Alicia VanNoy Call – the accomplished painter behind the much-loved DawgArt – has been hand painting portraits of your loveable domestic canines since 2003. These bursts of kaleidoscopic color always capture the inner charm, mischief, or gaze of a much-loved dog. Working closing with the owners to create a truly memorable reminder of the family pet, DawgArt has also contributed greatly to rescue and shelter charities through fundraising auctions. Alicia VanNoy Call’s artistic style is deeply rooted to man’s ancient connection to the animal world, challenging the ever-present noise and technological blur that threatens to drown out some of our oldest and closest connections to nature. But even the Internet has strengthened our connection with the canine world. Although mere humour, dog memes are a reminder of the power our pets have to connect to our most childish sense of wonder and humour.
The dog has had an important place in human mythology, and was considered an animal of exceptional courage. The first appearance of the dog in painting appears on ancient cave art: the loveable companion was the first animal to be domesticated, and has been by our side ever since. Hunting in the Middle Ages was an important tool of social cohesion, and the dog played a key role, featuring in countless book illustrations and murals. But it wasn’t until the Renaissance that the dog began to be featured in scenes of daily life. The first portrait of a dog came shortly after, in the sixteenth century, beginning an unbroken tradition of dedicating a timeless memorial to our canine friends that has lasted right up until the colourful charm of DawgArt.