Dogs have made an impact on my life as well as on my teaching, research and art making reinforced by the role(s) that dogs have played (and continue to play) in the history of art. An underlying theme is the ubiquitousness of dogs – they have always been there in the history of human civilization and in human beings’ daily lives. They (and their roles) are both special and prosaic and thus essential for human civilization and society.
Since 1996 when my wife brought a stray dog home from the pound, dogs have been the primary subject of my daily sketchbook/journal drawings. As the result of a sabbatical project when I was teaching at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design, I produced a series of 366 small oil paintings titled My Year as a Dog (1999/2000), documenting each day with an image of my dog, Paddy. My subsequent dogs, Orrie, Sophie and Frannie, as well as dogs from the local dog park, appear in my drawings and paintings.
I began to notice how frequently dogs appear in paintings throughout the history of art and started collecting such images. Over the years I have produced series of paintings (oil pastel, oil stick, acrylic and oil paint on paper and canvas) inspired by the dogs in the paintings of Van Eyck, Velasquez, and Seurat and the photographs of Muybridge. Included in this gallery are images from the series entitled, Sunday Afternoon at the Dog Park, after George Seurat’s iconic pointillist painting and Muybridge Revisited after Eadward Muybridge’s photographs of dogs in motion.