Art can be a very lonely profession but not at Wimbledon Art Studios where dogs keep many of the resident artists company. Six professional artists reveal how their dogs inspire their art and keep them sane in their darkest moments. From 9-12 May, artists will be opening up their dog-friendly studios for the Wimbledon Art Fair, inviting the public to meet them and their canine friends whilst browsing and buying affordable art.
Painter and cartoonist, Rob Murray and Bramble
(Bramble is 21 month-old, Cockapoo)
“Having a dog that loves long walks inspires my work continuously – as a landscape painter, she gets me out into the countryside at least once a day, where I can sketch, take photographs and soak up the atmosphere. Those experiences often inspire a new painting”
Painter, Henrietta Stuart and Bella
(Bella is a Golden Doodle and will be 5 yrs old in June).
"Being an artist can be a very lonely profession as you spend may hours on your own. Having the dogs around is a wonderful thing. They cheer you up if things go wrong and make you laugh. They help you through the times when your confidence and inspiration disappear and remind you that you are not to take yourself too seriously and that it is definitely time to pack up and head for the park”.
Ceramicist, Carolyn Tripp and Coco
(Coco is an 8 year old American Cockapoo)
“Our walk to the studio sets us both up for the day and it’s often then that I come up with new ideas. Coco is really quiet in the studio and spends most of the day asleep in her basket although she sometimes stretches out next to the warm kiln…. I can remember the email I wrote enquiring about studio space . It was quite short but detailed exactly what I was looking for “ a space where I can have a kiln and a dog”
Painter, Becki Flack and Tita
(Tita is a short-haired Chihuahua, 6 years old)
“Tita has made a tremendous difference to my life and is my best friend, my family and my muse! I painted her when I first got her as she has such a beautiful face and markings and such character. Then I painted her as a Mexican and before long she was a Witch, a Sailor, a Bride, a Rapper and there was no looking back. I’ve been painting her for over 3 years. I used to struggle with knowing what to paint but now I never run out of ideas of what to paint her. She’s been Cleopatra, Elizabeth I, Frida Kahlo and there are lots more paintings in the pipeline.
Painting can be lonely especially when I worked at home on my own. Having Tita at the studio all the time makes such a difference too, as I’m never alone and even if she’s snoozing in her basket, she is a soothing support and inspiration….Tita has helped me emotionally and mentally too. I suffer from depression and anxiety which worsened in middle age…Tita motivated me to get up and walk her and I had to think about and care for her. Having her with me made me less anxious and provided an outlet for my maternal instincts. She provides me with so much love and joy. Seeing her little face in the morning always cheers me up.”
Painter, Tim Hobert and Alfi
(Alfie, red Dachshund, 6 years old)
“Alfie has inspired a number of drawings and a few paintings. He’s brilliant company, even when asleep. I’m never lonely with Alfie. Also a good number of people come by just to see Alfie so, incidentally, I also get more human company which is not always disagreeable!”
Print-maker Rion Jacobs and Billie
(9-year-old long-haired German Shepherd)
“German Shepherds are happiest when able to be close to their owners…. Billie lies quietly under my work table like a giant canine rug and just lets me get on with whatever I’m doing. She is calm and happy and so I am too…...If I’m working late or in on a weekend, the studios can be fairly empty and quiet, so having her there I never feel alone”