Category Archives: Blog

This year is the 10th anniversary of the Wags and Waves family and dog event. This event is sponsored by and benefits several animal rescue organizations in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Wags and Waves 2018 will be held at Hawaiian Falls Water Park in Garland, Texas on Saturday, September 8th.

All proceeds from Wags and Waves benefit Dallas Companion Animal Project, Feral Friends, Legacy Boxer Rescue, Cat Matchers and DFW Rescue Me. And at the same time, it is a load of fun!

Wags and Waves gives families the ability to enjoy the water park with a very important member of their family – their dogs. The fun-filled event that includes a chance to float down the Kona Kooler Lazy River and catch some waves in the Waikiki BeachWave Pool with your favorite canine plus all this:

*Costume Contests
*Pet Tricks
*Unique Vendors and Crafts
*Goody Bags
*Separate activity pool areas for large and small breed dogs
*Celebrity Emcees
*Lots of slides and activities

In other words, lots of fun in the sun and surf!

All dogs must have complete, up-to-date vaccinations and current rabies shots as well as be spayed/neutered. All humans attending (regardless of ages) must have a signed waiver.

Make Wags and Waves a success! Come on down and enjoy the event and support the vendors! Your attendance with your favorite canine companion will greatly benefit the animals these organizations rescue and support.

Congratulations Wags and Waves on your 10th Anniversary!

Wags and Waves


And, as always, if you have been thinking about getting a custom oil portrait done of your favorite pet or person or place, just complete this form. If you have further questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

Shiloh Winner

This is the prize-winning photo submitted by Jill C., CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, for our “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family” photo contest. The photo shows Shiloh entertaining some of the children at the House, something he does every day!

Once again, I want to walk you through my step-by-step process of creating a custom oil painting of Shiloh, a four-year-old Golden Retriever. I hope the painting will be as beautiful as the subject, who is not only a handsome fellow on the outside, but a wonderful fur playmate for the children of the Ronald McDonald House.



As I have said before, the photograph is key. I went over to the Ronald McDonald House to meet and photograph Shiloh, and I found out a lot about Shiloh in the process! Shiloh is a service dog, trained to serve as a guide dog for the blind. But his current job is “Chief Cheer Officer” at Ronald McDonald House in Dallas. And he does just that, spreading joy and cheer to the children and their families staying at the house.

Painting Shiloh

Painting Shiloh 2


Initial Drawing

A charcoal drawing is an important aspect of the painting. I must get the drawing right, for the painting, literally based on it, to really capture the personality of the subject. And Shiloh has an amazing personality. When I met him, he walked right over to where I was sitting and laid his head firmly on my arm. Jill told me that was his way of giving a hug! I see why he is “Chief Cheer Officer”.


Full Color Palette

As you can see in this photo of the painting in progress, I have put in the full palette of color. If my charcoal sketch was sound and I have structured the painting properly, it comes together nicely in this step and I think it has here. There’s a lot more to do – adding details like the texture of his coat, details of his face, the official title on his service dog vest, and so on, but I’m about a third of the way through the process.

Painting Shiloh 3

painting Shiloh 4


Stay Tuned for the Completed Portrait!

I can’t wait to share the final portrait of Shiloh with you. As you can see from this photo, he really enjoys being around children, whether doing his job or relaxing at home. I am sure that his final portrait will showcase his great personality and capture the big heart under that golden fur!

I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression of Shiloh’s painting. I will blog here about the completed portrait and show it off. It will also be available in my Gallery.

If you would like a chance to win a contest like Jill and Shiloh did, be sure to sign up for my newsletter. Just click here or click on the graphic below! Once you sign up, you will receive my next newsletter. Also, if you are on Facebook, be sure to LIKE my Facebook page for more announcements about the contests and other fun things!

If you don’t want to wait for the next contest and you have a portrait that you want created just for you, just complete this form. If you have any questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

And a big THANK YOU for reading my blog!

newsletter signup

Did you know that the first full week of May, May 6 through May 14th this year, is National Pet Week? Of course, we here at Larry Gekiere – Artist think a great way to celebrate National Pet Week is to commemorate your bond with your pet by getting a custom oil painting of your pet or pets.

National Pet Week

National Pet Week is sponsored by the Auxiliary to the American Veterinary Medical Association “to foster responsible pet ownership, recognize the human-animal bond, and increase public awareness of veterinary medicine”.

Every year National Pet week has a theme. This year’s is “Barks, Purrs, Tweets, Neighs … Pets Speak Love Many Ways”. And they have contests for students (kindergarten through 12th grade) to submit written and artistic entries about the theme.

The winning creative writing entry for National Pet Week 2018:

Barks, Purrs, Tweets, Neighs
Pets speak love many ways.
Chirps, squeaks, bellows, trills
Pets give you so many thrills!
Croaks, coos, quacks, clicks
Pets will reward you with a shower of licks!

– by Spencer Williams of Baton Rouge, Louisiana

The winning artistic entry for National Pet Week 2018:

National Pet Week

– by Gracie Babin of Hammond, Louisiana


The AVMA are holding contests for next year’s event as well. The theme for next year is “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family”. Submission guidelines are available on their website at

Larry Gekiere – Artist is considering a similar contest for our newsletter subscribers. Be sure to sign up here for a chance to participate!

And if you want an artistic rendering of your beloved pet – a custom oil painting by Larry Gekiere – just complete this form or contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

Happy National Pet Week!!

This year for the first time, Larry Gekiere – Artist is participating in a great fundraising event put on by one of the biggest dog rescue organizations in the DFW area by offering a special donation.

Legacy Boxer Rescue (LBR) was founded in 2004 with the belief that all Boxers should have a legacy befitting of their wonderful enthusiasm and love of life, but sadly, this isn’t always the case. So they created a mission to seek out Boxers who are in need of a loving family and home of their own. LBR firmly believes that a Boxer’s future should never be uncertain. They fully intend to create better, happier legacies for them, one Boxer at a time – a legacy that replaces despair with hope, sorrow with happiness, fear with security, and pain with love.

Legacy Boxer Rescue is a federally recognized non-profit and all donations are 100% tax deductible. They are not only operated 100% by volunteers – volunteers with jobs, families and their own boxers, but they are also funded 100% from the generosity of others. They have rescued and placed in furever homes over 2500 Boxers over the lifetime of the organization.

charitable donation


Legacy’s Roses For Rescue gives you the opportunity to get some great deals on flowering plants and other products while helping LBR save Boxers! And, for the first time, this year, my studio will donate 25% of the price of any custom oil paintings contracted through the month of April to LBR in honor of Roses For Rescue. Just mention Legacy Boxer Rescue when you contact us during April and we will make sure LBR receives 25% of the price you pay.

So, if you’re seeing this and you have been thinking about getting a custom oil portrait done of your favorite pet or person or place, consider signing up for it in April to benefit Legacy Boxer Rescue too! Just complete this form and mention LBR. If you have further questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

As I’ve said before, photographs are a very important part, of producing a hand-painted oil portrait of your pet. However, these kinds of “confession” photos, while hysterically funny, might not be ideal for a painting! (But they are funny!)

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

pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs
pet photographs

pet photographs

If you need a laugh or a chance to appreciate how well-behaved your pet is, just Google “pet shaming” or “cat shaming” or “dog shaming” (or whatever species of pet you have), and enjoy. They just keep coming!

And if you have a little or a big mischief maker at home, but you want a slightly different kind of picture, get in touch with me and let me create a custom oil painting of your prankster!

To order a painting, just complete this form. If you have further questions, just contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

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!