Thursday, July 17, 2008

Inching Closer

Pet Companions Magazine by Lori Levin"Partners"
oil on canvas
work in progress

Slowly but surely I am inching closer to having the cover to Pet Companions Magazine finished. I intended this piece to be rendered and more photographic than how I have been painting lately. I've not done this sort of thing in a long time. What I find interesting is that I enjoy it much more now and it flows easily. Before I learned to paint more loosely, I would labor over rendering. Now, because I am less timid, the tighter work seems to just fall off my brush. This one has been painting itself. I've enjoyed this experience very much. Don't ask me why but I believe this painting is sort of a watershed for other big things to come. I don't know that that means exactly but I have a fluttery feeling in the pit of my stomach about it.

Someone asked me why I chose this subject. We've all heard my rants about the goodness that comes from animals and humans partnering together and my connection with Canine Partners for Life. There is more to it. Many years ago I used to take notes for people taking college classes that for one reason or another couldn't take the notes themselves. At one point I worked for a guy my age who had an accident that resulted in him being a quadriplegic. Since he had difficulty with his hands I scribbled class notes for him. We became good friends.

One day he asked me to go with him to pick out a gift for his mother at the mall. He has a specially equipped van that made it possible for him to drive. One would think that would give him great access to activities we take for granted. It surprisingly did not. We entered the mall laughing only soon to be leaving in a foul mood. The isles were too small for him to maneuver and many items were out of his reach. He did not want my help but wanted his independence. This brought me to great awareness of what independence really means.

A service dog is certainly no replacement for one's own abilities but they provide great opportunities for an independent life. A dog can do many things for someone that uses a chair or that fatigues quickly or has seizures that another human cannot do. A human "helps", often leaving the recipient feeling like a burden. A dog is a partner that also depends on the human for its care. A dog knows when you are upset or frustrated and will comfort you, so not only does it help with physical needs but emotional needs as well. A dog is loyal to its human partner in a way that no two-legger could be. This is why I did this painting. This is a tribute.

Soulful Studios would like to take a brief moment to welcome Christine DeGraff of Websketching into the world of blogging. Supposedly my little writing habit got her started. Frankly, I think that flame just needed to be fanned a little. Christine is not only working on my new website but she is a huge supporter of my pet portrait work and helping me with my visibility here in Salem County. Thanks Christine!

1 comment:

PhotoJoe said...

Holy smokes, that's powerful! I don't see how you can't make that cover.