Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dogs + Art + Books = Happy Jen!

I am still waiting for my titanium white ink to arrive from Graphic Chemical (as well as a selection of Mulberry, Hosho and Kitakata paper). I can't do anything without white ink! Anyway... while I wait, I have been exploring the history of canines in art. I have some fantastic books on the subject and just got a few more from the library (thanks interlibrary loan!)! From primitive times to contemporary, dogs have always meant so much to humans. I think the most exciting part (to me, if I can be breedist for a bit) is that the greyhound-type dog has been around for so long, they figure prominently in art across the centuries. It is fascinating to see the greyhound-type in art as it matured from a generic "sighthound type" into breeds- English Greyhounds, Salukis (called Persian Greyhounds in a lot of early paintings), Borzoi, Whippets, Italian Greyhounds, etc.

Dog Painting 1840-1940: The Social History of the Dog in Art, by William Secord. I LOVE this book. Beautiful full-color and black and white pictures- and written by a real art historian and dog lover. If you are ever in NYC be sure to visit the William Secord Gallery on the Upper East side to meet Mr. Secord and his adorable Dandie Dinmont Terrier! And see the art in person, of course. His gallery is jaw-dropping- dog art from floor to ceiling. *awe inspiring*

The Dog: 5000 Years of the Dog In Art by Tasmin Pickerell. This is my newest dog art book, and it is a wonderful read~! It really opened my eyes to the role of canines in primitive and Eastern art, especially.

A Dog's Life in Art and Literature by Ian Zaczek. This is a little book and full color, which I love, although it is mostly pictures with little narrative substance-- The tiny write-ups are mostly breed, not art, related. This leads to a little bit of, "Arg, I know the picture is about a poodle- tell me about the artist, his/her vision, the spirit they were trying to convey-! I KNOW IT IS A POODLE AND THAT THEY WERE BRED AS HUNTING DOGS!!!!" Anyway.

These are two books I inter-library loaned to peruse before I actually buy them. Dog Painting: The European Breeds by William Secord was a book I thought I wouldn't be as interested in because I assumed it would be narrowly focused. However, I was pleasantly PLEASANTLY surprised and this book will definitely be on my To-Buy list. It is beautifully illustrated with Mr. Secord's amazing insight into the artists and art-related movements.

Best in Show: The Dog in Art from the Renaissance from Today, by Peter Bowron. Another great one... I am still reading it, and it is due back to the library on Thursday. I hope I finish! The cover- a Norfolk Water Spaniel by George Stubbs (famous for his horses... and I know, a Norfolk Water Spaniel? Apparently an ancestor to the poodle. How cool is that?) --the cover is enough to elevate this book to my 'favorites.' OMG, George Stubbs was a master and his portrait of the spaniel is jaw-dropping... I must see if I can interlibrary loan more books on this artist.


alex said...

I am sorry about your white ink :-(
I bet seeing all that white (snow) everywhere just makes you crazy :-o
I <3 Dick Blick.
Thanks for sharing your book list, Now I want to get "Dog Painting (The European Breeds)" too .

Melissa and Emmitt said...

hi jen!

what a fabulous post and book review!

i love seeing all of your favorite dog books! i am going to have to check these out!