It seems that many of my human friends are losing their four-legged friends lately.
In addition to puppy and dog portraits, I am doing memorial images.
We are so grateful for their unconditional love and miss it so.
The portraits are started by studying photographs of the dog.
I can sense the personality and listen to the owner’s description of their friend.
A portrait is about the coloring and length of fur; long or short legs, tail or no tail.
But, the most important elements the I must get right are the eyes and ears.
Sometimes I get stuck in fear. “If I keep working, I will RUIN it!”, says some voice.
But, no, stitches can be picked out even though this is no fun.
This is unlike conversations which cannot be picked out, where it is so easy to say the mean, wrong thing that you have been thinking because you are out of balance. And then it is out there. Can’t swallow it back in. In the ether of the internet, it is even worse. Out loud, we can forget or remember incorrectly over time, or apologise, but online, it is forever. And, it is so easily misunderstood because there are no eyes to look into to see if it’s the truth. No question can be asked for clarification. So, we hear with our own past and not necessarily what was intended. To get it right, we must pay close attention to the eyes and ears.
Below is a poem by Mary Oliver about a dog. My favorite part is that I “know almost nothing.”
She would come back, dripping thick water, from the green bog.
She would fall at my feet, she would draw the black skin
from her gums, in a hideous and wonderful smile—–
and I would rub my hands over her pricked ears and her
and I would hug the barrel of her body, amazed at the unassuming
perfect arch of her neck.
It took four of us to carry her into the woods.
We did not think of music,
but, anyway, it began to rain
Her wolfish, invitational, half-pounce.
Her great and lordly satisfaction at having chased something.
My great and lordly satisfaction at her splash
of happiness as she barged
through the pitch pines swiping my face with her
wild, slightly mossy tongue.
Does the hummingbird think he himself invented his crimson throat?
He is wiser than that, I think.
A dog lives fifteen years, if you’re lucky.
Do the cranes crying out in the high clouds
think it is all their own music?
A dog comes to you and lives with you in your own house, but you
do not therefore own her, as you do not own the rain, or the
trees, or the laws which pertain to them.
Does the bear wandering in the autumn up the side of the hill
think all by herself she has imagined the refuge and the refreshment
of her long slumber?
A dog can never tell you what she knows from the
smells of the world, but you know, watching her, that you know
Does the water snake with his backbone of diamonds think
the black tunnel on the bank of the pond is a palace
of his own making?
She roved ahead of me through the fields, yet would come back, or
wait for me, or be somewhere.
Now she is buried under the pines.
Nor will I argue it, or pray for anything but modesty, and
not to be angry.
Through the trees is the sound of the wind, palavering
The smell of the pine needles, what is it but a taste
of the infallible energies?
How strong was her dark body!
How apt is her grave place.
How beautiful is her unshakable sleep.
the slick mountains of love break
Again and always …
Thank you for being.
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Almost all of the work posted is for sale.
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