February 19, 2009

"RibN"

Oil on museum quality ampersand gessobord panel 6" x 6"

I'm not sure why I was reminded of the menu of the late lamented Hausner's Restaurant in East Baltimore when I was working on this. Possibly because the restaurant was brimming with late 19th century art and on the menu cover was an image of a particularly sentimental but sweet painting of a little girl and a Saint Bernard from their collection. RibN, my friends Marianne and Steve's Australian Shepherd bears little resemblance to a St. Bernard. Perhaps it was the bits of pink hinted in his snout that jogged my memory.
My mother was a product of German immigrants. She was what you might call a "disinterested" cook. Her limited culinary bag of tricks was distinctly 50's - no herbs, no spices (except Adolf's meat tenderizer, S&P (not freshly ground pepper- Heaven forbid!), maybe some dried oregano to throw in the spaghetti, canned vegetables, and then cook the hell out of everything (sorry Mom). Although her father was a professional pastry chef, I'm afraid the apple fell very far from that tree. To be fair, my mother was a diabetic and an ex model and actress, so I guess food wasn't high on her list of priorities. Thankfully for me, my boyhood friend Keith's parents allowed me to tag along when they went to Hausner's. My palate, dulled by years of bland cooking, was desperate for new experiences. Imagine a 14 year old boy tucking into his first plate of hasenpfeffer...Yum!! Did I mention that Hausner's was known for their strawberry shortcake?

17 comments:

Joanne said...

The minute this painting came up I recognized the breed - we used to have an Australian Shepherd/Border Collie cross...VERY active dog. This piece is so beautiful, Mark. You have captured that soulful "I just want you to be happy, Master" look that these dogs have. They live to please their owners. I just love your work, Mark!!!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Joanne. You are right about the breed. Ribbon is one of the sweetest dogs I've ever met.

BTW - He got his name from a thin black rectangle of fur that runs from his spine to his belly on one side.

Diane said...

He's a lovely creature .. the facial expression is perfection! Are you sure that you are a "cat person"????
(have lightbulbs for you)

m collier said...

Beautiful painting -- wonderful story !!

Anonymous said...

you probably should have also given a shout out to Nadine's fridge :)

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, M.

Mark Adams said...

Yes, Nadine and all my other surrogate mothers made me the gastronaut that I am today. God bless them all!

Bob said...

Mark...another masterpiece! Have you ever tried southern cooking? Its fascinating how many differences there are after you cross over into Dixie. Being a Texan myself, I've learned a cross-cultural selection of cooking styles, with Mexican and Bavarian influences, but my favorite will always be chicken and dumplings. Oh darn, now I'm hungry. And Mark, if you can cook like you can paint, it must be some good cookin'!

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Bob. Being from Maryland, which is technically south of the Mason-Dixon line, I am a southerner. Our adopted city is New Orleans. We go there twice a year. We also have friends in Austin and try to get down there at least once a year as well. I envy you living in Texas (except for the heat). Between the Texas Barbecue and all the variations of Tex/Mex, dining out must be heaven.

Susan Martin Spar said...

I'm sending a link of this post to a friend who has owned three Australian Sheperds. I know she'd love this one. This sweet dog has nothing but trust, love and devotion in its eyes.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Susan. RibN was fun to paint. It is always an amusing challenge to try and capture new textures and colors. What do you call everything that is happening on an Australian Shepherd? Some brindle, blue merle, party colors and their eye color...fascinating. I welcome more reference of this breed. Bring it on.

Diane Morgan said...

I so love your work. The eyes! WOW! I truly think you are one of the masters of our times. And, your prose is the whipped cream on the shortcake.
Thank you for the kind comment about my Heaven is a ’57. It was in the Best of Show category so it was in a higher level than just 2nd best watercolor. The Best of Show was actually a photograph. Photography certainly has come a long way in the "art" world in recent years.

Mark Adams said...

*crimson blush* Thanks Diane. RibN's eyes are like one the those spinning color wheels used to illuminate an aluminum Christmas tree in the 50's. They are hypnotic.

PAT MEYER -- said...

He is painted with such care that I can almost feel the softness of the fur. Just lovely.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks for the nice comment , Pat.

Diana Moses Botkin said...

This brought a smile..... lovely portrait. Makes me wish I wasn't allergic and could give this sweetheart a kiss.

Mark Adams said...

Thanks, Diana. Are you allergic to dog and cats or just dogs?