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Art

In Tenderly. More on Medium.

Even the greatest works of art look even better with a nice Australian Shepherd

All photos: Eliza Reinhardt via Instagram

Finnegan “Finn” Reinhardt is a Texas-based Australian Shepherd dog who has spent the last year brilliantly recreating famous works of art with his best friend and roommate Eliza. Eliza’s keen artistic eye, sense of humor, and skills as a painter are a perfect complement to Finn’s years of practice at being an exceptionally good boy, and the pair have collaborated on dozens of magnificent artistic homages, using just materials they have at home to recreate various masterpieces.

Finn and Eliza’s earliest works are more literal, finding paintings of women and dogs to recreate, but as their journey has progressed they’ve…


What better way to view the world than with animals in mind?

A simple ink drawing of two round dogs staring at a small snail — with the first aphorism below printed underneath them.
A simple ink drawing of two round dogs staring at a small snail — with the first aphorism below printed underneath them.
Illustration source: Kamisaka Sekka (1909) via New York Public Library/RawPixel; design: Summer Anne Burton; aphorism: Laura Vincent

The aphorism is a perceptive truism, a saying which allows us to recognize some aspect of life in a simple but meaningful way. Their success can be their downfall — many is the aphorism which started off witty and is now considered a cliche through overuse. Cliche or not, the truth at the core of many of them remains.

When I’m not writing about food, my words are used in composing poetry and writing a novel, and in order to metaphorically dunk my tired brain in ice-cold water, I wrote some aphorisms of my own as a creative exercise. …


All illustrations: Louis Renard / RawPixel

A stunningly surreal, less than scientific, and spiritually satisfying depiction of life under the sea

First published in 1719, these drawings by publisher Louis Renard were part of his two-volume book Poissons, Ecrevisses et Crabes, the earliest known publication to capture fish in color. The books claimed to depict aquatic animals in the East Indies, and Renard remained steadfast that the drawings realistically depicted marine life in the region.

It’s apparent as soon as you look through a few pages that the drawings often drift from literal depiction towards artistic exaggeration and often outright fantasy. Perhaps that’s best represented by the inclusion of a siren (mermaid), but really the whole set is washed in magical…


‘Music opened the door, and behind it, I found an animal like me’

An arty photograph of a shirtless man with his outstretched arm, which has a red-and-blue parrot perched near the elbow.
An arty photograph of a shirtless man with his outstretched arm, which has a red-and-blue parrot perched near the elbow.
Photo: Kamay/Pexels

Alfonso pressed a CD into my hand and gave me a mission: Memorize the name of every musician and song on the album. In a few days, he planned to play a random 15-second section, and I would pass his quiz if I could identify the tune and its players by ear.

For a jazz aficionado, I suspect this task would have been trivially easy. Unfortunately, I wasn’t one. My mother had decided I would play the trumpet, hoping that the limited three buttons would give my clumsy hands more of an opportunity. After a few years of embarrassing progress…


Photo of a water lily, colorized with pastel shades of pink, yellow, green, and blue.
Photo of a water lily, colorized with pastel shades of pink, yellow, green, and blue.
Credit: Ogawa Kazumasa via RawPixel

Japanese artist Ogawa Kazumasa helped perfect this stunning technique

It didn’t take long after the first daguerreotype was taken in France in 1839 for artists to invent ways to colorize their black-and-white photographs by hand. Ogawa Kazumasa was born in 1860, when hand-coloring was well established in his home country of Japan; before his death in 1929, he helped perfect the fine art technique, and also became a photographer, printer, publisher, and a pioneer in the fields of photomechanical printing and photography.

While the hand-colored aesthetic is still popular, genuine examples of hand-colored photography are hard to come by these days. …


Black-and-white woodcut print of a tortoise named Akbar, a dog named Max, and a cat named Puss. The text is in Dutch.
Black-and-white woodcut print of a tortoise named Akbar, a dog named Max, and a cat named Puss. The text is in Dutch.
‘Akbar the Tortoise, Max the Dog, and Puss the Cat’ (1916) via The Rijksmuseum/rawpixel. Illustrations: Julie de Graag

Dutch artist Julie de Graag (1877–1924) had a unique style that captures plants and animals perfectly

I first discovered the work of Dutch artist Julie de Graag while looking through public domain illustrations to illustrate Tenderly stories. I’m grateful for that chance encounter, because she’s become one of my favorite graphic artists ever since — and she might about to become one of yours.


It’s easier than you would think to tell a nice statue of a good boy apart from a nasty statue of a bad one

Photos (L-R): Nevit via Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 3.0;Brent Moore via Flickr/CC BY 2.0

A statue, or monument, is a thing that we humans like to put up in a public place to celebrate someone who we think did a very good job of something. We also use them to show other humans what sorts of behavior we think everyone should emulate. …


Dutch illustrator Isa Bredt transports your animal friends into a Disney wonderland

Photo provided by KittenXLady. All illustrations: Pet Disneyfication

Isa Bredt is a 22-year-old illustrator based in Tilburg in the Netherlands, who happened on the brilliant concept of “Pet Disneyfication” after participating in a project on Reddit where she could offer free art to people in order to hone her craft. As a superfan of Disney’s classic films starring animals with a particular knack for drawing pets, Isa found the project to be a perfect fit for her talents and her interests, and as word got out and commissions began to pile up, she was able to turn her skills into a business.

She also uses her art for…


Andoni Bastarrika’s virtuosic sand sculptures capture the power and freedom of his animal subjects

Photos: Andoni Bastarrika

Andoni Bastarrika is an artist from the Basque region of Spain who specializes in turning wet beach sand into sculptures of animals so realistic that they look as if they’ve just crawled out of the sea. Although Bastarrika doesn’t limit his creations to animals (in fact, making a sand mermaid for his daughters was what set him on this particular path more than a decade ago), he takes particular inspiration from the freedom and power that animals symbolize for him.

In order to create his intricate sculptures, Bastarrika amasses large piles of wet sand and shapes them with his hands…

Tenderly

good living for every being

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