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Buddy the Bulldog: Reluctant Muse

Buddy the Bulldog: Reluctant Muse

As I’ve mention before, Buddy (my bulldog) pretty much runs my life. My stocky master and commander lets me know when he’s ready to eat, ready to nap, ready for a butt-rub, ready to play, and ready to ignore me. Indeed, I serve at the pleasure of my four-legged friend, and not begrudgingly; we are family after all.

That said, I fear I may have tried Buddy’s final nerve during social lockdown by enlisting him as my in-house muse. With time on my hands and the Internet looming, I discovered art challenges inspired by the the Getty Museum, the Rijksmuseum and art collections around the world. I was smitten with the concept. Buddy never saw what was coming: Buddy the bulldog muse.

Buddy’s naturally smokey eye, alluring look, and knitted cowl screamed, Tamara de Lempicka’s 1930 painting, “Green Turban.”
Buddy wanted to honor his country life and outdoorsy nature by reimagining Robert Tewes self-portrait from 1906, plus Buddy always likes a good straw hat (to chew on or wear depending on mood).
Buddy’s annoyed. He keeps reminding me that this painting is not entitled “Whistler’s Mother” but rather, “Arrangement in Grey and Black No. 1.” Duly noted, Buddy, duly noted.
Buddy requested a recreation with no props, no costuming; he wanted to draw from his own inner strength to portray Jean-Baptiste Greuze’s emotional tour de force “Study of a Young Man.” Nailed it, Buddy, nailed it!
Buddy thought this composition was a bit of a stretch, but when I said all you have to do is sit on a chair and “pretend” to nap, he was in.
Buddy would only agree to recreating Gustav Klimt’s “The Kiss” if it didn’t include me or the kiss. (Ouch, Buddy)
Buddy has always fancied the turban. It acts as both head gear and pull toy. In addition, he feels the furry folds on his face are the perfect foil for the fabric folds on his head. Yes, quite distinguished, Buddy.
While Buddy is secure in his masculinity, he feels this recreation of such a flirty ingenue is a bit of a hard-sell, considering his beefcake build and manly ways.
Buddy thinks Christina needs a dog in her world.
A Picasso fan since he was a pup, Buddy lived his interpretation of the artist’s distorted-depictions period for the challenging pose of “Le Reve.”

Buddy the Bulldog as Art

My friend Deborah Taylor of https://www.dtaylorgraphic.com/ is a masterful artist/printer and captured Buddy beautifully, as he warmed up on the heating duct, his favorite morning spot should I turn on the heat.
Vashon artist and friend Lynanne of Ravensong Farm https://www.ravensong.info/ honored Buddy and me with the most wonderful etching of my big guy perched on the porch.
Fellow bulldog lover and friend, as well as remarkable baker, artist and blogger, Eileen Troxel https://www.livingtastefully.com/passions-to-pastry-blog painted Buddy in his element, the cafe society of Vashon Island, where everybody knows his name. Manifique, Eileen, manifique!

Buddy’s Bonus Booty pic

Sure Buddy’s an art lover, but this hunk-a-hunk-of-burning-love is also one styling dog. Yep, he’s been wearing Carhartts his entire life.

I hope you’ve enjoyed Buddy’s Musings and Art Tour. We’ll try to post more farm and life shenanigans on a regular basis; it’s just an odd time when days go by, then months, and then I find myself asking, “Where did the time go?”

Be well my friends, take your health seriously, wear a mask, and visit again.

Warmest regards, Tom and Buddy


  1. Glad to see that you and Buddy are well during these crazy times! The booty pic is my favorite 😀

    Harvest your peaches and include a delicious recipe for us!

    • Hi Laura, Thank you! I posted one peach chutney recipe in the comments, but I’ll think of a another one for a dedicated post, and share it in the coming weeks (or so is my intention).

  2. I ‘ve not left the farm since January and bleach the Husband when he returns from the other side. Thank you for making me smile…

    • Thanks Sarah, I was in Dockton recently in pursuit of picking figs, but alas, about a bazillion crows beat me to the heady crop. I wave each time I drive by your enchanted slope.

  3. Hi Buddy and Tom. Just the other day I was wondering how things were going in your part of the world since you had not posted in a while. Your pictures of Buddy brought a big smile to my face.. Loved all of them.
    Teddi and I just came in from picking up my mail and as always I walk past my peach trees and picked a few. Hope your peaches are doing well? I did not have as many as usual due to the cold wet spring but enough to eat fresh and make a small batch of peach jam and hopefully some peach chutney. I need to find a recipe. A friend of mine in Wales sent me her recipe but I had a computer crash and lost it. Right now in Wales where she lives they are recovering from a big storm that hit her area the other day. Lots of wind, flooding, and loss of power. She lives less than a mile from the Irish sea. Do you happen to have a recipe for peach chutney?

    Take care and keep us updated on how you two young men are doing.

    Sincerely, Teddi and Janet

    Teddi says arf, arf.

    • Hi Janet and Teddi, thank you for your kind words. And I’m so sorry to hear about your friend in Wales, having to deal with destructive storms. For the Pacific Northwest, November tends to host our big rafter-shaking winds. My peach trees did pretty well. I think I ate them all fresh, well at least the ones that didn’t make it into the jam and chutney pot.

      Here’s the chutney recipe I use and you can adjust easily to include only the fruits you like or combinations thereof. Hope you like it. https://tallcloverfarm.com/2230/chutney-love-recipe-for-preserving-summer

      Emeril has a good peach chutney recipe if you like it spicier and with a kick of heat. Of the four quarts of peaches, I would suggest smashing or pureeing one quart to create a thicker consistency and eliminate any wateriness to the final preserves.

  4. Great post Tom – glad to see your mind and keen wit are as sharp as ever!

    I hope everyone is well in your world…

    Warm regards,


    • Randy, what a nice surprise. Yes my friend, I still have a modest percentage of my faculties intact (those others may dispute that). The family is well, as I hope yours is. Thanks for the smile in seeing your comment.

    • Thanks Michael, oh yes, Buddy is pretty modest about his arts background and other unsung talents. Perhaps he’ll share a few more with us. 😉

  5. What a wonderful presentation of Buddy as art. Really so fabulous. Lots of smiles.
    Thanks Tom. You’re the best.
    Barb Thal (Janice’s friend) 🙂

  6. Hello Tom and Buddy!!!!

    Very Creative!!

    PS Buddy!!! We are getting a plan together to rescue you and bring you to Canada before Tom starts making you earn to sing “Opera”!!! or learn to play the “Ukulele”
    Help is on the Way!!!

    V and the Furry Gang

    • V it would only be light opera and I was thinking more along the lines of harmonica lessons for Buddy. And should you still wish to rescue him, Buddy said he’ll send you a list of sleeping and dietary preferences. 😉

  7. I think when we are finally looking back on this fraught era, we will all agree that nothing, but nothing, can top the art that came out of our collective quarantine times. Thanks for adding to that trove! I no end of enjoyed this.

    • Thank you Anne, I agree, I think many of the ways we find to entertain ourselves and celebrate our humanity during this time, will live on in our hearts always.

  8. Dear Buddy (and Tom):

    I am enthralled with your art interpretations! They are sensitive, highly imaginative and a true delight.

    I always stop whatever else I am doing to read your posts, Tom. They are a pleasure!

    • Martha, what a lovely note to read this morning. Thank you. We’ll try to be better at posting more of what’s going on down on the farm. Buddy and I have just been laying low for the most part. Chores, ignore chores, eat, sleep, ponder, repeat. Take care!

  9. What a brilliant, lovely post and tribute to Buddy. Counters the the idea that only “dogs have masters and cats have staff.” This should go viral. How about a YouTube video with slides of the pics and, of course, narrated with your personable radio voice!

    • Bart, thank you for the kudos! I’ll have to think about doing videos. Buddy does like his island notoriety, but worries celebrity outside the shores of his home may sour his love of being social. He’s not a fan of mob scenes and adoring screams. 😉

  10. !!! laughing and snorting my coffee with this AM read. Thanks Tom and Buddy!
    love this the best ‘when I said all you have to do is sit on a chair and “pretend” to nap, he was in.’

    • Thanks Jane, in fact Buddy is perfecting his “pretend” nap right now, between his intermittent whimpers for more treats. This muse expects to get paid each hour on the hour. Take care and thank you for visit and kind words.

  11. Buddy,

    My wife and I were wondering about you and Tom on Thursday. Long time since we heard from you.

    Glad to know all is well!

    Stay safe!

    Get ready for Fall.


    • Tad that is so thoughtful of you and your wife. Thank you. Truth be told I was wondering about me, too. I had not written a blog post since May. Things are different for sure, and I make myself laugh when I say, I didn’t realize how social I was. It oddly takes a toll, certainly makes me a bit more somber, but I’m working on keeping those feelings at bay and refocusing on the good stuff. Buddy takes a different approach; he loves home isolation and embraces it fully. Give him a sunny porch and his day is made. Thanks for the well wishes, and I’ll checkin on the blog much sooner than before. Cheers, Tom

  12. When I see a post from Tall Clover Farm it always brings a smile to my face even before opening. Your antics with your muse are wonderfully entertaining and uplifting. The descriptions of your island, your farm, your culinary treats and beautiful flowers add so much joy to a day fraught with other concerns. Thank you Tom for taking the time to share your lovely home and your steadfast friend Buddy!

    • Hi Alice, thanks for taking the time to write me such a lovely note. I just came in from closing of the henhouse, and was delighted to see my clean tabletop. I forgot I tidied it (well actually re-stacked things) earlier in the day. I’m not sure what to do with so much space on each side of my laptop. Take care, and again, thank you. Tom And Buddy


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