~Written and edited by Veronica Clark ~

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

Ask the Dog's opinion on your Art!

Hello dear friends. How are you all doing? Longing for the weekend...

 A week or two ago I did a post for the Cloche Party click here, very last minute ~ as usual, and needed a backdrop for the masquerade theme  I  had in mind.  The blank wall just wasn't doing it for me... I have never been able to decide if I want this wall or knock it down (your collective sighs are audible..), and so it remained vacant... Anyway, I grabbed the painting from around the corner in the formal lounge and it seemed to work....

I have had numerous emails about the piece of art and where I got it, etc. So here's the story... I have a few similar pieces. I saw the same style in a friend's house and I fell in love. Her next door neighbour had a whole house full of similar paintings and I arranged to go look.  I wasn't buying, you understand...just looking...

One person wanted to know if that was the original!  Heavens no!! I wish, because if it was, I could just fly you right over to take a look..lol...! Of course, it is a self portrait of Rembrandt. Apparently, and I know very little about  art, he did a self portrait every time he looked for work, to advertise his services. And I seem to remember being told that there are no less than  thirty four different self portraits.
Interesting, is that the lady who sold these to me has number of the self portraits hanging gallery style in her passage in order of production, and so you can see how he aged. Just wonderful! Anyone reading, who is an art fundi please let me know. This particular one is an original COPY!! It was painted by a very old artist with failing eye sight. His face right up to the canvas, and then one of his students "touched" it up. Ditto with the rest of the paintings featured here.

Well, where was I?

Oh yes I was just looking...

I came home with around thirty canvasses.. Yes thirty... Why?
No, I most certainly did not buy all... I just wanted to see how they would look in my space.

Well, you see, Marietjie the lady whose house I was visiting, advised that living with "faces" isn't every one's cup of tea. She advised that I select those that I fancied, take them home and live with them for a bit to see who might freak me out! ( Also, I was not sure about the black, but I thought it might look good against my ochre walls. I love the combo of black and ochre with a  splash of red.)

Clever gal, since one dude on her passage wall's eyes were following me around and I took an instant dislike to his probing eyes.

She helped me select who to take home...
Back home, I unpacked my load  and spread them all around my formal lounge which is not a large room and started to chat to my new friends.... I was transported to another,  more elegant era and I felt very under dresses in my jeans holding court with these guys and ladies.

I let the dogs in from outside...

Smirnoff, the Labrador came bounding around the corner, always happy to see his missus...but slammed on anchors like nobodies business when he saw all these strangers lounging in the room. Now, Smirnoff has got to be the most silent dog ever... He does not do barking...way to trivial for his status...
The most he does is to lift his lip, do a concerned expresssion and work up a kinda whirrrrringgg sound, as if he might just bark, his head pushed forward and sniffing the air.....He does on occasion utter something akin to a that of a horse letting of steam after a canter, but that's it!

Only the presence of  a cat will elicit a full on furious, frenzied bark accompanied by a few pirouettes!!
Well, a couple of whirring sounds and horsey snorts later, he decided that these folks were not to his liking and did a reversal, all the while keeping an beady eye on these silent intruders, in case they had ideas of following him.

The diminutive Spot on the other hand, a feisty Pug crossed with a Pomeranian, followed close on Smirnoff's heels, as always. So close that Smirnoff's tail always whips him in the face ( he is always blinking in double time!) and when Smirnoff slammed on anchors, well you can imagine what Spot collided with.... After a snort of derision he was sufficiently recovered to view the new company and he was not impressed one little bit! Boy oh boy!

Now, Spot is a Pug of some girth and it causes all manner of navigational issues and
 problems when he comes into the house at high speed and he needs to take a corner on the tiles....

Think Tom and Jerry Cartoon Style....lol...

So, there he was storming in and out, making less than successful about turns, snorting his disgust and barking furiously at all the new guests who were oddly silent.

Every now and then Smirnoff would peek around the corner to see if they were still there, let off a whirr or two and retreat to the safety of the familiar family room. Heavens, I thought, this is not going to work....

I went into the Family room and Smirnoff was most relieved to see me alone without my posse...he kept on peering to the doorway with a concerned expression, expeting them to follow...
Anyway, they got used to the guests in the lounge. It took Smirnoff a lot longer than Spot. So much for being the big guy in the house..um...

I, on the other hand, started to remove those faces that I could not live with and ended up with four that might be allowed to stay. I wanted only one... In the end , well, I ended up with the three above plus Rembrandt the Forlorn as I call him!

He has that "please help me" expression on his face (quite obviously a marketing tactic)...I felt sorry for him and I loved the frame , so he was my first choice. Spot felt "feathers" for his forlorn expression and wanted to evict him sooner rather than later!

I loved her hands and collar and it felt like we had met before so she was the next choice.

She was the largest canvas.

But, of course the wall was large and two just didn't work , you understand, so there had to be another...um two... I wanted the large canvas in the middle flanked by two...

So, this was my next choice. We are not sure but we think it is Handel. Unfortunately, the old artist who did the paintings passed on and sadly I have not got all the details.

This was my last choice and oddly enough, I had to choose him for the direction he was looking in. I played around with various permutations and nobody else could fill the spot and look just right apart from this dude...
so he stayed.

A client who knows much more about painting, once pointed out to me that there was something "wrong" with the way the hands are painted. Come to think, they do look a bit "unnatural"?

Anyway, his eyes were soft and dreamy so he stayed!

As you can see, from the picture of my lounge, they are not framed. I hung them on the wall and had every intention of framing them in the same handmade frame that Mr. Forlorn Rembrandt was in, but the longer they hung, the more I liked them in the raw...

They have been around for a while and have established squatting rights now...

We have lived together for many happy years and Smirnoff eventually ventured back into the lounge to sleep but it took an old age. In the beginning he would lie there in the hallway and keep an eye on them.

Spot calmed down when he realized that all thirty souls weren't staying and he became more charitable when their numbers decreased!

So, there you have it.

Asking the dog for advise on the art?

Live Well


Joining Open House Thursday at No Minimalist Here click here
Treasure Hunt Thursday at From My Front Porch to Yours here
Vintage Thingy Thursday at The Colorado Lady here
Feathered Nest Friday at French Country Cottage here
Friday Unfolds at Stuff and Nonsense here
Vintage Inspiration at Common Grounds here
Show and Tell Friday at My Romantic Home here
Potpopurri Friday at 2805 here
Savvy home Made Monday at Home Savvy A~Z here
Debbiedoo's Newby Party at Debbiedoo's Blogging and  Blabbing here
Amaze Me Monday at Dittle Dattle here
Blog it Forward at Sweep Tight here

Let me know what you think down below in the comment box!

Thanks for stopping by...

Joining the following linkys


  1. Beautiful space...and the paintings really look wonderful in that space. Happy VTT!

  2. What a neat post! I love that she sent you home with so many. Great explanation. Thanks for sharing.

    I'm hosting my monthly Before Blogging Throwback Thursdays Party and would love for you to drop by and share something you made / did / bought sometime Before Blogging. Can't wait to see what you bring to the party.

  3. Veronica, I was one of those that commented on the painting in your previous post. Love the paintings and your dogs reaction to them is priceless. Thanks for linking to the Open House Party this week.

  4. Love the story! It's fun to know why people have certain things on their walls!

  5. Too funny!
    I'd have left the three unframed as well - they suit their state very well.

  6. Oh my goodness! What an intriguing post! I thoroughly enjoyed my visit here and loved the imagery in your writing. I could totally visualize your pups nervously eyeing the new art on the wall! That must have been quite entertaining! Your lounge is exquisite!
    Best Wishes and Blessings,

  7. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I thought I would hop over and visit your blog. It's beautiful! I look forward to visiting each other again. :)

    Sharon @ mrshinesclass

  8. They look wonderful! And so does your living room! Could we be twins.... Vanna and Veronica? *winks* Vanna

  9. Oh dear...someone rightly pointed out that I should have included pics of the esteemed art critics! Now why didn't I think of that? I will have to do a post on them!!


  10. Hi :)

    Are you still in SA?
    You have a great site here! Thanks for stopping by my blog :)

    Have a great Day!

  11. What great reproductions. What I like about them is that they are a little quirky - they all have mysterious expressions that are open to interpretation.