October 19, 2008

"Thor"

Oil on museum quality, archival ampersand gessobord™ panel - 8” x 10”


Last weekend two dear friends, Laura and Miriam, were staying at the studio.  Both girls are aspiring opera singers living in New York.  They asked me if it would be OK for them to bring their Miniature Schnauzer, Thor, with them.  Hitherto my cats JJ and Anna had never had a canine houseguest, so I was naturally apprehensive but acquiesced.  My fears, it turned out, were groundless.  Thor, who lives in harmony, or at least detente, with a cat in the Big Apple, was not interested in my guys and JJ and Anna spent most of the weekend upstairs on the bed keeping a prudent distance.  They never really met nose to nose, so I still don’t know what my guys think about dogs.  At least they weren’t freaked out. They were more nervous about Laura’s morning vocal warm up exercises, which Thor is quite accustomed to.  Not so with my childhood dog Emily.  My father was a proud member of the American Legion and one chilly Sunday he took my sisters and me downtown for the Washington’s Birthday celebration. Also along for the ride was our pet beagle, Emily.  It being February and as little kids are wont to do, we started complaining about the cold.  We sought solace in a cathedral where a recital was going on.  Since we had Emily with us, dad snuck her in under his coat and we all slipped up the back stairs to the balcony.  A soprano was giving her all to “God Bless America” when Emily decided it was time for her Kate Smith imitation, Beagle style.  I must say that even without warming up vocally, Emily could reach the high notes, though her phasing could have used some work.  Needless to say we made a hasty retreat. That was the end of Emily’s singing career, at least for an audience. 

  While I had this handsome canine in house, I availed myself of his modeling services.  I was cautioned by the girls that he was desperately in need of a haircut. So here is Thor.  You may see him backstage at the Met someday, waiting patiently for his mistress(es) to return from the limelight.

7 comments:

Diane said...

Thor has the schnauzer intense glaze.. a sharp looking fellow... you always are able to capture the different breed's characteristics!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Diane. I may be painting a llama today. (or not, you know me)

Deb O said...

I'm just back from Ireland to find all of the beautiful animal portraits that you did while I was gone. What a treat!

I hope you paint the llama. I met a dear one named Abigail at the Fairy Festival 2 years ago, along with her best friend, Chamomile, the angora goat. When I asked if I could pet her, I was told that she had been rescued from being used in experiments and was a bit shy. I was told that I should wait to see if she would come to me. I did and was rewarded with a soft nuzzle from her nose to mine. It was sublime to be kissed by this shy, tortured creature, who could still trust, in spite of all that she had been through. So, I really hope you paint the llama in memory of my good friend Abigail.

Deb O

Mark Adams said...

Deb, welcome back! We'll have to have a Guinness (or two) at Patrick's and you can tell me all about your trip. The llama I am going to paint belongs to my friends Marcharee and Wellington. It was my first exposure to a llama, if you don't count Dr. Dolittle.

Laura said...

Wow! How surreal was for me to open my daily email from MarkAdamsStudio.com, with Thor on my lap, to find Thor on the computer screen... He looks beautiful. Even better than in person, I would say. Now, Miriam is starting to get somewhat jealous, as now she is the only one in our household not to have a solo portrait by you. (Clara doesn't count...hehe)

Mark Adams said...

I'll have to work on Miriam.

susan southard said...

As I wander through your blog looking at pictures and reading the stories you place with them, this one really made me smile and laugh. I can hear that beagle bark in my head, as I have heard beagles in the field and their song is like none other.

Thank you for the smile and chuckle.