April 3, 2015 § 1 Comment
SAN FRANCISCO ARTIST Mark Ulriksen has painted 48 covers of The New Yorker during the last two decades. He’s become its go-to guy for wry reveries focusing on dogs and baseball — and their friends and fans.
Now Ulriksen has collected nearly 100 of his favorite paintings of dogs over the years and woven them into a hand-lettered heart-warming story in his new book, Dogs Rule, Nonchalantly.
Some of the paintings have a familiar look.
“Alta Plaza Park was the setting for some of my earliest dog paintings,” Ulriksen says. “One in particular, Dogs Only, was done for the Thomas Reynolds Gallery, one of the first galleries I showed with. One reason I’m pleased with that particular painting is because I was able to capture a recognizable city location, incorporate a lot of graphic shapes and paint an image about animal interactions.”
He adds: “I’ve always been attracted to patterns and shapes and the steps and paths leading up to Alta Plaza are really interesting. Plus being on a bluff leads to some very cinematic cropping of the attractive architecture circling the park. It’s still one of my favorite paintings and one of my favorite city parks.”
Ulriksen’s book is available locally at the pet boutique George at 2512 Sacramento Street.
“The aesthetics of George make it feel like an art gallery dedicated to all things pets,” says Ulriksen, “with an emphasis on my favorite type: dogs.”
So far the book has gotten enthusiastic reviews, both for the paintings and the text. One critic called it “an easy book to love.”
“I’m really pleased that a lot of emotions have been touched,” says Ulriksen, “because the book is both funny and sad.”
He singles out one review as a personal favorite:
“What a touching and whimsical book! My husband and I picked this up in a gift set at a winery and opened the book because we couldn’t resist the sweet cover. We started smiling, then chuckling, then laughing out loud and then crying. (We had lost our dear boy a while back.) Mark Ulriksen has captured the wonder that is dogs perfectly with his words and illustrations. Thanks for creating such a sweet bit of magic.”