- I first learned about the Legend of the Blue Dog in 1980 from my then 10-year-old son, Jeff, who heard the story in school. For several years he and I were especially vigilant while driving on Rose Hill Road after dark. We often made special trips in February when legend says the post-revolutionary war killing of a peddler and his dog occurred. But the Blue Dog failed to show. Fast forward to 2010. Gary Fick, a friend who had just leased a local restaurant named the Blue Dog Saloon, asked me to do a mural for the restaurant. I demurred, it had been years since I had painted and the thought of attempting a mural from scaffolding was simply too daunting. But Fick persisted, so I suggested an oil on canvas instead. Gary agreed. He gave me only one criterion; don’t make the dog scary. Like all good legends, accounts of the Blue Dog vary. Some say the dog was a Bluetick Coonhound, others say that the dog was an English Mastiff. After considerable research, I chose the Mastiff. Mastiff’s are among the largest breed of dogs in the world and are known for their gentle spirit and protectiveness. I liked those qualities. The final painting depicts a grieving Mastiff, who was so black he was almost blue, on a cold February night lying next to his master’s spilled treasure near the large quartz rock behind the Rose Hill manor house where legend says the killings occurred.
Oil on canvas 48x72 inches