My dog is an artist. He works in poop the way fellow artists work in oils or clay. He has pursued his craft over a lifetime and, while his approach to each new piece is similar, there is always an exciting element of the unknown each time he creates a new work of art.
Preparation: As with all great artists, his choice of canvas is critical to the artistic process. He expends great effort in investigating and evaluating where he will produce his art. The process is painstaking and requires great concentration. Every leaf and blade of grass must be completely analyzed before the master can begin his work. In fact, the concentration required for this part of the process is so great that the smallest of distractions can throw the master off to the point the canvas selection is abandoned for the moment, and we must wait until the muse prompts him again, sometimes hours later, to pursue his creative drive.
Once the canvas is selected, it must be prepared. As with most great canine masters of excretion, he channels his inner wolf and circles to flatten down vegetation that may or may not even exist. Again, this process requires nearly as much concentration and attention to detail as the canvas selection, so any distraction can throw off the sensitive artiste.
Creation: Now that the canvas has been properly prepared, my prodigy goes into the actual production of the artistic product. And, like most progressive artists, the process of the creating the art is nearly as important as the piece itself. In addition, there is some suffering that is associated with this process. With eyes narrowed and ears back, he places himself in clearly awkward positions, such as Michelangelo must have endured while painting the Sistine Chapel, to achieve his goal. My artist is a bit shy about art while the creative juices are flowing, and often seeks privacy while thus engaged. This process may take some time and effort, often blending his inner performance art with his visual art.
During this intense and difficult phase of artistic expression, always the perfectionist, my dog frequently examines his work to assure proper quality control of the final product.
Celebration: Once the piece is completed, however, my dog—the artist, overflows with a sense of deep pride in his art. He scratches the earth vigorously, hoping to advertise his prowess to anyone who happens to be looking his way. He assumes a jaunty attitude, and his muse satisfied, at least for the moment, he trots off with his head up, ready to take on the rest of the day's challenges.
Appreciation: As a true member of the artistic community, my dog cares not only for his own art, but is deeply interested in the art of others. While art produced by other dogs will peek his interest and result in very intense scrutiny necessary to fully appreciate the piece, his true passion is the work done by other species. This exotic art will arouse him to the point of, I think, wishing to consume or become one with the art. His favorite genres to date include White Tailed Deer Art and Goose Art. White Tailed Deer Art drives him to close inspection followed by gluttonous consumption of said art. Discovery of an unexpected outdoor gallery of Goose Art triggers a rapture so intense he must lie down with the Goose Art and grind it into his very skin. Then, he will eat what is left. After all, he is a dog.
My dog is an artist. And I? I have become a consummate canine art expert AND art collector.