I’m a creative, experienced, multi-purpose artist
who can take projects start to finish in a variety of styles.
Good designs sell – mine sell out!

http://www.artbyhensley.com/index.html

Friday, July 13, 2012

"Lost"

Everything was fine in my 20s except I didn’t have a dog, and life just isn’t good enough without one.  My BF said “Fine.  Get a dog, but it has to be purebred, male…”  His list of requirements was an insurmountable barrier, and that he knew it was evident in his self-satisfied smile.  I was the lowest person on the totem pole in an art studio and supporting BF in his dream of starting a business.  How was I supposed to pay for a purebred?

My mornings at the studio started with the dog section of the classifieds.  Purebreds were $300-500, and I didn’t have it.  Months went by.  BF was happy.  I was determined.  I finally found a listing for Dalmatian puppies for $110.  Okay!  I didn’t care if I had to eat lentils for a month.  I’ll pay $110!  I quickly called the number and found out that in a litter of 13, there was only 1 male.  “Please hold him for me!” I begged the woman.  I called BF and shared my joy.  We made plans to pick up the puppy after I got home from work.

BF made me call the woman again before we left the house to make sure she still had the male.  No, she didn’t, but she still had a dozen beautiful little girl puppies.  BF said “No, it has to be a male”, and I did something I had never done before.  I cried to get my way.  Well, to be perfectly honest, I didn’t start crying to get my way.  I cried because I wanted a dog.  The getting my way part was sitting in the middle of everything so BF had to see me crying.  The more he tried to ignore me, the more I cried.  He eventually relented.  He said we could go “look” at the puppies.  No promises, “just look”, and then he got a box and an old towel to put inside it.  I knew we were doing more than “looking”.

The puppies were a scene from 101 Dalmatians, spilling out all over the woman’s garage.  The proud parents checked us out, and Papa Dalmatian showed off by running around the expansive property in the twilight, a white and black blur, while one puppy made it clear to me that she loved me more than all of her sisters.  I was in love.  BF could’ve said “no” in that moment and I would’ve put him out on the street.  I’m pretty sure he knew it too.  We brought Ivory home.  BF loved her too, and we eventually got a male to complete the set.

So what’s all this got to do with “lost”?  If you’ve ever had a Dalmatian, you wouldn’t ask.  Sometimes I’d remember watching Ivory’s dad running in the fading light and realize that I should’ve seen his beautiful power as something to dread.  Dalmatians have to run.  They were bred for it.  They also don’t like running in circles.  They run in straight lines, and things like railroad tracks, roads, and fences aren’t going to stop them.

One time, BF took the dogs to work with him, but they didn’t come when he called them.  He slept in his truck hoping they’d show up, but they didn’t.  He came home alone with his tail between his legs, and I quickly printed up flyers (already on the computer from the last escape) and got my little brothers to help me pass them out.  “Look pitiful!” I told them as my desperation reached new levels of panic.  We drove up and down streets and handed out the flyers to anybody we saw.  I forced a flyer on one old man, and he insisted he hadn’t seen my dogs.  “Woof!”  I barreled past him and found both of my dogs locked up in his fenced backyard.  I can’t believe he lied to me in front of my two adorable little brothers.  The dogs almost looked sorry for an instant, but they never learned their lesson.  I kept the LOST flyer filed on the computer.


This picture is a Polaroid transfer, which is a pretty cool process of floating the emulsion of the photo off of the paper and floating it onto a different kind of paper.  You can get some cool techniques out of the process, but this print is pretty straight forward.  The other photo is of Ivory and one of my little brothers when they were both little and cute :)

22 comments:

  1. I love your leash drawing and the story that goes with it!

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  2. I love the effect of the transfer. I'd heard of manipulating the colors of the old, original polaroids with your fingers but never floating it onto another stock. (When they upgraded their prints you couldn't manipulate anymore. Some artists stocked up on the old stock before they upgraded.)

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  3. Thanks Rita!

    I'd heard that about Polaroids too Rand, but I have to admit that I'm a photographer of convenience usually. Mostly I take shots of relatives or things I want to draw/paint. Still, this was a fun process to play with for a while.

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  4. Wow, another great post! Fantastic story about the dalmations. It's not a breed I would pick, and I fear many who shouldn't have, did so because of the movie. But I'm sure Ivory was a great dog. And that photo of her has a really cool quality to it. I thought the leash was a photo initially. Lovely!

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  5. aw shucks, I'm feeling all clucky now, which I a worry, I've never felt clucky about a dog before. How cute is that photo of the dalmation?

    And what a wonderful story. Just another brilliant story from Hensley, ho hum, this is what we expect, you know? Whenever I come to your blog I am prepared to be entertained and taken into another world.

    Well I can honestly say you never disappoint! OI won't tell you about the dalmation I saw on the side of the highway one wild and rainy black as black night. I nearly ran off the road trying not to hit it/ It was on the main highway to Sydney, millions of cars everywhere, .... about fort kilomteres later, still in the howling wind and rain I passed a guy driving a flat top.

    He had two dalmations on the flat top ties to the back of his cabin,. no safety rails, no nothing. And no where to stop and tell him what a cruel idiotic goose he was.

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  6. Dalmatians aren't a good breed for a lot of people, but for the right people they're the best :) Poor puppy in Sydney. I hope everything ended up okay. None of my dogs got hit by cars thankfully. Thanks for the comments! I'm equally entertained by your comments Andrew :)

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  7. I just realized that I haven't been here in a while. So sorry! Well your brother was a cutey and the dog is even cuter ;) I love Dalmatians but I have heard that they run away, a lot. Love your story, as always! Thanks for the comment on my illustrations. You are so right ;)

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  8. Love the dog. Hated your BF. You were supporting him and he behaved like that? I once had a similar BF. Although our fight was whether the cat could stay in the house. He said no and eventually she ran away. I grieved for Selina long after I got rid of the BF. (There are two sides to the story though - he was good to me in many ways. He's the one who got me to Germany to dance...)

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  9. This post made me remember when friend of mine had a Dalmatian & oh, that creature was a black & white ball of fire! I'm not surprised to hear that the breed has a tendency to scarper.
    Luckily my friend was a runner so she & her pet were well-matched in that regard.

    I'm intrigued by the polaroid transfer concept! I'll have to give that a try sometime.

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  10. This BF took me to Maine for lobsters on the beach, so maybe I shouldn't complain too much? Might've been even better if he'd taken me dancing in Germany though :) Thanks for the comments!

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  11. Lost pets. A pet owner's nightmare! That is a cool photo technique. I love and miss all the fun I used to have in my college dark room. The good old days.

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  12. I so hope that after you retrieved you dogs, that you then proceeded to lock up the old man in his own backyard!
    You were very lucky to find them, my guess is another day and they would have been sold off to who knows where.

    Polaroid transfers... another avenue to explore.
    (it never ends)

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  13. While I think your illustration is terrific, unfortunately, I do not share your feelings regarding canines. (http://tdirl.blogspot.com/2011/03/you-aint-nothing-but-hound-dog.html) I suppose that's why there is chocolate and vanilla.

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  14. Your stories are always so compelling that I almost forget the IF side of it. Nice illustration!

    Just what WERE Dalmations bred for? Aren't they fire dogs? My BIL has one that I've heard horror stories about, but have yet to meet.

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  15. Dalmatians were originally bred to run with coaches as a way of protecting travelers. They can do about 20 miles a day. Some of them are pretty nasty too because they were supposed to rip robbers up. Later on, Dalmatians were used in fire rescues because they have a fairly gentle mouth when they want, and are strong enough to pull small children out of fires. I could keep going with Dalmatian facts, but I think those are the most important jobs they had. Oh yeah, they were also died brown in WWII to carry messages over enemy lines and their natural coloring would've given them away...

    Bah humbug Josh! LOL

    Thanks for the comments!!

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  16. I am always amazed by the stories you can tell at every IF theme - this one is great to read as well. And I love the illustration.

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  17. What a story Linda I can see how much you love your dalmatians. I cannot believe that guy had them in his yard but so glad they came back to you. That lead clasp as your illustration is just perfect for "Lost"but I am so glad that the subtitle is. ..and found!
    Jane x

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  18. Thanks ladies! "Found" is always much better than "lost". Thankfully my current little mutt likes to stay closer to home :)

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  19. Great illustration and photo Linda. Enjoyed your story too.

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  20. You always make me think, long after I close the link. Didn't realize the image was of a leash, I had thought one of those backpack clasps, where kids way too old for them clamp small stuffed animals in droves and then carry them around, walking down the street with bobbing velour companions nodding thoughtfully to every rhythmic step. Great post. (looked through Suspend and
    Refresh as well. Mind still buzzing).

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  21. What a wonderful childhood story. And quite unbelievable that the guy would hide both dogs from you. The Polaroid transfer-picture has a unique character, really beautiful. I guess this is what Hipstamatic and Instagram are trying to reproduce in the modern, digital era.

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  22. Thanks everybody! I'm chuckling to myself about kids with velour animals now, and mostly happy to know that I know exactly where my dog is right now :)

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