Today was filled with animals. I delivered a completed pet commission to a thrilled client, and picked up a painting of my cat Boomer that was just used for a special project.
I can’t share more details about either yet, but don’t worry, I’ll have exciting news coming soon!
But today got me thinking about how meaningful it is to me to get to know and paint animals, starting with my own pet, Boomer. Boomer is a 4 year old Maine Coon — a silver tabby with cream patches. She is my studio assistant by day and defends the house against bugs by night. She also loves playing with African violet leaves when there are no bugs to hunt.
Two days after bringing her home as a kitten, Boomer scared me to death. Forty-eight hours of around-the-clock care later, the vet determined that Boomer had likely bitten an electrical cord, causing symptoms of heart failure, but they gave her the right drugs, kept an eye on her, and she was right as rain.
It was only two days in, and I still would have given anything to make sure she was OK. She meanwhile, didn’t seem worried or put off by her hospital stay in the slightest. She came back to a house with shockingly few electronics plugged in and played to her heart’s content.
Since then I’ve painted Boomer as a kitten several times, and I’m so happy to have so many collectors with paintings of her in their homes. Now I have one more piece to add to the collection:
I loved every moment of painting this piece. Sometimes I feel personally attached to pieces, but the truth is that the joy is in the making — it’s all the better when, after the making is done, I get to share that with a collector.
As I reflected on that today, it occurred to me that there are so many reasons why this is so special to me:
1. I get to know your pets
Not every commission involves getting to meet your animals, but I truly love the ones that do. It’s always great to get to know your subject, find a pose that tells their story, and get capture that perfect moment, but let’s be real — who doesn’t love getting to meet a new animal?!
2. I get to hear your stories
Every commission is unique, but one thing is always consistent: I get to hear fantastic stories. Whether your dog keeps a horde of tennis balls behind the couch, or you had a pony who taught you to be tough because she’d buck you off every chance she got, these are the details that help a painting come alive.
3. When it comes to interior design, a great pet painting counteracts any negative effects of excess fur on the carpets and sofa*
*Although they do not replace a good vacuum
4. Paintings help keep our ‘fur babies’ close, always
My most meaningful paintings have been of pets we want to honor, remember and keep close. It is a tremendous privilege to be able to provide this comfort.
Plus, who wouldn’t want to admire a face like this every day?
If you’re interested in having a painting made of your pet, or just want to share more about your favorite ‘fur baby,’ I’d love to hear from you! Just comment down below or send me an email. :)