Hey there! Welcome to my blog. I'm a free dog living in Portugal and I write about my life as an artist and street dog. This blog is a way for me to have more of a connection with other dogs (and people), to share ideas, experiences and some of my art. I love to hear what others have to say so feel free to comment on any of the posts or to contact me via e-mail. If it's your first time here, you might want to check out my first post and read on from there. You can also have a look at my profile in the column to the right.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

a little help for our friends

my skinny friend Tiky and the dog-loving Canadian
I went out to the west coast last week. I wanted to check on a friend of mine I'd seen a couple of weeks ago. She wasn't looking very well when I saw her then. The photo above shows her lapping up some affection from a dog-loving woman from Canada. I think the woman was worried about her too.

My friend's situation is this: She belongs to a woman who spends a lot of time at Restaurante Castelejo. This woman has 16 dogs. They aren't completely free dogs, nor are they collared dogs. They're free to come and go but they choose to stay with the restaurante woman. And she cares for them more or less. Anyway, I went out again last week to see if I could do anything for my skinny friend but she wasn't there. Three of the other dogs were, but they didn't know where my friend was. One of the three there that day was Old-Man-Eyes, a dog I'd met a few years ago. She was pretty skinny then as you can see in these old pictures, and she had a couple of scabs from where ticks had been picked off, so she was looking a little worse for wear.
Old-Man-Eyes, 2008
Old-Man-Eyes, 2008

You can really see why she's called Old-Man-Eyes. She looks old and worn out by worry, but really she's only about six years old, and she doesn't do that much worrying. Her eyes grabbed me so much that I had to do a painting of her.
Old-Man-Eyes,acrylic on canvas, 20cm x 20cm
When I saw her last week she was actually looking quite healthy. She was even a little chubby.
Old-Man-Eyes looking good, 2011

She told me that life has been treating her well these days. I hope the same can be said for my other friend. Maybe I can get the dog-loving Canadian to help me check up on her. I'll be sure to post any updates on the situation.


Friday, March 25, 2011

yoga for dogs

illustrated journal sketch - colour pencil
Gorda is a collared dog who wears no collar. She lives in Burgau. She likes yoga and fresh garbage. And not-so-fresh garbage. She is one very happy-go-lucky dog and will hang around with anyone (dog or human) who gives the slightest indication that her company would be welcome. Aren't we all like that in a way?

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

introducing Rita, my friend from the bookstore

Rita standing in front of her bookstore, Livros da Ria Formosa, Lagos

So I've mentioned my friend Rita a number of times already. I suppose I really should introduce her. She's a collared dog who lives with a very good man who has a bookstore in Lagos. She has a great influence on me. It's because of her that I'm doing this blog. She thinks it will help me to organize my thoughts a bit and possibly connect with others who might have common interests. "It's a big world out there. Poke your nose into it," she says. She encourages me to continue to explore various ways to be creative. She's a very well-read dog. She's a whiz on the internet. She comes up with so many ways to solve a problem or to work something out - I'm just in awe of her. I'm not really sure what she sees in me. I hope that I amuse her at least. I love to make her laugh. We just seem to really click. I never have a bone to pick with her - unless we're sharing a tasty pork chop of course.
She's a real beauty, but don't let that fool you. She's got the brains too!

I may be able to pursuade her to do a guest post occasionally, so keep your ears pricked for that!


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Burgau is my homebase

My bookstore friend tells me that I should make a few posts on the topic of my village, so that readers can get a feel for where I spend most of my time. So here's my village, Burgau, as seen from the eastern side of the village, up on the cliff.

And this is taken from below the slipway at fairly low tide. Low tide is a great time to go poking around the rocks looking for interesting smells and  unusual treats.

This is a photo I took a few years ago of a couple of locals checking out the ocean's offering of the day.

And here's the sort of thing they're finding.
 Lovely slippery squishy smelly stuff. If you're ever in Burgau, look me up and I'll take you down to the rocks and show you just where these critters hide.

Tchau-wow for now.

Friday, March 18, 2011

emus make me smile

sketchbook emu
After yesterday's sad post I decided I needed something to lighten the mood. This is a pen and watercolour sketch I did at the zoo in Barao de Sao Joao. How can you look at an emu and not smile?  At least he made me smile until he poked me in the head when I was focused too much on my sketchbook and not enough on him! And if that doesn't lift your spirits, try this: the Muppets sing Oh Danny Boy

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bobby will be missed

Well, it's my second post and already I'm a bearer of sad news. I learned that a friend of mine, Bobby, died yesterday. I hadn't seen him for a couple of months. Normally he lives with Denise here in Burgau but she had been in Holland for the past two months and Bobby was staying in Lagos so he wasn't around his usual hangouts. Apparently he hadn't been quite himself for the past week or so. Denise arrived home from Holland a couple of days ago and could see that something was up. She took him to the vet and found out he was really sick. It seems that he hung on until she got back from Holland and then he was okay with moving on.

Bobby at the Brizze Cafe, sporting his summer haircut
At the Varandas Bar, ready for a stroll

Chillin' at home with his peeps

 I'd known him pretty much all my life. He was a great guy, kind of quiet until he really got to know you. He seemed much younger than he actually was. He loved his people, maybe even more than other dogs. Weird, I know, but it happens. It may have been because for the first 10 years of his life he didn't have a very good situation. Then when he went to live with Denise he felt like he was treated like royalty and he really loved her for that. Everyone, both people and dogs around the village will miss him. Tchao-wow my friend.

First post

So here it is, my first post. I'm getting into this whole blogging thing on the insistence of my bookstore friend, Rita, who is a pretty with-it dog. I will have to drink from that porcelain bowl of knowledge at numerous points along my internet/web/blog journey, I'm sure. I'm pretty naive when it comes to all this technology stuff, but Rita's a patient guide. And honestly, any excuse to spend more time with her is fine with me.

Rita's says I need to connect with more like-minded dogs (and even people) so that I can get a taste of the wider world. She says that sharing experiences, observations, opinions, and perspectives is healthy for dogs, and especially dogs who are artists. She thinks it will help make my work more universal if I'm able to put my experiences and observations in a world context. Sheesh, she can get pretty wordy by times. But I guess she's right. Time will tell.

So, if you've read my profile you already know that I became an artist gradually, starting with making random marks in the sand and progressing to the point I'm at now, keeping an illustrated journal of my life.
an assortment of my illustrated journals, made by me with my very own paws (and teeth)

As a taste of things to come here's a page from one of my sketchbooks (or illustrated journals - I never know what to call them).
self-portrait, relief print, ink and watercolour

You'll soon see that I do a lot of drawings or paintings of dogs, but I tackle other objects as well. I'm just trying to capture the essence of something I love or am affected by. Having a tangible representation (something on paper or canvas) of the object of my affection or interest allows me to re-visit my feelings for that object. It's a way of having that feeling available to visit any time I open up my journal or look at the painting. If I could keep all this in my mind's eye maybe I wouldn't need to do it on paper. But it's so much fun to draw and paint, I think I'm glad I don't trust my memory to retain all my experiences.

Well, now you know a little about me and what I'm up to. I hope you'll come back and visit and please leave a comment or send me an e-mail if you have something to say about anything I write or draw about.


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