I've had an idea for this collage for awhile, but have been too busy to start it. In fact, it's been awhile since I started a new collage of any sort. Being home sick, but feeling slightly better, I had the opportunity this evening to start working on this one. It is far from finished, just the beginning -- well, maybe a little more than that. I started to add details such as the pug's shoes and ballet slippers. I wanted this piece to feel festive, joyful, spontaneous and also a little romantic. It also seems to me a bit old-fashioned. Some of the dogs remind me of the romantic lovers you see coming back after World War II and kissing in the streets. I'm trying something new here as well, adding the computer-drawn pugs from my New Year's sketch to the photographic elements. I think it really works here.
Funny, how often I have run into the idea of dogs dancing lately. My friend, Jon Katz, wrote a wonderful book of short stories called Dancing Dogs and during one of the give-a-ways I ran recently a woman told me all about the dancing work she does with her dogs. I originally started my sketch of the celebrating New Year's pugs as fighting dogs, but they looked to celebratory to me so I transformed them into dancers. The Akita in this collage is my brother John's dog. I remember snapping the picture of her standing on her rear legs and resting her arms on his and thinking they looked like they were dancing. Then, I began to realize just how many pictures I had with other dogs who also seemed to be striking a pose, such as the poodle I snapped out on a "doggie spa day."
I added the children (both my niece Catherine, actually) because at the heart I think my work is always a commentary on the relationship and interplay between children and animals, only here the dogs take center stage. I love how "the girl" in the red is reaching out to twirl the ball, just as if she belonged there. I have more I want to do with this piece, but I thought I'd share it as it progresses.