When Pigasso Met Mootisse

My big little brother, Walker, is a pretty laid-back, unassuming kind of fellow. Rather quiet. A listener rather than a talker. I’ve never, ever heard him bark. Whine and snore, but never bark. He happens to be an artist. An artist of great renown around these parts. He paints abstract things using his tail and his feet and puts all his happy thoughts into his work. On occasion he has done exhibitions at school and art club meetings and once at the hospital.

I have talked about Walker and his painting before. You might remember. Or might not. You can see more HERE and HERE and HERE.

boys and walker may2011 011Sometimes when he visits a classroom he takes some art books with him to share and encourage some artsy conversation. We recently came across a great book by Ms Nina Laden (who wrote the great book The Night I Followed the Dog)!!!

IMG_2416When Pigasso met Mootisse
by Nina Laden
published by Chronicle Books in 1998

a fiction book suitable for kindergarten and up

Themes – art, friendship, conflict resolution

It begins –
There once was a young pig named Pigasso. While the other piglets rolled in the mud and played games, Pigasso painted. He painted anything and everything, and in a most unusual way.

This is a tale of two artists – a pig named Pigasso who painted in a “most unusual way” and a bull named Mootisse who painted “big, bold, bright pictures.” They both became very famous in their communities. (Much like my Walker.) They became art superstars and everyone wanted their paintings and their photographs and all that stuff that seems to come with being famous. They both decided they needed to get away and find a peaceful place to paint. They ended up finding farms right across the street from each other!!! And they became good friends.

IMG_2417But after awhile they started getting in fights over their work! Criticizing and complaining and calling each other names. (I’ve seen friends at school do this to each other. A very sad thing. 😦 ) They put up a fence right down the middle of their road! Silly artists. Then they began to miss each other. They got lonely. But they were pig-headed and bull-headed and couldn’t bring themselves to kiss and make up. But they did resolve the problem in a most unique way! With paint! Artwork really can speak volumes. And you will have to SEE how they resolved their differences when you check out this book!!!

This tale is kind of a caricature of two REAL artists – Pablo Picasso and Henri Matisse and at the end of the book there is a brief biography of these two. I’ve seen quite a bit about Mr Matisse in the media lately with books like henris scissors and

matisse. Those would be some good books to read along with this one.

After reading a bit the kids in the class got to do some painting of their own! They did some fingerpainting, kind of like Walker, and kind of like Mr Pigasso and Mr Mootisse!!

IMG_2336They sure had a great time!!!! And I don’t think there was any fighting!

For a list of PERFECT PICTURE BOOKS and accompanying resources please visit Ms Susanna Leonard Hill’s blog HERE!

Now it’s your turn! Go out this weekend and let your feelings fly! Paint a masterpiece!!
Your tail waggin’ friend
Rhythm
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Doggyness

Last week before all this icy weather locked us in, my buddy Walker had an opportunity to go do some painting with Mrs K’s 2nd graders. Every year they read a story about an elephant that paints and invite Walker to come demonstrate how dogs can paint too! This is the 3rd year that Walker has visited them and he sure has a fun time!

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We also went to the library last week and came home with the perfect go-along book.

IMG_4234Rabbityness is written and illustrated by Jo Empson. It was published in 2012 by Child’s Play. (Please click on Ms Empson’s name and visit her lovely website!)

The artwork in this book is extraordinary! The story is reminiscent of the Heart and the Bottle. It begins “Rabbit liked doing rabbity things.” Like hopping and jumping and washing his ears. Each of these pages shows a black rabbit on a white page in sparse green grass doing rabbity things. Then we see “Rabbit also liked doing unrabbity things.” “He liked painting …”

IMG_4235And there suddenly is a BURST of color like fireworks. Painting and music made Rabbit very happy and he filled the woods with both. This made all the other rabbits happy too. But one day Rabbit disappeared. Now the book is back to black and gray. The other rabbits were very sad and didn’t know what to do. They bottled up their hearts. Then they found that Rabbit had left a deep, dark hole and in the hole were some gifts — paints and musical instruments. The rabbits unbottled their hearts and started filling the woods with color and music and discovered that this let them remember Rabbit and they were all happy again.

Rabbityness is about individuality and knowing your own heart. Like the Heart and the Bottle, Rabbityness is also about loss and finding your heart again. The two books are so alike and yet so different. This one is very “Walker” with his splashes of color everywhere. He likes doing undoggy things like painting. And eating bark off of trees. But he sure spreads JOY along with paint splatters with his happy tail.

walker painting 4I wish you a Doggyness day full of laughter and color and music. Dance and be creative and Joyful!

Tis the season!

Your friend
Rhythm

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Inspiration in a Brush Stroke

The best thing about Picture Books is —- the Pictures!! I love art and admire folks who can turn some brush strokes into something inspirational.

Walker and I paint a bit. To entertain and, I suppose, inspire somewhat. Walker paints with his tail and we both do some pretty awesome pawpainting.

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But lately I’ve been hearing a lot about a young man who is an incredible artist — and he’s blind. Yes, blind. He can not SEE what he paints. At least not in the same way that we see. Also, he’s from Texas – so he’s doubly blessed!

I just want to share his story with you — You will be amazed and inspired. And grateful that there are people in the world like John Bramblitt.

Mr Bramblitt has a website HERE that you might want to check out to see more of his work.

And a memoir titled Shouting in the Dark, My Journey Back to the Light

And that’s all for today. I think it’s enough.

Think on that

Rhythm

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Saturday Surprise!

I got a big surprise in the mail on Saturday!! IMG_3047Ms Karin Naylor from Rosemary, Lavender and Thyme had a drawing and I was the lucky winner of one of her chicken paintings!!!! Isn’t she a lovely little hen? She has soft eyes. I haven’t figured out where I’m going to hang it yet. I’d like to hang it next to my bed, but the Mom Person is afraid I might drool on it too much. Moms.

IMG_3049So while we ponder the best home for Miss Welsummer Sis, you might want to visit Ms Naylor at her blog here. It’s a relaxing place to learn about chickens and gardening.

To see more of Ms Naylor’s artwork visit her other blog, A Little Corner of the Artist In Me. I think you will like what you find there!

Thank you Ms Naylor!!!!
Rhythm

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My Very Own Book!

Many years ago when I was a youngster and just getting started in my career as a Library Dog, the Mom Person and I wrote a story about my job duties. We had a conversation with some of the kids about different jobs that dogs have and what kinds of things were expected of me in my role as Canine Librarian.

At this same time, I started visiting the Life Skills classes at the schools. These are classes for kids with special needs so they can learn at their own pace in their own way. I love visiting these kids! One of my favorites was a high school boy with autism named Paul. He liked to draw pictures of me and play ball.(What more could a girl ask for?!)

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He was always drawing something. Draw, draw, draw. One day the Mom Person had the brilliant idea of asking Paul to draw pictures to go with our story! So with the help of his art teacher, Mr Haney, Paul went to work. It took him a long time to finish, but it was fun watching it all take shape.

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Then the Mom Person thought it would be fun to somehow publish it all! But she wanted to do it soon, before she lost touch with Paul and while I was still around! ( Dogs don’t live forever, you know!) She didn’t know anything about book publishing, but she found a company called Mill City Press that she liked and set the whole thing in motion — and now the book is here!

We had a book party this weekend to celebrate! Lots of friends and family came!

A great time was had by all!!

Reading With Rhythm, The Tale of a Library Dog, can be found at Amazon and Barnes and Noble. And at our local libraries!!  Thanks for letting me share!

Art Loves Art!!!

Since I’m on kind of an artsy roll right now, I thought I would share with you a magical book called ART by Patrick McDonnell. Mr McDonnell is also the creator of the comic strip “Mutts”. He is a very clever gentleman.

IMG_5765ART was published in 2006 by Little, Brown and Co. It is suitable for every age. It has 39 pgs. and 154 words. Very sparse, but lots of art! And Walker thinks the art looks very much like his art! Walker loves this book. He likes a book that is mostly pictures.

Art is a little boy who loves art. He spends all his time drawing and painting and doodling. He paints zigs and zags and scribbles and squiggles. Dots of all colors and splotches and blotches and curly cues. He is a busy, imaginative boy.

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This is a book about the pure joy of creation. What makes art art? Perfect lines and dots? Or chaotic splatters and splotches? Is art in the eye of the beholder or the brush ( or tail!) of the artist? This is a simple little book with some big thoughts to ponder. It is a real treasure!

Now go pull out your paints and brushes and have some fun! Have a party! Create some fabulousness!  And check out ART! You’ll be glad you did!

I’m in a Warhol state of mind —

The last few days have been all about Andy Warhol for me. He’s been everywhere! Stalking me or something. Mrs. B, the Super Woman Reading Teacher, shared a book called Uncle Andy’s by Andy Warhol’s nephew James Warhola.

The book was published in 2003 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons. It is written and illustrated by James Warhola and is a story about a trip that his family took in 1962 to visit his Uncle Andy in New York City.

James’ father Paul was a junk man. That was his real business. He collected it and sorted it and made interesting things with it. He and his wife, Ann, lived way out in the country with their 7 children and junk all around. A truly glorious life for those kids!

Sometimes they made trips into NYC to visit Paul’s brother Andy who was a famous artist. They took junk to him so that he could make things with it. Uncle Andy lived in a fantastical house with their grandmother, Bubba. Andy was always painting and making important art stuff out of odd things. He had 25 cats, all named Sam! And he went to late night parties and he wore wigs. He had all kinds of wigs and gave the old ones to James’ dad so that the kids could all play with them!

The pictures in this book are fantastical as well. Lots of details that make the Warhola world spring to life. I would have liked to live with them!

From his father and his famous uncle, James learned that “real art knows no boundaries” and that “the most ordinary of everyday things can inspire a work of art.”

What a great thing to learn!

I loved this book! It was funny and inspiring and a very good read!

But I told you that Mr. Warhol has been following me around. This book was not my only encounter with the great artist!

Over the weekend the Mom Person and the Big Guy Who Keeps the Treats went to a museum to see an art exhibit featuring the Wyeths, N. C., Andrew, and Jamie. ( Some more famous artists!) Well, it turns out that Jamie was friends with Mr. Warhol! And at that exhibit was a painting that Mr. Jamie Wyeth had done of Mr. Andy Warhol!

And then when she came home she had this comic strip in her mailbox —

Now is that too crazy or what?!

I don’t know if I care for Mr Warhol’s art or not. It is famous stuff so it must be good. But I think I like his nephew’s art better!

You should check out Uncle Andy’s! I think you will be inspired! And then check out some of James Warhola’s other work as well!