Famous 'Blue Dog' artist George Rodrigue, dies at 69 - KLFY News 10

Famous 'Blue Dog' artist George Rodrigue, dies at 69

georgerodrigue.com georgerodrigue.com

World-renowned artist George Rodrigue, 69, famous for his Blue Dog paintings, lost his battle to cancer on Saturday.

Throughout the weekend state officials, including Gov. Bobby Jindal and U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu, put out statements mourning his death. His family also put out a statement and temporarily shut down the George Rodrigue studios.

Donald Begneaud, owner of a sheet metal fabrication shop in Lafayette, was a close friend of George Rodrigue. Begneaud and Rodrigue have been collaborating on dozens of art installations over the last 10 years.  

"After many years of somewhat pestering George, I kept wanting to do some collaborative work with him and we finally started doing some metal work," says Begneaud.

Begneaud says he and Rodrigue took the famous Blue Dogs off the canvas and onto the streets of Louisiana with aluminum Blue Dog inspired sculptures.

"We started off with the small ones, then it grew to doing some eight footers and then we did a really huge 16 foot one that's over in Metairie," says Begneaud.

Begneaud says they didn't stop at sculptures.

"We did picture frames and all types of things that he used in his gallery," says Begneaud.

Begneaud says once Rodrigue became ill, their collaborations began to slow down.

"When the Saints had played in the Super Bowl, George wanted us to make a big aluminum football and unfortunately George had fallen ill at that time, so that project did not come to fruition," says Begneaud.

Begneaud says he didn't see much of Rodrigue over the last few years, while he was battling cancer. All that is left now are their old projects and Begneaud's memories of his friend and business partner.

"He was just full of life. He was very, very creative. We had a synergies, an alignment with each other," says Begneaud.

According to a spokesman for the Rodrigue family, there will be an announcement for funeral and memorial service plans on Monday.

Watch George on CBS Sunday Morning:  http://www.cbsnews.com/news/meet-the-blue-dog/

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