Wednesday, 15 July 2015


Gotcha! Trompe l'oeil oil painting of a golden retriever catching a ball
This painting is an attempt at a little troupe l’oeil, a phrase that literally means ‘trick of the eye’. It is a type of work, in art, that is designed to deceive your eye into believing a painted detail is a real, 3D object. In this case, the tennis ball.
Troupe l’oeil is especially effective on a grand scale. For example this street mural painted on River Street in Medicine Bow, Saskatchewan by German street artist Edgar Mueller in 2007:
Trompe l'oeil also works on a smaller scale. Here is my favourite, violin and bow hanging on a door, by Jan van der Vaart c 1723. The painting hangs in Chatsworth House, Derbyshire
For my much simpler daily painting, the conceit was simply this: what if one of my painted dogs got fed up sitting there perfectly still in portrait mode and came out of the picture? If a painting is going well, I feel as though the dog is coming to life under the brush. As soon as the painting is finished and sitting on the side to dry it is perfectly obvious the dog is not alive, it is just a painting. 
Or is it? 
A bit like when you were little and thought perhaps your toys came to life and moved around when you were asleep. 
But perhaps that was just me!