Today’s foray into the Portraitsphere takes us to the canvas and sketchbooks of Dutch artist Rien Poortvliet. Best known for his multitudes of Gnomes, he seemed to really love dogs and, lucky for us, spent a lot of time observing, painting, sketching and scribbling them. The portrait of the French Briard above is from his book Dogs, and it’s definitely one of my favorite books about dogs. It’s literally crammed with portraits of all kinds of dogs from A to Z. And not only that, there are thoughts, facts, opinions and observations scrawled throughout. In this example he illustrates a non-dog person meeting a dog:
And there are pages and pages like this, about what goes on around his house with his own dogs and the things they get up to:
Yep, he’s nailed it again. In fact, as you go through the book you find yourself saying over and over, with a smile “oh yes, that’s exactly how it is!” And you know you wouldn’t have it any other way!
I bought my copy of Dogs quite a few years ago so it’s out of print, but it is possible to track down a used copy of the book. Here is a link to Amazon’s current availability.
If you’ve ever wondered what the most popular dog breeds or dog names might be in New York, there’s a clever batch of interactive tools you can play with to find out. Part of National Public Radio’s WNYC website, this project is really fun to sniff around and just see what’s what.
There’s a map that will show you what the most common names are for females and males, and where they live is indicated by label size. And after a look at this, I’m thinking—sheesh—they’d better rename the place “New Yorkie”…
There are also lists of top ten names for females and males, but they don’t stop there. Lists of names have also been compiled for many different categories such as: actors, mythology, animals, foods, drinks, cartoons, etc. To the right of each name, the number of dogs with that same name is shown. And not only that—click on the name and you’ll get a breakdown by the various breeds with that same name. Neat-o.
Besides factoids, there are also some games and you can even type in your dog’s name and breed to order a t-shirt with the results. I found out that my dog Chappie is even more unique than I thought: there’s not another one in all of New York City!
To visit WNYC’s Dogs of NYC website, click here. Illustrations by Louise Ma/WNYC