Category Archives: Blog

Pet Portraits**Here is a post written about my business. Enjoy!**

Have you heard of the phrase “man’s best friend?” It’s a common phrase referring to domestic dogs as pets who are close to their owners. The phrase dates back to the 1700s when Frederick the Great of Prussia first introduced the idea in reference to one of his Italian Greyhounds.

Dogs, for many people, truly are best friends. They are to be celebrated in many ways, and, as you know, it’s especially hard on a person when they lose their beloved pet.

If you have a pet dog whom you consider to be “like one of the family,” then you should consider having a pet portrait done by painter Larry Gekiere.

Why have a formal portrait done? This piece of art helps capture the spirit of your friend in a way that’s unique and long-lasting. Even when your dog is not around, you can look at the portrait and smile, thinking of fond and happy memories with your faithful companion.

We tend to show off those whom we love to other people, letting them know who or what’s important to us, right? Just like you’d want a family portrait of humans hanging on the wall in your living room for visitors to see, it makes sense to have a pet portrait there, too. Jokingly, some people say they love their dog more than their (human) family!

While photographs are nice, they can fade over time or even disintegrate. An oil painting, though, has a more permanent feel– it can last generations. There’s something timeless and exquisite about an oil painting hanging in a room.

As an artist, Gekiere takes his time using oil paints on canvas, using his hand and a brush rather than a computer. He wants to capture the essence of your pet. Previous clients have remarked about the artistic beauty of his renderings of their dogs.

Dogs are such wonderful and unique creatures. They all have their own individual personalities. Some are shy and quiet, while others are big and boisterous. No matter what their temperament, when they bond with their owners, it’s almost magical. Indeed, there seems to be a spiritual, supernatural connection between dogs and their owners.

To celebrate this important and worthy connection, Larry Gekiere of Dallas, Texas, can paint the perfect pet portrait of your dog. Call 214-405-1834 for more information.


Those of us that paint are always in awe of painters in the past century. They had to work under much tougher conditions. They could not go down to the local art store and buy a canvas pre-stretched. When I decide what size canvas I need, it is a simple trip to the art supply store. There I can purchase canvas of any size or type. On the other hand, many of the old masters paintings were painted on board. Frequently the canvases were of various sizes due to the hand work of making and stretching canvas.

Recently I visited the Houston Museum of Art where they had a Edgar Degas exhibit. The museum had a large showing of many of his early works. He is well known for painting groups, mostly famously dancers. One of his frequent group subjects was also race horses. degas

While at the exhibit I learned one of his techniques that he used to save time and add variety. I always thought of these artist as purest. I did not realize that they were always thinking of ways to make a painting better without adding a large amount of time to the process.

What Degas did was so simple that I wonder why I did not realize it before. He would use tracing paper and draw a dancer on it and then reverse the paper and trace it. What he would have then is two dancers that did not look alike but were in effect the same. They were being viewed from a different angle. Of course, I cannot do this, as I am never painting duplicates. Each animal I paint has a distinct look and personality that I need to capture.

However now have discovered this, I wonder what other labor saving techniques were used. I feel fairly certain that other painters have used tracing paper that is reversed for repetitive images. It will be interesting for me and maybe you to try to look at paintings with repetition of images and see if it is an example of the techniques of using tracing paper.


KODOS 2

DSCN5446-002kodos

I am about to paint a new pet portrait of, Kodos, the cat. The owner and I selected a photograph with a unique, dramatic pose. This photograph is a perfect example of the artistic device: foreshortening.

During the Renaissance in Florence in the 1400’s a new technique of painting called foreshortening was first used to present dramatic perspective. Up to this time painters were not concerned with realism in art. Painting did not have the depth that we have now grown accustomed to.

As a pet portrait painter I am constantly using techniques to represent three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional surface in a way that looks natural and realistic. Foreshortening occurs when an object appears compressed when seen from a particular viewpoint. The effect of this perspective causes distortion. Foreshortening is a particularly effective artistic device, used to give the impression of three-dimensional volume and create drama in a painting.

Give me your feedback as I paint the portrait of Kodos.


Doing a pet portrait is more than a creative outlet for me. I would like to tell you three recent stories that touched my heart.
Here is the first story.Oil Pet Portraits by Larry Gekiere A lady called and said she had a wonderful pet that was sick with cancer. Her face had a big tumor on it,and she wondered if I could paint a portrait that would show her dog the way she was before she was sick. She wanted a beautiful memory.
We met in the park and I took many pictures of the dog in this natural setting so as to capture her spirit. When I delivered the painting she was very pleased and said it looked just like her pet at her best. She sent me a picture of her painting on the wall with the dog lying below the painting. She and I were so pleased that we had created a lasting memory.
Hand Painted Oil Paintings of Pets

The second story was of a daughter who wanted to give her dad an oil painting of his buddy for his birthday.I gave her a gift certificate to present to her dad. Shortly thereafter I talked to the man and he sent me four photos of his buddy. I emailed that I thought the one of the couch was best and the one of the dog in the car was not the one to use. He said that he liked the one in the car but my judgement was best. I sent him an email and said let’s talk on the phone about the painting. During the discussion I found that the dog went everywhere with him. He always rode shotgun in the truck. After the discussion I agreed that we should paint the dog in the car setting because the two were buddies going everywhere together.
The painting was delivered and the owner was pleased. We have discussed other dogs that he might want me to paint. I hope that someday I have that opportunity as I have learned a lot about the best picture to paint is not always the one that is most obvious. Portraits of dogs and cats are memory makers.

My final story today is an example of JUST DOING IT. choclot2
I was asked to paint a pet portrait of a pet that was getting up in age, and his wife he knew would love to have a portrait. I asked him to take several picture in secret because he wanted to surprise his wife. The next week he said that he was not going to have the painting done as his wife had seen him taking the pictures and he confessed why. She said that it would cost too much and not to do it. I said fine but if you think it is something that she would like why not surprise her and if by chance she really did not want it I would give his money back.

The long and the short of the story is she loved it and called me to help place it in the best place in her home.As Paul Harvey would say, “here is the rest of the story”. I got a call at home one Saturday night, months later, telling me that they were sitting with a glass of wine looking at the picture. They had wanted to call to tell me how happy they were to have this oil painting in their home. Their loyal friend had died that day.

What I hope you get from these three stories is that for me the reward of the painting is the knowledge that I have helped to create a lasting memory.

DO YOU HAVE A MEMORY IN THE MAKING?


As a professional paint I have been asked several times why I use oil  and not acrylic paint. Acrylics, created in the 1940’s, are faster  to paint with as they dry very quickly.

In fact this water bottle is a must if you are painting with acrylics. water-bottleDepending on the environment, you spray water on the painting and the palette to keep the paint from drying while you are in the process of painting. Acrylics are less expensive to buy and easy to clean up-no ruined clothes.

On the other hand, oil paint used for centuries, has its own advantages and disadvantages. The famous masters of painting had to create their own colors from ground up stone such as lapis mottled with white calcite and brassy pyrite  to create blue. Their palette was dictated by availability. As a modern painter I am fortunate that I am able to buy

pre-made colors in many shades and blend oils on the palette in such a way that I can create the exact shade of color that I want. This gives me much more flexibility and the expanded palette that I desired. Oil takes longer  to dry than acrylic paint, but it gives me the chance to continually “edit” my painting because it takes so much longer to completely dry, and i can touch it up for a long time.

When i first started painting, i used  acrylics for  the obvious reasons listed above. With acrylics i could produce a fast product. Next I branched out into combining acrylic  and oil-called mixed media. With mixed media the painter uses acrylics for the base and the waits a few hours for it to dry. After the painting dries oil is applied over  the acrylic. It is not possible to paint acrylics over oil. After experimenting with the three processes, I settled on oil painting which gives me the opportunity to create the best possible product.

The next time you are in a gallery, take note as to what  medium is used in the painting. All three are popular. I venture to say that painting that are very thick are generally mixed media or acrylic. It is always interesting to see what medium the artist used and perhaps guess why.

 


dog-looking-upI wanted to paint a picture that was out of  the  ordinary. I really like this look


KODAS

KODAS

CHARLIE

CHARLIE

BROTHERLY LOVE

BROTHERLY LOVE

HOLLY

HOLLY

GOLDEN LAB ON BEACH

GOLDEN LAB ON BEACH

TULA

TULA

DOG LOOKING UP

DOG LOOKING UP

TAFFY

TAFFY

SUZY AND POPPY

SUZY AND POPPY

POPPY

POPPY

 BUDDY

BUDDY

P J RIDES SHOTGUN

P J RIDES SHOTGUN

GOLDEN DOODLE

GOLDEN DOODLE

SALLY

SALLY

 I KNOW I'M PRETTY

I KNOW I'M PRETTY

 MAX

MAX

 SALLY

SALLY

LORETTA

LORETTA

 BAILEY

BAILEY

CHOCOLAT

CHOCOLAT


Over the holidays I was given a rush project. The two dogs were in a  great picture and  I was so excited by the subject that I pushed the envelope and got it delivered on Christmas eve…

BROTHERLY LOVE
BROTHERLY LOVE

moses

OUR BIBLE STUDY CLASS ASKED ME TO PAINT A PAINTING OF MOSES FOR DISPLAY IN OUR CLASSROOM. I AGREED BUT REALIZED THAT THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE WAS TO DECIDE WHAT A GOOD PICTURE OF MOSES WOULD LOOK LIKE. YOU WOULD THINK HE WOULD HAVE A WILD LOOK COMING  DOWN FROM THE MOUNTAIN.  I THINK  THAT  IT  IS CAPTURED IN THIS OIL PAINTING BY LARRY GEKIERE


lindsay.JPG-1_b2e2a18119c6c9eae6ba7cbd1c87975a

LINDSAY PHOTO

I AM FORTUNATE TO HAVE BEEN ASKED BY A DAD TO PAINT IN OIL ON CANVAS HIS DAUGHTER. SHE IS A HIGH SCHOOL SENIOR. I BELIEVE THAT SHE WOULD BE A GREAT SUBJECT BUT I WAS A LITTLE CONCERNED THAT LINDSAY WOULD LIKE HER OWN PAINTING. WHEN I PAINT A PET I JUST HAVE TO SATISFY THE OWNER BECAUSE PETS DON’T HAVE OPINION ABOUT HOW THEY LOOK. I  WENT TO HER HOUSE AT A PREARRANGED TIME AND TOOK PICTURES THAT I FELT SHE WOULD LIKE. AFTER TAKING  THE PICTURES I SENT HER 3 THAT I THOUGHT WOULD BE GOOD AND LINDSAY PICKED THE ONE SHE LIKE. I THEN SENT HER A DRAWING OF WHAT I ENVISIONED. SHE GAVE ME THE GO AHEAD AND THE RESULTS ARE SHOWN IN THE   PORTRAIT SECTION OF THE GALLERY.