Mini Mags and I have been missing Brook. She was tragically hit by a car last week crossing Napoleon Avenue on her own between Dryades and Danneel. The car was a hit and run, but the people there were so nice. When we got the phone call, my daughter and son-in-law responded. The neighbors had Brook covered with a blanket and 5 people were petting her. She was rushed to Maple Street Small Animal Clinic. They fixed her up and x-rayed her. The x-ray showed too much muscle damage from old age for her to recover.
It was a miracle that my clueless, little escape artist lived as long as she did. I should paint some little lab angels in her picture.
My husband called her an anti-lab. She hated water, even to get her feet wet. She was afraid of guns and did not understand the concept of fetch. She was fetching, however. She loved to dress up, especially if she saw another dog wearing a sweater.
Mini Mags and I were reminiscing about Brook, and Maggie in her infinite 3-year-old wisdom, said that I should paint Brook.
At the risk of sounding loony-tunes, I am going to start talking about my process. I set the mood. Usually, I play music that inspires me, but when I paint pets, it is unusually quiet. Search me, I don’t know why this is the case. I light a candle, and for Brook, I put out some black and pink paint and her favorite food, an apple. I asked Brook’s spirit to help me paint her. Living or passed on, I feel the animal’s spirit happily respond to this. I guess it is just like an animal in life, eager and loyal.
I picked 3 colors that I think Brook would like. With Brook I picked hot pink, a color I always associated with her, pale pink and opaque yellow. Then, I sprayed the canvas with water to make the paint go on easier and freer. I put the paint anywhere that feels right. I put the yellow near the top like a shining light and the pinks everywhere else.
Then I wrote words on the painting. As it happens, all the time so far, the words placed themselves so appropriately. They went on like this: loving was near her tongue, loyal was near her brain and lab was by her throat. When I wrote the words, the canvas was vertical, and when I blocked Brook out, the painting was horizontal. I am just mentioning this to show how this just happens.
The words are loving, Loyal, lab.
Next, I painted Brook. I chose Black, but it could have been any dark color. I think I will paint the dark places on her coat in Dioxazine Purple and the lighter ones in Micaceous Iron Oxide, with Bone Black predominant. The great things about acrylic paints (I use Golden Acrylics) are the quick drying time and you can layer over anything that you try on. If it is a real mistake, paint it over in opaque white or gesso and start over.
Just on the off-chance that you don’t want to read about painting Brook all day, I will insert a picture of the blocking here.
And thanks for reading about Brook and my process. Stay tuned for the next step.
In love and gratitude, Gator Girl