Tag Archives: corgi

A Non-Tail of Two Corgis

This is Piper, our first corgi. A lot of you mention Molly in your comments, so I thought I’d tell you a little bit about her and about Piper.

Molly was abandoned with no collar or chip when she was about 1 1/2 years old. Although we don’t know anything about her first year and a half, she must have been reasonably well-cared for. She’s bouncy and happy and healthy. She loves to chase her special spikey ball and she spins and weaves through my legs on command. She’s even learned to walk nicely on a leash! She’s been a great pal these last 4 years.

 

 

 

 

 

Piper, was also a tri-color female, and probably about 2 years old when we got her, but there the resemblance ends.

Piper had spent her first 2 years in a puppy mill having puppies, and she’d never been socialized or well-cared for. When we rescued Piper, she limped. At the first vet visit x-rays showed the limp was due to an old break that had never had proper care. The bones “healed” on their own to some extent, but not correctly. However, our vet didn’t recommend trying to fix it because there was already a lot of arthritis.

We had never had an unsocialized dog so we weren’t prepared for one that had no interest in people. But we worked with her and used lots of treats to reward her for staying around us. After much work, Piper eventually learned to sit and lie down on command. And she loved walks! She had probably never been on walks to see other sights and smell doggy smells!

One strange thing about Piper is that she never barked. And that is strange indeed for a corgi–it’s part of how they herd.

Instead one time when we came into the house both Amber, our golden retriever, and Piper came to meet us. Because Amber danced and barked, Piper had to wait a little until we could wade through a golden’s exuberant joy. But suddenly we heard a strange vocalization coming from around our feet.  We looked down to see Piper with her nose raised, singing. It sounded like a doggy version of a flute. She didn’t sing for us often, but when she did, we knew Piper was happy.

Because Piper had had such a hard life we only got to love and care for her for a couple years, and we were heartbroken when we had to have her put to sleep. But we learned a lot from her and I wrote the following to family and friends at the time: 

    We’ve been thinking a lot about Piper this week. Losing her has left a corgi-shaped hole in our hearts, but we’ve also been appreciating all that she taught us.

Rescuing Piper took us way out into the Oklahoma countryside. We bumped over narrow, country roads to find her, but that was nothing compared to how much God loves each of us, and the amazing lengths to which He goes to find and save each of His children!

Caring for Piper, we saw her come out of her shell and come a long ways in learning to love us back. She never became a golden retriever like Amber, but she always came and lay near us wherever we were and often came out to greet us when we came home–especially if it was near dinnertime!

This reminded us of how God continues to lovingly work with each of us, growing and sanctifying us. He never gives up on us even though He knows we’re not going to love or obey Him perfectly in this life–often only coming to Him when we need something.

Loving Piper, we often felt bad that she had not had a good start in life. In consequence she had physical and mental problems which we couldn’t completely fix. As she got older we put a ramp out back so she could get up the step. We scoured thrift stores to find an older carriage that was long enough for her so she could still enjoy some walks.  But we had to just watch and cringe as she stumbled more, even on flat surfaces.

It sure reminded us that because of the Fall we all have physical and mental limitations and difficulties that won’t be completely healed in this life. It must be even harder for God who loves us even more than we loved Piper, to see us stumble over and over again

Now that we have a healthy corgi and can see how active and loving they are, we are reminded that someday when we are with God, He will heal us completely and we will be perfectly healthy and whole, able to be and do all God meant for us!!

We learned some great lessons from Piper! She was a good dog!

 

Gesture Drawing, based on Jean Honore Fragonard’s painting, A Young Girl Reading

Drawing Helps us Look More Carefully

Project 3. Gesture Drawing 

A Young Girl Reading wikimedia commons

   Remember the girl’s pinkie finger? It’s perfect for a gesture drawing, one method artists use  to learn how to look carefully at things. It’s a sketch, done in just a minute or two, that ignores details. The artist tries to capture the gesture of a hand, a whole body, or even inanimate objects like pillows and teapots!

  Gesture drawings are pretty scribbly; artists don’t stop to erase unwanted lines—they just keep drawing over old lines until they get the gesture right.

  Activity

Try some gesture drawings of your hand in different poses. Challenge someone to copy your gesture. The more you practice, the better you’ll get.

You don’t need special equipment--sketchpads are nice (they’re good if you want to hold on to drawings) but not necessary. Any paper works just fine.

Drawing pencils are helpful, as well as an artist’s kneaded eraser (these erase the graphite without taking away as much paper surface) but also not necessary. In fact for gesture, I prefer crayons because it makes me work larger and I’m not tempted to erase but just keep going!!

Here I am trying to curve my pinkie in the way the girl in the painting does. First I found it almost impossible to curl it like that (I think Fragonard exaggerated a little!) and then I had trouble getting the gesture right…as you can see! Also see how I keep refining my lines to get closer to the gesture.

Here’s another gesture where I got a little closer, but still no details and lots of lines that come closer and closer to the gesture.

 

Try drawing a teapot. A pillow.

Here are two very differently-shaped teapots (the tall one was my great grandmother’s and actually for cocoa!) As you can see, I’m still using my crayon and refining lines as I go–no erasing. As I look at the spout on the short pot, I see it needs to be longer.

As I worked on the tall pot, I saw that the handle was very rectangular at the top and rose above the lid, which I hadn’t drawn that way at first.

Now a pillow!

At first I thought this pillow had no “character” and would be easy to draw, but the more I looked, the more I saw and this gesture drawing proved to be one of the harder ones!

And last but not least here’s my dog Molly, who keeps me company whenever I’m working (well, at least when she’s not racing to the window to bark at something!) She’s going to show you how helpful gesture drawings can be  to make your final drawings more accurate!!20170727_201131

Molly is a corgi and do you see how on the first gesture drawing (the one on the bottom left) I didn’t show how long she is? I noticed it right away and on the second, gave her a little more length!! Still not enough, but I’ve learned something important about her if I go on to a more detailed drawing. I also saw that I needed to make her nose shorter and her legs stubbier!

That’s what’s so great about starting with a quick sketch or gesture of your subject–it helps you look more carefully at what you’re drawing and as you keep refining your lines, you see more accurately for if or when you do a more detailed drawing.

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Project 4. How Lines Affect a Painting’s Mood

Here’s another project about lines

Remember that horizontal line in A Young Girl Reading? Here’s why it’s there: Lines have power to affect mood in a painting. Horizontal and vertical lines are quiet lines, increasing the peace and stability of a composition. Diagonal and curved lines are active and add excitement.

  Activity

   Compare A Young Girl Reading to The Battle of San Romano by Paolo Uccello

https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/paolo-uccello-the-battle-of-san-romano to see the difference line can make to the mood of a painting. See how many diagonal lines you can find in The Battle of San Romano! 

     Can you make the mood of one of your own pictures change from exciting to peaceful by changing the type of lines you use?

 

 

I hope you’ll have fun and let me know in the comments how you enjoyed these projects

In my next post, I’ll have some thinking and writing activities to go along with A Young Girl Reading. It’s so amazing to me how much we can think about and learn from great art!!   Sooo….Be sure and sign up to receive these posts by email.

 And don’t forget to visit my new website to see the art workshops and other types of presentations I’m available to do! See the details at:      www.kathy-oneill.com