Welcome to my 'Dog Blog'

Last July (2008), I decided to paint a series of dog paintings in the spirit of the 19th century European dog painters. These painters portrayed the everday life of the dogs of their time, wih academc prowess, creating masterworks no less worthy than any other painting genre. In studying these paintings, I realized that even with the surge in representational painting today, animal painting as a genre, largely follows a Modernist aesthetic, and is rarely seen in fine art or academic art circles. I want to bridge the divide, both as an academic painter and as a dog lover and present dogs, not as one-dimensional stereotypes, but as living breathing spirits. In each painting, it is the domesticated individual, along with their wild heritage that I hope to capture and memorialize, and in doing so, bring the same dignity to them that they bring to our lives everyday. Our culture has a tendency to anthropomorphize our dogs; maybe this is the reverse in action, our dogs' nature teaching us something about ourselves.

This series of work was shown at Lora Schlesinger Gallery in Santa Monica, CA at Bergamot Station, April 25th-June 6th 2009. http://www.loraschlesinger.com/

Commissions are welcome. Contact the gallery or email me at km@kimberlymerrill.com

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

First dog commisson...

As I mentioned earlier, I thought I would share a bit about the commissions I'm working on. I'm just finishing the first piece, which is turning out to be one of the most complex paintings I've done. The commission is for two Rottweiler puppies and the setting chosen was a garden bench on the clients property in the Hollywood Hills. Behind the bench is a near and distant landscape that I composited from several locations on the property. Because I have spent so much time doing still lifes, I haven't done much landscape work, so these paintings have an added learning curve. This image is of one of the heads...I will post the whole painting when it is finished and framed, hopefully next week.
I haven't been doing this for very long, but I have to say that I have worked with some wonderful and interesting people and this client is no different. The next painting is of his other dog, which will be in another landscape setting. More on that in a couple weeks.
Any painters reading this will understand that, for me, one of the biggest challenges of commissions is the change to my personal relationship with my painting. The dynamic is different when I am painting to please someone else from when I am painting for myself. It has been tricky figuring out how to center myself when I am painting so that I am not always aware of the client and their opinion while I am painting because this seriously hampers creativity, making it less likely that the client will be satisfied.

1 comment:

  1. Kim this is looking nice! What is the size of the pianting? Can't wait to see more.
    Happy painting.