Art Dog Philosophy

"My Bed", classic black dog bad attitude going on here. On repurposed plywood, using collage elements and acrylic paint.

I took the two new pieces of the BAD, Bad Attitude Dog, to Jo at Matter Gallery a few days ago, and that brought up the opportunity to discuss my Dog Philosophy of Art which made me think about it more. I want to share it because it makes me smile and smiling is a good thing, I should do more of it actually. (Remember you can click on any illustration and see it BIG).

"Sleeping Dog", in a private collection, but a great illustration of the sweet positive joyful side Yellow Dog demonstrates. Oil pastel on Canson paper.

I have been painting dogs forever. Yellow dogs, actually. I started way back in college when a fellow artist who was incredibly talented painted this astonishing bad dog that was wonderful, all teeth and attitude. At that time I was in my “chair phase” and I painted red chairs incessantly and photographed chairs too. Chairs stood in for people in my paintings, but I digress.  Mark and I fell in love with each other’s work and agreed to swap muses. He started painting chairs and I made off with the dog.

"Mine", kind of says it all, the snarky bad attitude dog got the paper and its too bad for you.Repurposed plywood, an old metal printing sheet from the Olympian newspaper and acrylic paint. Privately owned.

I still have a few very early Mark-inspired yellow dogs in my flat file but that dog had a mind of his own and evolved with time. He has even been a she a few times. Most notably in two pieces I have not photographed but I will—tomorrow.  The first piece is Yellow Dog in a prom dress, a stand in for every homely girl that knew , no matter how hard she tried, ugly would be back for her.  That’s a sort of universal chick truth, we all think we are homely at that age, doesn’t matter if we are or not, it’s a rite of passage.

2001 Food and Wine Fest poster, this dog is walking the line between good and bad. Food on the table...tempting for sure.

That’s when Yellow Dog became Every Dog, as in Everyman? Yellow Dog expresses hope and comfort and all the shining parts of our lives. And yes, I can paint people and paint them well, I just don’t want to. When I put a person in a painting the painting becomes about that person and the story hits a wall right there. Enter the dog, stage right… the work is not about the dog, it’s the bigger picture. There’s room to breathe if that’s a dog in there with you.

Yellow Dog Waits is a universal dog and kid truth, sometimes my truth too. Sometimes it feels like all I do is wait. On canvas and on the wall of my living room. That's my Granma's kitchen, loosely interpreted.

Black Dog came along one night in a circus painting a few years ago. He’s sitting on a round drum and there’s a big white horse with a ballerina behind him. He’s obviously got some dog attitude and he’s having a ball. Black Dog evolved to Bad Attitude Dog, he’s not bad as in eat-the mailman bad, but he might scare the mailman just because he can. Black Dog occupies his world, he’s the center of that world and it’s his oyster and that’s it.

"My Pool" makes me laugh. I don't think I'd want to convince him to move personally. The beach ball already bit the big one, or actually, the big one bit the beach ball. At Matter Gallery, repurposed plywood and collage with acrylic paint.

Now cats are a whole other story….

Home Before Dark is enormous, on a master sheet of Canson Paper. Done in oil pastel, it has Yellow Dog headed home to a glowing warm house and running a gauntlet of evil kitties. This piece is over 4 feet wide, framed and really one of my all time favorites. I should photograph it but getting it from behind that much glass? I need to think about that one for awhile.

5 thoughts on “Art Dog Philosophy

  1. Nancy Gallagher

    Roxi, I love your dogs and cats! You are so talented, and the story of your canine muses is truly awesome. I enjoyed reading this.

    Reply
    1. Gracelyn

      Mi solución fue más a cara de perro. Dejé morir al personaje, me pasé el juego sin matar a nadie pero dejando una partida guardada justo antes, la retomé, cogí la metralleta y la escopeta, me los cargué a todos y conseguí el logro.No, no fue una decisión moral, (o no exemnacetta) fue más por mi obsesión malsana de conseguir los logros, pero oye, me pasé el Deus Ex sin matar a nadie y conseguí salvar a *a***.

      Reply
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