A Pack of Trees
2003 by George Rodrigue
Acrylic on canvas
Location: New Orleans
With the reference in this commanding painting to a “pack of trees” rather than a “pack of dogs,” Rodrigue stresses the interchangeability of his two strongest career subjects. The painting is a powerful blending of the compelling symbols that drove and inspired him on hundreds of canvases over forty-five years. In this surreal world, the black oaks of the 1970s and pale, grey-blue loup-garous of the 1980s become fiery red trees and electric blue dogs, connected by strong lines and positive shapes. Painted in Carmel, California, and on view for the first time ever at Rodrigue Studio, this modern masterpiece epitomizes the artist’s mature style.
“Today I think the Blue Dog is probably a comment on, well, the Blue Dog. The art looks back at itself and in doing so creates a future. The dog looks at itself to find a new direction. It’s hard to explain in words (laughing) — it’s much easier on canvas!
“I still don’t know, really, what I’m going to paint when I sit at my easel. I’m still on a path looking back at the imagery and also moving forward, translating both my past and my new ideas into a different, exciting future.” -G.R.