August 5, 2008

"Let sleeping dogs lie"


Oil on linen mounted on birch wood panel - 8” x 10”


What is it about a patch of sunlight that draws an animal to it like moths to a flame? My cats JJ and Anna live for these hot spots. On any sunny morning, the competition to see who gets to sit in the chair by the east window in the kitchen begins, each cat vying for that precious patch of solar real estate.  My studio faces due north, so there is no direct sunlight, much to their dismay. When we were looking to buy our first house years ago, the realtor would remark about the wonderful sunlit room that would make the perfect studio. Perfect for getting a tan, perhaps. The reason north light is great for painting is that it is cool, constant and indirect. That beacon of bright sunlight is not a welcome guest in the studio, reflecting its warmth off the oak floor and onto my canvas. My studio has two huge north facing windows and skylights which are a wonderful source of illumination. However, two oval windows, high on the east and west walls, alert me to brave Helios' presence. The west window I can easily close off by going into the loft and covering it with a makeshift cardboard disk. The East window is more of a challenge. Closing this aperture requires a long telescoping pole and some dexterity to place the disk just right. 

The Wiktionary (sorry Daniel Webster) describes the expression "Let sleeping dogs lie" as thus - To leave things as they are; especially, to avoid restarting an old argument; to leave disagreements in the past. - Eventually, they decided to let sleeping dogs lie and not discuss the matter any further.  I have found this to be sound advice in matters domestique.

These sleepy-heads belong to my friend Anne. In case you are interested, she tells me she has two new litters waiting in the wings.  You can see them at:  www.piperspuppies4u.com

8 comments:

Don Gray said...

Terrific, Mark. You pour a lot of true affection into your paintings of dogs. The light in this is compelling.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Don. I agree; the light is what makes this piece. The paint is real sketchy, but I kind of like it that way.

Diane said...

I agree the light in this piece is important.. I however love the softness of the sofa and the dogs... as well as the contrast of the geometric pattern vs the curvy sprawled dogs

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Diane. If anybody knows curvy sprawling dogs, it's you.

Jacqui Faye Michel said...

perfect capture.... the light is wonderful, the pose..... so DOG .....i love it.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Jacqui! I knew you'd appreciate those long legs. Now if I can only get them to slip into some little red doggy shoes.

JEANNE ILLENYE said...

Love your dog paintings, Mark! Kitty is very tolerant, indeed! Beautifully smooth creamy color--such fluid composition and beautiful tones. Always such a joy to view your work and read your lively commentary! Jeanne

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Jeanne.

JJ and Anna are lobbying for me to paint some felines and I may have to acquiesce. A pissy Siamese is not something you want to contemplate. She has not-so-subtile ways of expressing her displeasure.