Friday, November 19, 2010

Maui


Our dog just turned 15 this past week!! His name is Maui, and he is a Lhasa Apso. He was an orphan, who lived in three different houses before we got him at age 5 months. He has been an excellent watch dog and companion. Due to his temperament, he definitely likes some things his way. He has bitten all of us to prove his point. But like any member of the family when they attack you, you forgive them and love them anyways.

When we got him he came with a bowl, a collar and a stuffed plush hamburger. Definitely his favorite toy. He would get it, place it at our feet, and then sit and wait until we noticed him. His way of getting us to throw it for him. He would do this many, many times until you got sick of throwing it. He always liked to chase the squirrels or rabbits in the back yard, or visit with the neighboring dogs. He was even known to go down the kids' slide, and seemed to enjoy it! After he got a bath, he would spaz out and race in circles around the house, only to stop at the cabinet where we keep his dog treats.

It's been sad to see him in his elder years. Cataracts have taken much of his vision, and deafness his hearing. Definitely a reminder of the frailty and brevity of life. We've tried to consciously change how we do things due to his age. Like leaving the hall light on so he can navigate the stairs. Making sure nothing is left laying on the floor that he is not aware of.

Despite his slowing down, he still seems to enjoy life. Whereas before he would run to chase his hamburger several times, now it's usually once and then a nap. He likes begging for "people food" which we ultimately give in to.

Pets are definitely one of God's gifts to his creation.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Boris Karloff, once more


I have probably painted actor Boris Karloff's likeness more than any other subject. There's something about his face and voice that has always appealed to me. He was the Frankenstein Monster, the Grinch, the Mummy and countless other characters on film, stage and in radio. He was a man of professional integrity, and there are numerous accounts of his generous nature. he really got his big break in acting later in his life. He was 42 years old when he first appeared as the Monster. He struggled for years as an actor, supplementing his income by doing manual labor.

He called make up man Jack Pierce "the greatest makeup man in the business". Pierce was the man responsible for creating the majority of Universal's classic monster icons. So this painting is a celebration of not only Boris Karloff, the man under the make up, but the man who created the make up, Jack Pierce.