The Amazing Dancing Dog!

Dexter as circus dog, in style of old-fashioned circus poster

Dexter does it again. Isn’t he just AMAZING!?!!?? More so with all caps, right?

Dexter did it again. Pose that is.

Another folio exchange, this one with the theme “Circus, Circus” so of course I had to do this little circus dog, and then modeled it after old circus posters somewhat. Circus World in Baraboo (and those fantastic old posters) remains an inspiration to me, since childhood. I got over my fear of clowns doing this one–looking at just tons of old clown photos till they didn’t look scary anymore–yeah! Happy day!! I think this clown still looks somewhat ominous, but it had to be dark and simply-rendered to show off my little star in the foreground.

The photo shoot was pretty funny–Dexter did a lot of “dancing” for cheese…. I bet he thought he’d died and gone to heaven.

The Amazing Dancing Dog
– Reduction woodcut on Arches cover
– 23in x 8 1/2in

This was for sale at Artisan Gallery, but it (along with other ones I took for the Small Works show earlier this month) sold rather quickly. I will frame up another at some point soon, and get it to Artisan, but have to get that cow finished first!

NOTE: No animals were harmed in the posing/making of this print. Spoiled, yes; hurt, no.

Cutting up meat

8ft x 4ft piece of birch plywood. Carving mostly with reciprocating carver plus some hand gouges.

Starting to cut:

8x4ft block of birch plywood with drawing of pig carcass on it

Pig carcass drawn in red acrylic wash and black ink before carving begins. Dexter and Zuzu to scale.

 

And

After a few days worth of cutting, almost done:

2 little dogs pose in front of 8x4ft sheet of plywood with carcass carved on it

Uncooperative Zuzu refuses to pose calmly. Does not share artist's enthusiasm for carving fake meat

 

closeup of artist carving large block with electric gouge

Reciprocating carver or gouge, is a wrist/hand/arm saver.

New reduction print

The story behind this scene (or what happened afterwards)
For this folio exchange, Hand, Eye, Bird, I took the literal approach (as usual). In fact this image is the first thing I thought of when I read about this folio. For me, there is no stare more intense than a predator focusing on it’s prey, and although that was not my intent (to feed a helpless, cute little chick to Dexter), it was clearly Dexter’s.

color relief print of terrier about to eat a baby chick

'The handbook said' • 5-color reduction linoleum print on mulberry • 10in x 16in • click image to enlarge (and read the text)

As you can read in the print, The handbook said…, I am doing just what is recommended, showing Dexter one of the chicks (out of the box full of chicks that I just brought home from the post office). I am telling Dexter: “Gentle, good boy!…Mama’s chick…gentle…good boy!….” which I’m sure he translated to “Blah, blah, blah good boy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, good boy….” (I now realize that I was praising him for staring, “pointing” and anticipating the kill as he trembled with anticipation). He is vibrating here (as little terriers do), eyes growing wider and wider. What you don’t see in the print, is the split second after…. Suddenly, in the blink of an eye, Dexter had the chick’s head in his mouth! “NO!! Dexter!!! BAD boy!!!!” I shouted, and in the next instant, Dexter had opened his mouth and the chick’s head popped out (chick wasn’t harmed), and then Dex was cringing and trembling with fright that I’d yelled at him (which is SO Dexter). It all happened in seconds–so fast that the chick didn’t even blink an eye or register the fact that it was almost swallowed alive.

Another typical vignette of life on our farm. It is never boring when you live with terriers.

Dexter got face-skunked

Man oh man does my studio stink! And that’s after the 3rd washing (1st washing down in barn). Came home from school/work to 2 skunked dogs. Evidently, on the walk tonight, Dexter raced after a skunk in the pasture above, Zuzu trailing behind. When Dex got within 1 foot of the critter, Pepé let loose with a huge cloud of spray (J, who was watching–and yelling–from below, said this huge cloud rose up out of the pasture), Dexter’s face got the point-blank direct hit.

Ran out of the good stuff, Outright Skunk Odor Eliminator, but after 3 washings Dexter’s bearable in the house. Zuzu just got lightly sprayed, so after washing she’s just fine. As you can see here she’s not too keen about sitting near Dexter in his aromatic state:

dex and zuzu (terriers) recuperate in chair after washing

Zuzu, on left is about to get out of the stinky room. Le Miserable (Dexter) is on the right, drying...."

I’d like to say that the littles learned their lesson, but alas, this isn’t the first time Dexter’s gotten hit. You’d think “black thing with white stripe” would not be hard to distinguish and would be remembered/avoided…. Good thing I have a lot of work tonight, so the smell can dissipate for a few hours before we head up to bed.

The Stalking of the Great White Pyrenees

S.V. Medaris' 2-part print of little terriers stalking a Great Pyrenees

The Stalking of the Great White Pyrenees
10″ x 24″ each panel
Hand-colored linocut

New Work
Originally created for a folio exchange organized by Melanie Yazzie of University of Colorado, Boulder, called “Los Animales Cute.” Each print measures (image size) 24″ x 10″ So, x 2 = 48″ long total prints. For the folio exchange, the parameters were: 24″ x 10″ print, folded down to 10″ x 8″ so I printed both sides–part one and two of “Stalking….”

For future print editions, I’ve printed each panel separately, and will mat/frame each. So hanging side by side, framed they should look sweet. Framing some up within the week….

The subject matter–dogs, here, on this farm–they’re a laugh-a-minute. Soooo serious, calculating, predictable, and utterly unique even though they’re the same species. So…with subject matter like this, and totally “braggin’ on” my muses, the blocks practically carved themselves.

S.V. Medaris relief print of little terriers stalking

Dexter (top) is in stalking mode, focused 100% on Ivan. If you were to call him now, he wouldn’t hear you. He’s getting ready to charge. Zuzu (foreground) is excited and upset. She’s barking and digging in snow and knows what Dexter is going to do and doesn’t like it. She will eventually jump on Dexter (after he attacks Ivan), dominating him, to make him stop.

Each 10″ x 24″ (Two-part print)

S.V. Medaris relief print of huge, mountainous Great Pyrenees

Ivan is smiling. He loves it when he is chased. He turns into a big, goofy, bouncing target. Leaps into the air and runs and runs and laughs, while Dexter growls and bites and throws himself at him. Ivan is anticipating the chase here–knowing that Dexter is getting ready to charge. He weighs over 100 lbs, so with the “littles” at 14lbs each, he really has nothing to fear–thus the smile and the fun of being chased.

Thought about it for months. Took about a week in terms of planning, drawing, cutting, printing…. Printing: a 3-6 hours for each side of 20 or so prints. Hand-coloring of all happened in another night. “Night” translates to about an 8 hr stretch that sometimes happens in day (2p-10p), or 10p-4a or just whenever I can fit it in around a full-load of classes (including 2 academics–yikes!), 1/2 time day job (web designer/illustrator for The Why Files), farm life, making prints/art for benefits and own business…. Not sleeping much these days (2 hrs each, 2 nights in a row…yuk!!!!…paying for it now, but took a nap and now I’m functioning again).

Time to study and sketch and study….