Illustrator, painter and printmaking artist
It's fitting that for my first blog post I share the work of my friend Branka Bradic, a talented artist; illustrator, painter, printmaker and also storyteller. Branka is the owner of a wonderfully quirky saluki, Zona, who provides her with lots of storytelling material. Here are a few of Branka's favourite illustrations.
Below is one of my favourite stories complete with an illustration.
(Toronto, Aug 31, 2011
Text and illustration: Branka Bradic)
”Hey, girly girls! Back from the walk?” - my husband greeted us at the front door. Zona started slamming her tail against the door and weaving her torso in response, so my husband knelt to hug her in an attempt to avoid the fractures in tail joints. (Once at lure coursing, we met a whippet puppy with bandages around his tail, which was meant to prevent the blood splashing around while he was slamming his tail against the fridge, which horrified my husband. He was convinced this will happen to Zona, too).
“Why that gloomy face?” He asked me.
I wasn’t in a mood to discuss it yet.
“WOW!...What is THIS smell?” I heard him on my way to the bathroom. He stopped hugging her and started sniffing her.
“I believe it was a dead fish. Although it could be a carcass of a seagull as well, since there were some beaten up feathers around...I am not quite sure.” I answered with the flat voice.
“Why didn’t you stop her? This is terrible!”
“I was busy trying to figure out what was the source of the bone she was snacking on just minutes earlier...I could strangle those people! Not only do they barbeque on the beach where they are not supposed to, risking a fire, but they also throw the bones all around, thinking they are doing a favor to the wildlife! Morons!”
“Branka! She can rip her intestines with the bones...”- He instructed me knowingly. I gave him a dirty look. He turned to Zona and started cooing, while examining her tummy (as if you could see through it):
”Did you eat some bones at the beach, you naughty girl? You know they can hurt your tummy...But it’s not your fault...”
Zona started licking his face in response, while batting her eyelashes and looking like martyr. I flopped on the sofa and took a bite of an apple. Than I added casually:
“You know, you might not want to share the kisses just yet...While I was examining the site where she rolled, she bounced happily to the naked guy...”
“You went to that beach again - alone? How many times do I have to tell you?!”
“It is the best beach. Besides, they are coupled. They don't pay attention to me.”
“That’s not the point...” Than he turned to Zona who continued kissing him while he was squealing in a delight.
“...Anyway," I continued - "the guy...the naked guy was laying on his towel - on his stomach, mind you - and our Precious went to him, licked his buttocks casually a few times, as a greeting - and than, for some reason, decided to lay down on his towel, right beside him.”
My husband looked at me in horror. Then he jumped. I took another bite of an apple.
“When she licked his butt...” I elaborated more
“He tightened it, but he couldn’t turn around for obvious reasons. And I couldn’t go there for the same reasons. I did consider for a moment to pretend that it wasn’t my dog after all, but just minutes earlier I was yelling at her while she was rolling in that carcass - you see, that’s why I am not quite sure what exactly was what she rolled in, I was totally distracted by one event after the other...It seems like she was few steps ahead of me all the time...”
“Did she really lick his butt?” My husband demanded in disbelief.
“Oh, yeah...she did, indeed. But for me, it was even more disturbing when she laid down and leaned against him, completely stinking up his towel. I thought I would die from the embarrassment. All I could think of was to keep calling her - I really didn’t feel like going there and explaining myself - the poor guy kept laying down with his face buried in a towel and I kept calling her with shrill voice. That’s probably why she didn’t respond for a while.
Then, finally, I collected myself and restored my voice to it's sweet level, waving a cookie in the air so she came to me happily... Now, do you still want to know why my face was gloomy when I arrived?”
Originally from Serbia, Branka has an M.A. from the University of Art in Belgrade.
Branka's illustrations have been published in many books, textbooks and magazines. Her artwork has been shown in solo and group exhibitions and she has received numerous awards on juried panels.
Her artwork can be found in public and private collections around the world.
Contact by email at email@example.com.