What Colour Means To Me: Uppercase Magazine Feature

If you haven’t discovered the wonderful Uppercase magazine yet then you are missing a treat!

It is a beautifully produced publication that delves into the quirky and and curious side of designing and making. Printed on thick matt paper, each issue is covetable and inspirational.

I was therefore extremely happy and excited to be featured in the most recent issue (no.22) which is all about colour.

Uppercase Magazine No.22

Debbie Kendall in Uppercase Magazine talking about Colour

Those are my “Tubes of Delight” pictured – yes those sticky, crumpled, messy tubes of printmakers ink – and underneath is a short piece about what  colour means to me as a printmaker.

Here are my ‘words of wisdom':

“My traditional oil based printmakers ink is sticky, thick and highly pigmented. I adore the process of hand mixing colours by eye using palette knives to fold the colours together, like mixing ingredients for a cake. I record my colour mixing adventures on strips of scrap paper which become my recipe cards.

For printmaking, the ink must be rolled out in a thin even layer. During this process the ink hisses and clicks as my heavy roller spreads it out on a glass slab.
Colour, to me, is intense, bold and exciting. I love the audacity and exuberance of the intensely pigmented inks which contrast with the other solid & technical paraphernalia of printmaking – an black iron press, turned wooden handled gouges.
In relief printing, colour is laid down in solid blocks. My job as a printmaker is to strive to tame the sticky, messy globs of ink into a flawless, even sheet of colour on the paper. In between the precise and painstaking process of producing a printing plate and the exacting and mechanical system of printing, the choosing and mixing of colour is a giddy and beguiling interlude.
But the printmaker in me still likes to look behind the free, creative and decorative side of colour to the science and methodology of mixing the perfect shade.”

Now in its 6th year and sold worldwide, Uppercase is designed and produced by the one woman powerhouse, Janine Vangool, in Calgary, Canada. It is playful, imaginative, collectable and eclectic and for me, it succeeds where other design magazines falter because it is accessible yet aspirational & inspirational yet never pretentious.

Go check it out at Uppercase.

Hyde Bark Dog Show and Fundraiser

On Saturday I had a stand at the Mayhew Animal Rescue Home’s fundraising event – the “Hyde Bark” in London’s Hyde Park.

The Enlightened Hound at The Hyde Bark

My pitch right by the Serpentine was lovely and the day was hugely enjoyable – more fun than the art/craft fairs I have done in the past – all due of course to the variety of 4 legged attendees!

I am happy to say that my hand-made stands and hand-painted signage worked nicely for hanging my prints and everything remained in place despite a few gusts of wind!

The enlightened hound's stand at the mayhew fair

the enlightened hound craft fair stand

 

It was great to meet some of the members of the Cockapoo Club who persuaded me to add Cockapoos to my series of “Dog Tag” prints. More pictures of me, the cockapoos and the event can be found on the cockapoo blog “Miss Darcy’s Adventures”.

Some other highlights included a huge Great Dane (named Jarvis) sniffing a tiny mottled Dachshund (named Blue Cheese!) … an elegant Afghan (which took me back to my childhood as an aunt of mine had one) … two little dachshunds named Beatrice and Audrey (such great names) and a lovely Catalan Sheepdog (who reminded me of my own Portuguese Water Dog).

It was lovely to meet everyone who stopped by my stand (both 2 legged and 4 legged). Thank you all for your your interest in my work and for the many people who signed my book with requests for “Dog Tag” prints of their breeds… most popular requests were Yorkie, French Bulldog and Beagles – they are all now on my list!

There was lots of entertainment to keep everyone amused… from agility to dog shows and heartwarming rescue stories from the Mayhew Rescue Home. Lots of fun had by all and all for a good cause!

Hand Lettered Sign for Show

I have been preparing for my next fair… the wonderfully named “Hyde Bark” Dog Show in London’s Hyde Park.

The event is run by the Mayhew Animal Home – an animal welfare organisation in London that helps thousands of dogs and cats to escape a life of abandonment, neglect and cruelty each year.

As hand lettering is my ‘thing’ I spent a few happy hours painting some signage for the stand I am designing for the event.

debbie kendall hand letterer

hand lettered signage by Debbie Kendall

hand painted signage by debbie kendall

hand lettering by debbie kendall

hand lettered sign by debbie kendall

Will post some pics of the finished stand after the show!

If you love dogs and live near London… come and see me at the Hyde Bark on 15th June.

 

Border Terrier, Jack Russell and Cockapoo Prints

Been busy as a bee with 3 new prints in my “Dog Tag” series… The Border Terrier, The Jack Russell and The Cockapoo.

These prints are all hand lettered and illustrated and then printed individually by hand on my press in my studio, dutifully watched over by my Portuguese Water Dog, Figo.

First up the Border Terrier, printed in a soft blue-grey ink, inspired by the big skies of the Border Country.

Border Terrier Hand Lettered Print by Debbie Kendall The Enlightened Hound

 

These rough ‘tweedy’ coated working terriers hail from the area between England and Scotland called the Border Country, a dramatic hilly landscape of sweeping valleys, heather moorland and green forests where 18th century farmers and shepherds, in need of some help to control the local fox and vermin population, started breeding Border Terriers.

And the Cockapoo… printed in a soft apple green ink

Cockapoo print by The Enlightened Hound

The popular Cockapoo was probably the first deliberate cross breed with the first records dating back to 1960s, or possibly 1950s, America. The delightful result of this cross between a Cocker Spaniel and Poodle is a happy-go-lucky, smart and totally devoted companion.

And the Jack Russell (Parson Russell Terrier)… printed in an understated taupe-grey ink

Jack Russell Print by The Enlightened Hound

I really enjoyed researching these popular and feisty little dogs, with their long history of assisting people with hunting and vermin control. Their controversial and chequered past makes fascinating reading.

The story goes that the breed line was started way back in 1795 by the Reverend John (“Jack”) Russell, a parson with a passion for fox hunting and country pursuits. However he was vehemently against developing the Jack Russell to a standard as required by the Kennel Club for registration as he, and his sporting brethren, believed that developing a pedigree Jack Russell line would dilute the tenacious work ethic that these tough little dogs are known for.

But of course there were those who disagreed and sought to create a breed standard – now known as the Parson Russell Terrier – which is recognised by the Kennel Club.

Kennel club recognition aside, these larger-than-life dogs make great companions for people in all walks of life.

So this makes a total of 11 breeds now in my “Dog Tag” print series… the others are Labrador, Cocker Spaniel, Springer Spaniel, Pug, Golden Retriever, Staffordshire Bull Terrier, Whippet & Portuguese Water Dog… take a look at them all on The Enlightened Hound’s Website.

 

Golden Retriever Original Print

Here is the 8th breed in my dog tag print series – the Golden Retriever. This well known and loved breed is also adored by over 160 celebrity owners including Martha Stewart, Ronal Reagan, Oprah Winfrey, Elizabeth Taylor, Jerry Seinfeld, Jackie Chan and Christopher Reeve.

Golden Retriever Print

The  Golden Retriever was developed by the wonderfully named British aristocrat, Lord Tweedmouth, in the late 1800s, as a handsome and practical gentleman’s hunting companion. Tweedmouth was an avid hunter and well connected gentleman in Victorian society.

In 1865 Lord Tweedmouth bought the only yellow pup from a litter of black wavy coated retrievers and crossed him with the (now extinct) Tweed Water Spaniel, a rugged water dog with excellent retrieving abilities. He wanted to create the perfect sporting dog to retrieve upland game and waterfowl on his Scottish estate, but also an animal that was handsome and of a biddable, sweet disposition — an ideal a family pet.
Today’s Golden Retrievers are a testament to those early ideals.

Golden Retriever Art Print

Handsome as a Hollywood movie star, sensitive and intelligent companions, with smiling faces and heart-melting eyes, its hard to resist the allure of a Golden! Their inherent retrieving instinct and strong desire to please their people means that they love to carry things in their mouths – shoes, underwear and soft toys rank high on theirs list of favourite things to collect and present as gifts to their cherished family.

Framed Golden Retriever Print

Yet these dogs are so much more than a pretty face. Behind all the glamour lies a versatile and accomplished hunter who loves to be at one with nature. I always smile when I meet a mud-covered Golden out on a walk, fresh from romping through the undergrowth, wallowing in the mud and rolling in all manner of unmentionable substances. They simply love to have a good time with their people. What more could you ask from a dog?

The print combines my hand drawn lettering with illustration and each one is hand-printed on my press in a rich yellow ochre ink, then individually signed.

Prints are available both framed and unframed from my online shop

Are you feeding your dog junk food?

I have always been interested in what I feed Figo and a recent visit to my local pet shop (Pets Corner) led me to try a couple of new foods and write a quick post about them.

Although I have experimented with a raw food diet and do agree with the principles, it doesn’t work for me for several reasons so I feed Figo a dry kibble. These are the main things I look for in a dry dog food:

1. Good quality source of named meats in the ingredients – at least the top 5 ingredients should be named meat or fish and the words ‘meal’ or ‘derivatives’ should not be part of them

2. No wheat, corn, maize or other grains.

3. Minimal quantities of other vegetable fillers such as potato and pea starch/fibre.

4. Produced at low temperatures. The majority of dry kibble is produced by a process called ‘extrusion’ which involves baking the ingredients into a pellet at very high temperatures. There has been a lot of publicity about the negative effect of high temperatures on fats plus the fact that most of the vitamins will have been destroyed at these temperatures.

5. Contains other organs e.g. heart, tripe, liver etc

I feed Figo Orijen Kibble which pretty much ticks all my boxes but it is also known for being one of the most expensive dry foods on the market.

Orijen Dog Food

However after my recent trip to Pets Corner I bought a small sack of Ziwi Peak. This is air dried fresh natural whole meat and goodness me, Figo does love it!

Ziwi Peak Dog Food

However if you thought Orijen was expensive then it is a bargain compared to Ziwi Peak!

I thought it would be interesting to work out how much it actually cost per day to feed Figo on each of these foods. Prices quoted for the food are regular RRP in the UK in March 2014, not special deals… so here goes:-

Orijen costs around £68 for a 13kg bag and the recommended amount of food per day for Figo (weight 25kg, moderately active) is 250g, which I split into 2 meals. Orijen is a very nutritionally dense food which means that you need to feed your dog less than many other poorer quality foods.

So each 13kg bag provides 52 days of meals at a cost of £1.30 per day

Ziwi Peak costs an eye watering £90 for a 5kg bag and the recommended amount of food per day for Figo is also 250g per day.

So each 5kg bag provides 20 days of meals at a cost of £4.50 per day.

It did make me wonder how Orijen compared with one of the cheap and popular brands of dog food – Bakers.

Bakers costs £28 for a 14kg bag and the recommended amount of food per day for Figo is 380g.

So each 14kg bag provides 37 days of meals at a cost of 76p per day.

Ok… so Figo probably wont be getting Ziwi Peak on a regular basis… but I was quite surprised, when I worked out the daily cost of Orijen. It was a lot less than I was expecting and I do feel that £1.30 per day is a fair price for a really top quality dog food. Although Bakers is quite a bit cheaper, I personally wouldn’t feed it to Figo if it was the last food on earth! If you want to know why then just read these articles:

All About Dog Food

Dog Listener – Stan Rawlinson

The dog food debate is really hotting up now in the UK and there have been a couple of new introductions to the market recently – they are ‘English Orijen’ equivalents (Orijen is made in Canada). They are Eden and Canagen. They both look pretty good alternatives and get good reviews. Eden has a lot more potato than Orijen and Canagen has a lower percentage of animal meat protein (65% vs Orijen’s 80%) but they still look be to excellent quality alternatives and a bit cheaper (Eden works out at  90p per day for Figo and Canagan at £1.21 per day)

I would love to hear what you all think.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Print

The popular Staffy is much misunderstood, frequently feared and often unfairly maligned by the media. They are (according to Kennel Club statistics at the time of writing) Britain’s 5th most popular dog, yet they also top the list of breeds in rescue centres and shelters in the UK. The truth is that while the Staffy might look like a tough dog, they are actually big softies – a loving, reliable and affectionate family dog, devoted to their human companions.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Pen and Ink Drawing by Debbie Kendall

So where do they get their bad rap from? Stan Rawlinson, the Dog Listener has written an excellent article on why this breed (the only one to be described by the Kennel Club as being ‘totally reliable’) has such a fearful reputation. Part of the reason is that the Staffie resembles many other of the so called ‘bully’ breeds that can be aggressive towards humans. In addition, staffies are often crossed with such breeds and this can alter or dilute the reliable Staffy anti-aggressive human bond.

Their tough looks and similarity to other more human-aggressive bully breeds, combined with easy availability from unscrupulous breeders, has sadly resulted in the Staffy becoming a status symbol dog amongst street gangs – a kind of ‘pseudo pit bull’.  These owners sometimes beat, torment and neglect  their dogs to try and make them into the ultimate aggressive accessory, to boost their street image and terrorise other gangs. They may also breed from their dog to generate income by selling the puppies. These puppies do not generally have the best start in life and are rarely properly socialised or appropriately trained. Indeed any breed of dog that is treated badly is likely to show aggression towards humans.

This is the key to why rescue shelters have a disproportionate number of Staffies. Many of the irresponsible owners who have acquired a Staffy to enhance their street credibility find that they are too much bother to look after, or having mistreated them are unable to control them. Neglect, inappropriate training and a poor understanding of a dog’s needs leads to many Staffies being abandoned or rescued by charitable organisations.

Staffordshire Bull Terrier Print by Debbie Kendall

Created in England in the late 18th and early 19th century, Staffies were a cross between Bulldogs and Terriers, bred for the ‘sport’ of dogfighting by working class men. Staffies were expected to live harmoniously with their families, often in small spaces with lots of children. No aggression towards humans was tolerated and it is said that any dogs showing even the slightest signs of ill will towards their family members were ruthlessly weeded out.

As with all dogs, but particularly so for Staffies, they do have to be well socialised from an early age with other dogs and  animals in order that they do not develop aggression towards other dogs.

Hand lettering by Debbie Kendall

The Kennel Club recommends the Staffordshire Bull Terrier as being particularly suitable for families with children – one of only 2 breeds to deserve such a high accolade – and they describe the Staffy as:

“Extremely reliable, highly intelligent and affectionate, especially with children.”

Their reliable, loving nature and affinity for children is the reason that Staffords have earned the nickname “The Children’s Nursemaid” or “Nanny Dog”

My latest print celebrates all that is good about the Stafford. Hand lettered and illustrated, each print is hand printed on my press in a deep inky green – and individually signed.

Framed hand printed Staffy dog art by Debbie Kendall

Available from The Enlightened Hound’s online shop from just £25, unframed.