Dogs and art.

Hurrah. Rain at last. Not just a piddling drizzle but today the real McCoy. Which come to think of it, is an apposite term because Elijah McCoy, born 1844, invented amongst other things a very efficient lawn sprinkler. Other companies tried unsuccessfully to copy it but people, wanting one that worked properly, insisted on the real McCoy. Hence the expression. And talking of torrential rain, we’ve recently returned from Crete (again) where in February the island had in just a few days 4 times the monthly rainfall, causing billions of euros worth of structural and physical damage and considerable loss of life. None of which was reported in the British press because of bloody brexit. Here’s what we saw for ourselves in May:

But back to the subject in hand: dogs. As I was walking them a couple of days ago and idly musing about Taz’s recent injury, the horrendous vet bill and how it could have been even worse had he needed not just a few stitches but a total member replacement, when the other damn dog broke into my reverie with a series of quite blood curdling screams. What now? Broken leg? Cruciate ligament damage? Impaled on a branch? The two of them had been tearing round the forest and anything could have happened. Luckily for our bank balance it was nothing worse than a collision at high speed with a tree stump but dear Inky managed to milk it for all it was worth. They’d both like you to see how brave they’ve been:

And art? It always amuses me how the art world takes itself so seriously. One of the events at this year’s Charleston Literary Festival was a lady promoting her book on the surrealists. She spent over half an hour giving a po-faced account of the birth of surrealism and the painters and writers like Man Ray, Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and Salvador Dali without once admitting that they were really a bunch of piss-artists who were enjoying the louche Montparnasse cafe life and seeing what they could get away with in the name of art. Of course the surrealists produced some amazing work but pomposity about the subject has led inexorably to some quite dreadful installation art, about which laughter is the only recourse. Says me. Meanwhile Rosie, sculptor second only to Michelangelo, has an exhibition in our greenhouse, while her oil painting is improving daily under the tuition of England’s leading landscape painter after Gainsborough, Constable and Turner, Michael Cruickshank. See here and be amazed (bids welcome).

As it’s still pouring outside and in case you misread ‘Dogs and art’ for ‘Dogs in art’  I googled to see how many times they have featured in paintings. Here are just a few of the, literally, hundreds of occasions they’ve inveigled their way in. Almost certainly to help the artist pay his vet bills.