Several weeks ago an artist friend, Susan Donnell Budd, emailed that a painting of mine she owns is in an important exhibition of dog paintings at the Morris Museum, in Morristown, NJ. Surprised, flattered and thrilled, I found more than 100 works on view celebrating dogs in art from the nineteenth century to the present day, focusing on sporting dogs and hounds, plus dog portraits.
Paintings by British luminaries such as Emms; George, Thomas and Maud Earl (a favorite of mine); Muss-Arnolt; Americans Osthaus, Ettinger and Megargee; among others; and a handful of contemporary artists are represented, including my friend Susan.
The exhibit advisor was William Secord, a NYC gallery owner who specializes in dog paintings and is an expert on the genre; the books he’s authored are must-reads for the dog lover and must-looks for the dog artist willing to learn a thing or two. My painting in the exhibit, titled “Something Only the Hounds Heard” (20 x 24 inches, oil on linen), depicts a tableau I witnessed one morning when out with the Essex Hunt Club (Peapack, NJ). The entire field of over a dozen riders and 30-some hounds were resting at a crossroads after an ardent but thwarted chase through early autumn color. The hounds were still pumped, and I enjoyed watching them mill about: athletes at halftime. Then of a sudden all eyes and ears snapped towards a nearby wood, yet I hadn’t heard a thing myself (they hear four times as far as we do). What a moment. The next day I started sketches for the painting.
The Dog Show: The Art of Our Canine Companions
At The Morris Museum through December 14