Part 2, Project 5 Research Point

We are asked to research on contemporary artists who include animals in their drawings; these can be imaginary as well as real creatures. 

Dogs and horses are by far the most popular animals in drawings and painting.

Lucian Freud had painted and drawn a lots of dogs.  Some people said his treatment to animals were kinder than to his human sitters.  I can’t agree with that more.  Freud’s principal interests centred on women and dogs; he owned a number of dogs over the years including his gangly pet whippet Pluto, a particular favourite.  Freud drew much inspiration from dogs, frequently including them in his art.  He said, “I am impressed by their lack of arrogance, their ready eagerness, their animal pragmatism”. They even impacted his portrayal of humans: “I’m really interested in people as animals…Part of my liking to work from them naked is for that reason…I like people to look as natural and as physically at ease as animals, as Pluto my whippet.”

David Hockney is another dog lover.  In his book Dog’s Day, he refereed to his two dachshunds, Stanley and Boodgie  “…These two dear little creatures are my friends. They are intelligent, loving, comical and often bored. They watch me work; I notice the warm shapes they make together, their sadness and their delights. And, being Hollywood dogs, they somehow seem to know that a picture is being made.”

Kevin Barry is an American illustrator.  He has shared some very beautiful drawings that are full of fun and humour in his blog Make of Lines .  He also very generously shared his process too from initial rough graphite sketch on paper; to added watercolour;  and finally with added digital.  The 12 Christmas drawing series is an good example.

Pablo Picasso (OK, he is not contemporary but I can’t resist to include him) loved bulls, horses and women in equal measures.  In 2014, I visited the (Le Peintre et L’arene art et tauromachie de Goya a Barcelo) an art and bullfighting exhibition at the Ceret Museum of Modern Art.  The exhibition covered a large number of artists and media and many styles, from very expressive Francis Bacon, a series of 40 beautiful classical prints by Fancisco de Goya y Lucientes, colourful aquarelle on paper by Fernando Laroche, Fauvsim Auguste Chabaud, cubism Juan Gris.  But by far the most striking works were by Picasso, extended every conceivable media and styles covering many etchings, 30 ceramic cups using a range of restricted colours, ink sketches on paper, linocuts.  However, there were common characteristics across all works of Picasso.  They were objects of simplicity, inventiveness and daring.  I love his ink sketches and linocuts the most.

Below is an image of one in a series of 26 ink drawings.


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