Sunday, August 1, 2010

Pug Portrait

After a packed week of events for my biggest art trade show of the year, we packed up our Pugs and took a short vacation to Nashville, TN. That trade show is why I haven't posted in so long; I had no time to spare playing online. It was the perfect antidote to the previous few months' long hours and stress. With the girls safely lounging in the hotel room air conditioning, we went out in search of local antique stores and good food. We found both, but this post is about the Pug we found.

In one large antique mall, I rounded a corner and saw what looked like a cheesy Pug mini-poster, framed in an even cheesier gold-accent frame. I pulled it off the wall and discovered it was neither. The frame was cracked with genuine age, and it was no poster. This was a professional 12 x 14" portrait photograph by Delbridge Studio of Murfreesboro, TN, with its original paper frame backing still in place.

My first thought was, "Someone truly loved this Pug." It must have been just as costly as a human portrait at the time, such a large framed print; no expense was spared. It had been in-studio retouched to perfect the black face mask. Someone wanted this portrait to be right. Of all the proof shots, this one, the unusual profile with open mouth, was selected for the big print and frame job. It must have been panting under those hot studio lights, as the finger to touch the "Yawn Button" (on the chin of Pugs) would not have had time to get out of frame. Imagine what cultured guests at the owner's home must have thought:
"Why is your purebred portrait screaming? Or choking?"
What an odd and purposeful pose choice. This Pug meant something to someone. Perhaps she was a treasured show bitch, that the owner drove from a distance to have professionally photographed? I wanted to research her identity, when she spiced her owner's life, and if her line is still going strong. I couldn't just leave her there, unloved, in that shop. Twelve bucks well spent.

Some people ask me why I do so many non-portrait posed Pug items. Now I wish I could give them the Delbridge Studio phone number, and let him or her explain. There is so much more to Pugs and our lives with them than just a typical snapshot.

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