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Golden Retriever Is A Good Girl And A Shrewd Art Critic

Julia Powell’s artistic sensitivity has rubbed off on her dog, Ella Fitzgerald, a golden retriever. Julia says that six-year-old Ella recently started taking an interest in the artist’s paintings. “I caught her pausing more than usual when she walked by them,” she says.

Julia adds that soon Ella took her love of art one step further by offering her owner some feedback on her work.

“Ella has a discerning eye and an unimpeachable moral center and I think she realized that my paintings were finally developing into the kind of work that she could take seriously,” Julia says. “At long last, my art is worthy of her attention.”

Though some people believe dogs are color-blind, this is false. They simply have a different grasp of the color spectrum. In fact, Ella likes some colors more than others.

According to Smithsonian Magazine, “In the Proceedings of the Royal Society B, a team of Russian researchers recently found that, at least among a small group of eight dogs, the animals were much more likely to recognize a piece of paper by its color than its brightness level—suggesting that your dog might be aware of some of the colors of everyday objects after all.”

“Definitely she likes the water paintings – especially green, blue and grey tones,” Julia says. “She is far less interested in my birch series and in paintings that have a lot of reds and oranges.” Monet would certainly agree with her assessment.

Julia, a contemporary painter who lives near Boston, focuses mostly on landscapes, something that meets Ella’s approval.

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"The vibrancy of my hometown, along with the colorful characters that reside within it, impacts my landscapes by injecting hypercolor into scenes of nature. It is also why fences and telephone poles — markers of modernity often intertwined with nature — are a favorite subject," Powell says.

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