“D” is for Dogs

As this may be the last entry for my Primer of New Spain, before the  Alphabet Soup deadline of the end of November, I thought I would base the character upon my favorite beastie.

To the Maya and to the Aztec dogs were, in addition to a foodstuff (gruesome I know), believed to be excellent guides to their owners in the treacherous Underworld.  Apparently they were particularly adept as crossing bodies of water.  As the Mesoamerican dog was bred to be hairless I suppose that makes some sense.

My own pup, and model for this image is a modern day chihuahua, quite hairy and slightly chubby ;a delightful and I think quite handsome fellow. His name is Speck and he hates the water.  I would however be thrilled beyond belief  if Speck was waiting for me in Charon’s barge.

 

 

“D” is for Dog

Dogs may have been excellent guides in the Underworld, but in the studio my little fellow was a reluctant model, refusing to hold a pose for very long.

But I fashioned a resemblance of sorts, altering  the color of his fur, he is in actuality a beautiful blonde, not this garish yellow.

A reluctant muse.

Here is the superstar, posing on his own terms.

Speck

According to tradition, the dog when imagined as a guide to the Underworld , would be depicted wearing a mask. It is a particularly  fascinating stylization, well suited to my interest in symbolism and dreamscapes.

The following is a local treasure from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA), I am particularly fond of it.

Dog with Human Mask
200 B.C.-A.D. 500
Clay with pigment
Mexico, Colima

http://collectionsonline.lacma.org/mwebcgi/mweb.exe?request=record;id=63765;type=101

It seemed fitting that if my little Speck was stuck in the Underworld that he could at least have a jolly time playing fetch with all of the bones lying about. For his unearthly companion I once again made use of my handy demon maquette. 

Lady Demon Maquette

I will continue with the Primer, perhaps relaxing the color restriction a bit, perhaps not.

Well that is all for now,

until next time,

take care,

LG

Author: babylonbaroque

I am a painter and printmaker working towards creating a body of work that reflects my own developing aesthetic. New work ,first link. The second link is an on-line portfolio.

8 thoughts on ““D” is for Dogs”

  1. Speck is such a cutie!! I think you should fashion him a human mask, just for fun. And that Lady Demon has quite the set of melones on her! Ay carumba!

  2. Great Alphabet Soup offering, Leonard. And great too to see the return of the Lady Demon maquette. Do you blu-tack your maquettes to the studio walls, like I do? When I need breaks from the easel, I move them around to create new scenarios. Through play, inspiration!

    Cute chihuahua snuggling up against the beefcake! What’s not to love?

    1. I tack up the figures in a similar fashion, double sided tape on a board which I prop about. I am close to finishing a large painting ( I keep saying that but class schedule has really compromised studio time), that painting has really made use of the maquette technique. Will post later, after end of semester, early Dec.
      I particularly love this demoness maquette she is incredibly flexible and always funny no matter how she lands. Her name is Molly and she tickles the hell out of me, pun intended.
      LG

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