Friday, December 11, 2009

Artists with Dogs or Dogs with Artists......

I've noticed that most of my artistic friends and colleagues have pets, whether it's a dog(s), a cat(s), a hampster, a parrot or even a pet squirrel. I've often wondered if there is a connection between animal and artist. So I set off to gather some clarity to determine if there is any merit to my thinking. I learned there are others out there on the web wondering the same thing as me. Edward Winkleman questions the same concept.

I know several artists whose subject matter is only animals. They have studied the anatomy of the dog, the sun reflected in the gerbel's eye or the intertwining weave of the duck's webbed foot. Robert Bateman has literally spent his life studying animals in order to capture their true essence.... their chiseled body form or the coarse fur of the wolf's hide. As with any in-depth study of a subject, an artist can spend many hours mastering his painting in order to capture the minutest detail. Anne Armitage, a girlfriend of mine, will spend time with the animal just so she can determine their personality which aids her with capturing their uniqueness. Several of my friends and teachers, Moe Shier, Claudia Nice and Cathy Johnson, are animal artists, all with their own pets and compassion for all furry beings.

I've read many times over that artists seem to have perhaps a spiritual or emotional connection to something far bigger than presently at hand. Some pose the question in terms of "what is the meaning of life" or "there must be something bigger than myself" and "why am I here"....esoterical questions. A search for the meaning of life. Through the use of their art, they attempt to discover answers I believe.

Perhaps the connection with animal and artist is an attempt to answer these questions.
I have a reminder posted on my fridge......."help me to be the kind of person my dog thinks I am". It's a great credo to fashion my life around. Kramer and Lucy love me unconditionally no matter the kind of person I am.

I believe, even in the animal kingdom, there is emotion. Kramer and Lucy are inseparable yet when Lucy joined our family Kramer was already a senior at 8. They have become like Bogey and Bacall, Tracy and Hepburn....two peas in a pod. They speak the same language...they understand each other. They copy each other in so many ways.

And so..... while they were snoozing, Mom decided to return some love to them.

Doggie treats made with beef bouillon, some flour and a round bowl of love sprinkled with large doses of garlic powder.

A special gift from Kramer and Lucy to another artistic friend Alison's dog.

Email me if you want the doggie treat recipe!!!! woof woof!


  1. What a beautiful post! Do Kramer and Lucy hang out when you do your art? My 2 dogs are right under foot when I start on a project, it's as if they feel the energy stirring. I'd love to have the recipe for the doggie treats, I'm sure mine would just love them.

  2. How sweet! The dogs! And how sweet of you to make treats for a friend's dog. I think artists are more in tune with the natural world of which pets are a part. So are people but so often people don't want to think they are part of the natural world, that we are better than that. Artist's know better and so are able to appreciate and love animals more. IMHO, lol.