I found a new creative avenue after the Eastside Culture Crawl in Vancouver was over.
Being on such a high from doing a 4 day show where 2000 people visit your studio can make a person get the post-show blues if they aren't careful. So Instead of wallowing in my studio and feeling lonely I decided to try out painting a dog portrait for my Mom.
My Mother Wendy lives in a tiny town in Alberta and for many years has had only a close furry companion to keep her company, her Doberman named Riley. Over a year ago Riley got quite ill and my Mom couldn't keep up with the vet bills and had to make the devastating decision to let her go. She never really got over Riley in the year she has mourned her loss, and was feeling a deep loneliness and longing for her furry soul mate companion again. My Mom had many dogs over the years since I was born, but never one quite as special as Riley. So since it wasn't financially feasible for her to get another dog I felt it was almost my duty to try and paint her a portrait of Riley to keep her company, as well as have am extra special memento to always remember her by.
Well, I'm an abstract expressionist painter folks, and I thought it was going to be nearly impossible to shift gears in to a much more regimented detail-oriented method of painting that I swore I couldn't pull off. Plus I thought I wouldn't enjoy it either. Working from a photograph and trying to paint a likeness is the opposite of my other paintings, and also very different from our illustrative digital art business for kids Pickle Punch. However, I reminded myself I was painting for my Mom and she would hopefully be forgiving of my mistakes, and would see the spirit of Riley come through somehow. I convinced myself that I would pull it off in time to surprise her for Christmas.
So I set off to find a picture on Facebook and started planning how to tackle my first pet portrait...
I worked from home for this whole project and holed myself up in the room where I keep my inventory for our illustration business Pickle Punch. Using just liquid Golden Acrylics and brushes that were way too fat for the job, I pulled off this portrait. It wasn't easy by any means, but it felt great! It felt amazing to be painting a her dog that meant so much to her! The pain of painting tiny details and fussing over a doberman's distinct anatomy soon became background music, as I became entranced in the spirit and story of 'Riley' my Mother's animal soulmate and best friend.
The rest is history now:)
I completed 5 more pet portraits for friends after this one, and have now started taking orders for more pet portraits. The details on how to commission me to make your beloved pet in to a portrait painting are on the main page. So if you have always wanted to have a painting of your pet or you know someone who would love one done, then please get in touch with me.
Racket - 2017