So why am I doing this? Why did I choose to paint specifically animals?
Like many artists, my path in life was mapped out pretty much as soon as I could pick up a pencil. It’s fair to say that as a child I spent much of my time drawing and painting, and given that art was the only subject at school in which I excelled it was perhaps inevitable that I would go to art school.
Unlike many artists however, I had a very clear idea of my subject from the start. My love was for animals and they were all I wanted to depict- much to the frustration of my art school tutors who largely viewed any painting that tried to convey an animals character as sentimental. Not that I was particularly bothered. I still made a weekly pilgrimage to the Newcastle Dog and Cat Shelter to photograph and draw the inmates. And yes one of them did come home with me; a little black Labrador cross I named Luka. Well, I was living on the second floor with her – and yes I was a Suzanne Vega fan!
The need to paint and draw animals was in part fed by the fact that as a young child I wanted to have a dog more than anything but wasn’t able due to my parents both being out at work all day. As for ponies ( my other big love)? Well there was no way that was ever going to happen!
So art became my way of having animals in my life. I watched them obsessively, always looking for little details I hadn’t noticed before so I could draw them as soon as I was home again. Things like the shape of a horse’s nostrils, or chin with it’s whiskers, or the way the tips of their ears turn ever so slightly inward. And the differing shapes and sizes of dogs was endlessly fascinating!
At last when I was 10 years old circumstances changed and I was allowed my first dog. He was a Jack Russell Terrier called Patch. He was a typical terrier, full of fun and character! Patch has been followed by more dogs over the years, all of them special, but my desire to paint them and other animals has never diminished. I am still completely hooked. My need to convey their characters and let the paintings give them a voice even if they have departed from this world is as strong as ever. And to see or hear how touched people are by their pets portraits is an incredible privilege that I never tire of.
I work from home in a lovely bright studio which looks out onto the garden. My three dogs come and go as they please and I get to have wonderful dogs, cats, horses and other creatures sharing our space by gracing my easel. I am indeed lucky.
I hope this has given you some insight into why I do what I do. Please go and have a look at the galleries here on my website, and if you feel I may be the artist to paint your best friend then click on the pages “How to Commission a Portrait “https://thedogartist.me/commission-a-portrait/ and “Price Guide For Portraits” https://thedogartist.me/price-guide/ to find out more. Wildlife commissions are also welcome!
Of course, each and every portrait is a unique piece of work and several days or weeks of work goes into each and every one. They are truly a labour of love.
You can contact me by emailing email@example.com or you can call me on 07624 364890 (+447624 364890 outside the UK) or you can use the contact form below.