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. 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.
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.
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?