My Dog Lobo

 Last night I admitted to an artist friend over dinner that I was considering pitching it all for a career as a portrait painter of dogs and cats.

The last time I was as tempted to make a major career change was when I was backpacking through Yosemite National Park and stopped at one of the High Sierra Camps to take a swim and have lunch. These camps provide beds and meals in the high country for people who want the multi-day experience of backpacking without carrying 25-40 pounds on their backs. It was there that I met Lucille, a native New Yorker who was spending her summer living and working  at one of the camps. One of her duties - get ready to be struck with a lightning rod of self doubt about your own career choice as I did - was to make the sack lunches and to decorate the brown bags that they came in. Can you imagine? Such bliss. A day for Lucille might also include the cleaning of a pit toilet, or chasing off a grumbly bear but STILL. Who would mind such interruptions? I begged her to let me decorate a few and within moments found myself lost in a spacey, arty haze, demanding more colors from her well used box of nubby little crayons, scrawling pictures of bears and berries and cautionary diagrams of poison ivy. I was unstoppable, and probably a little unbearable.

Of course, I returned to my day job a few days later, and haven't really questioned much career wise since. Until, that is, Lobo came along. After a few quick sketching sessions I realized that I could be perfectly content drawing or painting pictures of people's pets. Why not? I do live in Chelsea, after all, where dogs and cats rule and non stroller-bound children are rarely sighted. Oh wait, I already have a job. OK, maybe just on weekends....  Maybe just my pets.....