Lexi and Gunner

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Is there anything sweeter than a girl and her dog? No? That’s what I thought.

I remember my first dog. Her name was Mitzy and she was a chubby blonde 7 year old cocker spaniel. We adopted her and she truly did not like us when we first brought her home. I’m pretty sure the first time I tried to pet her she tried to bite me.

Once, my brothers were home alone during the day, when a man broke into our house. My brother had to hold Mitzy back from attacking until the man left. She was so grumpy, but she really was a good dog and I’m pretty sure she grew to love us as much as we loved her.

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Wedding Gift

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I was recently commissioned to paint a triple portrait for a couple due to be married in September. They have a yellow lab that needed to be added since he was not in the reference photo. I thought he should be the center of attention ( as all dogs should), so I used some ***ART MAGIC!*** to make it happen. I wish them all the best in their future together, and I hope their dog likes this painting.

(Not A) Pet Painting #58 – Kimari/Little Wing

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“Kimari” Acrylic on 16×20 canvas

A friend of my sister commissioned this piece of her younger sister, Kimari, who passed away at the young age of 16 this past year.  She wanted the painting to be influenced by Jimi Hendrix, so I did my best to give it a psychedelic feel and still keep the sweetness of this 16 year old girl.

I’m always honored when someone asks me to paint a loved one, but it means even more when someone trusts me to capture a family member or friend that has passed away.  I hope that this painting brings her some comfort and memories every time she looks at it.

Pet Paintings #56 and #57 – Sisters

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“Okema and Lilu” Acrylic on 11×14 Canvas
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“Sireta  and Snowball” Acrylic on 11×14 Canvas

Wow! It’s been almost a week since I’ve posted! I feel super guilty about taking such a long break from the blog, but I have been painting, so that makes me feel a little bit better.

My good friend Franny sent me the reference photos for these two paintings. They are her older and younger sister, who recently each lost a pet.  I really enjoyed painting these two, and it was nice to switch up the size as well.

Pet Painting #51 – Matching Set

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Hello, everyone! I haven’t posted in a few days, but I HAVE been painting! I had a group that just all happened to be surprises, so I have to post them all later.

Today’s painting completes a matching pair with a previous painting. The two cats look very fluffy, very pretty, and super serious. I love this in contrast with their very happy and friendly looking parents.

Here are the two together.

The first 50

Here are the first 50 paintings all together. (I’ve actually done 52, but 2 of them are surprises for the people receiving them, so I’ll post them later.)

I just want to thank everyone who has supported me so far in this painting challenge. It is a joy to paint all of these wonderful people and pets. The background stories really do help me bring out their personalities, so keep ’em coming!
I’m so lucky to be part of such a large and supportive family, and it’s been great getting to know all of the people I’ve met through this project.

My Etsy shop will be up soon with detailed pricing info and tips on how to choose a good reference photo!
Stay tuned for more!

Pet Painting #50 – PaPa, Bear, and Sparky

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“PaPa, Bear, and Sparky” Acrylic on 12×12 canvas

I wanted my 50th painting to be special, so I used a photo taken by my cousin Jenny of my grandfather as a reference.

Before he passed away several years ago, my grandfather adopted two small lap dogs and it was the sweetest thing to see how much he loved those two dogs.  I never remembered my grandparents having a dog, even though there were several occasions when family brought a pet or two by for the day.  I never really knew if my PaPa even liked dogs.  He sure did like these two, though.

I think that sometimes pets come into our lives at the perfect moment, and that is what happened here.  He needed their love, and they needed his, and they were brought together at the exact right moment in life.

Pet Painting #49 – Self Portrait Saturday

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“Self Portrait with Freddie” Acrylic on 8×8 canvas panel

I never do self portraits, so I decided to do one tonight.

My 8 year old son took a reference photo for me, and this was the end result.  The cat I’m holding is Freddie Mercury.  We found him as a stray kitten in a parking lot near my work.  We had an eye infection, so we took him home and nursed him back to health.  He always tries to get outside, and, if he succeeds, he will usually get stuck in a tree.  We always joke that he is the worst feral cat ever.  We have found that if you have a cat that likes to climb trees, but doesn’t know how to come down, it is definitely worth it to have a local tree trimming service that likes animals and a sheet to catch the falling kitty in when the tree trimmer tosses him down.