Painted Dogs
(scroll down for description)
20” x 48”, acrylic, 1999

Painted dog is the recent name for this remarkable animal that used to be called ‘wild dog’ or ‘Cape hunting dog’. I like the name because it describes the kind of random patch pattern of their coats, which is similar to the coat of a "painted" pony or "pinto".

In a way, it fits with their behaviour and social structure, which is active and complex. To watch them is to watch a lively society in action. Their playfulness covers an intense competition for social position and also reinforces connectedness and communication skills that make them the most dreaded hunters in Africa. That is, they are the most dreaded by the prey species. The dogs are relentless in pursuit and use strategy based on co-operation and relationships.

In the painting I have tried to echo the qualities of these dogs in the bouncy, varied patterns of the palms.