Monday, October 22, 2012

Baby Doll

On Saturday I was sketching at the corner of West Eager Street and Park Avenue in Baltimore, when I noticed a woman crossing the street toward me, walking her dog.

There was something strange about the dog. At first I thought she had electric lights instead of eyes, because her eyes seemed to be glowing.

She was a Corgi mix, and she moved slowly and stiffly on her short legs. When the dog reached the curb, the owner shortened the leash. The dog leaned forward, touching her nose to the curb, and then she gingerly lifted her paw and climbed the curb. She sniffed around near my chair.

The dog was completely blind with cataracts. The owner was patiently guiding her on her morning walk.

The dog's name was Baby Doll. She was more than twelve years old. She did just fine with her hearing and her sense of smell. She found a crust of bread and started munching it. "Get that out of your mouth, Baby Doll," the owner said.

"She knows her way around my house. But I've got to make sure I don't leave anything out of place, or she'll bump into it."
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Previously: Old Dog Silver

18 comments:

Nicolò Rigobello said...

beautiful!!! What is that? watercolors??

James Gurney said...

Thanks, Nicolò. Yes, it's watercolor with some touches of gouache and colored pencil.

Nicolò Rigobello said...

Very very beautiful, you're a great inspiration. I regret not having saw you at lucca comics last year :(

Anonymous said...

Wow--fantastic! How's that video coming?! We all want to make beautiful stuff like this! ;)

Anonymous said...

Very nice! The flock of birds are a nice touch. - mp

Anonymous said...

I mean, "is." lol - mp

Janet Oliver said...

Beautiful painting! I'm once again inspired; this time, to do more plein air painting. I'm dreadfully out of practice. Lovely dog story. We used to have a dog who went blind about halfway through her life. Luckily for her, she had a doggie companion, who, at the vet's suggestion, wore a bell on her collar. It worked like a charm!

nystudios said...

Wow, one of my top two favorite watercolors I've seen from you. Well done.

en_b said...

Really like this one!

Sajib OO said...

May I ask the location of the scene? Those structures in the background looks quite monumental.

James Gurney said...

Nicolò, I miss Lucca, too. What a beautiful city.

Sajib, that's looking south from the corner of West Eager Street and Park Avenue in Baltimore, Maryland. The steeples of the First Presbyterian church are in the background. They're quite tall in real life but I made them seem bigger by introducing a bit of atmosphere.

Thanks, EnB and NYStudios!

Janet, loved your story. I've heard of animals that are service animals to other species.

Anonymous1, the video is just about done being edited, but I got launched into other projects. I've also been producing other art videos. My goal is to finish them all up around the same time so I can launch several, not just one. Thanks for your patience.


Anonymous2, what inspired the flock of birds was watching a flock of pigeons playfully circling a skyscraper tower over and over again earlier that morning.

Suzy said...

Wow. Really beautiful painting. Your work inspires me to draw or paint, daily!

Sherry Schmidt said...

Gorgeous painting!

Guy Parkhomenko said...

The way you used pencil in this one is really nice. Beautiful work.

David J Teter said...

Love the watercolor, a perfect balance of colors, warm and cools and design.
Love the story too...
We had a one eyed dog when we were kids, Honey, named for her honey colored spots on her white fur.
She was a mutt, mutts are the best.

Krystal said...

You know what ? I am jalous ! :-)
I try and try the plain air painting, but no matter what, I never get to end up with something that beautiful, strong, alive and atmospheric...

By the way, are you still thinking about de full time DVD ? I think I could watch you paint for days !

Anonymous said...

"Anonymous2, what inspired the flock of birds was watching a flock of pigeons playfully circling a skyscraper tower over and over again earlier that morning."

Neat. - mp/Anonymous2

Janet Oliver said...

James, Opal was the blind dog and Sydney was her companion. Sydney took her job very seriously, and would always go ahead of Opal whenever they were headed out to the back yard, and would even stop and wait for her if Opal was lagging behind. Syd seemed to know that Opal needed her.