Ron McBurnie
Suburban Pets Page 1

 

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Click on each image to see the full more detailed image.

The dog as a philosopher

The dog as a philosopher

Date: 1987
Medium: Soft-ground etching
Plate size: 10 x 14.8cms
Edition: 25

 
Vicious dog and postman

Vicious dog and postman

Date: 1987
Medium: Hard-ground etching and aquatint
Plate size: 10 x 15cms
Edition: 20

Many dogs seem to resemble the appearance and personalities of their owners. This Brussels Griffon must have belonged to a philosopher.
 
Unfortunately this vicious dog can't read and is therefore unaware that the postman is delivering a copy of 'Dog World'. Reading skills may not have helped much as the inscription was accidentally drawn in reverse. The enigmatic 'DLROW GOD' resulted adding a strangely religious twist
     
Dogs bottles

Dogs bottles

Date: 1988
Medium: Hard-ground etching and aquatint
Plate size: 21 x 31cms
Edition: 20

 
Yard dog

Yard dog

Date: 1988
Medium: Hard-ground etching and aquatint
Plate size: 15 x 23cms
Edition: 20

In many parts of Australia in the early nineties people placed plastic milk bottles in different parts of their yards in a brave attempt to stop dogs from defecating on their lawns. The Brisbane house and yard I used for this etching contained an enormous number of dog's bottles. It is sad that this practice is seldom used in the new millenium.
 
In Townsville in the early 1980's, many suburban yards, in spite of their large size, had very little shade . They were often home to the suburban yard dog. In this case a pig dog who marked out his territory in the usual manner, kept company by a travellers palm growing from a very closely cut lawn.
     
Holding the leg of a grumpy work dog

Holding the leg of a grumpy work dog

Date: 1990
Medium: Electric engraver
Plate size: 9.8 x 15cms
Edition: Artist Proof

 
Dog walk

Dog walk

Date: 1994
Medium: Hard-ground etching and drypoint
Plate size: 17.2 x 25.2cms
Edition: 20

This small print was made solely with an electric engraving tool. It relates to an earlier obscure etching titled, Stretching a disobedient work dog.
 
Yet another dog etching which makes strong use of the line of the leash to join link the two most prominent elements of the image together. The dog in some ways resembles our smallish Irish Terrier Lou Lou.
     
Humans catch dog disease

Humans catch dog disease

Date: 1991
Medium: Hard-ground etching and aquatint
Plate size: 9.3 x 24.5cms
Edition: 25

 
Blue horse

Blue horse

Date: 1992
Medium: Etching with poupet wipe
Plate size: 3.5 x 11.3cms
Edition: Artists Proof

The idea and title of this etching came from a Townsville Daily Bulletin headline. I liked the ambiguity of the headline so much that I invented my own visual narrative to accompany it.
 
This tiny etching looks a little out of place in the pets section. It relates to my romantic etchings. The mountains and the clouds behind the horse were influenced by the illustrations of William Blake for Thornton's Virgil
     
Putting out the cat

Putting out the cat

Date: 1990
Medium: Hard-ground etching, drypoint and sand paper
Plate size: 14.5 x 17cms
Edition: 18

 
Make your little dog sound like a dobermann with the Mega-barka-bucket

Make your little dog sound like a dobermann with the mega-barka-bucket

Date: 1994
Medium: Hard-ground etching aquatint and drypoint
Plate size: 17.2 x 25.2cms
Edition: 20

The grey cat in the image belonged to a Brisbane friend. In cooler months it would sometimes lie too close to the fireplace causing it to catch fire and take flight round the room. After capturing the poor singed animal he would put it out with a tea towel.
 
I made the etching after I read a harebrained article in the U.S spoof newspaper, "News of the World", about amplifying little dogs' barks using a plastic protective animal collar. I then coined the term Mega-Barka-Bucket to describe the amplification apparatus used in the etching.
     
The last late great underwater shark painter

The last late great underwater shark painter

Date: 1995
Medium: Hard-ground etching and aquatint
Plate size: 15 x 23cms
Edition: 20

 
This was Whistler's Mother's cat's third attempt to jump onto the table of the Margaret Olley painting

This was Whistler's Mother's cat's third attempt to jump onto the table of the Margaret Olley painting

Date:1997
Medium: Hard-ground etching and aquatint
Plate size:39 x 49cms
Edition: 20

Several years ago I met Ralph, whose sole ambition (after the completion of his Fine Art degree), was to become an underwater painter. I once questioned him about the specifics of this occupation, as I understood that he would work from photographs. “Certainly not,” he replied, “I will use special paints and a special canvas and work directly from life.” In the etching I have depicted Ralph on his last, great painting expedition.
 
One of my friends owned a cat that on three occasions attempted to jump onto the table in his delicately painted Margaret Olley canvas. I was interested in his account of this incident because I hadn't realised that cats had the ability to see two-dimensional images in three dimensions – now I wonder why our pets don’t watch more TV. The reference to Whistler's portrait of his mother in the title is there only because the structure of the etching seemed to relate to it.
     
Professional dog show

Professional dog show

Date: 1983
Medium:hard and soft ground etching, aquatint, electric engraving and relief
Plate size:50.5 x 50 (two plates)
Edition:10

 
Road dog

Road dog

Date: 1983
Medium: Hard-ground etching on a found plate
Plate size: 42.5x23cms
Edition: 16

This is one of the earliest suburban etchings. At this time I owned a Dalmatian (Dalliedassler Adelphia) who, in spite of many hours of obedience training, was somewhat difficult to control. As enthusiastic pet owners we subscribed to the dog world magazine, which usually featured a pedigree hound held on display by two curved hands like brackets in a sentence.
 
I enjoy the experience of collaboration. In this print, the collaboration was with an unknown artist who had discarded an old etching plate with a few scratches and etched marks on the back. I drew my own image onto this and Road dog appeared. One of those mutts who spend most of their lives on the wrong side of the fence.
 

© Ron McBurnie 2009