All posts by Donna Frano

Now and again I send out an email about what’s going on at “Larry Gekiere Artist”. With the latest email, I have changed the format a bit. My email is now the official newsletter of Larry Gekiere Artist.

Every quarter I’ll be sharing my favorite blog posts from the past months, but for those of you who stay updated here on the website, there will now and again be something special just for my loyal newsletter subscribers – a contest with prizes or a special offer.

Just a hint, next quarter’s newsletter will include a really fun contest, so if you aren’t signed up, do so now by clicking here or by clicking on the graphic of the newsletter header below.

Once you receive your newsletter, feel free to forward your copy to friends or family who might be interested.

As always, thanks for being here!

newsletter signup


 
 
 
 
While photographs are a very important part of my job, in producing a hand-painted oil portrait of your pet, these kinds of photos MIGHT not be perfect for a painting.
 
 
 
 
Winner of the “Gone to the Dogs” category =======>
 
 
 
 
This was the first year of the Comedy Pet Photography Awards , a companion to the hysterical Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards .

(Click on the photos to get a full-sized view!)

pet photographs
pet photographs
 
 
 
 
Just as the Comedy Wildlife Photography Awards are devoted to conservation, the Comedy Pet Photography Awards are devoted to animal welfare and have entry rules about the way the photographs are taken and the breeds allowed (based on the British Kennel Club’s KC3 list).
 
 
 
 
<=======Winner of the “Pets who look like their owners” category
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Winner of the “Larry Gekiere’s Favorite” category=======>
 
 
 
 
My own category, of course. I call this photo “Romeo and Juliet”. Beautiful composition.
 
 
 
 
pet photographs
pet photographs
 
 
 
 
<=======Overall Winner
 
 
 
 
The pictures are amazing and funny, just the right uplift for the new year!
 
 
 
 

Here’s hoping that, in 2018, your pets are as happy and healthy as the ones in the competition.


 
 

The Challenge

Every year, I enjoy painting more and more. The reason? There are always new challenges and overcoming them can feel like a real accomplishment.

An example is this painting of Dolly and Bella.

Just like about 50% of my work last year, the portrait of these two lovely dogs was to be given as a gift. Gifts can be challenges no matter what, first in getting the best photo without the recipient finding out and then in the timing.

This particular portrait was a gift for my client’s adult daughter. With some planning, I was able to organize a rendezvous to take the photos, and that’s when the fun began.

Originally, I thought the painting was only of one dog, but as it turns out, I was asked to paint two dogs. This is not unusual or challenging of itself, as you know from some of my other paintings, but this particular situation was a bit unique.

challenging pet painting

challenging pet painting

 
 
 
 
 

Getting the Pictures

One of the dogs, Bella, was a rescue, and, as it turned out, was afraid of some men. It is difficult to get a good photo of a frightened dog. The other dog, Dolly, who wasn’t feeling well that day, oddly enough was the one who would not stop moving! I did get a shot of both, but it included the client and was too far away. I also tried putting their favorite toys on a blanket to grab a photo of them together, but that didn’t work.

After crawling around on the ground and sneaking about (check out my blog post on how to get good photos of your pet), I managed to get over 100 photos and, finally, two separate pictures of the dogs that might work. Then I had to get them to the correct size and then meld them together in the position the client wanted.

 
 
 
 
 

The Most Important Thing

My client had a couple of poses that she thought would typify her daughter’s pets. In addition, she had specific marking on the dogs that she wanted to be shown in the painting. After some drawings and sketches (see one of my posts on the process), she agreed to the planned portrait.

I painted the portrait and delivered it to the client, but I could immediately tell that she was not as excited as my clients normally are when they see the portraits. I asked what was wrong. After some persuading, she admitted that she thought that one of the dogs would be sitting. When I mentioned the drawing that she had approved, she said she was so focused on the positioning of their heads, that she didn’t pay attention to the body positions. We both laughed and I said that I would redo. The most important challenge? Making sure portraits like this are something you love not just something you think is ok.

challenging pet painting

challenging pet painting

I redid the painting with the positional change and delivered it once more. This time my client was happy, but I told her that if her daughter was not thrilled with the gift, I would redo the portrait until she was.

After Christmas, I received my own gift – something I can only hope for in all of my work – an email from my client that said this:

“My daughter cried and was thrilled with her painting of her two beloved friends.”

My deepest gratitude to all of the clients who have trusted me with their treasured memories. I look forward to this next year of “challenges”.


Once again this year, my studio offered the donation of a hand-painted oil painting to be auctioned off at the Crystal Charity Ball. The Crystal Charity Ball is an amazing organization that has been helping children for over 60 years and raised more than $137 million for more than 140 children’s charities.

This year’s very worthy children’s charities benefiting from donations during the Crystal Charity Ball’s annual giving include the Autism Treatment Center, Inc., Big Brothers Big Sisters Lone Star, Children’s Medical Center Foundation, Dallas Holocaust Museum, Hunger Busters, Presbyterian Communities and Services Foundation, Rainbow Days, Santa Clara of Assisi Catholic Academy, The Crystal Charity Ball Educational Scholarship Project, and The Crystal Charity Ball Endowment Fund.

 
 
 
oil portrait donation

Dallas Holocaust Museum Experience Fund

A good example of the Crystal Charity Ball’s work is the project involving the Dallas Holocaust Museum Experience Fund. The donated funds will be used over three years to fund teach thousands of Title 1 and economically disadvantaged students about the history of the Holocaust, to advance human rights, and to combat prejudice, hatred and indifference. The children will be admitted to the Museum, free of charge, and their teachers will receive necessary curriculum support. A portion of the funds will also establish an endowment, allowing economically disadvantaged students admission to visit the Museum in perpetuity.

 
 

Children’s Medical Center Foundation Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program

Another example of their work is the Children’s Medical Center Foundation Comprehensive Gait and Mobility Program. The donated funds here will be used for the purchase of five pieces of state-of-the-art robotic gait and mobility training equipment: The ErigoPro early mobilization tilt-table, the LokomatPro robotic based partial-weight-bearing treadmill system, the Andago body weight supported mobile robotic gait system, the Natus balance and gait assessment system and the HydroWorx therapy pool. Training for staff and robotic software upgrades are included with the purchase of this equipment.

 
 
 
 
 
 
oil portrait donation


 
And those are just TWO examples of the many projects undertaken and funded by the Crystal Charity Ball. Amazing work being done by these wonderful folks.

After many years of participating, I was delighted to once again offer up a donation to the Crystal Charity Ball’s extraordinary charitable work. I look forward to finding out who won the bidding on my donated painting and what they will want to be created just for them!

To donate to these worthy projects, just go to the Crystal Charity Ball donation page
for details.

If you would like to order a painting for yourself or as a gift, don’t forget that you can just complete this form. If you have further questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours!


A gift certificate from Larry Gekiere – Artist for a one-of-a-kind oil painting makes a thoughtful and unique present for anyone on your list! Someone in your life would certainly treasure a portrait of a beloved pet or a painting of a very special person. You might even have the exact subject in mind for their painting.

A One-of-a-Kind Present

Imagine the look on your friend or loved one’s face when they unwrap such a unique and very personal gift. It shows your understanding of what such a painting would mean to them.

So this holiday season, just click here for the “Order A Painting” form on my website. Simply fill out as much as you can on the form, including the desired painting size, and check off “Gift Certificate” under “Do you need an extra service?” Please include the name of the recipient in the “Your Message” section. Don’t worry about leaving some sections blank.

Gift Certificate

Or, if you prefer, simply call me at (214) 405-1834 to work out the details for your gift certificate.

A Gift That REALLY Keeps On Giving

Custom oil paintings are the kind of gifts that keep right on giving. When your friend or loved one hangs the painting on their wall, they will constantly be reminded of their feelings about the subject and your thoughtfulness. A gift certificate from Larry Gekiere – Artist is the gift that keeps on giving.

HAPPY HOLIDAYS to you and yours!