Art&Culture

A Dog A Day

Every day since February 19, UK-based artist Sally Muir has posted a new drawing, painting or ‘phone sketch’ of a dog to her Facebook page and will continue to do so for what’s left of the year—or, as she herself puts it, her “365-day dogfest”.

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A Dog A Day

UK-based artist Sally Muir’s latest, yearlong project A Dog A Day is helping me through this suddenly freezing, puddle-filled winter one painterly puppy at a time. Every day since February 19 Muir has posted a new drawing, painting or ‘phone sketch’ of a dog (and sometimes dogs, plural) to her Facebook page and will continue to do so for what’s left of the year—or, as she herself puts it, her “365-day dogfest”.

To Muir, “painting dogs is more direct and less complex” than painting people: “[It’s] more about shape and texture and straightforward characteristics, and of course you don’t have to deal with self-image.” Her works are expressive, full of movement and uniquely characteristic of the dogs she depicts—some of which belong to her, some to her friends, while others she dreams up on a whim. While oil is her medium of choice, she does also work with charcoal and ink; her loose brushstrokes and freeform marks capture her subjects’ personalities, fur textures and eye-twinkles so simply. And it’s this very personal touch to her style that led to one of her most endearing experiences. “Someone who was in hospital having heart surgery … was missing her dog terribly [and] was cheered up by one of my drawings in the hospital corridor [that] looked just like her dog; she said it helped her recover.”

For the sake of honesty, Muir isn’t literally drawing one dog every day—it’s a nice sentiment, but even for someone whose own children consider her to be “dog-obsessed” that could turn into a bit of a task. She’s found that, due to her fast process, she’s able to work on a number of pieces a day, leaving room to do none on the next if need be. And while she worries a little about inevitable repetition, “the fear of getting repetitive may make [her] try out new things”. But what will she do when the 365 days are over? “I’ll be quite lost … A Sheep A Day? A Hamster A Day? I can’t imagine I’ll stop painting dogs.”

But for the next 240 or so days, a new dawn brings a new dog to her page. The cherry on top of it all, of course, is the suspense of wondering whether it’ll be a scruffy terrier drawn in charcoal or a cheeky-eyed, oil-on-paper labrador complete with frozen Widgeon wing in its mouth.


Check the A Dog A Day Facebook page
facebook.com/pages/A-Dog-A-Day/553375201353384

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Art&Culture

ISSUE NINE — PRE-ORDER NOW

In our Spring issue, there’s much to be in high spirits about. We go behind the scenes of Wes Anderson’s Isle of Dogs, a movie fuelled by dopamine, alpha dogs, and a vast crew of artisans and animators. We hang with a pack of trippy-looking poodles created by artist Susumu Kamijo. We find five mutts who changed history by injecting their human counterparts with a good dose of serotonin. There is plenty of oxytocin going around, too. We celebrate Sulek’s photography of rescued Spanish galgos, Jo Longshurst’s abstract twist on pet portraiture, and Ho Hai Tran’s love of stripes and spots. We travel to Berlin, Toronto, London, and upstate New York to meet creative types whose bonds with their four-legged mates are as heartfelt as they are intoxicating. We ask five foodies to fess up about dog snacks and guilty pleasures that feed body and soul, and we embrace illustrator Apolline Muet’s bear hugs between humans and animals.
All this, and more, inside the covers.

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