4504. Leonard Lane (34)

When artists come to Bristol for Upfest, they occasionally leave behind some ‘extras’, and this is exactly what My Dog Sighs did in a couple of spots around Bristol with these wheatpastes. In Bristol, wheatpastes have never been all that popular, which is a pity, so to see these superb paste ups from such a significant artist is a real joy.

My Dog Sighs, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2022
My Dog Sighs, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2022

The first paste up features MDS’ Everyman character painted on a newspaper background, with the profound statement ‘our secrets sleep in winter coats’. Although this looks like an original artwork, it is in fact a print, which in no way devalues it(except in monetary terms), as many wheatpastes are prints that are replicated in multiple venues.

My Dog Sighs, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2022
My Dog Sighs, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2022

The other two prints feature rather more subtle characters, more akin to the artwork he has been developing from his crushed can pieces. At one time MDS might have been in danger of becoming a one trick pony, however he has spread his wings and diversified so much in recent years which is great to see.

My Dog Sighs, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2022
My Dog Sighs, Leonard Lane, Bristol, May 2022

I think these three were in Leonard Lane, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure as I took photographs of his wheatpastes in several different places. The final piece has one of his pigeon-people that MDS has been painting for two or three years. Fabulous stuff. You will always find me partial to a bit of paste up work.

4461. Upfest 2022 (3)

This year, Upfest is in two parts. The first part, which has been running for about three weeks now, has been to paint as many of the feature semi-permanent walls as possible before the festival weekend (May 28-29). The second part will be the remaining 350 or so artists painting on boards ‘live’ at various venues. This piece from My Dog Sighs falls into the former category.

My Dog Sighs, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
My Dog Sighs, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

There are positives and negatives to this new approach (change is never easy). On the upside, there will be plenty of completed new works for visitors to enjoy, without the eyesore of scaffolding on the other hand, that wonderful interaction with some of the greatest artists on the circuit is lost. It can feel a little bit like ‘rent an artist’, without the opportunity to watch them at work. On balance I can see that it makes sense, and as a resident of Bristol I have been able to meet a lot of artists over the last week or two.

My Dog Sighs, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
My Dog Sighs, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Unfortunately I missed My Dog Sighs this time, which is a pity. I think he was in and out very quickly. Such are the demands on some of the bigger names during festival season. This piece is one of his pigeon pieces, similar to the one he painted for the Cheltenham festival last year. The characters and colours are magnificent, and his work so totally on point. It might have been nice to see another one of his eyes for this festival, but I might just be being picky.

My Dog Sighs, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022
My Dog Sighs, Upfest 22, Bristol, May 2022

Pigeons are something of a favourite theme for street artists, and I guess that perhaps there is something unconscious going on, in that these artists being on the streets probably see a great many of these urban birds. A fine addition to the Upfest 22 collection.

4219. Windmill Hill (3)

I got distracted by and then sucked into my archives recently, and when that happens I invariably find photographs of pieces that really ought to have been posted, but for some unfathomable reason never did. This wonderful ‘extra’ piece was painted by My Dog Sighs in 2019 when he was painting a collaboration with Curtis Hilton on Windmill Hill.

My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019
My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019

The ephemeral faces on the wall are unmistakably the work of My Dog Sighs, and really demonstrate the depth of talent the artist has, from subtle pieces like this to high-end bold pieces adorning the entire sides of buildings. Finding little hidden gems like this one is always a joy for people like me.

My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019
My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019

3221. Cheltenham 2020 (10)

No street art festival in the south of England is complete without something, and often several somethings from My Dog Sighs. The artist seems to be particularly fond of the Cheltenham Paint Festival and this year’s main piece was no disappointment.

My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020
My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020

This is a superb take on urban pigeons in a style that My Dog Sighs has made his own. These clusters of pigeons, identifiable by their necks and iridescent purple and green breasts have faces as varied as their real life counterparts and have a sort of bewildered indifference about them.

My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020
My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020

I very much like the way the beaks are attached to the faces with string and the human faces, almost as if these are people in pigeon costumes, but that would be ridiculous, wouldn’t it?

My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020
My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2020, Cheltenham, September 2020

This was one of my favourite pieces at the Festival this year, and a little different from some of the ‘big-ticket’ pieces he has done in previous years. I feel a My Dog Sighs gallery coming on soon.

2859. Cheltenham 2019 (30)

My Dog Sighs, a hugely popular and talented artist from Portsmouth was extremely busy at the Cheltenham Paint Festival last September. His main project, painting a small lorry (yet to be posted) was accompanied by a number of smaller pieces dotted around town. This ceramic tile was one of those ‘extras’.

My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019
My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2019, Cheltenham, September 2019

The little everyman character was hiding near the entrance to a car park. The shattered and fragmented tile has the word ‘broken’ across the top and everyman is looking a bit sad. This is an imaginative piece and characterises the influx of art that festivals bring in addition to the sanctioned and legitimate works.

2680. M32 Cycle path (47)

It has been a little while since I last saw some writing from Nightwayss, so it was a nice surprise to find this ‘NIGHT’ on the M32 cycle path. There is an interesting colour palette and a highly complex design, but I have to say it doesn’t quite work for me and I can’t put my finger on it.

Nightwayss, M32 cycle path, Bristol, December 2019
Nightwayss, M32 cycle path, Bristol, December 2019

Maybe the lack of clear definition around the letters is a little unconventional, and the colours tend to merge a bit. Also the texture of the wall isn’t very helpful with this busy design. I fear I might protest too much, and anyway, photobombing dog seems to rather like it.

2501. Cheltenham 2018 (5)

On my first day in Cheltenham I walked from Cheltenham Spa station along the Honeybourne Line towards the centre of town and after dropping down from the disused railway the first major piece I saw was this sensational eye from My Dog Dighs painted for the 1028 Cheltenham Paint Festival (I think).

My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019
My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019

Good grief, this is a great piece in its overall impact, situated on a rather banal utilitarian building, bringing joy to all who see it. The child-like background of scribbles and doodles plays host to an enormous and dramatic eye.

My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019
My Dog Sighs, Paint Festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019

This and all his other recent pieces speak of an artist at the absolute top of his game and whose signature eyes, large or small, each bear their own characteristics. The patterning on the iris is always so well observed and the scenes tell great stories, often of the local environment or people. World class piece.

2452. Cheltenham 2018 (1)

This is an unmistakable piece by My Dog Sighs, which was one of several little ‘gifts’ left behind in Cheltenham by him at the Paint Festival in 2018. Having never been to a Cheltenham Art Festival before I was discovering so many of these beauties for the first time this year. I love this photograph… there is something about the placement of the piece on this particular wall and its immediate environment, such as the carpet and the weeds that come together to make an outstanding image.

My Dog Sighs, Paint festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019
My Dog Sighs, Paint festival 2018, Cheltenham, September 2019

I don’t think I’ll ever tire of these eyes, and although they are one of My Dog’s trademark pieces, each is individual and independent of the others. The most amazing thing about this one is how you can look at it and in your mind know that it is on a flat surface, but the skillful artwork has a depth and the shine on the iris makes it look aqueous, just like a real eye. Magnificent in so many ways.

2379. North Street Standard (2)

There are many hazards and obstacles to taking street art picures. This was in fact the second visit I had made to photograph this lovely eye by My Dog Sighs (his second Summer Editions piece for Upfest). On the first visit, there was a shadow cast right across the middle of the piece, and in this one I managed to capture a customer at the North Street Standard, and being alone he obviously had to be texting someone to give the illusion that he wasn’t in fact alone… but he was, so there.

My Dog Sighs, North Street, Bristol, July 2019
My Dog Sighs, North Street, Bristol, July 2019

The eye is everything you might expect from My Dog Sighs, and is beautifully presented. It would be easy to fall in to the trap of saying that he is a one-trick pony and indeed I know some people who think that, I happen to disagree with that particular assertion. He has certainly nailed his technique for painting eyes, but it doesn’t stop there, he still works on the background and the silhouette in the eye and creates an atmosphere or story individual to each piece. Here he has used some stencils with Japanese characters falling like a digital rain around the eye.

You might spot a slight ‘blemish’ on the eye which is caused by a little vent pipe in the wall – My Dog Sighs has concealed it brilliantly. Well done Upfest for organising yet another triumphant Summer Editions piece.

2199. Windmill Hill (2)

How fortunate we are in Bristol to have had the unbelievable collaboration by My Dog Sighs and Curtis Hylton on Windmill Hill. As if that wasn’t enough, My Dog Sighs also left a couple of smaller pieces on a wall around the corner of the main piece and this is one of them.

My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019
My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019

There is something absolutely magical about this piece and the face has similarities in style to the tin can faces that are one of his trademarks. I yearn to own one of his tin cans, but I guess I just have to be in the right place at the right time. Serene, even beautiful the character on the left is simply drawn and has four eyes, all of which contain a silhouette scene. To the right is harlequin clown, dare I say it with a feel of Picasso there somewhere. I don’t use the word adorable, but if I did, I might use it to describe this piece.

My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019
My Dog Sighs, Windmill Hill, Bristol, April 2019

The blue crown is rather special and casts a thin glow of light on the character’s head and antlers. I cannot tell you how much I love this work. It is so unusual and so very classy. As I said at the beginning, we are very lucky in Bristol.