Year of the Dog

Year of the Dog

Context: Every Lunar New Year, I create a piece of art based on the year’s zodiac animal (see Year of the Rooster, MonkeyGoat, and Horse).

Year of the Dog: For this animal, instead of relegating the project to the beginning of the year, I’m going to create 12 pieces throughout the year. I will post the images as I complete them.

 

Lunar New Year diagram

 

Lunar New Year: Unlike the Gregorian calendar, this new year is astrologically defined as the new moon closest to vernal equinox. The first piece will start there, and each will fall on the subsequent 11 new moons.

 

Year of the Dog: 12 New Moons

 

Input: I picked 12 dogs I know and asked their humans for their take on the pooch’s personality and history.
Output: There will be two pieces for each new moon. One based on the dog, and another inspired by the dog.

 


New Moon No. 1
Scooter, age 17

No. 1: Based on Scooter
No. 1: Based on Scooter

Scooter is a Yorkshire terrier, a breed developed in north of England, where the textile and wool industry was strong at the turn of the century. The terriers were bred to be avid rat catchers to keep the rodent population in check in the mills.

No. 1: Inspired by Scooter
No. 1: Inspired by Scooter

 


New Moon No. 2
Layla, age 16

No. 2: Based on Layla
No. 2: Based on Layla

Layla is a very relaxed whippet mix. The history of the whippet breed is filled with wild rabbits, English forests, Norman kings, and peasant breeders. On one level, it is the recognizable narrative of humans providing nurture to working animals. On a deeper level, it’s a haunting history of draconian social order in the 11th century and the dogs that paid a price for their existence. #wedontdeservedogs Thankfully, Layla is far, far away from the history of her ancestors.

No. 2: Inspired by Layla
No. 2: Inspired by Layla

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