About a year has passed since the death of our canine companion of 14 years, and he has been missed. The thought of replacing him seemed absurd because he was most certainly the Best Dog Ever. Bringing a new family member with a distinctive, unpredictable personality into our home was not an easy decision. We discussed and rationalized. But in the end, the plain, undeniable fact is this-- life is better with a dog. And we've welcomed a puppy into the family. He's a black, fuzzy, mixed-breed wonder, keeping his humans thoroughly occupied and half-crazy. He's got 3 speeds- sleeping, eating, and full-tilt blur of motion.
For the time being, painting has taken a back seat to re-training ourselves in how to care for a baby dog. But I've managed a couple of new pieces that I think capture the topsy-turvy mood around here. Painting time comes in short bursts because tearing apart packing materials in my studio is one of his favorite things. He sweetly believes that all of the world, everywhere, was created specifically for his entertainment.
I realize his learning process is not unlike my painting process- we both explore relationships between order and chaos, complexity and simplicity. We test boundaries. We find patterns and rhythms in the perplexing, take risks to delight in the surprises that appear with each step, and struggle to create a coherent picture of the world around us.
I love him already.
Artist and naturalist Michelle Louis has a vigorous curiosity about the natural world. She walks with intention in wild places at least 1,200 miles yearly, much of it on the Ice Age National Scenic Trail. She makes art documenting her experience along the way and in her studio.