In grade twelve a local artist approached the art teachers at my high school looking for an art student to take up a studio assistant position in his studio. I was fortunate enough to be one of two students selected by the teachers. After a trial day I ‘won’ the position and began a 4 year ‘career’ as an artist assistant doing this and that in the studio whilst I began my visual arts studies at art school. The studio dog provides quiet companionship allowing you to work without conversation or comments, as well provides a little company. If you need to talk something through, to yourself, there is someone there to listen but not interrupt with comments you don’t really want.
One thing I was exposed to was the studio dog who loved to jump on my car when I pulled in forever beginning my dislike for Airedale terriers. However, half way through my first year of art school I found my own studio dog, Peka. Sadly, I was unable to bring her to Australia when I moved and she was left with my mom for the second half of her life. A few of my friends lovingly gave my husband and I a voucher for the RSPCA as a wedding gift. Six months later I found Chloe.
Both dogs have been subjected to being forced to ‘hang-out’ with me in my studio spaces. (They both have strong personalities, Peka in particular, but Chloe enjoys quiet spaces for her naps and will sneak away to one of her favourite spots when I want her with me).
First thing Saturday morning I received the call that I have been waiting for for the past three years. Peka passed away sleeping under a blanket after a long fifteen and a half year life. Her ashes came home yesterday.
Although I have not lived with her for eight years, I still enjoyed her company and cuddles during my visits. She was a wonderful all-around companion who would often want to sit on my lap whilst I worked on art work and who was subjected to being involved in a few pieces, one of which I hope I can find when I visit next. She was my muse for many pieces, particularly in my first and second years, as a result of my etching instructor.
She will be missed, particularly by my mom who is feeling the hole left by her passing.
So I ask this, do you have a studio companion when you are working? What does the critter do for you whilst you work?