I was kickin’ it on Flickr last night, checking out dogs shot with toy cameras. Here are some of my favorites.
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China Mike is a painter and illustrator from Bristol, England who describes himself on his Flickr as a “slacker/pro” artist. His dog-themed art is somewhat disturbing and provoking, but I really like it.
I’m not sure exactly what it all means, and I’m watching “American Idol” as I write this, so I totally can’t think too hard about it, but I think it at least partly has to do with the fact that, on a worldly level, our nihilistic, postindustrial/postmodern society corrupts even the most innocent and guiltless among us, and that, on a personal level, we project our desires, emotions, and worldview on our dogs (children?) in sometimes ridiculous and harmful ways. Or something.
China Mike’s work was brought to my attention by my pal Dylan, who disagrees with me on subjects such as Coldplay and the correct usage of the word “barbecue,” but who knows a lot about art and culture and stuff. You can find Dylan over on his blog Hard Feelings.
All dog owners think their dogs are the cutest/prettiest/handsomest pups in the world. In that sense, I’m like most dog owners, except I’m clearly right. (Yeah, OK… so Dottie’s not “classically beautiful.” But there’s something special there. Tyra would get it.)
Think your pup’s got that something special? Thanks to The Baker’s Dog pet bakery, you can give your pup the modeling career he deserves, with one- or half-pound bags of delicious fresh-baked, all-natural treats featuring your pup’s mug on the label.
You can find simple instructions for uploading your photo and ordering your treats at The Baker’s Dog web site.
While you’re there, check out all the other yummy stuff for sale. Aren’t these pretty?
Weezer’s new album, set to release next month, is named Raditude. If you’re OK with that, then you’ll probably love its awesome cover image:
The photo by Jason Neely of Middletown, CT, of his dog, Sidney, was a winning entry in a National Geographic reader photo contest. According to Spinner, when Weezer frontman Rivers Cuomo contacted Neely about using the photo for the album, Neely divulged that Sidney is, in fact, quite the Weezer fan.
Raditude is scheduled for release on October 27th. Jason Neely has a flickr.
You’re about to be assaulted by cuteness.
Los Angeles artist/animator/illustrator/dog lover Lili Chin creates ridiculously sweet commissioned drawings of dogs to raise money for Boston Buddies Southern California Boston Terrier Rescue and other rescue organizations. Using photos for reference and guidance, Lili draws essentially on her computer screen using a Wacom Cintiq pen and tablet.
Chin’s drawings are so cute they make my face hurt. But in a good way.
Yeesh, it’s only Tuesday, and I’m already feeling bushwhacked, folks. Time for a lazy blog post.
See more over at Dog Reflections.
Happy 4th of July! On this day when we Americans celebrate our freedom, phetched would like to introduce you to Wrinkles and Misty, two dogs who recently found freedom by means of a fence.
How can fences bring freedom? When a fence means an end to life lived on a chain, when a fence means a dog is free to run, jump, and play in safety and comfort.
Wrinkles and Misty just received a fence of their own through the efforts of PUP NC, an organization here in Raleigh, NC, of which my husband and I are proud to be a part. Since PUP’s inception just this spring, already several dogs have been released from their tethers toward a brighter future and a better life.
Photographer Tudor Costache (who hails from Guelph, Ontario, Canada) set out in 2008 to take a photo of his dog Ryder every day for a year. The result of his project is the flickr set 365 Dog Days (which, interestingly, contains only 192 photos, but they’re all so great I’m not going to be picky about the math).
(On an unrelated note, if you haven’t entered our giveaway yet, put your name in now! Contest closes at 11:59 p.m. tonight!)
Des Moines, Iowa, painter Stephanie Fitzsimmons is good people. She passionately supports dog rescue and adoption and has even participated in convoluted, multi-state rescue efforts and has taken in a passel of homeless dogs herself. She’s super nice and friendly and into wholesome stuff like photography and travel and the outdoors. Even if she weren’t such a good person, though, I’d still think her paintings were wicked cool.
The first painting above is of husky mix Takoda, one of Fitzsimmons’ dogs. Steph creates many of her paintings from photographs, and she explains her process step by step here.
Fitzsimmons is so kind that she even agreed to submit to a short interview for phetched:
1. Is there a breed (or a particular dog) you haven’t had the opportunity to paint yet that you’d really like to? Why?
I’m dying to paint an English Bulldog! I went to a “beautiful bulldog” competition recently and snapped photos of several. I am totally captivated by their wrinkly, colorful and expressive faces!
2. I love the bright colors in the backgrounds of your paintings. At what point in your process do you usually decide what color the background will be?
When I look at the dog’s photo, I usually have an immediate image in my head of how the painting might look including the background. I like to choose a color that creates a vibrant contrast against the dog’s coat color. If I’m painting it for someone, I first ask if they have a preference on background color – a color they like or something that fits their home decor. If it works, I will use it.
3. You like taking photographs of dogs, also. What’s the craziest breed mix you’ve ever seen?
Basset Hound mixes are always the craziest! A few weeks ago I saw a dog that looked like a Basset Hound wearing a brightly spotted English Setter coat, with a large and wrinkled mastiff-style head. The most unique dog I’ve ever seen! There is a photo on my blog.
4. We’ve all seen those poor people who get portrait tattoos that look frighteningly nothing like the photograph of their loved one. When you do commissioned paintings from photographs, do you ever worry that a dog’s owners will feel you haven’t “captured” their dog well enough in your painting?
I am my own worst critic! I am always nervous showing the owner the finished painting. Fortunately everyone has been totally satisfied so far, and occasionally I am told that I captured a detail or an aspect of the dog’s personality that wasn’t even visible in the provided photos.
5. You and your husband live with a pack of five fairly large dogs. If your life were made into a reality show, what would it be called?
Fuzzy Logic: Confessions of Crazy Dog People
Thanks, Steph, for answering our questions! And as for the question that you’re probably asking, Dear Reader, “Can Steph paint my dog?” — the answer is yes! You can find out more about WOOF Factory and inquire about commissions on Fitzsimmons’ web site, here. She also has a few paintings for sale on Etsy.
Super-talented Raleigh architect and photographer Rebecca Necessary is dog-mom to Mingus and Dottie’s pal Boone, a Lab/Border Collie mix. Necessary and her husband adopted Boone at 10 weeks old, and she’s had her lens trained on him ever since.
I love Rebecca’s experimentation with depth of field and the way she catches Boone doing “doggy” things.