Posts Tagged ‘dogs’

For my Dad

June 4, 2012

From time to  time I just like to make my dad happy.  Here is for you Dad:

LeBlanc Stewart, Julius - Nymphs Hunting - 1898

LeBlanc Stewart, Julius – Nymphs Hunting – 1898

He’s an old guy, but I’m sure he will like that picture.  The artist Julius LeBlanc Stewart (1855-1919) was an American who lived mostly in Paris.  I’m not sure where he found these nymphal huntresses.

Your best friend,

Rita the dog [ignore video add, if any, immediately following]


Underwater dog photography

May 9, 2012

There is a guy named Seth Castille that takes pictures of dogs while they are underwater.  I think it is incredible.  Here is an example:

Seth Casteel--underwater_dog

Seth Casteel–underwater_dog

You can find some more of Seth’s photos here.

Have a nice day.

Rita the dog  [ignore video ad, if any, immediately below]

Andrew Wyeth (1917-2009)

January 17, 2009

The time has come to praise Andrew Wyeth, for he died today at the age of 91.  His paintings of rural Pennsylvania and Maine,  highly detailed, realistic, stark, even melancholy are well known.

Andrew Wyeth in 1964

Andrew Wyeth in 1964 (from news release)

Andrew Wyeth (recent photo, ©2008 Jim Graham)

Andrew Wyeth (recent photo, ©2008 Jim Graham)


So, in his honor I will share some images of the work of Andrew Wyeth, a few with dogs. First, a detail from the very famous Christina’s World, 1948.

Christina's World (detail) - Andrew Wyeth - 1948

Christina's World (detail) - Andrew Wyeth - 1948

For the full picture (but not high resolution), and information about it and the woman in it see this link to The Museum of Modern Art.

Next comes another well known image, dating to 1979 and called ‘Sauna’.

Andrew Wyeth - Sauna - 1979

Andrew Wyeth - Sauna - 1979


Next comes a painting I like because it reminds me of some of the wonderful walks my mom and dad take me and the interlopers on, near Xico, here in Mexico where we live.

Andrew Wyeth - The Intruder - 1971

Andrew Wyeth - The Intruder - 1971


Next comes a copyrighted image, so it is to view as a bit of art education, but not to be downloaded.  It dates to 1981 and is called “Lovers”

Andrew Wyeth - Lovers - 1981 (copyrighted)

Andrew Wyeth - Lovers - 1981 (copyrighted)


Next is one I like a lot.  That’s really a lucky dog.  Sometimes I’m lucky like that.  Those are good days.

Andrew Wyeth - Master Bedroom - 1965 (watercolor)

Andrew Wyeth - Master Bedroom - 1965 (watercolor)


Here is an older picture called “Wind from the Sea” that I like a lot:

Andrew Wyeth - Wind from the Sea - 1948

Andrew Wyeth - Wind from the Sea - 1948


The next painting is called “Raccoon” but I don’t see any raccoons.  All I see is 2 ½ dogs that probably hunt raccoons.  Maybe the dog that’s only half a dog whose really pulling his chain hard had a raccoon in his mouth, but the canvass just wasn’t big enough to include it.  Seems strange to me but I’m just a dog so maybe you humans who read this can explain it.  Anyway its a pretty nice picture of the dogs that made it all the way in.

Andrew Wyeth - Raccoon - 1958

Andrew Wyeth - Raccoon - 1958


Last, here is a picture with a wild dog in it.

Andrew Wyeth - Wild Dog (study for groundhog day) - 1959

Andrew Wyeth - Wild Dog (study for groundhog day) - 1959

I bet that was a tough dog to make it through the winter with no chance for a warm bed like that other dog.  The world is not really fair, and lots of it is just luck.

Anyway, I hope you liked this selection from the works of Andrew Wyeth, may he rest in peace.


Rita the dog

Tharpe Dogs

June 22, 2008

Its been a while. My apologies if you came here looking for something new but found nothing. Truth is, I’ve been under the weather for a spell. My dad says its ’cause I drank from a mud puddle. Thats my dad. He has a reason for everything. I drank from mud puddles lots of times and never got sick. So he says it wasn’t your average puddle, since it was right where all the cattle stood when they drank from the tank. That tank was too tall for me, so I drank from the cow-puddle. I don’t see why that matters. My young sister Cosi is big, strong, beautiful and healthy as a horse and she fancies warm cow-pies. If there’s a Michelle Vick out there organizing female dog fights, I’ll bet on Cosi. Every time. All I can say is if my dad is right we dogs have all gotten too domesticated.

So, since I’m still not feeling that perky, you’ll have to make do with a one picture post. It came from a wonderful little book called Appalachia: a Self-Portrait which is all photos from that part of rural America taken in the 1970’s by people who lived there. Dorothea Lange step aside. This is the real thing by the real people. Funny thing, though, this book, along with lots of other gems, was culled by the San Antonio Public Library back when me and Barney and Kitty-Kitty lived there, may they rest in peace. The basement sale people had the good sense to price it at $3, which was a lot, since most books were 25 cents or 50 cents or a buck. My dad scarfed it right up anyway. He has a thing for books.

So he shows me this one picture in that book showing, Fields and Pearl Tharpe, in their home in Auburn, West Virginia. They look pretty happy, an older couple sitting there with their two dogs who seem to be getting on a bit themselves — a lot of history on the wall behind them too. My dad said it reminded him of the Millers who lived up Murphy Creek and who fed him for a few weeks when his folks were away. Nice people and Mrs. Miller made real good biscuits and gravy. Myron, that was old man Miller, had bad emphysema which was because he had been mustard-gassed in World War I. Murphy Creek wasn’t in Appalachia, but it might as well have been. Country people, loggers and dust bowl Oakies, like from the Grapes of Wrath. They said ain’t and cain’t. My dad said ones’t you got the hang of it, it was right comfortable. He reckons it was easy but he cain’t talk that way no more. That was in South Western Oregon around 1959 and the locals called it “Murphy Crik”. There was a guy lived up Murphy Crik back then, loved his dog more than anything. Used to let it ride everywhere in the back of his pickup. One day he pulls up with no dog in his pickup. “What happened to your dog?” says my granddad (that would be my dad’s dad — I never did get to meet him). “Oh, had to shoot it–it wouldn’t listen or mind and I got so pissed I took my gun right off the rack and shot it”. That’s what the guy said. Go figure.

Well, Fields and Pearl Tharpe in the real Appalachia would never have done a thing like that. They’s good people. I can tell from the picture. Those dogs look real happy too, and I bet ones’t in a while they got biscuits and gravy.

Fields and Pearl Tharpe

Fields and Pearl Tharpe in Auburn, by Robert Cooper, around 1970

(see it big)

Till next time, your friend,

Rita the dog

Grapes and Dogs

May 8, 2008

Last night my dad and I had a heart-to-heart. It seems he is tired of all the paw-holding he has to do when I am on the internet. Mind you I’m good at finding stuff on the internet; I can google with the best of ’em. Its the ctrl-key, the alt-key, the shift-key, everything that makes me put two paws on the keyboard at once. You have to imagine  me sitting on this blue plastic stool, trying to type. Hunt and peck is OK but I tend to loose my balance–I have to really lean back on my tail every time I have to capitalize a letter. My dad doesn’t like to use that blue stool after I’ve been on the internet a while. He said I should just pretend I’m a Unix guru because they never use the shift key–it’s a point of honor with them–and then I wouldn’t have to lean back on my tail to keep from losing my balance.

Its tough being a dog. Not a single dog has commented on my blog. It’s hard not to take it personally.

So then he says, “why not use the caps-lock key” and pretend your one of those all-capital-letters internet people, who apparently think they are computer-savvy because they remember that’s how it was done in 1960. Give me a break. So now he’s looking over my shoulder and saying savvy is related to the Spanish word ‘saber’ which means ‘to know’ and maybe I should put that in my blog to make it more interesting. What does he know? He wants me to be more independent and he looks over my shoulder. Go figure.

Hey, have you ever contemplated a dog grasping a mouse? Just take a moment to try. See what I mean? Its next to impossible. I’ve chased mice before and Louie, he’s my cat-brother, has caught a few. He likes to play with them till they stop moving. I don’t think he’s my real brother, but my dad says we are all family and he IS my brother.

So then my dad hands me this giant folder with over 700 dog-art images and he says, “its your baby, I’m not doing dog-art anymore”. Hey, that’s OK by me. I like dog-art. “Fine by me”, I say, “I’ll do all the dog-art on this blog and you do whatever it is you do over on your blog”. He didn’t like the tone of that, but we agreed, so from now on that’s how it will be.

I’m sorry for that inordinately long preamble. You could have skipped it if all you wanted was dog-art. That brings me to today’s topic: grapes and dogs. Here’s how it happened. It seems that one day back in Texas my dad was couch-potatoing watching TV and eating raisins and this neighbor drops by and starts talking and by-the-by she says “did you know that raisins kill dogs”. “Never heard of such a thing”, my dad says and right there he hands me a raisin and I chow it right down. I guess I was lucky ’cause I didn’t die. Maybe you have to eat a bunch of raisins.

Later my dad checked it out and said “its true, raisins DO kill dogs, and grapes too”. These days he doesn’t give me or the interlopers (that’s my sibling if you’ve just tuned in) raisins or grapes any more.

That’s how I started thinking about ‘still-life with dogs’–you know–art pictures with a big bowl of fruit and also a dog. OK, you skeptics, here you go:

Dog with Grapes--Ferdinand Waldmuller--1836

Dog with Grapes–Waldmüller–1836

Don’t be afraid–go ahead and click on it–its not a big file and you’ll see it lots better. Can you imagine how much time it took to paint each and everyone of those grapes? He did a good job on the dog too, don’t you think? This picture was painted by the Austrian artist Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller (1793-1865).

Now some of you may be thinking “just because you found one still-life with a dog doesn’t mean you have to write a whole blog article about it”. Oh ye of little faith. Here is another:

Pronkstilleven with dog and parrot

Pronkstilleven with Dog and Parrot

This painting (just above) is by Baroque era Flemish painter, David de Coninck (ca. 1646-1701). The fruit would have been considered luxury fruit in Belgium at that time. A pronkstilleven is an exotic still-life. Most dogs don’t know that. The dog pictured is surely (and rightly so) more interested in the parrot than in the fruit. Be sure to click on the image so you can see it better. Oh, by the way, the painting as well as the original of the digital image above came from the Abraham Bredius Museum in The Hague, Netherlands.

I have two more dog-art still-lifes for you. The next one is housed in The State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, Russia and is by the French Baroque era painter, Alexandre-François Desportes (1661-1743). Here it is:

Still Life with dead hare and fruit

Still Live with Dead Hare and Fruit–1711

Notice also the butterfly and in the background a horse and rider with dogs trailing behind it. You might have to click on the image to make it bigger.

The last image (just below), although it has no grapes, is especially appropriate for this post because it is entitled “The Month of May”. It was painted somewhere between 1640 and 1645 by Spanish artist Francisco Barrera (1595-1658). Here it is:

Francisco Barrera--the month of May--1640-45

The Month of May

Be sure to click on the image so you can see it properly, and if you know what that white thing is on the right-hand platter, please comment so I and others can also know. The painting is housed at the Slovak National Gallery, Bratislava. Probably I snagged the image from The Web Gallery of Art.

I hope you appreciated today’s dog-art, and those dogs of the past who sat still in spite of their nature so that we could all have these still-life images to enjoy.

Yours as always,

Rita the dog