Stray Dog Arts

"A Man and His Best Friend" :: Recently Completed, work of the heart

"A Man and His Best Friend" :: 38" x 56" Oil on Canvas :: Commission

Ta-daaaaaa!!! :) The portrait of sweet Willie (a German Shorthair Pointer) and his human companion, Terry, is hereby complete! Wow, such a perfect painting to work on during this extended northerly retreat. To me, this image is iconic--capturing the essence of this time I've been spending up here in the far reaches of Minnesota--a place where there isn't much more than water and woods and companionships of the deepest kind.

In the words of Thoreau, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived."

Up here, I have found something of what I was looking for. Thank you Dr. Terry and Sue Johnson for inviting me into this project with you with such perfect timing. Thank you, Willie, for your gorgeousness, inside and out. The lakes, the sky, the expansiveness that exists in this part of the world--it causes me to breathe deep with immeasurable gratitude. This decision to come up here, it was a good one. ♥

Painting summer into being...(a late winter here in MN)

Putting some pants on...

The best part of the painting: The Delivery!!

with love,
Jessie Marianiello

Adventure, my companion...

Only one week left before I'm off to Europe and then Africa!! Chasing creative inspirations, drinking Spanish wines, breathing desert air, sleeping under stars, photographing Andalusian and Lusitano horses, capturing images of Moroccan street dogs, gathering the richness of life (a complete elixir of the senses) for several series of paintings that are brewing inside me with such deliciousness that I can barely stand the wait between now and bringing it all into being.

My dearest friends, I'd like to introduce you to my new pet rock: Her name is Adventure! I have a feeling we'll be traveling a long way together.

With love,

Wild Horse Heart :: Visioning...

A spontaneous photo taken a moment ago after my computer's display went into "slide show" mode. I rarely use that old laptop and so the images it contains always catch me by surprise. The computer happened to be sitting on a stool in front of the easel--an accidental magic space where it is easy to imagine the translation from photograph to painting. For the past two years I've been working on a series of large scale wild horse paintings that will eventually culminate into a solo exhibition, "Wild Horse Heart." I've gotten quiet about this project, gone a bit underground with it, because I am realizing that there is a lot of inner work going on as these paintings slowly come into being. I guess you could say that this is my Spirit Work.

Looking at this image, my heart feels like it might leap out of my chest. I find myself needing to look away, if only for a moment. I walk across the room and look at it from far away because it feels easier. I love it when this happens. It is the feeling of joy, of expansiveness, of purpose.

I continue to paint myself into being. Recording my journey along the way in the form of photos and words. Every day a new part of myself seems to unravel, to open, to unfurl. Already, I am looking forward to returning to the remote mountains of Wyoming this summer. To spend more time with those wild horses. To saturate myself in the wildness of my own heart.

This is such a mystery. Pulling me forward...
and forward...
...and forward.

with wild horse love,

:: Northerly Painting Retreat 2012/13 ::


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