The creatures that inhabit this earth-be they human beings or animals-are here to contribute, each in its own particular way, to the beauty and prosperity of the world.” ~ Dalai Lama
My inspiration comes from a wide range of places, including but not limited to Vogue magazine, People magazine, reality TV,John Szarkowski, Joan Rivers, Dolly Parton, Steve Martin, Diane Arbus, Mad Men, Breakfast at Tiffany’s, Best In Show, Woody Allen and Golden Gate Park at dawn. I draw my color pallet from Dutch Renaissance painters, Gerard Dou, Rogier Van Der Weyden and Johannes Vermeer.
Most of all, I am inspired by the Dog.
The dog has adapted to the human world like no other animal. When primitive man sat around the proverbial campfire, a myriad of beasts lived, breathed, and ate nearby, yet of all of these only the dog emerged as our domesticated companion.
We humans have been creating images of dogs nearly as long as we have been creating images of humans. As far back as 900 B.C., ancient Egyptians paid tribute to their pets by mummifying and painting them along with their human owners. In the 1600’s, artists such as Diego Velazquez and Anthony Van Dyck painted pastoral scenes showcasing regal hunting dogs alongside their owners.
The dog is slobbery and kooky and soulful and precious. Next to Steve Martin, Jennifer Coolidge and Sarah Silverman, they are the funniest creatures in the world. We are enthralled by them, the gentle gaze, the unconditional love, the stories of dog as hero.
When I was a teenager, our springer spaniel, Marble, was my coolest and nicest friend. When I failed algebra, she licked my face. When I was lonely, she curled up in bed with me until I wasn’t lonely anymore.
Marble and I met when I was 10 and she was 8 weeks. It seemed she was the tiniest creature I had ever seen. By the time I was 23 she was old. Older then anyone I had ever known. On her last day alive, I crawled into her kennel and curled myself around her. She had healed my feelings of failure and loneliness more times than I could count, yet I was helpless to cure her arthritic legs and failing eyesight.
Photographing senior dogs, dogs who are blind or deaf or hurting, is indeed close to my heart.
I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston and a Master of Fine Arts in Photography from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.