Monday, June 15, 2015

"Bark Park" by Sally Brophy

Image used with the permission of the artist. A higher resolution version can be viewed on her website hereRepresented by James R. Bakker Gallery, ©Sally Brophy 

The white line woodcut process typically produces a bright and airy image with a naivete reminiscent of certain folk art. Indeed, Sally Brophy describes herself as a "self taught artist," though I would not have guessed that from the breadth and sophistication of the collection of woodcuts featured on her website. 

This particular woodcut does remind me a bit of the paintings of that ever famous and beloved American folk artist Grandma Moses. As in Moses's paintings of weddings or seasonal festivals, the overall scene is thematic, but there are smaller scenes, some mundane, others touching or playful, found throughout the picture. The black dog in the foreground catches a frisbee while to his left a kneeling dog-lover hugs two pooches, and to his right a group of three frisky mutts run in a pack. Most of the vignettes convey the affectionate bond between dogs and their owners. To a slightly lesser degree, I also find the innocent and carefree spirit of pampered canines. These dogs remind me of young children. Even the yellow dog house looks more like a child's back yard play house. This assemblage of happy, brightly-colored characters sprinkled over a field of soft gray is deeply soothing. 

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