Thursday 18 January 2018

This golden retriever will become your new favourite art critic

Who knew dogs could be so discerning?

By Prudence Wade

They say that dogs are like their owners, and this definitely seems like the case for artist Julia Powell and her dog.

No, golden retriever Ella Fitzgerald isn’t exactly picking up a paintbrush and creating the newest canine work of art, but rather she’s started critiquing her owner’s work.

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Julia says it’s only recently that six-year-old Ella started noticing her paintings: “I caught her pausing more than usual when she walked by them.”

It would seem that these pauses soon escalated into something much bigger: namely Ella’s new-found love for art criticism. Despite being relatively new to the game, make no mistake – because Ella is a pro.

Day 5: Golden Retriever Couldn't Be Bothered. Ella looks at me, sighs at my pedestrian presence and then turns back and SCANS THE PAINTING. This might the first time I've wondered holy s*^#! is she ACTUALLY TRULY looking at something in the painting?! Interestingly this is my current favorite work ("Tempest" 36 by 36" oil on linen) so maybe she's seen me stare at it frequently? (Sidebar: Moments later two squirrels emerged to her left and she sprinted off; Second Sidebar: at some point Ella will move on (she's famous, after all) and you guys will still have to like my paintings). #oilpainting #contemporaryart #contemporaryartist #contemporarypainting #dogsofinstgram #goldenretriever #goldenretrieversofinstagram #dogsofinsta #art🎨 #modernart #abstractart #impressionism #landscapepainting

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“Ella has a discerning eye and an unimpeachable moral centre and I think she realised that my paintings were finally developing into the kind of work that she could take seriously,” Julia says. “At long last my art is worthy of her attention.” High praise indeed.

Even though the old wives’ tale says that dogs are colour-blind, this is actually a myth (although it is true that dogs don’t see quite the colour spectrum that humans do). In fact, Ella even prefers some colours to others.

Day 4 of The Ella Chronicles. As Ella's fame grows, so does her taste in clothing. Latest experiment: I put four paintings in my backyard to see which one she might be drawn to. Perhaps it's no surprise that a gray, blue and green water painting captured her full attention. What totally flummoxed me however was that she CONTINUED TO STARE after I put on the scarf and glasses. When she then turned and looked at me (end of video) like I was some bothersome admirer seeking her advice and approval, I almost dropped the phone I was laughing so much. Then she returned to looking at the painting. I don't know when this will end but man it's been fun - Dogs are so wonderfully ridiculous. #oilpainting #artforsale #artist #fineart #art🎨 #art #artcritic #fineart #artistic #hilarious #funnyvideos #landscapepainting #contemporaryart #contemporaryartist #contemporarypainting #modernart #abstractart #impressionism #artgallery #painting 😉#goldenretrieversofinstagram #goldenretriever #dog #dogsarethebest #dogsofinsta #dogsofinstgram

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“Definitely she likes the water paintings – especially green, blue and grey tones,” Julia says. “She is far less interested in my birch series and in paintings that have a lot of reds and oranges.” Ever the discerning art critic.

Julia is a professional contemporary painter based outside of Boston who primarily focuses on landscapes – much to Ella’s obvious delight.

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