Today’s guest blogger is a very talented painter. Her name is Kathryn Sjogren, and she’s currently painting 1000 portraits of dogs in or from the rescue system. The goal is to raise awareness of dog rescue and the variety of breeds available in rescue.
This is her story.
The idea is fairly simple. There is absolutely no shortage of personality and diversity in the world of the canine. I try to capture a portion of that variety, celebrate their world, and tie the whole thing into the value of dog rescue. In particular, people should know that every personality and breed can be found within the rescue system.
Dog rescue has always been dear to my heart. It started when I was a child and my family rescued a dachshund mix which some family friends couldn’t keep. The husband had surprised his wife with the puppy while she was recovering from surgery, but she wasn’t happy about it. Teary-eyed, he gave Sugar to my family. She was my companion from age 8 through early adulthood.
Now I live with Dana, my rescued greyhound. I adopted her after returning from a year in England volunteering with a home for individuals with developmental disabilities. Suddenly, I was living alone, all three of my sons had moved far away, and the silence in my place was palatable. I tended to stay inside. Another artist friend had a greyhound which I had always found really sweet in her gentle aloofness.
Dana was on her second round in the rescue system after having been returned. Her second round lasted around 2 years. We were matched up in 2007 and now I can hardly imagine life without her. In that time, I have advocated for greyhound adoption and supported dog rescue. It was only in the last couple years that I really decided to put my talents and experience to the effort.
Dog rescue is a truly wonderful thing.
Your rescue will love you like no one else could. There is hardly a dog in the rescue system who’s life would not be improved by adoption. There is hardly a person out there who’s life would not be improved by the love a dog gives their family.
This is what my project is about. At the moment the effort is a private endeavor which has not achieved much funding or support (I’m hoping to change that soon). I’m always looking for individuals willing to help the project along. The easiest way to do so is by purchasing a commission. At the moment, though, I’m not even sure where the final mural might one day go. But I have a lot of portraits to complete before that is a concern. The project is happening. Support just helps it happen a little quicker.
As a teaching artist, I would love to eventually create an arts-inclusion awareness program based on this project. A mural created out of portraits by 1000 individuals, all taking a moment to appreciate our canine friends, would be an unimaginable accomplishment. For now, though, item one on my to-do list is finishing 1000 portraits of rescue dogs myself.
I would like to thank you for taking the time to hear my story and DogTV for allowing me to share it. May all your travels be accompanied by a friend, canine or otherwise.
You can learn more about my project and see a lot more of the work at Katsjogren.com/1000Dogs.