Well it has been a long year since first I submitted my proposal for A Dog’s Guide to Art. Luckily my publishers liked the idea and said yes. So I got down to the business of bringing together my favourite London Pooch artworks between the covers of 96 pages of canine fun.
On the way it acquired additional non long bellied friends. Labradors, greyhounds, schnauzers and more were invited to join my two dachshunds Ned and Henry to explore the art world in a stroll round this imagined collection. Their mate Stringer (mostly jack russell) was in there from the start. And it has proved to be my own voyage of discovery as much as theirs.
It has been a delight to study the style and intricacies of other breeds of dog as well as art. I’ve never looked so closely at the lines of a Greyhound. Ned might say they are just leggy Dachshunds but there’s more to them than that. Then to find a work that could embrace both breeds and art. What better than a fragment of Ancient Greek ceramic showing Olympic runners racing a pack of super fast Greyhounds.
It has been a privilege to study the paintings and sculpture collected in this book. To redraw each work is an education in the content of the works we think we know. Had I ever noticed the little water filler in Ingres’ Valpinçon Bather. Even though mine looks dangerously more like an iPhone charger. The process of redrawing was reminiscent of the apprentice way of copying and learning from the Old Masters. I really have learned a lot. When all the artworks were submitted I missed my daily grind. I handed over my precious efforts and waited for the next stages of production.
Then the world went mad. But thankfully despite Covid lockdown the publishers proceeded with the book as planned. And now we see it displayed in Bookshop windows. And although we were not able to have a lively launch party. I sincerely hope there will be one at some point. Who knows?
But it is now a lovely book and can be purchased here.
So what is the title?
A Dog’s Guide to Art by me Joy FitzSimmons.
Published by Pavilion Books under their Portico imprint.
£9.99 ISBN 978-1-911622-53-6
Can be ordered here by clicking on
or from your favourite local bookseller and online from Bookshop.org
or online from Waterstones