Friday, May 28, 2010

I'm a Good Sport, But It's Painful

It was a short ride at the top, and frankly, we're feeling a bit droopy.

(Notice the similarity between this photo and my signature Rainbowdog painting?  It's my dear, departed dog Roxy, who was a professional at giving disdainful glances when feeling out of sorts.)

However, good sportsmanship compels me to report that Kimberly Kelly Santini, creator of the quilt-like picture "Rusty" has won the Mutt Lynch Winery - Dog Art Today Wine Label Contest for 2010. Kelly is an established artist with an interesting project of painting "a dog a day" with the proceeds benefitting animal welfare.
Congratulations Kelly, and THANKS again to all who voted for Rainbowdog.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Rainbowdog Makes the Top Ten!

My entry in the Mutt Lynch Winery - Dog Art Today 2010 wine label contest has made the top ten! Click here to see all ten of the entries that received the most votes. The judges will take it from here, and according to Dog Art Today, the winner will be announced some time today.  I'll keep you posted.
We're all so excited here that we could really use a biscuit.  MANY thanks to any and all who voted!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

My Top Five . . . Picture Books Featuring Dogs

This elite group of picture books was chosen on the strength of the story and the illustrations together. There are plenty of books with great illustrations and a so-so story, or a fantastic story with illustrations that are on the boring side, but I was looking for the total package.

In reverse order, my top 5 picks:

5. Dear Mrs. LaRue: Letters from Obedience School, written and illustrated by Mark Teague.

Ike LaRue has been shipped off to a deluxe boarding school for dogs to learn better manners (such as not eating the chicken pot pie off the table).  The story is told in snarky letters from Ike to his owner, Mrs. LaRue, in which he paints a dire picture of his life that doesn't quite match up with what we see in the illustrations.

As you can see in the example below, Ike is actually dining in a hilariously upscale restaurant with waiter service and "floor-dropped table scraps" on the menu, while his imaginary experience includes a domineering prison guard pointing out that howling, biting, scratching, growling, slobbering, barking and especially second helpings are NOT ALLOWED.

4. Officer Buckle and Gloria, written and illustrated by Peggy Rathman.

Officer Buckle gives school children the most boring safety presentations in the world, until the day he brings the new police dog Gloria with him. Turns out that Gloria is an accomplished actress and enlivens the programs quite a bit.  Just not when Officer Buckle can see her.

Gloria isn't the cutest fictional dog in the world, but the illustrations are bold and bright and the safety tips on the endpapers are a must read (e.g., "don't play in the microwave").

3.  Martha Blah Blah, written and illustrated by Susan Meddaugh.

Martha the dog is a great communicator (aren't all dogs?), but when she eats the right kind of alphabet soup - Granny's  -  the letters go up to her brain and she can speak words.   This turns out to be incredibly useful for ordering meat from the butcher or making special requests for dinner. Unfortunately, a new Granny takes over the soup company and cuts out half the alphabet letters to increase profits.  Martha suddenly loses her way with words, and goes on a mission to restore "every letter in every can."

Martha's personality leaps of the page, and is enhanced by clever illustrations that reward repeat views (Alf the "A" maker has arrows, anchors and alligators on his curtains.) Also in this series: Martha Speaks, Martha Calling, and Martha and Skits.

2. Go, Dog. Go! written and illustrated by P.D. Eastman.
This classic  needs no introduction.  Some might quibble with this selection because Go, Dog. Go! doesn't have a "story" per se.  But who hasn't been gripped by the question of whether the big dog will ever like that poodle's hat? And where are all those dogs driving to? Why are they all going to that big tree over there? 

A dog party for the climax of a book? It doesn't get any better than that.

1. Moe the Dog in Tropical Paradise, written by Diane Staley, illustrated by Elise Primavera.

A week's vacation in snowy January and no money for a trip to the beach could be a bummer, but not for Moe the Dog and his friend Arlene.  When a tropical escape proves financially impossible, Moe uses his canine ingenuity to bring the beach to his house.

Primavera's illustrations are full of hidden "extras" - Moe and Arlene work at Frozen Cow Ice Cream, Moe's attic is full of dusty dog paraphernalia like a Lassie lunch box and copies of Benjie and Old Yeller.  Hands down my favorite dog picture book.

Did I omit your favorite? Leave a comment!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Vote for Rainbowdog

Voting is now open on the Mutt Lynch Winery - Dog Art Today label contest (see my post of May 7 for more info). Rainbowdog has entered "Multi-breed Mashup," number 40 on the list of dog artworks submitted. I thought a mutt was especially fitting, since the wine Mutt Lynch will release with the special dog art label will be a blend of several types of grapes.

Click here to cast your vote for Rainbowdog - again, number 40!  You might also want to view the complete gallery of all 77 entries.  There is some really fabulous art and many wonderful interpretations of dog life.

Your vote can't actually get me on the label, but it CAN help me finish in the top ten.  Those ten will then be judged by a panel of experts, including Brenda Lynch, winemaker and co-owner of Mutt Lynch, Moira McLaughlin, founder of Dog Art Today, and Rae Huestis, a professional wine label designer.  The winner's dog art will grace the label of the 2010 Mutt Lynch special reserve wine. 

I should also mention that, among other prizes, the winner will receive a case of the wine. How cool is that? So please, take a second to vote for Multi-breed Mashup by Janet Burt (yours truly).  Voting ends May 25, PST. Your support is appreciated!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Rainbowdog on Facebook

Introducing Rainbowdog's official Facebook page. Click this link to visit the page and become a fan (i.e., click the "like" button). You will receive convenient updates on my latest projects while connecting with your friends on Facebook. Easy! I hope that the Rainbowdog Facebook page will also provide a place where dog art lovers can connect, share opinions and dog advice. Join today and tell your friends!

Monday, May 10, 2010

Camo Dog

Can you spot my dog Stella, blending in to the best of her ability with the kitchen floor? Well, maybe she's not that hard to pick out, but this does show that even mutts with distinctive markings can use camouflage in certain situations . . .

Friday, May 7, 2010

Wine Label Dog Art Contest

I'm excited about the second annual Mutt Lynch Winery dog art label contest, going on right now. The winery is partnering with the blog Dog Art Today to search for an original work of dog art to grace the label of a special limited edition wine (only 500 bottles). Last year's winner was Kellie Oliphant-Burns, owner of Doodle Dog Paintings, with her painting entitled "Leeroy Out Loud!" 

In late May you will be able to check out this year's entries at Dog Art Today and vote for your favorite (me!?!?). The top ten artworks selected through public voting will be judged by a panel of experts. I'll keep you posted about when that's happening, along with a sneak preview of my entry.