It’s no secret that young people have the most inspirational ideas, and charming ways of presenting them. For students, the study of the arts helps to keep this creative way of thinking alive. George Rodrigue is a tremendously fun artist to study, and this shines through in this fantastic speech, and accompanying painting, chosen for our very first Student Spotlight!
Ciara, age 11, Ohio
The Blue Dog Art of George Rodrigue
In the beginning George Rodrigue was born March 13, 1944 in New Iberia, Louisiana. He started painting at five years old. In the third grade he knew he wanted to be an artist. He first painted Cajun landscape and Cajun history. Also in third grade he got polio, and he did a lot of painting. His parents made an art studio in the attic. He had Trixie and Lady as a child. His best friends were his dogs.
George went to art school in California after high school. He painted oak trees and Cajun people for 25 years. George got a dog named Tiffany. Tiffany watched George paint until the end of her life. Tiffany was 12. George had dreams about Tiffany. Then he painted Tiffany as the loup-garou. The loup-garou was a werewolf. Then George heard some people calling his loup-garou paintings Blue Dog. Something clicked in his mind and completely changed his point of view. From then on he started painting it as Blue Dog.
Blue Dog comes in very many colors. She comes in blue, red, yellow, purple, green, magenta, orange, tan, salmon, lavender, chartreuse, ebony, turquoise, gray, and violet. Blue Dog’s eyes are yellow, red or white. His Blue Dog paintings could take an hour to six months to paint. The animals that have been in the Blue Dog paintings are rabbits, cows, alligators, apes, cats, tortoises, horses, bulls, birds, butterflies, and crawfish.
George made thousands of paintings in his life. Towards the beginning of painting Blue Dog George used oil paints in the attic that was not ventilated. When he found out he was getting sick from oil paints he switched to acrylic paints, which extended his life and made his paintings brighter. George got cancer from oil paints he used many years ago. He died December 14, 2013 at 69. His legacy still lives on. George said, Painting is freedom. When you are feeling free you can create. Blue Dog was free.
If you are a student with a project or story you’d like to submit for consideration in our Student Spotlight, please contact us!