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.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

the art of fish

relief print in journal (detail),  ink 

The feast that Rita and I were treated to a few days ago got me thinking about fish. Fish and art, that is.  You see, the person who cooked the fish was an artist with food. And the subject was fish. I was thinking about this and started to notice that fish inspire many artists. I see examples all around me. And I have been inspired by fish as well, and continue to be so.

I thought I’d give you a little taste of the variety of fishy art to be found here. Some of it is mine and some is just what I’ve stumbled across in my local wanderings. Unfortunately I don’t know who to credit for every piece, but if anyone out there reading this can give me information I’d be happy to add it.

mosaic on wall of bath at ruins of Milreu (click image to enlarge)
This is just a taste of the many incredible mosaics found at the ruins of Milreu near Estoi here in the Algarve. These were made by Italian artists about 2000 years ago. Each little stone that makes up the mosaic is only about the size of a piece of dog kibble. They must have worked like dogs to make this!

broken tile mosaic on wall
This is a much more recent fish mosaic found right here in Burgau.

sign outside restaurante in Carvoeiro
This one isn’t a mosaic, but it is made of many bits. In this case the fish are cut and shaped pieces of metal.

journal page, ink, watercolour and crayon
Fish are fun to doodle. There is such a variety in the colour, shape, and texture. I think you could draw a fish a day for the rest of your life and never repeat yourself.

painted platter (work in progress)
I was visiting my friend Lotte in Pereira. His person rescued him from a garbage bin when he was just a pup. Lotte and his person live in a house that also has a tile workshop where people go for lessons. This is a platter being painted by one of the students.  The subject? Fish of course.

interesting fish graphics on sugar packets
For some reason fish appear on these sugar packets. I’m not sure what fish have to do with sugar, but they did catch my eye. I think sometimes that's the sole purpose of an interesting image - simply to catch your eye. Well, I guess it worked.
My friend (er, aquaintance really - he's a bit too grumpy for me) Bossy Pants at Ancora
Well all this talk of fish has made me hungry. I’m off to the back door of Restaurante Ancora where the owner Rex is always eager to feed a ruggedly handsome dog like me.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

A fish in the pan is worth two in the sea.

Sometimes the smell of fish makes me lose my head, but not quite like this!
Rita and I were at the fish market in Lagos this morning and we were seduced by the lovely smells. I hopped up on a stack of chairs that were near the counters to get a good view of all the tasty ocean treats. One particularly caught my eye so I did a sketch of it in my journal. The sign said it’s called azevias. The name in English is flounder.  But I think the sign is wrong. It didn’t smell like flounder to me. And besides, all the azevias I’ve known have their eyes only on one side of the body, except the very young ones whose eyes haven’t migrated yet. Boy, that’s a whole other subject though. Imagine being born with your eyes in a certain place and then one of them gradually moves and the whole shape of your body transforms. It’s weird! But I digress.
journal sketch, watercolour
While I was drawing, Rita ran into a person friend from Burgau. He could see how much Rita wanted some fish so he invited both of us back to his place for a feast.  He let Rita choose what she wanted so she pointed to the cavala (mackerel). He had the seller pick two of the best, had them wrapped up, gave the man some coins and off we went. Before we left Lagos we stopped by the bookstore to let Rita’s person know she was going for a visit to Burgau.
Our friend didn't waste a bit. The guts were the appetizers.
Our friend set up a couple of stools for us to perch on and supervise the preparations. He carefully grilled the fish over a fire and it was delicious! This man can cook! Rita and I had the appetizers and one fish, he and his friend shared the other fish. I think Rita and I were the perfect guests. We happily allowed the man and his friend to pat us much as they wanted. We courteously licked their hands clean after they had finished eating, and we cleaned all their dishes too. With any luck we’ll be asked to visit again soon. In the meantime we have other fish to fry.
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