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Making Art

Art Is Where the Heart Is

"My little dog−a heartbeat at my feet." Edith Wharton

When 1000 Dog Portraits arrived at my door, it was a validating experience to say the least. Displayed proudly over many pages are some of the most beautiful works of art depicting the artists' best canine friends: I knew I wasn't alone in the adoration of my sweet puppy.

Drawing by Steven Parton

I'm sure dog people look crazy to cat, lizard, or, of course, non-pet people. And we probably are. I mean, my husband and I spend hundreds of dollars a year to let an animal live in our home. I plan how long I'll be gone from home by how long until the dog will need to be let out. I've even scooted over at night to give my beagle more room to stretch out on my pillowtop mattress.

But as I—and the artists in this stunning book—know, dogs are not just animals. They aren't just eating, barking, jumping fur balls. They are our friends. Loving a dog is just the most wonderful and bizarre life.

I could talk about my dog forever. Actually, I have already, and I'm sure my friends think I continue to do so. When you let a special dog into your life, you carve out a place for him in your heart. Thus, being a pet owner is inevitably bittersweet. We cherish the times we have with our doggy friends, but we know that at some point it's temporary.

I can't dwell on any of this for too long, obviously. There are too many belly rubs to be had and naps to be taken. However, I know the best way to commemorate a furry friend, past or present, is through art.

I'm lucky enough to have an incredibly talented artist in my family who loves my dog almost as much as I do. This is one of my Aunt Lynn's many drawings of my pup. I know I'll treasure this work of art and the memories it evokes for years to come.

beagle portrait

Drawing by Lynn Linder

You don't have to be a dog owner or lover to appreciate the gorgeous drawings, sketches and watercolors curated in this book. However, if you've ever given your heart away to a four-legged friend, the 1,000 pieces will come alive in a particularly special way.

Is there a furry companion in your life that you'd commit to art?

Heather Linder

Heather is a journalist and writer living in Chicago with her composer husband and art-loving puppy, Lancelot. She's on an endless quest for the city's best coffee and is endlessly inspired by Chicago's magnificent skyline. Heather is a bookworm, aspiring chef, and NPR fanatic. She's in the process of teaching her beagle to use a French press and overcoming her fear of DIY.

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A creative mess is better than idle tidiness.

Michael J. Fox

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