Pigs aren't often number one on the artistic subject matter list but in my mind, they resemble humans and that is reason enough to pique my interest. They are intelligent,  social, pink/black/brown, hairy; they grunt, seem to smile, love to eat, and display affection. Winston Churchill astutely stated, "Dogs look up to you. Cats look down on you. Give me a pig. He just looks you in the eye and treats you like an equal." 

I once did a series of very small works based on the toe game that parents play with their children  "This little piggy went to market".

Years later, I completed preparatory drawings of pigs for an independent study course during my post graduate degree. My use of pig imagery and the complementary creative process are explained in the chapter entitled "Memories", page 72, of my thesis.

I discovered personalities in each pig. A detail of the final painting reveals the joy that surfaced as I painted these animals. I could almost hear them snort in unison. 

Animals are a very powerful vehicle in art. The frame of reference in which the creature finds itself can reinforce the message that the artist wishes to convey.

The dalmatian below was my dog Charlie. Her nose was dazzling; unexpectedly pink! I included her in quite a few works because her expressions and muscular body made her an outstanding model. I got Charlie for my son after he saw the movie 101 Dalmatians. Yes I know, not a brilliant move, but she certainly brought life into our home.

Charlie was a dog that someone didn't want anymore. She came to live with us on the day that I broke my leg. The break was a bad one, a spiral fracture of both the tibia and fibula.  I was in a total leg cast.

The dog was 14 months old, very nervous, and urinated in the house quite a bit. Let's say that the timing of her arrival was not ideal.

I had a double mattress put on the family room floor because I couldn't make it up to the second storey bedroom. Charlie took over the big, soft bed. She was a strong dog, curled up tight against me, needed serious cuddles, and spent the entire night pushing me off onto the cold ceramic floor.  Just what I needed on the day I messed up my bones.

Charlie in context:

I have often heard it said that people choose dogs that mirror their physical or emotional attributes. Churchill suffered from what he referred to as "the black dog of depression" and shared his life with black poodles.

I shared mine with a polka dot dog.  Damned if I know what that means!