Dear friends – I’ve been saddened to read that Donald Trump has broken the long-standing tradition of holding a friendly ceremony at the White House to unveil the official portrait of President Barack Obama.
In 2012, Obama held the same ceremony for George W. Bush as part of the established practice that first-term presidents unveil the portraits of their immediate predecessors. This light hearted and respectful ceremony is organised by the White House Historical Association, a private, non-profit organisation founded in 1961 by Jacqueline Kennedy. Its mission is to protect, preserve, and provide public access to the history of the official presidential residence.
Now why am I writing about this matter?
Well over the past months, I too, have been fortunate enough to pose for my official portrait. Yes, really.
I recall having to sit several time to have many photos taken from all different angles with a steady stream of doggie treats keeping me concentrating on the camera lens. Klady then emailed the images to emerging artist, Maya Jackson Bluglass to interpret as she saw fit. Fortunately Maya and I know each other very well (she gives fantastic cuddles), and so she was also able to artistically incorporate both my personality and favourite activities.
According to Maya, she drew inspiration from the Japanese woodblock art of Ukiyo-e such as The Great Wave (a modern interpretation of which Klady had produced several modern versions of some years ago).
Maya says: The Japanese context works really well as a backdrop for Feathers, as firstly he loves his daily ocean swim and going boating, and secondly, he is well known to steal sips and noodles from bowls of fresh ramen soup!
Maya continued that she was also inspired by the wonderful movie, Isle of Dogs, which is set in Japan and features many shots of dogs sitting in the same pose she chose for Feathers.
The pink cherry blossom also represents Japan and brings out the colour pink in the painting, giving life to Feathers’ kelpie brown tones.
I think Maya showed true insight when she said: In my paintings, I try to express something about the subject in a way that is interesting to look at, for example, if the pet thinks they rule the house, then I'd make them royalty.
Pets are wonderful portrait subjects. They really have their own personalities and quirks and it’s a privilege to be able to interpret these.”
I just LOVE the photo of my portrait but because of the Covid19 border restrictions here at World’s End, I haven’t been able to see it in person. But when Klady is allowed to travel to Sydney AND returns, she will bring it back and I’ll make sure that it takes pride of place in my home!
And when it does arrive, I'll encourage Klady to have an official unveiling ceremony – and just like at the White House - I shall invite all my new beach friends; Mollie, Millie, Pooch, Cottie, Princess, Willow, Ruby, Tiger Lily, Hank, Queenie (from Sydney), Milo, Chocky, and Sprint.
And of course in addition to you my friends, I’ll be inviting Bo and Sunny Obama so that they too can enjoy a truly friendly and respectful official portrait unveiling.
Maybe their owners will come too?
PS: For commissions contact Maya at: Facebook Maya J-Blu Art, Instagram: @mayablu_art