'Space Dogs' by Gregory Doyle

When my Uncle Greg was a young man, someone gave him a paint-by-numbers kit for Christmas.

But Gregory Doyle was an unconventional man. First, he was a brainy botanist specializing in genetics for the U.S. Department of Agriculture at the University of Missouri. (“I study the sex life of corn,” he said.)

And second, he had a zany sense of humor.

As the family story goes, he tried to fill in the number-coded boxes with the appropriate colors for a while, then flipped the picture over and created his own painting on the back.

It showed a flying saucer that had evidently just landed in a farmyard, and little red dogs were emerging from it to greet a rather bemused terrestrial terrier.

Greg died in April at age 78, but his family still treasures his “Space Dogs” painting, which has hung in the family room as long as his grown sons can remember.

To me, Greg’s oddball masterpiece always has served as a reminder that we all have imaginations and we all can create art, no matter what our day jobs may be.

I am hoping this glimpse of “Space Dogs” (used with permission from Greg’s family) will inspire you, too.

Please email me jpgs of your favorite family art at dan.taylor@pressdemocrat.com, and I will post some of them in the ARTS blog.

Let Greg’s work set the tone — tasteful yet playful.  I look forward to seeing your work.