huskies included in this book. 

"As an artist, it's always the emotion that I try to capture in a piece. Northern Breeds makes that easy for me because they are so expressive and have such beautiful souls. It's that personality, expression, and soul that I try to capture in my art." 
~Jewel Mathieson

"Woo! Love this book!"
With the turning of each page of Jewel's art book, it is like having a private art show in hand! Each dog is so beautiful, so exquisitely drawn, they almost seem to be able to come to life right off the pages! What a treasure for any Siberian Husky, Alaskan Malamute, Samoyed, sled dog, snow dog, northern breed dog, or dog lover in general to own.

I am proud to now have both of Jewel's books in my library!

Recently, I had the opportunity to virtually sit down with Jewel and talk about her latest project, Indomitable Spirit, that I want to share with you!

FiveSibesMom (FSM):  What made you decide to do a follow up to Born to Run?

Jewel Mathieson (JM): I was inspired by a photo of Joe Henderson's Malamute team. They had paused from breaking trail in chest-high snow during an expedition in the Arctic. It was such a strong illustration of what these dogs were bred to do and how they absolutely loved being in their element. Misunderstanding can create controversy and sadly a lot of people seem to misunderstand the Northern Breeds and exactly what it is they require. These dogs were bred to work, bred to be stimulated, and bred for cold conditions. They can't be put in the same box as many modern-day family pets who lead relatively sedentary lives and like to cozy up in front of the fire at night. Sometimes people can forget the history and the purpose, so I wanted to bring it to light through my drawings and show these dogs as they were meant to be.

FSM: Tell us about what your title means to you and what it says about these dogs.

JM: It was the spirit of the dogs that really inspired me to create this book. That is what I wanted to capture and share with the world. Their strength, resilience, unwavering determination, and the way that they can not only survive, but thrive in some of the toughest conditions on the planet. I hope that my title conveys that message.

FSM: What is it about sled dogs and Northern Breed dogs (and Spitz) that you came to meet through that chance meeting with the gal from the sled dog club that draws you to them as an artist?

JM: My love of Northern Breeds was formed long ago, well before I was introduced to sled dog racing. I talk about this in depth in my book, but a lot of my passion began with our Finnish Spitz, Tiia. She wasn't like other dogs. There was such a deep understanding and intelligence, and also a distinct stubbornness that set her apart from the rest. I soon came to realize that this was a trait of the Northern Breeds. As an artist, it's always the emotion that I try to capture in a piece. Northern Breeds makes that easy for me because they are so expressive and have such beautiful souls. It's that personality, expression, and soul that I try to capture in my art.

FSM:  What was it about my Gibson that inspired you to want to draw him?

JM: Gibson has some of the most soulful eyes I have ever seen. He is definitely a Husky that I felt instantly drawn to and felt a sense of quiet strength, wisdom, and gentleness about him. He was a very special man.

Gibson - (L) My Photo Portrait & (R) Jewel's Artwork

FSM: This had to be a long labor of love. Any idea how many hours of drawing went into this?

JM: It certainly was a labor of love! The book took nearly five years to complete! I finished 46 hand-drawn portraits for the book and each portrait can take up to four-five-six weeks each to finish, so that's a lot of hours! It would be many thousands of hours by the time it was all completed.

FSM: What is your hope the message is for the book?

JMI hope it reminds people of where these beautiful breeds began and why we fell in love with them. That spirit and strength that aided them in surviving such harsh conditions is still with them today.

Meet Jewel and two furfriends...

Jewel working in her studio...

A gift certificate for Jewel's book is a great idea for an Easter basket or Birthday present for your favorite dog, book, and art lover! Want to know how long it takes to make your order and ship? Check HERE.

This book is so beautiful! 
We here at FiveSibes 
give it a Top Dog review and a...

To obtain your copy, in a choice of hardcover or soft, please visit Jewel's bookstore on Blurb HERE.  The book will be printed to order (which Jewel says helps keep the cost of the book down for buyers)!  Below, is Blurb's current coupon that is valid until March 22, 2018! If you miss it, no worries! Jewel says to keep checking back HERE to keep a watchful eye out for periodic Blurb specials for a percentage off your book order!


  1. That sounds really good and we sure enjoyed the interview too!

  2. WOW that's some amazing talent! As a Canadian we see a LOT of these Northern dogs where I live. Many stay outside most of the year not because the owners are neglecting them but because the dogs WANT to be outside. I agree that there is a lot of misunderstanding out there. They do seem to have a warmer place to go to if it drops to -40 mind you. :) Gorgeous book. As an author myself I agree with the reminder that books don't happen overnight!

  3. Wow, just wow! Jewel's artwork is beautiful. It amazes me just how talented some people are. I can see why Gibson was selected as well.

  4. What an amazing looking book. I love the artwork, and will be sure to check it out.

  5. I can see why you would love this book. The photos are absolutely gorgeous and I'm definitely putting this on my wish list. Thanks for the great review.

  6. I love the artwork and what portrait of Gibson, we hope you will frame it and put it on your wall. The book in general looks amazing as I am always in awe with how artists draw. Thanks for sharing

  7. This looks like a beautiful book. I can see what a talented artist she is, that illustration of Gibson looks beautiful. We love our Northern breeds!
    Love & biscuits,
    Dogsluv us and we luv them

  8. Wow ! What a labor of love. Five years in the making and 46 portraits. That is definitely a work of art. No wonder you gave it 4 paws! Lovely work.

  9. What a treasure to have Gibson included in this book - I can not think of a more indomitable spirit! I love what Jewel said about always capturing the emotion and northern breeds having such soulful eyes. I definitely agree - though Ruby also has a soulful eyes but in a different way..

  10. That looks like a truly beautiful book. What incredible artwork! What an incredibly talented lady. Of course, she did have a really gorgeous model. PURRS.

  11. OMD! What an honor and just so pawesome!! I would have bought the original art work too!
    So happy for you and your gorgeous Gibson! She is very talented as well.

  12. OOOH that sounds and looks like a lovely book. The fact that you gave it 4 paws up means it must be terrific. So happy to see you are a part of this. Continued success!

  13. This book looks and sounds really lovely. I might take a look at the pictures. (Joking; that's what my mother-in-law did with her copy of my book ... looked at the pictures :p)

  14. I love the artwork and to have your dog's portrait in a book - Wow! Great review!

  15. I fascinated by sled dogs. I will check these books out for sure. What great stories!

  16. This sounds like such a great book. I LOVE the title too. I bet it will long be one of your favorites since your boy Gibson is in it. Great review

  17. Jewel is a gifted artist! This book is lovely and I think it would be a great gift for any dog lover.