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Smarts and personality . . . and sadly, declining numbers

Algonquin Park birding birds Canada jay Canadian art Canadian artist gray jay nature oil paintings prints reproductions whiskeyjack wildlife

Smarts and personality . . . and sadly, declining numbers

Whenever I am hiking in Algonquin Park., I always watch for gray jays. I love their gregarious nature and whenever I see one, I'm always left feeling like I've encountered it rather than simply observed it. Here is a little 9x12-inch oil painting that I created after one encounter with a gray jay— also known as a Canada Jay or a whiskeyjack.   Whiskeyjack  is an English corruption of the Algonquian name “Wisakedjack,” a kind of mischievous, trickster spirit in First Nation’s lore. If you’ve ever met a gray jay, you’ll understand why it has earned that name. They are...

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Dogs in art: the work of Edwin Landseer

My last blog post looked at paintings and drawings of dogs by a variety of artists, but this week’s post will focus on just one: Edwin Landseer. Even if you don’t know his work, his name might be familiar to you if you’re a dog lover, because the Landseer breed is named after him. The painting A Distinguished Member of the Humane Society (1838) shows the type of dog that is now known as a Landseer: Edwin Landseer (1802—1873) was an English painter, sculptor, and engraver. While he did paint landscapes and portraits, his subject matter was primarily animals. Landseer was...

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Dogs in art: the fine art of lounging about

Picasso once said that “art washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” November so far has left me feeling pretty dusty. With political disagreements dominating social media, and fewer daylight hours, I am craving some comfort and coziness. So, in that spirit, I bring you . . . paintings and drawings of dogs being comfy. Here are some lounging pooches drawn in chalk pastel by British artist Cecil Aldin (1870-1935). Aldin has captured great expression in the faces and in the body language: This oil painting by British artist Vanessa Bell (British, 1879–1961) is an endearing portrait...

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Dogs and art: companions and family members

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Dogs and art

There is a long tradition of dogs in art. It seems that as long as people have endeavoured to capture their world pictorially, dogs have been part of that picture. Dogs are depicted on cave walls, for example, and this recently restored mosaic in Pompeii—which was buried by lava in AD 79—attests to the close domestic relationship between people and dogs that has existed for thousands of years. Dogs have been depicted in art in many roles: in service roles, where they helped with the hunt or offered protection as symbols of loyalty and fidelity as companions I thought it...

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