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30 Dogs 30 Days - Bridget

I knew every dog in our neighborhood by name. I had read every dog book my library owned at least twice. I had a poster on my bedroom wall of AKC recognized breeds from which I sketched regularly. I begged my parents for a dog, preferably a collie (who didn't want their own Lassie in the 70s?!). And I loved relentlessly on this dog, Bridget, my father's hunting companion.

This painting was done somewhere around 1978-1982, I think. It was a gift of some sort for my Dad. It's 15" x 20", acrylics on art board. I remember working on it with a tiny brush (Present Kim's toes curl when she thinks of Past Kim painting large pieces with a tiny brush - like nails on a chalkboard) and thinking that it was The Bomb. Now it makes me cringe a bit.

Obviously it's from a flash photograph - that reflection on the bean bag chair is undeniable. And Bridget herself is literally white and orange - there is no nuanced or reflected color happening here. All the edges are hard - even her lovely feathers, just as crisp as that obnoxious maroon vinyl. Values were mixed with a root color + black or white. But I did know how to draw, I'll admit to that. And I did know how to infuse my drawing with emotion.

When I look at this painting, I see the first dog I truly fell in love with looking back at me. I can feel her muzzle in my hand, and remember combing burrs out of her ears and feathers. Summer days stretched out on a blanket in the back yard, reading while she napped alongside me. Her freckled nose peeking out of the doghouse when the bus delivered me home from school. Crisp fall mornings spent with my Dad, watching her work a field, finding pheasants. This painting cues it all up for me in one fell swoop, and I know those things (and more) were running through my head as I created it.

Even back then, as a teenager, I painted the human animal connection. I was practicing my craft and honing my skills.

Warmly, Kim


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