5″x7″ acrylic, 2013. Tim racked up a gazillion husband points this past Valentine’s Day with this amazing two-part gift to his wife! Their beloved boxer Olive is like a member of their family, and Tim commissioned two little portraits of her: One as a a puppy, and the other as the couch-loving cuddler she is today. Tim describes her (Olive, not his wife!) as “a big smush.” Here she is as a baby… watch for my next post to see her all grown up!
9″x12″ acrylic, 2013. These two Cavalier King Charles Spaniels share the same father, an evident bounty of affection for each other, and some self-imposed responsibilities around the house! Ben, the brown pup, is four years old and is known to Heather and her family as the “fireman.” If any sort of smoke is in the air, Ben begins to tremble and act peculiar… in fact, he usually needs to be held and comforted for about a half an hour in order to calm down. Six-year-old Jake is the family’s “policeman” who barks mightily at any outside noise or visitor. This amazing “spooning” pose isn’t a common occurence, according to Heather, but speaks volumes about the relationship between the two brothers.
8″x10″ acrylic, 2013.
Believe it or not, the nose on this classic stuffed Snoopy was intact when he was discovered in a collection of donated toys at a public library ONE YEAR AGO. It was loved off by Isaiah, three-year-old son of the formidable and hilarious Twitter and Instagram presence Michael, aka @DadBeard. The Snoopy, known as “Boop,” was in fact a replacement for the one Michael was given as a baby. Michael has four children, and he had passed down the original Boop to Isaiah, the elder of his two boys. Isaiah adored it and would tweak its nose to relax. When Boop was lost at a park, the family somehow stumbled upon an exact replacement at their library in Houston. When the new, equally beloved Boop’s nose was ultimately tweaked off, Isaiah moved on to scratching at the fur, resulting in the threadbare patch you see here. I hope this particular Snoopy will hold together for the next generation! If you participate in Twitter or Instagram, I highly recommend following @dadbeard and his family’s funny, quirky, and touching journey. Here’s Michael’s photo of Isaiah, Boop, and the portrait…
8″x10″ acrylic, 2013. This beautiful yellow lab is named Sadie, but children in the classrooms Sadie has visited want to know why she is not called “Salt!” Just like her companion Pepper, Sadie earned an American Kennel Club Canine Citizenship award working as a therapy dog. Sadie joined Sami’s family when she was eight months old. Now eight years old, Sadie is described by Sami as being a very “Marley and Me” kind of dog… They have chased her down highways and she’s eaten many a loaf of bread off the kitchen counter. Over time “Sadie-Bug” has proven to have some endearing quirks: She is afraid of stairs and is especially fearful of feet moving under bed-covers! She is a great traveller and enjoys cruising around in the family’s VW Beetle. Sadie is now the favorite friend of Sami’s little boy Samuel, who learned to say “‘Adie” just after “Momma” and “Daddy!”
8″x10″ acrylic, 2013. Pepper had countless charms and accomplishments, including an American Kennel Club canine good-citizenship award for her work as a therapy dog. Eleven years ago this weekend, Pepper was found as a six-month-old stray, scavenging and tormented by local kids. Once rescued, she was only apart from Sami for about 12 days over her lifetime, and traveled everywhere with her. When Pepper was four, the family got a lab named Sadie. The two dogs attended obedience school together, where Pepper flourished, amazing everyone with such tricks as covering her face demurely with her paws when Samie would ask, “are you shy?” Pepper loved obstacle courses and could jump through hula hoops. She could escape from almost any cage, fence, or room, and nimbly climb almost anything to reach food. Pepper became a therapy dog at age five, visiting hospitals and nursing homes, school reading programs, and a library program for autistic children. The tags hanging from Pepper’s collar were well-earned, and I’m honored to have painted this extraordinary dog!
8″x10″ acrylic, 2012. I knew I was in for a treat when I recieved the commission to paint this trio of pets from Andrew of Keep Albany Boring! Andrew is a phenomenal photographer, so I was sure to have beautiful, well-lit source material to paint from. How endearing is a huge dog who snuggles with cats? Ridiculous. The two cats, Oliver (white and caramel), Chex (black kitten,) and Sophie the dog belong to Andrew’s friends, who are also his roommates. The portrait was a gift for them for Christmas.
8″x10″ acrylic, 2012. A couple of years ago, two of my favorite people got married. As a gift I painted a their dog Jack, but it was really a portrait of the huge braided rug that dominates their living room. Matthew is a Swiss Army knife of musical talent and Erin is a gifted and prolific knitter of beautiful things. They both adore animals and have quite the menagerie of pets! Last month Erin and Matthew commissioned this painting of Erin’s family’s Muppet-y labradoodle Lonnie as a Christmas gift for Erin’s mother.
8″x10″ acrylic, 2012. Matt’s wife loves art, personalization, and this stuffed dog, so could there be a more appropriate gift for her than a custom portrait of her favorite toy? She has had this dog, known simply as “Dog,” ever since she was a toddler, and it has lived with her in Texas, Chicago, and Washington D.C. While planning the painting, Matt and I pondered a question I encounter quite often in my line of work: Just what color is this toy? Matt figures that it is more light grey than beige, although it might have been beige at one time, and he pointed out Dog’s faded black spots and chocolate brown ears. I always love to paint an incidental pillow, and that bolster behind Dog has a great texture. Matt will give this portrait to his wife as a Christmas gift.
According to the Chinese calendar, this 2012 has been the year of the phoenix — but over her at Your Toy Portrait, it is most definitely the year of the pet dog! I have painted nearly as many dogs as toys this holiday season. This cute schnauzer, Teddy, belongs to Heathir’s mother-in-law and will be a gift to her this Christmas. Heathir previously commissioned a portrait of her beloved childhood Cabbage Patch Doll, which I now realize I never posted on this website. So watch for the story of that classic toy over the next few days!
8″x10″ acrylic, 2012.
Sarah, who found me on etsy, commissioned this painting of Baxter as a Christmas gift for her husband. Their sweet, snaggle-toothed Lhasa Apso is 6 years old and is a champion of both tennis and frisbee. Don’t be fooled by his placid, almost stoic expression… Baxter is quite the comedian! This has certainly been the year of the real live pet over here at Your Toy Portrait. I’ve painted just about as many pets as toys so this holiday portrait painting season so far — Such a pleasure for me!