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by diana j smith


I have spent the last several years happily painting dogs — every breed, every pose, and every expression imaginable. The smiles of dogs have inspired me to create this new series of acrylic paintings.


A dog’s smile — a simple thing, or is it? When a dog smiles, he is telling us that he is not a threat. Much like the smile of a human, his is an expression that disarms possible unpleasantness. Although scientists tell us that dogs are incapable of the emotion
necessary to smile, dogs have figured out that smiles bring hugs, belly rubs, and treats.


My dog’s smile lets me know that all is well in her world. It helps me feel that all is well in my world also. It is this feeling that is the impetus behind the “Smile” series.


To keep the paintings true to the natural colors of canine hair and features, I’ve used a neutral color palette of earth tones. In my quest to focus attention on the expressions of my subjects, I’ve zoomed right in on their faces, eliminating extraneous detail. I was emboldened to zoom in further in some paintings, displaying only a nose and mouth. By honing in on just those two features, it is still easy to visualize the rest of the exuberant dog, wagging tail and all.


Creating this show has put a smile on my face. I hope it puts one on yours!


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