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Golden Retrievers – Bred to Be a Work of Art

Of all the dogs I’ve painted, the long hair breeds have been the most challenging for me. And I have to say, the Golden Retriever was one of the hardest dogs to figure out! Their long flowing hair, with the sometimes sporadic shift in direction, skillfully hides their body structure.

You see, I usually develop my animal paintings by looking at each individual animals unique body construction. I like to see the shapes their muscles create, so that I can define them. I use the muscles to determine where my lines begin and end, and to deconstruct the body into exciting new combinations of shapes.

Golden Retriever
Golden Retriever Art by Barbara Rush

For my Golden Retriever painting, I had to research how the breed moves and base my design on the direction of the hair instead of the muscle. I envisioned the movement of the hair as it swished with the motion of the dog.

My art is inspired by Cubism, but more Geometric, so I call it GeoCubism. It’s like inventing a puzzle each time I paint a new animal. Especially with the dogs…unlike my horses and cats, where regardless of the breed they have similar body types, each dog breed has a very specific shape and sometimes many different colors.

Golden Retriever colors, for instance, come in a wide variety of shades of gold: from almost White, to Light Golden, Cream and Red, all in varying degrees of being GOLDEN.

Of course when I pick out colors for my paintings, I don’t usually use traditional breed colors, because I love to explore fun and exciting combinations of bright colors. Sometimes I will put hints of the dog’s natural colors in my paintings, but for the most part, I’m exploring fun and colorful ways to show off the dog breed to its full unique fabulousness.

You know I think of dogs as ROCK STARS! How many people do you know that get greeted by strangers wherever they go? A stranger asking to pet your dog is like a person asking for a Rock Star’s autograph!

Barbara Rush is an internationally renown, Roswell, GA artist. She created her GeoCubist style in 2004-2006 after a visit to a Cubist exhibit at the High Museum (Atlanta GA), and has been painting and selling art since 2007. A master of color and movement, Ms. Rush, uses her artistic genius to create unique paintings of animals that delight animal lovers around the world.

Visit more information about her work. If you live in the Atlanta Area and would like to view the Artscaping (as seen on 11ALIVE NEWS) in her yard, please request information at