My current body of work is about dogs doing what they do best – living in the moment, unselfconsciously, and at peace being themselves. These virtues, which come so naturally to dogs, are often life-long goals for their human companions. Luckily for us, dogs are brilliant teachers. At present, I enjoy the company of two resident Zen Masters – Lucy and Buddy. I’m learning every day.
This series is largely a tribute to them, and to all the dogs I’ve known and learned from over the years. Especially the pound puppies and strays that are dealt a lousy hand, yet somehow manage to keep going – not just surviving, but actually thriving! Here’s to you!
The first series of bronzes are small head studies, each with a favorite object. For some it’s a stick. For others it’s a ball or newspaper. Frisbees are good, too. All are happy and spin or wiggle when touched, much like the real dogs they are modeled after.
My second series consists of bronze dogs in relation to cubes, like the props used in formal photo shoots. True to their nature, these dogs would rather skip the formal poses and just climb down. Maybe roll over for a belly rub, or sit and scratch an itchy spot. So they do, and so I sculpt them.
Series number three is a set of wall-mounted bronze dogs that have no pedestal or base whatsoever. Gravity does not concern them. They are Frisbee Dogs making the perfect catch! While absolute focus and coordination define them as world-class athletes, their joyous faces reveal a pure and simple lust for life. They are happiness incarnate. As a wise dog once said, “Carpe discus!” (“Seize the disk!”) My thoughts, exactly!
Series number four graces our dogs with their well-earned wings.
“Both of my dogs are mutts, and my perfect dog doesn’t ever have to fit the perfect breed standard. I’m more concerned with conveying their nature, expression, and heart. The really important qualities!”
Fran Nicholson works with Assistance Dogs of the West, training pound puppies to live lives of service. These dogs are heroes even as they teach us to enjoy every moment.