The artist loved his dog, and in this painting from the mid-1970s, Narelle, a friend of the artist, is preparing the dog’s cool bath. The dog’s stance makes him appear as though he is quite excited. He is wagging his tail.
The ‘rule of thirds’ has been applied to this composition and the viewer’s eye automatically focuses on the principal subjects, the dog and the lady, and then travels around the canvas studying the remaining objects.
Light is flowing in through the window on to the scene. The blended, soft mauve background provides a great backdrop for the activities taking place in the laundry, and adds a feminine touch. The lady’s dark violet hair is in contrast to the bright yellow towel or coat hanging from the doorknob. The room is full of energy. Blue, a cool colour, used for the lady’s blouse and the water, harmonises with the cool green colour of the door. The dog’s brown shade, and that of the dish hanging from the ceiling, ‘match’. This co-ordination of colours helps balance the painting.
Brushstrokes are smooth and there is some texture. Angular and circular shapes make the painting interesting. The artist captured ‘the way it was’ very well, and had a strong sense of the subject.
Acrylic on Masonite, mid 1970s (Cleaned and framed.)