Monthly Archives: December 2015

Christmas Past

I’m not one for celebrating Christmas in a big way. I used to, back in the old days when I was in “mainstream Society”, working as a drone for HMS UK, and later in retail banking. Those good old days that weren’t that good, really, because all Life was about then was the accummulation of wealth in order to pay bills.

Back in those days, Christmas would be the time to splurge heavily on purchasing expensive items with the intention of impressing the other half, whoever he happened to be at that time. One year I blew £500 on tickets to watch the F1 races at Silverstone in England, plus a leather jacket and a watch for him. In return, he bought me a breadmaker.

I still can’t make bread properly. And, waddling along Silverstone’s racetracks and muddy fields looking for a bench to sit on, whilst 7 months pregnant, is no joke. My sciatica is still with me, 13 years on. I should’ve bought him binoculars instead, the blind bat, as we had walked past our stand twice before we realised it.

Anyway, if you’ve been following my ramblings, you’ve probably realised that my track record with men is very bad indeed. I always seem to find myself with the most unsuitable guys. My track record with gainful employment is only marginally better. I always get left out of promotions and bonuses, somehow. Maybe it’s because of the great big word “MUG” emblazoned across my forehead. Maybe it’s because I refuse to lick boots.

But, toodleloo yaddi ya, yippee kai yay and all that. I’ve learnt my lessons well now. I’ve accepted and adapted to living with my ex separately under the same roof. (Who knew it would work out so well?) I’m not looking for another man in my life (though it would be really nice if one would show up, just to prove my beliefs about men wrong – like Marilyn Monroe once famously said). I’m very happy being a volunteer at a dog shelter, instead of working the 8:30-5:30 grind. I really look forward to the commute and Mondays. I love doing the Diploma Course in Canine Psychology, with the ISCP in the UK. I love reading, and books about dog psychology are so intriguing, I can’t get enough of them.

As for Christmas, it’s not about buying expensive presents or trying to impress people. Not anymore. I’m not religious, so Christmas to me is really just an excuse to put up a tree with pretty decorations and lights, give a few meaningful (and educational) presents to The Kid, make an effort to cook something nice and maybe wear something new if we do go out. It’s also the time for ringing the old folks and various relatives, to wish them well.

So, I guess the moral of today’s story is this: Change is inevitable, and we should embrace it instead of trying to fight it. People change, but only if they’re willing to make sacrifices and learn to leap without first seeing the net below. Because when you’ve made that leap into the unknown, either the net will miraculously appear below you, or you will realise that you can fly.

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Artist Inspiration : Ellen Jewett

Love animals? Like Nature? A fan of the phantasmagorical? Love it when Science meets Art? Then you will absolutely fall for Ellen Jewett‘s sculptures.

When I saw Ellen’s work on my Pinterest stream and checked out her website, I knew I just had to share with you all. You’re going to want to own her exquisite sculptures, and you won’t be able to stop at just one, either. For those armchair curators like myself, who have empty pockets, be patient, I read that there are books showcasing Ellen’s work in the pipeline.

Here’s Ellen’s web page, and here’s her Artist Statement that I’ve simply copied and pasted in its entirety, for your ease of reference:

Statement

Plants and animals have always been the surface on which humans have etched the foundations of culture, sustenance, and identity. For myself, natural forms are a continual source of fascination and deep aesthetic pleasure. At first glance my work explores the more modern prosaic concept of nature: a source of serene nostalgia balanced with the more visceral experience of ‘wildness’ as remarkably alien and indifferent.  Upon closer inspection of each ‘creature’ the viewer may discover a frieze on which themes as familiar as domestication and as abrasive as domination fall into sharp relief.   These qualities are not only present in the final work but are fleshed out in the process of building. Each sculpture is constructed using an additive technique, layered from inside to out by an accumulation of innumerable tiny components.  Many of these components are microcosmic representations of plants, animals and objects.  Some are beautiful, some are grotesque and, some are fantastical.  The singularity of each sculpture is the sum total of its small narrative structures.

  Over time I find my sculptures are evolving to be of greater emotional presence by using less physical substance: I subtract more and more to increase the negative space.  The element of weight, which has always seemed so fundamentally tied to the medium of sculpture, is stripped away and the laws of gravity are no longer in full effect.  In reading the stories contained in each piece we are forced to acknowledge their emotional gravity cloaked as it is in the light, the feminine, the fragile, and the unknowable.  

  Counter intuitively, while there is an appearance of complexity in design, there is a simplicity in execution. Each detail, down to the finest filigree, is free-modeled by hand.  Within each piece precision is balanced by chaos. The overarching aesthetic knocks on the door of realism, yet the hand of the artist is never intentionally erased; brush strokes and fingerprints abound.  Even the narratives themselves harbor a degree of anarchy as they are rarely formally structured.  Rather, I seek to achieve flow states while working to create a fluid progression of unconscious imagery.  That imagery, as manifest in tiny ephemeral shapes and beings, forms relationships and dialogues organically.  In the spirit of surrealism, this psychological approach to artistic expression creates a rich network of personal archetypes and motifs that appear to occupy their own otherworldly space. Within this ethereal menagerie, anthrozoology meets psychoanalysis as themes of natural beauty, curiosity, colonialism, domestication, death, growth, visibility and wildness are explored. 

Studio Practice

   While I seek to free my mind to the imaginative process, I am always simultaneously striving to refine my working environment.  I abstain from all materials; clay, paints, glazes, finishes and mediums, that have known toxic properties.  This, unavoidably, excludes most of what is commonly commercially available, and has sent me on a journey of unique material combination and invention. This exploration is a large part of the unconventional look and feel of my work.  Where possible I source the natural, the local, the low impact and, always, the authentic.  

Background

  Ellen was born in Markham Ontario and raised among newts and snails. She took to shaping three dimensional forms naturally at a young age.  In 2007 Ellen completed her post secondary honours degree in Anthropology and Fine Art at McMaster University.  While finishing her undergraduate degrees Ellen worked in medical illustration, exotic animal care and was teaching a childrens class on stop motion animation. By the time she presented her thesis, Ellen’s academic and artistic interests in the biological where intrinsically interwoven.

  Considered by those who know her as a natural entrepreneur, Ellen set out on her own path as a career artist while still in high school, spending long summer weekends travelling to exhibitions.  Ever the curious soul, while working as an artist Ellen has continued to study art and science respectively, most recently, through Haliburton School of the Arts and University of Guelph.  She has also accumulated certifications in other areas of personal intrigue, including applied animal behavior modification and crisis counseling. According to Ellen, it all informs her art; enriching the content of the unconscious narrative flow.

  Today Ellen’s work is achieving a vibrant internet presence making notable appearances on popular websites including Colossal, Reddit, Bored Panda, Ecology Global Network, American Crafters and many others.  Her sculptures are being featured in public and private collections worldwide. Ellen is enthusiastically expanding her studio practice, forever experimenting and meeting the demand of her time and art.  In her spare seconds Ellen enjoys hiking with her friends and dogs, kayaking, climbing, hunting wild plants and mushrooms, organic gardening, ‘upcycling’ salvaged items, drinking coffee and feeding tiny birds.  As her practice gains more international audience she looks forward to the opportunity to travel as much as her work does.

Below are just some of my favourite Ellen Jewett pieces, curated from Google Images. Ellen is really prolific, and it’s very hard to just select a few of her pieces, so think of these as “tasters”, and check out her work yourself! 😊

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Christmas Art Abandonment 2015 – Rockingham

Jack and I took the dogs to Rockingham foreshore this morning for a walk. Yesterday I’d decided it was high time we did another Art Abandonment exercise, it being the Christmas season and all that jazz. That, and the fact a nice lady named Rachel actually recognised and remembered me from months ago when I abandoned some Gelli®-printed handmade bookmarks at the same foreshore. I was chuffed that someone should actually be touched by my Art Abandonment, that my humble little gift had made an impact on someone’s life.

So this morning, we abandoned 4 of my handmade “Juicy Journals”, books that I’d created by hand using pieces of art paper that I’d printed on using Gelli® Arts‘ “Gelli® Plate”.

I had my hands full holding onto Shelagh with 2 leads (one attached to her collar to control her head, the other to her harness), so Jack was tasked with not only leaving the “Juicy Journals” on benches and tables in the public park, but also with taking photos of the deed afterwards.

I hope whoever finds and keeps the Abandoned Art appreciates it, and that it makes their day.

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Labels/Marmalade/People – Part II

Yesterday I posted about labels, using marmalade as an analogy. There was a reason for that.

Labels belong on food products and other inanimate objects. Labels describe ingredients, explain nutritional contents, instruct us how to use/wash/clean/maintain/repair an item.

In my humble opinion, labels are for things, not people. There appear to be two, no, three camps about labelling people.

1. Those who don’t think people should be labelled, who believe every single person is unique, and that people’s characters and dispositions are fluid, dynamic and ever changing.

2. Those who think labels help define a person, so Society can then treat them accordingly. If it sticks, I fits. Problem is, you never really fit 100%.

3. Those who hide behind their labels or take advantage of those labels as a crutch or excuse for poor behaviour. Temporary insanity. XYY chromosomes. Affluenza.

Anyway, some comments were made or overheard that got me thinking. And scurrying over to Pinterest (my “Visual Google”) to see what I could find on the broad spectrum subject of labelling people, stereotyping, gender issues, prejudice etc.

Here are some interesting and eye-opening quotes I found:

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As for myself, well, I am me. And I make no excuses.

Labels/Marmalade/People – Part I

Go to any shop and pick up a jar, a tin or an item of clothing. Look at the label. What does it tell you?

Labels on food products tell you what its ingredients and nutritional value are. Labels on clothes tell you its brand, where it was manufactured and how to care for that item of clothing.

Sometimes labels tell you what that particular item is…I remember as a child picking up a loose item of clothing at a shop and thinking it was one half of a pair of legwarmers (yes, this was wayyyyy back in the early 1980s). Then I found an identical item still in its packaging, the label of which told me it was actually a boob tube, you know, the stretchy lycra-type thingy that women wear around their torsos instead of a blouse or shirt. Perhaps better known as a “bandeau”. Well, silly me! In my defence, I was only 10 or 11 then, and still boobless, so how could I have known? 😄

You know marmalade is made from oranges. But you also know it may have varying amounts of sweeteners in it. It could have lemons or lime added to it. Or ginger. It could be a “Lite” or reduced sugar or diabetic marmalade. If all marmalade were exactly the same, there would be no need for branding or labels.

But not all marmalade’s the same. And not all labels or brands are the same. Prices range from “penny pincher” to “supermarket savvy” to “luxury item”. Even the packaging is as varied as the types of marmalade you can buy. Some marmalade look darker than others. Even their consistencies can vary, from wibbly wobbly jelly welly, to so firm you could hold the jar upside down and it wouldn’t fall out. Some marmalade have bits of peel suspended in them. There are even variations in the orange peel – from bits to shreds to chunks. Even the shredded peel have variations within themselves, from straight cut to curly or spirals. I’ve even come across marmalade with flakes of gold in it…only for the super-rich, of course, just because they can.

My point is, marmalade can be a metaphor for human beings. We are a different and unique. We all have our little quirks. What Life throws at us, and what sticks, is what makes us who we are. Even identical twins cannot be completely identical clones of each other. Every single second that we’re here changes us from a microscopic level, with knock-on effects on a macroscopic level.

Like right now, as I lie on my bed typing this post on my Samsung Galaxy Note 4. My bum is slowly going to sleep, and I know if I don’t get up and walk about soon, I’ll have pins and needles in my tush. No worries, though, as right now my dogs, Scruffy and Shelagh, have decided that they want to go out, and Scruffy is licking my toes while Shelagh is trying to get her muzzle between my face and the Note 4’s touchscreen.

I’d better post this now, then go see what I can have for breakfast. I hope there’s still some marmalade left.

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The Fluidity and Dynamism of Dog “Packs”

(Another excerpt from my ISCP Diploma Coursework, for your information. This time the assignment was to observe how dogs behave in a group, whether there was a dominant dog or leader of the pack. Be advised – there are several mentions of bum sniffing and humping 😄).

Dogs in a designated dog park, where dogs are allowed off the leash, display a fluid and dynamic power play.

In Australia, we have “dog beaches” as well as “dog parks”. When we used to live near a dog beach and a dog park, we’d take my dog Scruffy to both. The first time we went to a dog beach, I was a little apprehensive as to how he would react off the leash when he saw the multitude of dogs playing in the surf. What if he got into a fight? What is he bit another dog, or worse, a human being? What if he got scared, ran off and got lost?

It took a leap of faith to let Scruffy off the lead. There were all those other dogs scampering after each other, barking at the waves, some were even swimming in the sea, fetching sticks or balls. All were off the leash and running freely. But there were no fights at all, no displays of aggression. It was amazing to observe, like some giant canine beach party.

Scruffy zoomed off as soon as I unclipped the leash. He ran straight towards a group of dogs, but as he got near them, I noticed that he veered off sideways and approached them from a curved angle rather than head on. As soon as the other dogs saw him coming, they stopped their play and stood still, allowing him to approach. Soon he was surrounded by many dogs, most of them bigger than him. There was a lot of “sniffing and greeting”, where Scruffy would sniff a dog’s behind, and get sniffed in return. All the dogs had a turn sniffing Scruffy, noses to tails. Some of the bigger dogs stood stiffly over Scruffy’s shoulder and placed their head over him in a show of dominance. Scruffy did not challenge this, but instead wagged his tail low to the ground as a gesture of submission, with his face relaxed and tongue lolling out, eyes soft and friendly.

The introductions over, one of the dogs instigated play by performing a play-bow, and then the pack, including Scruffy, took off running down the beach. I wasn’t sure how good Scruffy’s recall was, but he never strayed too far and if he did go too far away, he always looked back in my direction, as if to make sure I was still there waiting for him.

From what I observed at the dog beach that day, and on subsequent visits to the dog park, where the same kind of introductory ritual was performed over and over again, the dynamics of the “temporary pack” are quite dynamic and fluid. Each time a new dog presented itself to the gang, there would be a lot of sniffing and greeting, and a new hierarchy seemed to form. One dog would appear to be the leader of the pack, deciding where the pack went next and what it would do, until either that dog left the group, or a new one joined in. Then the ritual would happen all over again. Dogs low in the hierarchy would often slink with their bellies low to the ground, tails held low, behaving in an ingratiating manner. Dogs high in the hierarchy would stand tall and majestic, sometimes stiff-legged, with their head held high. (This reminds me of the Japanese ritual of bowing to each other, especially that between businessmen. Business cards bear not just the name of the person, but their credentials and how high their social status is. Even the type or quality of the paper the business card is printed on is taken into account, as well as the font used. Persons of lower social status would bow deep before someone of a higher social status, whereas the high up person would merely nod to acknowledge the lower person. The deeper and lower the bow, the higher up in status the person being bowed to is, and therefore commanding of the utmost respect. It would appear a similar hierarchical ritual applies to dogs).

As with humans, some dogs get along better than others. If a dog tried to challenge the “temporary pack” leader, and if the dominant dog didn’t tolerate that, it would pin the aggressor to the ground and there might be a warning flash of teeth. If the aggressor submitted, it would lay belly up on the ground unresisting, until the leader moved away or off it. Sometimes the dog on the ground would dribble urine to show its submission. The dog would often lick its own nose, as a “calming signal” to the other dogs that it meant no harm and wasn’t a threat. Other “calming signals” are yawning, or averting direct eye contact with other dogs.

But sometimes the aggressor would choose to fight instead of submit, and this could escalate into a real fight between the pack leader and itself. A nip from the leader would often be enough to put the aggressor in his place, but if he refused to submit, the pack as a whole might turn their backs on him literally, and refuse to let him join in their play.

Dogs are very good at observing their human’s behaviour, and if their owner is frightened and holding their leash very tightly, this transposes down the length of the lead and the dog also tenses up. This often happens when the dog is out walking with its owner, and another human appears with another dog in the opposite direction. If the owner tenses up and starts reining in the dog tightly, the dog feel restrained and gets frustrated because it cannot get near the other dog to greet it. If, on the other hand, both owners are relaxed and allow their dogs to move closer in a curved approach, yet not quite meet, they may be able to pass each other quite cordially.

Many dog owners who bring their dogs to the dog park or dog beach, where dogs run freely, and yet keep their dogs leashed because they’re not confident enough about how their dog will behave, are setting themselves up for possible confrontations. On the one hand, there are these dogs enjoying their freedom off the leash, running, playing, etc…and then on the other hand there’s this dog being restrained on its leash, unable to behave like the other dogs. The leashed dog will feel frustrated, and, as the other dogs run up to it, may find itself acting aggressive defensively. Its natural instinct tells it that if it can’t flee, it may have to fight instead. Sometimes, all it takes is for one dog to stare at another, a direct challenge, and the other dog’s hackles will rise (pilo-erection), an aggressive response to make the dog appear bigger. When this happens, it’s better to remove the dogs from each other’s sight, to avoid a full-on confrontation.

In a home environment, where there are 2 or more dogs, the play for dominance can change from time to time, depending on the “Alpha” dog’s age or health condition. Generally, one dog will be the “Alpha” dog and the others submit to it. But if the “Alpha” dog is ill or old, a fitter or younger dog may take over.

Humping is natural behaviour amongst dogs. It is normal for males to try to mount females, whether they are in heat or not; my dog Scruffy often does this to my neutered bitch Shelagh. However, when Shelagh humps Scruffy, it is not sexual in nature, but rather her way of showing her dominance over him. Shelagh is larger than Scruffy, and younger, but when they are at play, she sometimes gives in to him and lets him stand over her, but only for a brief moment. When they are reunited after a few hours of being separated, they go through the “sniff and greet” ritual, where Scruffy sniffs Shelagh’s behind, and Shelagh allows him to do this, while maintaining her dominant status by having her head over his shoulder. They sometimes play-fight, and Shelagh is gentle enough to that Scruffy doesn’t get hurt. Mouthing or jaw-fencing, and muzzle holding are common games between them, as is mutual grooming. Shelagh’s sheer bulk could roll Scruffy’s slight build right over easily, but she seems able to refrain from crossing that line. Both dogs sometimes work together as a team – I’ve seen Scruffy, a terrier-cross, get into tight corners to flush out mice, while Shelagh, a bigger Staffy-type, waits to catch them in her jaws when they emerge. Overall, there’s a spirit of camaraderie and cooperation between them.

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A Dog is Not a Tamed Wolf

(The following is from part of my ongoing coursework for the ISCP Diploma in Canine Psychology. The question was about how recent research into the evolution of dogs has influenced how we view canine behaviour today. You may find it informative).

It was believed for many years that the domestic dog evolved from wolves, and thus a dog is essentially a tamed wolf. It has recently been established by DNA testing that dogs do indeed come from wolves, however the split in their evolution happened between 14,000 to 140,000 years ago. Because dogs and wolves have evolved along separate lines since the split, it is not realistic to view dogs as merely tamed wolves. Dogs and wolves share as much as 99.8% of their DNA, however we cannot simply confer the same attributes towards dogs as we do towards wolves. That would be like saying that human beings are just tamed bonobo monkeys or chimpanzees, just because we share 98.7% of our DNA.

Early studies comparing wolves to domestic dogs were conducted in unnatural environments, such as in zoos, or by observing animals in captive enclosures. Confined together, with nowhere to escape and behave naturally, wolf packs often fought for supremacy or formed uneasy alliances that constantly changed, leading scientists to believe that domestic dogs also vie for the position of “Alpha” when in a pack. Such studies did not take into account that in the wild, many of these wolves would practice avoidance rather than confrontation, and those with familial ties would often work together cooperatively, sharing with the hunting and looking after pups. This would ensure the survival of the pack; juvenile wolves would look after their younger siblings, in exchange for the protection and security that belonging to a pack provided. This sort of behaviour is not observed in wolf packs comprising unrelated wolves that have been simply thrown together into the same enclosure.

Toni Shelbourne’s book “The Truth about wolves and dogs” (Hubble & Hattie, 2012) explains in great detail the differences between wolves and domestic dogs. Not just in terms of physical attributes, but also in how wolf hierarchies differ from dog hierarchies, and how to decipher the body language of both dogs and wolves. There are also dozens of photographs clearly demonstrating each canine behaviour in detail.

The “Alpha” or “dominance” theory in domestic dogs has been debunked and has fallen out of favour amongst canine behaviourists. If your dog insists on going out the door ahead of you, it isn’t trying to dominate you, but rather intends to scout ahead of you to make sure the coast is clear. If your dog jumps up excitedly when it sees you, it isn’t trying to assert its dominance or welcome you back to the pack; it’s simply behaving like a juvenile dog – puppies jump up on their mother and nuzzle her when they see her, for food. If a dog inserts himself between a human couple about to embrace or argue, he isn’t trying to oust the competition by asserting his position as the “Alpha” male of the pack; he’s trying to defuse a situation that he feels might be threatening to his humans, he’s trying to protect them.

Some “dog whisperers” advocate using the “Alpha Rollover” to dominate an unruly dog. This basically entails pushing the dog down on the ground and standing over it, in a show of aggressive dominance. This style of dog training runs off the premise that the owner must assert his or her dominance over the family dog, and be the “Alpha” of the pack. This practice has also fallen out of favour; instead many dog trainers now advocate a more positive approach to training, in getting the dog to cooperate willingly, rather than being cowed into submission by threats or aggressive behaviour.

Victoria Stilwell’s book “Train Your Dog Positively” (Ten Speed Press, 2013) advocates using only Positive Reinforcement for training dogs. She mentions that humans find it hard to believe that dogs are not like us, trying to outdo each other at every turn. In reality, our dogs’ priorities are not about dominance or rank, but about who gets the higher value resource, and how to get it. So, for a dog to resource guard its bed/food/owner, it’s not because it wants to be the “Alpha”, but because it feels threatened that another dog may steal what it considers valuable to it. By growling, snarling, barking or nipping at trespassers going near his valued resource, the dog is merely indicating that it will do anything to protect the things that make him feel good and secure.

Holding a carrot in front of a donkey’s nose provides more motivation for it to do what you want, than beating the donkey with a stick. The same goes for dogs – rewarding a dog’s good behaviour with treats and praise works much better than
punishing it for bad behaviour. A dog cannot be expected to fully understand how we humans work, what we expect of it, what behaviours we condone or condemn from it, if we don’t teach it properly.

We as humans like to anthropomorphize dogs and give them human attributes, however we must also remember that dogs do not understand our language or customs until we teach it to them.

It’s important that we recognise the difference between past and present thinking about canine behaviour. If we continue to treat dogs as tamed wolves, we would be doing dogs a great injustice, and failing to understand them correctly. It would be like tarring both wolves and dogs with the same brush, attributing characteristics to both the same way when clearly they are two very different species.

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Imagine

Imagine a circle
A circle of friends
And in this circle
We’re all holding hands

If we’re all holding hands
We’re not holding guns
We’re shaping a future
For our daughters and sons

A future that only
A few might foresee
Where we all work as One
Not as They, You or Me

Imagine this circle
Going round the whole world
Hands clasping hands
Hold after hold

Look at your neighbour
Look at your friend
We are as many as
The grains of sand

We may be different
But there is no shame
For beneath our colours
Our blood’s all the same

So widen that circle
Pull everyone in
For Humanity’s future lies
Hidden within

So let us begin.

AlyZen Moonshadow
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(Image found on Pinterest)

(Poem inspired in part by Jason de Caires Taylor’s underwater sculpture “Vicissitudes” in Grenada, West Indies http://weburbanist.com/2009/09/09/79-unique-and-awesome-underwater-sculptures/)

Artist Inspiration : Bruce Riley

Bruce Riley makes the most amazing psychedelic abstract yet organic paintings by encapsulating them in layers of resin, to create depth and dimension. He drips, swirls, smears paint onto prepared black canvasses, then pours resin over it to seal it, before starting on another layer. He says he does not start with a plan of what the finished painting will look like, but rather makes it up as he goes along. How’s that for dynamic creativity!

Bruce Riley’s artwork reminds me strongly of colourful biological cross-sections of plant forms, flowers, segmented worms, amoeba, hydras, pathogens under the microscope, intestinal villi. All frozen in a vibrant dance of paint and resin. Absolutely mesmerising.

Check out this site, which has lots of beautiful examples of Bruce Riley’s artwork, plus a Vimeo video showing his work process. Definitely worth a look!

https://www.yatzer.com/colourful-nebula-resin-painter-bruce-riley

I’ve curated some of my favourite Bruce Riley paintings from Google, shared with you here:

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And a couple of photos showing the artist himself at work:
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Tri-Colour Dogs

I have a “thing” for tri-colour dogs at the moment. Black, white and brown are predominantly what makes a “tri-colour”. Though there are variations – merle, ticking, spots etc. I guess my inspiration comes from having fallen in love with a little Kelpie cross named Rhianne, who I blogged about a few days ago, under the title “But Didn’t We Have Fun”.

I’m in love with dogs with tan markings over their eyes. Dogs with spots on an otherwise solid colour coat. Dogs with brown ears on a black head. I never knew there could be so many different variations, each as stunning as the next.

Here are just some of my favourites, curated from Pinterest.

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