By Karen Pannabecker
This painting has been on and off (mostly off) my easel since February 11th. My inspiration first came from a video a friend posted on Facebook. She and her dog have been training in agility and they’re amazing to watch. Of course, it’s also inspired by my life raising all kinds of demanding critters. Those of you with pets get this, I’m sure.
Making up a painting can be fun and frustrating. It’s fun because there’s no photo or person, dog, etc, to compare it to. When a painting isn’t realistic there’s not as much pressure to make things accurate. It’s frustrating because I have no idea about proportion, shadows, perspective, etc. When I paint silly paintings like this it doesn’t matter so much if my Australian Shepard is bigger than the woman, or a cat couldn’t hold a box of popcorn, or a dog dressed like the master of ceremonies has arms more like a human, or a standard poodle would never sit still this long, or………
Beginning the painting was hard for me. I had an idea, but didn’t know how to express it, so I started gathering pictures. I needed to know what a human body would look like in this position so I asked Adam to pose for me. As you can see, he wasn’t wearing a bikini like the woman in the painting, and he’s a bit bigger. See what I put my family through?
His dog, Maia, is totally bored by all of this. Secretly I’m sure she’s thinking of what she can make us do next.
At first I thought there would be a crowd of other animals sitting in the stands behind them, but that seemed intimidating and didn’t go well.
The painting went through many color changes between this photo and the final one. It probably came off my easel for a long time at this point. It stared at me from the floor and I’d pick it up again, not able to let it go. A few days ago I decided I needed to either finish it, or paint over it so I didn’t have to look at it anymore. I’m calling it done and ready to move on to something less silly – or not. I feel like maybe I should be painting fun things while the world is dealing with a health crisis.