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Friday, June 22, 2012

The Benefits of a Dog in the Studio

'One More Time'       8x10          pastel         ©Karen Margulis  
 Cats or dogs....having them around while you work is a bonus for me.  I am writing about my dog today in honor of National Take Your Dog to Work Day.  I have six cats too and they love coming down to my studio especially when I have students. They are very sociable.  But the dog is another story.  Heidi is now 16 months old and still has a lot of puppy energy but it comes in bursts now instead of being constant. She is now a great companion to me in my studio. It took some training but she doesn't bother with my art supplies and usually finds a spot to nap (usually right behind my feet under the easel)  Here are some of the benefits of a studio dog (or cat)

Heidi's usual spot. I have to be careful when backing up.
  1. They are good company. During a long day in the studio with no one to talk, a pet keeps you company and if you feel like talking, they'll listen.
  2. They are great critics. They may not be able to advise you on how to improve your painting but if you are having a bad day they have an uncanny way of making you feel better.
  3. They keep you active.  Several times a day my dog brings me a ball.  For me it is a break that I wouldn't normally take but going outside to throw the ball a few times is good for me and good for my work. I come back to the painting with a fresh eye thanks to the dog!
  4. They can lift your mood and relieve stress. I try not to get stressed but sometimes deadlines loom and projects take on a life of their own. It's hard to resist a goofy dog smile and wagging tail. Instant mood change!
  5. They can be good at guarding. I say 'can' because Heidi usually barks when there is a visitor at the door except for the other day when I left the door open and the neighbor's dog came in. I found them both playing upstairs. They walked right past me as I was washing out brushes! I had a good laugh though.
Today's painting is an informal  portrait of Heidi in her usual 'play ball' pose. I am gearing up to do a more formal painting from a recent photo that I love.  If you like to paint animals you may be interested in my post on painting the colors in animal fur HERE


Tina Besecker Marohn said...

Love this piece! You really captured her excitement and anticipation of playing ball! I too have my studio cats and definitely appreciate the companionship.

Karen said...

Thank you Tina! I have 2 cats who love to come into the studio too. It is nice to have company!!