I recently ran across this video and knew I had to share it with my fellow Dogsters. “Dogs in Art” is stunning, and deserves to go viral. I wanted to know the story behind the video so I could give Dogsters a little extra insight. So I located its creator, Moira McLaughlin, and asked her a few questions.
MG: I love this video. Did it take a long time to put together?
MM: Yes. From the moment I saw Philip Scott Johnson’s YouTube masterpiece, “Women in Art,” I knew I wanted to make “Dogs in Art.” But, first I needed to research the software I needed. (I tried Creaceed’s Morph Age and then saved the money to buy it.) I had just started blogging and there were zero funds for any extras in my budget. When I was finally able to purchase the software, I then had to teach myself how to use it. I had rudimentary editing skills, but I had never used anything like this. There were many, many heartbreaks as I learned through trial and error and had to start over from scratch three times. This is no reflection on Morph Age, I was simply in over my head. From the inception to the completion of “Dogs in Art” probably took two years.
MG: How did you choose the art?
MM: After writing about dog art every day for over a year on my blog Dog Art Today , I knew that dogs in art went back as far as art itself. So, whereas Johnson’s inspiring film “Women in Art,” looks at 500 years of women in art, I wanted to go back further. The first piece, “Anubis,” from Ancient Egypt, is dated 3000 BC. So “Dogs in Art” covers 5,000 years of dogs in art. Then, the consideration is to find close ups that can morph into each other in compelling ways. There were many happy accidents where images dissolved beautifully from one to another. And there were again more heartbreaks when I had to discard paintings that I loved and really wanted to include, but just couldn’t make fit. It was like a working on a moving jigsaw puzzle, with all the frustration, disappointment, elation and sense of accomplishment that that encompasses.
MG: What does this art show us about humans’ relationships with dogs over time?
MM: Dogs have been included in art since man first drew on cave walls. One of the hardest parts of creating the film was making editorial decisions about what paintings to include. I tried to tell the story of dogs in art through the ages and select pieces that are representational of the century, decade or year it was created. I think the film ends up telling this story, of how dog art has evolved, while simultaneously showing the profound love artists have always had for their dogs, their beloved muses and best friends — and that really, nothing has changed in 5,000 years when it comes to dogs and their relationship to man.