Stray Dog Arts

if my life were a painting...

Recently completed portrait:

"Mr. Pete"
12"x 12" Oil on Canvas

Artist's note: It's easy to fall in love with a dog named "Mr. Pete." Oh, those deep brown eyes, that snuggle-bum paw and kissable nose. I admit: I fell for him. ;)

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These days I have been busy painting and planning and reading and dreaming. My world is covered in a deep blanket of snow. It is a soft phthalo blue in the shadows and a dazzling burst of sunrise in places where morning brushes another layer to its surface.

Last night I drove through downtown Minneapolis in a blizzard. After several days (weeks) of losing myself to the last minute influx of holiday commissions, it felt surreal to be out in the world for the pleasure of dinner. Cars occasionally skidded on a patch of ice or crust of accumulated snow. I was but one slow moving car in a stream of many.

To my left I saw several dozen individuals huddled together inside a bus stop shelter. They all had funny looking winter hats on. They all had dark colored jackets. They all stood stiffly, close to each other but with invisible thresholds holding them in solitude. In the cold, waiting for the bus, they stood in unison and worlds apart. A yellow light from the top of the shelter shined down on all of them. I wanted to paint that scene--so strangely beautiful in its normalcy.

To my right, there was a young woman, perhaps in her early 20s. She trudged down the neon light-filled sidewalk with determination. She had a strong, but petite body and a wonderful red and white winter hat with long tassles, one flying in the wind and the other caught in the folds of her heavy jacket. There was something about her that made me smile. Her movement, her energy (she seemed more alive than most), her reflection in the glass windows along the 900 block of Hennepin Ave. I wanted to paint her also--in motion, if that could be possible. In motion with lights that look real.

I drove and I wanted to paint everything. And I wanted to transplant a dog into every scene.

That's what happens when I paint a lot. Everything becomes a painting. I find myself living in a world where everything is a potential creation. Once, I went out for lunch with another pet portrait artist and the silver tray they served our food on became a painting.

I get lost like this sometimes. And, I must admit, I do love the way it feels.

I woke up this morning wanting to be more. I want to capture everything. I want to give myself completely to every waking second of my life. And yet, I know this isn't completely possible....but there is a freedom inside this thought that I am attracted to.

These days, I am attracted to the feeling of freedom. The best part of it is that I am invited to experience it over and over and over and over... We all are. And all we have to do is give ourselves to it.

I like imagining what my life and the world around me would look like if it were a painting. The desire to know self and place from the inside out? The desire to put words or brush strokes to every last beating second--if only to catch a glimpse of myself...



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