Mary Arnold's 100 Dogs! Is a Celebration of Boise's Best Friend 

For Boise artist Mary Arnold, inspiration comes walking by all the time, usually on four legs. "I keep getting drawn back to dogs, because I love them a lot," she said of the subjects of her paintings.

Arnold works in tech, but a couple of years ago she started dabbling in art again after having mostly dropped the pursuit since high school, teaching herself techniques and taking community art classes. But she lacked confidence in her skills until meeting another local artist who told her that when it comes to art, hard work matters just as much as talent.

"He was like, 'You know, you just have to be disciplined about it.' And I was like, 'Oh, hard work? I can do that,'" Arnold said.

So she set a goal, inspired by the experience of painting her black lab, Augie, at a "Paint Your Pet" class: To hone her craft, she would paint 100 dogs.

The pups Arnold paints come in all shapes and sizes, from tongue-lolling labs to sweatshirt-wearing pit bulls. Though she started out painting her own dog, after setting her 100-dog goal every dog she came across in the Foothills or at a park was a potential subject. She started photographing those dogs, and when she put the word out about her project on social media pet parents started sending her their snapshots.

Within a year and a half, Arnold had reached her goal of 100 dogs. She renders them in bright acrylics, in a style that merges surrealism and impressionism and gives her subjects a psychedelic twist. There are brown, yellow and white dogs, of course, but there are others with fur that's bright blue, electric purple or flame red.

Arnold's exhibition, appropriately dubbed 100 Dogs!, will be on view for one day only on Thursday, March 28, from 5-9 p.m. in the Lake Harbor Events Center (3050 N. Lake Harbor Lane) in Boise. She plans to split the profits from sales with her favorite charities, donating 15 percent to the Land Trust of the Treasure Valley and 15 percent to the Idaho Humane Society.

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