Piece of the Week: Adrift by Jaime Ellsworth, Sittin’ by the Dogs in the Bay


“I like simplicity in my art, the barest of situations are meant to convey my intentions and thoughts,” says Ellsworth.

There’s an old trick known among dog owners.

To administer medicine to your dog, cover the pill in peanut butter and the dog will eat it up happily.

When you consider the notion of the peanut butter-pill partnership (the human equivalent of the method musically popularized by Mary Poppin’s spoonful of sugar logic) has a sort of beautiful delicacy to it.

A hard thing is done “in the most delightful way.”


Our piece of the week, Adrift (48”x48”), an oil painting on wood by Jaime Ellsworth, does just that. It makes a capsule of reality, a truth tablet not only palatable, but beautiful.

The painting — several lozenge shaped boats of multicolored canine crews drifting atop a murky green sea — is dedicated to all the dogs around the world without a home.  

“[The dogs] are waiting,” says Ellsworth, “they cannot get out of their situation without us coming to their aid.”


Ellsworth worked in animal rescue for more than 12 years. The thought of all the homeless dogs in need of love and a family is constant and the inspiration behind Adrift

Both the composition and the title suggests that the dogs have embarked on a journey to find a forever home.   

“I hope the painting will make people think about [the dogs] and become aware of them in another way, a thoughtful way, that might be more recognizable,” says the artist.



Ellsworth’s mission is not chasing its own tail.

There is a clear human desire to care for other creatures. Consider the Pokemon Go player.

The recently released game — that sends players on a search to catch and collect virtual animal hybrids called Pokemon — is virtually (and literally) pet adoption.

White Dog at South Beach

So many of these players, equipped with their “gotta-catch-em-all” mentality, risk trespassing onto private property and darting into traffic to save the likes of Picachu and Charmander, and yet, so many real adoptable pets remain un-rescued, or adrift.  

Through the medium of her painting, Ellsworth creates her own envisioned reality that, through a compelling simplicity, taps into the real dogs in need of love and a home.

See more of Jaime Ellsworth’s work on UGallery.