“If you see a flower, look at it, paint it – but don’t pick it, don’t hurt it! That’s the kind of innocence I’m trying to get across.” -Mackenzie Thorpe
In this original pastel on paper, Mackenzie Thorpe highlights the unique and loving bond that exists between humans and our animal best friends. The image shows one of Thorpe’s most iconic and recognizable figures, a child with a large, round head and an ear to ear smile. For Thorpe, the big heads symbolize the innocence of children; They are new, uncorrupted and full of endless possibilities. Children are open to whatever comes their way. It’s only as we grow older that we become narrow minded and closed. He challenges us to “keep our heads as big as possible” and to stay open to our dreams. The child is intentionally left without any distinguishable characteristic or recognizable features as the viewers are meant to picture themselves in the image, regardless of race or gender.
Running alongside the child is a black dog wearing a bright red collar. The duo playfully skips through a pebble strewn field as if they are dancing or joyfully celebrating. The child is wearing a dark grey dress that nearly matches her dog’s coat. She is carrying a heart shaped flower that echoes the red of the dog’s collar. The background is filled with a field of grey flowers and is completely devoid of any color. It seems that storm clouds are rolling overhead.
The landscape is entirely grey, suggesting a dystopian setting and hardships for the girl and her dog. However, they are still filled with their love for each other and hope for the future. They can tackle anything that comes their way and navigate the ups and downs of life, as long as they are together. In Thorpe’s work, there is sometimes a darkness and grittiness, as he does not shy away from the struggles of everyday life. He wants to emphasize that you need to experience the pain and the darkness to fully be able to appreciate the light. His much-loved pictures are rooted in authenticity, expressing an emotionally tender world and always emphasizing a universal message of hope that connects with people across cultures.
This Mackenzie Thorpe original artwork, along with several others, is available for purchase at Marcus Ashley Gallery in Lake Tahoe. With over 18 years of business and 40+ artists on exhibit, Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of Lake Tahoe’s premier fine art destinations. The gallery shares a deep love for the artists that they represent, as well as the Sierras. Marcus Ashley Gallery is one of the best destinations for art collectors and Tahoe visitors to browse, learn about, and shop for fine art.