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, May 25, 2011

Yes, I'm an artist, but I'm a dog first!

The art exhibit on Saturday night at No9 Tasca Bar was a treat. I had been worried about sneaking in, but as it turned out no one really paid any attention to me. I kind of hung around outside until the music started then I slipped in unnoticed. By this time people were pretty focused on the music and I was able to get a close look at the paintings. This one is my favourite.
"Exodus" by Michael Fuller, acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 60cm

His ability to capture a person’s face is obviously much more advanced than mine as you can see from these sketches I did of some of the people there that night.
jam session sketches at No9

I guess it makes sense. I feel comfortable doing sketches and paintings of dogs because I relate to them, I’m one of them. Sometimes when I’m painting a dog I actually feel like I AM that dog. I’m guessing it might be the same for Michael when he paints people. I think you actually have to feel your subject’s emotion to get it down on paper. Hmmm. Wait a minute. How does that work then if I’m painting a cup of coffee or a car? Do I feel like a cup of coffee? Or a car? How does a car feel? Oh, now I’m confused.

Okay, so the art was good, but the tiny bits of food dropped on the floor were even better!  Bacalhau a bras, sweet potatoes fritas em azeite, Galician octopus, Marcella … I was in heaven! Yes, I’m an artist, but I’m a dog first. Food rules!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Exhibitionists or artists? Is there a difference?

I just saw a notice for a painting exhibition opening at the No9 Tasca Bar (click the green text for more info) here in the village. It’s this Saturday night at 10. I hope to sneak in and have a look. The paintings are by a man I met here in Burgau a couple of years ago. Last year Michael started painting in acrylics (he had done some painting before but it was theatre set painting which is another thing altogether) and he asked me if I would add a dog to a painting he was planning to do. I was happy to make my mark on his work. He had a particular image in his mind of Murphy, a very handsome and chilled out dog who had been rescued from an animal shelter just a couple of months earlier.

Michael working on another acrylic

We went down to the slipway and had Murphy pose, looking out to sea. The idea was that Murphy was dolphin watching.  So, from the photo we took of Murphy sitting on the slipway, Michael painted the whole scene and when he was finished he handed the canvas off to me and I added Murphy. I was a little nervous working on someone else’s painting so I did a sketch first to get a feel for what I was going to do and also to let Michael see it and be sure that it was going to be okay. 
watercolour pencil preliminary sketch of Murphy

Even though the sketch was done with watercolour pencils, it still gave me a feel for what I needed to do later with the acrylics on Michael’s canvas. Here's the finished painting.
"Dolphin Watching", Michael Fuller & Ruca, acrylic on canvas, 50cm x 60 cm

"Dolphin Watching" detail

I'm hoping everyone at No9 Tasca Bar likes dogs so that I can hang around and have a good look at what Michael's been working on this past winter. Actually, digging up the photos of our collaborative piece and the preliminary sketch has got me itching to do another acrylic so that's my next project. Here’s a little teaser for you. This will be the photo I’ll work from. 
inspiration for my next painting
 Now it's off to tackle some preliminary sketches!


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Houdini hound

Hey there. This is just a quick post to tell you about an article I read the other day. It’s about a German Shepherd who managed to break out of a veterinary office where he had been locked up so that he could be treated with intravenous antibiotics. I imagine being locked up for days made him feel  a little like this dog in the photo.

Is this what road rage is?
Nothing like a little anger to get the adrenalin flowing and the synapses firing.

His cagey uncaging got me to thinking maybe I could hire him to rescue the down and out drunk dog I spoke about in my last post. The only problem is that the German Shepherd is in America and I’m not sure how he would get over here to Portugal. Maybe someone reading this knows of an equally ingenious and dexterous dog closer to home. Let me know. I can make payment in several currencies including pork ribs, chicken feet, and guided tours (with personal introductions to the chefs) of the back doors to restaurants in Burgau.

You can read the full story of the cunning canine here.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

it drives a dog to drink

In my last post I joked about a rescue mission for the dog being teased about food. It reminded me of this  page I did in my journal not long ago. If ever there was a dog in need of rescuing, this is one. 
journal page, ink and watercolours

I came across him in Luz, which is a tidy little village just east of Burgau. I’d spent a lovely afternoon walking along the cliffs, doing some birdwatching and sketching. In Luz I stopped by my person friend Meri’s shop for a drink of water (and she treated me to an organic dog biscuit – thanks Meri!). I did a sketch of a flower covered balcony just alongside Meri’s shop. As I was walking along the waterfront, heading back to Burgau, I came across this poor fella slumped beside an empty wine box. I tried to talk to him but he was pretty out of it. He barely looked at me, just gazed, unfocussed, out at the inviting rocky beachscape just on the other side of his prison. I hung around for a while, hoping his person would show up so I could give him an earful. No one ever did show up. Eventually I left. What could I do?

Saturday, May 7, 2011

to err is human, but to tease a dog is totally sadistic

Well. This hurts. I just came across this video that shows what happens when we dogs let people control our lives. This man is a sadist. And the poor dog is totally under his spell. If anyone out there reading this can identify this dog and the cowardly person who doesn't show his face, please let me know. I'd be happy to organize a rescue party for this poor fella. I mean really! Bacon? Steak? Chicken? Cheese? This dog is destined to go crazy! Have a look for yourself. ... Okay, maybe it's a little funny. Thanks to YouTube's Break Channel for the video. You can see more here.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

doggy dental dilemmas

In general, we dogs in Portugal seem to have a lot of teeth problems. That is, we have a lot of teeth (which can be a problem), and we have a lot of problems related to teeth. You can see it in many of my friends. I also know of a few cases of weirdly oversized teeth.
Fango, a friend of mine in Lagos, has pretty funny oversized teeth.

Take a closer look at those chompers!

I couldn't resist doing a sketch of Fango. I hope I captured his regal demeanor.

Underbites are quite common. Crooked teeth are as well. Both of these dental dilemmas run in my family. 
I prefer to think of myself as toothsome rather than toothy.
You can see from the photo that my teeth, while somewhat jumbled, are healthy and white. My secret weapon against dental disaster is raw carrots. It’s hard to get good and crisp fresh carrots though. They don't usually end up in restaurant garbage which is usually one of the best places to find good food. I know of a couple of places I can dig them up, but it’s only at certain times of year that I can find them. Hmmm. All this talk about carrots has given me a craving. I'm off to do some digging!


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