Stray Dog Arts

BULLDOG :: Recent Works by Jessie Marianiello :: You're Invited!!

Mark your calenders!
I'm currently in the midst of preparing for a ROCKSTAR of an event

Join us for a night of serious celebration, be among the first to see my most recent series of work AND meet Bulldog participants in the flesh and fur!

Recent Works by Jessie Marianiello

The Bulldog Restaurant {Northeast}
401 East Hennepin Avenue
Minneapolis, MN

Friday, November 12 ยท 6:00pm - 8:00pm

Showing November 12th-December 22nd

Artist Statement:
As an artist, I find extraordinary amounts of pleasure in following the sparks and threads of inner energy. Inspiration shows up when least expected and, this time around it led me towards some serious Bulldog l-u-v.

This project includes the painted portraits of 15 remarkable Bulldogs--from English to French to American to Olde Eglish, and even a couple Bulldog mixes. What fascinates me most is how absolutely unique each one is from the next. Inside and out, every single Bulldog I've met is truly a BADDASS original!

This event is free and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC...
Bring your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors!


Echo Lives On.

"Echo In Edina" {Diptych} :: 40"x 60" :: Oil on Canvas

It's been a long time since I've blogged. Too long, actually. Not for lack of things to write about, rather the opposite. Time moves quickly and my days have been filled heartily to the brim. There has been a whirlwind of activity for the past many months...but today I feel the need to push the pause button and make space to remember a very special dog. A dog named "Echo."

I met Echo and her dog-mom, Molly, a fellow dog lover and owner of Metro Pets and More, about two years ago. I was, of course, instantly smitten by both Echo's size and beauty. I could not help but WANT TO PAINT THIS DOG!!

I've lost track of the time-line between 'meeting' and 'doing,' but finally I got my chance. Molly and I scheduled a meet-up in Edina and, as dusk settled in and the lights of the Edina theater sign turned on, the photo shoot began. If I remember right, it was early spring. The part I know for sure is that I fell in love. Echo was a big dog who, very quickly, took up an equally big part of my heart.

I painted Echo's portrait simply for the sheer inspiration of it and, due to a tightly booked commissions schedule, her portrait took over a year to complete. I worked on it whenever possible. The first brush strokes were made in the original Stray Dog Arts studio (the basement of a rented house) near downtown Minneapolis....

{"Echo In Edina" in progress, spring 2009}

{"Echo In Edina" in progress, original Stray Dog Arts studio, spring 2009}

...and completed in my current studio located on a vineyard in Southern Minnesota. Echo's portrait spent a very long time in my studios. She kept me and my own dogs company and, well, she just sort of started to feel like a part of the family. The longer I worked on Echo's portrait, the more I fell in love with her. She became someone very special to me.

{Current Stray Dog Arts studio, early spring 2010}

In May of this past year, Echo's portrait became part of a major solo exhibition, the Dogs of Edina. She also graced the front of the postcards created for the show, became the poster-dog for ArtBARK!, an art contest and fundraiser for The Pet Project, and was, hands down, one of the most important pieces in the exhibition.

{Echo's portrait, Molly, and me :: Dogs of Edina exhibition
May, 2010 :: Galleria :: Edina, MN

I have a couple of painterly obsessions in life. One is (obviously) dogs. And another is vintage signage. I love lights and grunge and metal. I also enjoy creating a 'sense of place.' In deciding how to paint Echo's portrait, I became inspired by the compositional lines and colors: the Edina Theater sign, the buildings and Echo herself seemed to be having a conversation. The two panels "echoed" each other and I could not help but be inspired to create a diptych. Composition and lines and color aside, my favorite part to paint was her eye. It's difficult to describe--but, to me, it contained a glimpse into Everything.

Echo's painting has become something of an Edina icon. To me, Echo herself will always be an icon. She taught me how important it is to occasionally take time to paint just for myself. She taught me how to fill my own well of inspiration. And, like many dogs, she taught me about love. Echo has held a place in my heart for a long time. She took up a lot of room in my studio. She became familiar to me in a way that I can only compare to the comfortable familiarity I have with my own dogs.

Echo passed away of old age this past June. It was heart-breaking news for everyone that knew her. And yet--I know that she was loved. She was loved beyond loved. As I write this, tears come to my eyes and I am swept away by the immense feeling of that love. They are not sad tears. They are the sort of tears that make me feel thankful for the gift of Echo in my life.

Yesterday was a very special day because Echo's portrait was delivered to an incredible new home where she can be enjoyed and remembered for many years to come. In true iconic fashion, Echo's portrait was purchased by Brian Fulmer, and will be displayed at Bone Adventure's Edina location. Bone Adventure has been serving dog families for over 20 years and has 3 stores in Edina, NE Minneapolis and Wayzata. The Fulmer family--Brian, Gabie, Graham and Logan-- also hold a very special place in my heart and I am beyond grateful that Echo's portrait has found its way to such a perfect space where her painting will be seen by many.

I want to send a special thank you to Molly Engler, Echo's dog-mom, for giving me the opportunity to paint and get to know this sweet spirit. I want to say thank you to Bone Adventure for giving her portrait the perfect place to shine on.

And, mostly, I want to say thank you to Echo. She's gone, but she's never really gone. She had a big body and an even bigger heart. Knowing her changed me for the better--as a person, as an artist, as a dog lover.

Echo lives on in so many ways....
Namaste, sweet girl.
You were and always will be very, very loved.


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