Thursday, November 21, 2013

Circus Dog

Circus Dog
16" x 12"
oil on panel

Growing up we had a lot of animals around. 
A pet dog Frank, a kind of grumpy Irish Setter,
 and barn cats who I think would have done anything 
for food that wasn't mice or dry cat food.
I was so intrigued about circuses, 
especially circus dogs and circus horses. 
I gave up on Frank learning tricks. 
We later got a little dog named Buttons.  
She was very smart and learned many tricks. 
SO fun. She would sit up, beg,
roll over, and play dead. I felt especially proud when 
I taught her to jump through a hula-hoop.
I would have her perform for my parents in the living room, 
with me pretending to be in the circus.
It was great!

This is what the Ringling Circus Museum 
has to say about the history of circus dogs:
"Performing dogs were often strays or purchased from the pound, because these mixed breed dogs were usually very intelligent and learned tricks quickly. The dogs traveled in special accommodations. Wagons 99 and 98 were designed specifically for the dogs, with each animal having its own space in the wagon. In between performances, the dogs were kept in outdoor kennels."


I may not have a dog that knows how to jump rope, 
or a circus horse to do riding tricks on,
but I have not lost hope of either. 
A girl can still dream.
But I do have my toys for creative inspiration.

This red circus dog is a 1950's Cracker Jack 
toy prize made by NosCo. Cracker Jack's had a whole series of circus animals and acrobats.

Setting up for this composition 
I made the flags and created the 
box with the curtains.

completed painting
 Circus Dog

detail from painting

Circus Dog 
will be showing at 
Principle Gallery

Small Works Show
December 7th, 2013
208 King Street
Alexandria, VA

1 comment:

  1. Great post and narrative. Fabulous painting, straight from a Cracker Jack Box! Last summer I purchased a Ringling Circus Poster on eBay for a future painting will be difficult to top this!!! I knew it would sell quickly cause it a winner!