Blue Dog Oak
2012 by George Rodrigue
Acrylic on canvas
Price upon request
Location: Rodrigue Studio New Orleans, in conjunction with the special exhibition Rodrigue’s Heartland: Under the Oaks and Out of the Swamp opening October 14th. Learn more
This late landscape painting reunites Rodrigue’s favorite subjects in acrylic colors blended adeptly, as though oils. Unlike his dark oaks of the 1970s, Rodrigue’s trees during the latter years glow with intense hues, yet the rules remain as the hard edges and almost puzzle-like structure control his composition.
The Blue Dog stands framed, surrounded by a pattern of sky and shadowed ground. The stylized fur beneath its ears echo the oak’s pointed moss hanging from the limbs of the tree. Without negative spaces, the painting’s structure defies reality. The spaces between the branches create interesting shapes, clearly a self-imposed challenge for the artist.
The Blue Dog is painted as though it’s a Cajun person, glowing in blue rather than white, and standing strong alongside the oak tree. For Rodrigue the tree and dog represented his best friends in art, the shapes he made his own. Over the years, they grew and changed on his canvas just as he did in life.
Rodrigue said people would often ask him, “Are you still painting oak trees?,” and he’d reply, “Only when I want to. When I paint them today, it’s like visiting an old friend. As with real friends, this reunion gives me pleasure.”