Novel Companions is a visual celebration of our enduring bond with dogs through fresh portrayals of literary canine characters, to show how literature can shape our appreciation of this reciprocal relationship. These paintings explore the vital role dogs play in our lives, the many ways they provide solace and companionship, protect us, connect us with nature, and teach us about patience and mutual respect.
The detailed imagery invites the viewer to take a closer look, to challenge our perception of these canine archetypes, by reframing the familiar with fresh perspectives, where the dog is the subject and not an object.
The concept of this series originated through my interest in deciphering the nuanced and complex codes of connecting and communicating with another species. The work was inspired by a black poodle cross named Betty who came into our lives by chance. Betty was an intelligent high-spirited dog who taught me to be patient, to keenly observe and pay attention to her cues and those of other dogs around us, and to discover the rewards of connecting with another species.