Tag: pets

Pet Portrait: Toga

8″x10″ acrylic, 2013.

I was honored to paint this memorial portrait of Toga, a boxer who belonged to Michael and Stephen from 2007 until his passing this past January. Michael shared this history of their beloved dog:

“He was found as a sick and emaciated stray in Philadelphia when he was around 2 years old. From there a Boxer rescue organization found a foster home for him in Malta. That couple nursed him back to health and we adopted him in the summer of 2007 as a companion to a puppy boxer we’d gotten the year before. He was with us for almost 6 years. He was the most strong willed dog I’ve ever met but also exceptionally loyal, goofy and loving. He spent so many summer days working with me in the front yard that the neighbors came to call him the Mayor of Foxhall (our street). Last year he was diagnosed with a heart condition that we were treating. The picture you painted was taken the day before he passed in January. He had been running around the beach at a home we’d just purchased on Cape Cod. He was healthy and active up until his very last day. That night after we’d returned to NY a valve in his heart failed and he passed quietly. I’m sure that he’ll go down as the most unique dog we’ve ever owned.”

This painting was commissioned by Michael as a gift for Stephen’s birthday. Michael tells me that Toga was the inspiration for their friend Tim’s adoption of Olive the boxer, whose present-day and puppyhood portraits I painted earlier this year!

Pet Portrait: Jake and Ben

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.

Pet Portrait: Oliver, Sophie, and Chex

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.

Pet Portrait: Lonnie

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.

Santa Toto

My job would not be half as fun as it is without Mary, who has come back to me repeatedly with projects that are as hilarious as they are heartfelt! For her grown children, Mary has commissioned portraits of a CatDog, a RugRat, and a stuffed Toy Story Alien. When she contacted me about immortalizing the family’s beloved dog dressed in a Santa suit, I shouldn’t have been suprised, but I burst out laughing anyway! She bought the Santa suit a decade ago, and every Christmas morning her family waits to open gifts until “Santa” has arrived! This portrait has special importance, Mary tells me, because Toto is now almost twenty years old. The painting will be brought out yearly as a Christmas decoration. Marys is clearly very attuned to the things that mean most to those she loves.

Hiyu (Pet Portrait)

9″x12″ acylic, 2012. What a lovely change of scenery! It’s novel and thrilling for me to have the opportunity to paint a beloved pet, and wonderful to see such intelligence and personality gazing back at me. This portrait of Hiyu, who passed two years ago, was commissioned by Heidi as a gift for Hiyu’s owners, Heidi’s dear friends. Heidi tells me that Hiyu was an incredibly sweet, 60 pound lap dog who acted like a puppy to the very end! I had the pleasure of commemorating Heidi’s own pet dog Murphy last year, and her daughter’s adorable stuffed hippo in 2009.

Oscar’s Bass

9″x12″ acrylic, 2012. When he was very small, ten-year-old Oscar fell in love with fishing at his Uncle Howie’s own well-stocked pond. Oscar’s mother Katya tells me that the fish were so plentiful that they practically jumped on the hook, and that thrilling experience guaranteed that Oscar was hooked as well! This fish is a large mouth bass that Oscar caught at the pond about four years ago. This is the first in a series of paintings Katya is having done of Oscar’s very favorite catches. Oscar was also the recipient of my Lego Bobafett portrait!

Jack (Pet Portrait)

8″x10″ acrylic, 2011. When I learned that my friends Matthew and Erin were getting married, I began this painting of their dog Jack as a wedding gift. They married in March, and seven months later I’ve finally gotten around to finishing it! Jack, who poses on a braided rug that I has always been the centepiece of their living room, was a rescue dog adopted a couple of years ago. The shelter guessed that he is a lab/shepherd mix, between five and ten years old, and he joins 3 cats and two birds in that happy household.

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Pet Portrait: Zoe

5″x7″ acrylic, 2011. I’ve painted both of Colleen’s childrens’ loveys, and I’m so happy that she also asked me to paint her dear, departed pet, Zoe. It’s a wonderful change for me to get to paint actual animals from time to time! Zoe was a beloved lap-cat who would even tolerate taking walks on a leash (although it often seemed as if Zoe were walking Colleen.) It’s just how cats can get comfortable just about anywhere — I mean, she’s using the top edge of a wooden chair for a pillow!

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Max and Jack

11″x14″ acrylic, 2010. This painting of Max and his cat is not a toy portrait of course, but is a follow-up to my painting of Max’s sister Lilly and her toy frog. Max’s mother Wendy says that Max does not have a particular favorite toy, but he is very attached to Jack the cat. She says that Max slings Jack over his shoulder and carries him around that way, and Jack doesn’t seem to mind a bit!