There are so many wonderful works by Besse Pease Gutmann that it's hard to choose just five to showcase this week; but I think this one depicting a chubby little toddler with a severe case of puppy love is just so endearing that it made the cut. If you love small children and dogs, how can you resist it?
The title of this sweet painting is "Mine." That is a word that, early on, my husband decided we should never teach our kids. He watched other people's children fighting over toys and thought if ours never learned to say "mine," they would always choose to share. It sounds like a good plan, right? But you know what? They somehow learned the word "mine" anyway! What can I say? We were young and idealistic. (We also thought that we would never buy them toy guns. But here's the funny thing about little boys: they can make them out of Duplo blocks, sticks, spoons, the cardboard tubes that toilet paper comes on... if nothing better is at hand, they just use their thumbs and index fingers. And if they don't own toy guns that go "rat tat tat," they become experts at making sound effects.) But in this darling little piece of vintage artwork, the word "mine" isn't about possession and competition; it's all about true love. (And it makes me want to get a puppy!)
My fourth son recently got an 8-month-old mutt from an animal shelter and named him Finnegan ("Finny" for short). I think it's very possible that when Finny was a small puppy, he looked like the one in this painting. That's one of the reasons I chose this darling example of Besse Pease Gutmann's artistic genius to share today. I hope you like it.