Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Bob as Blackie 1984

I got Bob and Blackie around the same time.  I had been dating Bob for just a few months, and one weekend we decided to visit friends in a remote, rural town in Northern New Mexico.  On the way there we passed several puppies by the side of the road.  We sped on.  Several days later, on the way back, we passed one of the puppies, now road kill.  I knew there had been more puppies and I began to look.  Sure enough,  a flash of black and white in the high grass along side the highway.  We stopped and gathered up an approximately  six week old female  Shepard mix.  We kept her, named her Blackie and she developed into an absolutely beautiful dog.  However, she did have some eccentricities.  She was fearless, and could face down any pack of semi-wild reservation dogs that would later, when we moved to Zuni, try to intimidate her.  And although domesticated, she had a kind of wildness about her that seemed to lurk right below the surface.  I was discovering some of the same things about Bob.  Although he didn't have a need to face anyone down, he did seem to be inhabited by a self that wasn't all that domesticated, and it seemed sometimes that I might lose him to his feral side(see Spiral Jetty 2011 October 30).  http://hollyrobertsonepaintingatatime.blogspot.com/2011/10/spiral-jetty-2011.html

The photograph that I used to start this painting was a full frontal face shot of Bob, but a little blurry.    When I was done painting, I had created a large Blackie head which lay over Bob's face, with only his blurry, slightly unfocused eyes remaining as photograph proof of his existence.  They both shared the same eyes, the same world view.  I realized that it was Bob as Blackie, and Blackie as Bob.


  1. I enjoy getting insight to some of your working process... great tale as well!

  2. Mark and I still love "Bob as Blackie," and we have it hanging over our fireplace mantel. It's great to hear the story behind the painting.


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