While searching out an archaeological site near my apartment in Montenegro I met a man who immediately took it upon himself to be my guide. I followed “them” to the site. And by “them” I mean that I followed the man who was followed by his two dogs Teddy and Maxi, and lastly Milka the cat! Afterwards we went to his house where I met his wife and had a wonderful time. As thanks, I surprised them with a small painting of Milka which then led to commissions to paint the dogs, which then led to a commission to paint Barney the dog who lived in Germany with his family.
These portraits weren’t the first animal portraits in my life, but my painting of Barney changed how I will forever do an animal portrait again. Since I had never seen him in person, but was working from several photographs, I needed to get to know him. I mean energetically connect with him. It seemed he needed to tell me exactly how to immortalize him. And he did. As I was painting, he would say (in my mind), I’d like a few more chin hairs, or you need the space a little wider between my eyes. Barney was so helpful, I could actually hear him clearly and feel his presence as I was painting. When finally he declared that he was proud, I knew we were done. And the owners couldn’t have been more pleased. They told me that I had captured not only his looks, but his essence. The portraits were so much fun and rewarding that I can’t wait for my future commissions from people (I won’t call them owners) who co-habitat with their animal friends!
Bring your pet back to life, immortalize your best friend, let them speak to me and they will let me know how to portray them and how many chin hairs they want (which according to Barney are something to be very proud of!).
Firstly, I don’t know how you did it but that painting of Barney seems to have captured his living soul, I kid you not. It is so beautiful and I feel like I knew him. All of your artwork from there seems so lively and bright and fresh, I don’t know how to describe it. It is absolutely gorgeous there. -Scotti Cabecieras, Bend, OR
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