Dogs' Houses: How Country Dogs Live

1998 - 2000

I miss the days when Ellis and I had time to drive all over the country by our farm, taking photos and becoming familiar with our little corner of southwest Wisconsin. I realized from these drives that rural dogs become invisible - just a part of the scenery you drive by while you're admiring the hills or fall leaves. Many rural dogs lead miserable, lonely lives, chained to outdoor houses. I painted this series of images so people would SEE THEM. A recurrent theme in my work is how to reconcile the desire to make beautiful paintings with the desire to expose ugly truths. I think I failed some of my dog subjects by "prettifying" their situation too much.

 

Some of the images are a bit blurry - these paintings sold pretty well, and predate my digital camera, so I had many old painting slides put onto a disc and, alas, they are not perfect.

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