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Any one of these painting pups could be the next Pawblo Picasso.

Byline: Jim Feehan The Register-Guard

With bold, expressive strokes, Nala filled her canvas Saturday with a rich mixture of red, purple, green, yellow and blue. Nala's work exemplified the minimalist movement with its simple design of a repetitive dog paw print.

Her reward upon completion of the masterpiece: a dog biscuit.

Nala, a 2-year-old pug, was joined by border collies, Cardigan Welsh corgis and German shepherds among dozens of other canine Rembrandts at Greenhill Humane Society's PAWSitive Strokes.

For $20, pets could splash around in paint and create their own masterpieces at the gathering co-sponsored by the Lane Arts Council. The artwork will be displayed at Downtown Initiative for the Visual Arts and also will be a stop on the First Friday Artwalk on July 7, said Theresa Iverson, Greenhill operations director.

"I'm not sure how much the dogs love it as opposed to their owners," Iverson said.

Pieces of blue tarp were spread over a section of Greenhill's pet cemetery. Dog owners dipped their pet's paws in plastic plate palettes of water-soluble paint similar to children's finger paint.

Some dogs, such as Nala the pug, felt the need to be more expressive, opting to walk through all of the palettes and onto the 14- by 22-inch posterboard canvas.

"I think the canvas was not big enough for her," said Nala's owner, Ginny Johnson of Springfield.

Saturday's artwork was hung by clothespins on a chain link fence to dry.

After completing their artwork, the dogs were placed in small plastic pools filled with dog shampoo to remove any remnants of paint, lest they be tracked on the thick shag carpeting at home.

Other activities included face painting (of children), tours and classes on how to draw and write about your pet. About $1,000 was raised at the gathering, which benefits Greenhill and the Lane Arts Council.

Darin Ward of Eugene brought along both of his dogs: Hucky, a miniature schnauzer, and Griffin Davenditch O'Chaps Ward, Griffey for short, a Cardigan Welsh corgi.

Griffey's undertaking was titled "Because I Can."

"Actually, we had him fixed, and he can't," Ward said.

CAPTION(S):

Ginny Johnson (left) and Kevin Kuney let their pug dog Nala paint during PAWSitive Strokes at Greenhill Humane Society on Saturday.
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Title Annotation:Animals; Dogs explore their creative sides at the Greenhill and Lane Arts Council event
Publication:The Register-Guard (Eugene, OR)
Date:Jun 18, 2006
Words:373
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