All posts by Donna Frano

Not exactly the kind of custom oil paintings that I create for my clients, but these ancient representations of dogs that were carved into sandstone in Saudi Arabia 8000 to 9000 years ago, are thought to be the oldest artistic depictions of dogs ever found. A great article in the journal Science details the finding.

Cave carvings
The cave carvings

These carvings picture a hunter with 13 dogs, each with distinguishing coats and, amazingly enough, leashes, which means humans were training and controlling dogs thousands of years earlier than believed.

As one Smithsonian archaeozoologist said, “It’s truly astounding stuff. It’s the only real demonstration we have of humans using early dogs to hunt.”

Canaan dog and one of the carved dogs

Another archaezoologist points out that the dogs “look a lot like today’s Canaan dog…a largely feral breed that roams the deserts of the Middle East.”

However, another archaeologist points out that the lines in the engravings rather than being “leashes” could just be symbolic depictions of the bond between the hunter and the animal, but, either way, it was clear from the details – the coat patterns, stances, and genders – that “these creatures were very important, beloved companions.”

Much like those ancient hunters, those of us blessed with the companionship of a dog would agree – they are very important in our lives and beloved family members.

But you don’t have to carve your beloved fur companion into a sandstone wall, just get in touch with me, Larry Gekiere, to create a custom oil painting of your dog or cat or other animal companion! You can either complete this form to order your own painting or contact me via email or call me at (214) 405-1834.

Finally! I’m getting a chance to share with you some of the SURPRISE gifts that I created for customers for the holidays. Since these custom oil paintings were surprises, I couldn’t let you in on the excitement of their creation, but now I can.



Carlos – The Best Gift

The first surprise was a gift “for the boss who has everything”. But the gift-giver knew that her boss loved his dog, so she decided to surprise him with a custom oil painting.

The dog is a handsome black German Shepherd named Carlos, as you can see.

Apparently it was a hit! The boss said that it was “the best gift he had ever been given”.

Sounds like a happy ending for both the gift-giver and the boss!


Carlos – The Photo

This is the photo of Carlos that I used to create the oil painting of the handsome Carlos! The picture made it easy to capture his personality.

Carlos Photo



Annie – A Very Special Place

Annie holds a very special place in the heart of her family. She is a lovely poodle who was a rescue.

Annie’s mom wanted a portrait of Annie for her son and daughter-in-law. It was going to be an extremely tough Christmas for the family as they had lost their husband and father earlier in the year and the portrait of their fur family member – Annie – was to be a very special gift.

When her son and daughter-in-law opened the painting, she said they were speechless. The daughter-in-law said it was the best Christmas present ever and the son took smartphone photos of the painting to send to friends.

Annie’s mom said that the painting definitely made Christmas easier this year. She told me that, at that moment, Annie was lying on the sofa next to the painting and I had captured her perfectly.

Another happy customer!


Annie – The Photo

Another example of some of the challenges of creating custom oil paintings from photos. This is the photo of Annie that I used to create her painting.

Annie Photo

Rudy and Gloria


Rudy and Gloria – A Touching Picture

The last surprise gift painting I had the pleasure of creating this Christmas was a portrait of Rudy and Gloria. Originally, this was to be a portrait of Gloria, the smaller dog, as a surprise for the customer’s husband.

However, Rudy and Gloria’s mom decided she wanted a larger painting to include both dogs.



Rudy and Gloria – A Poignant Gift

As it turns out, her decision was a blessing. Just after New Years, Rudy, the Lab, crossed the rainbow bridge. The finished painting, according to the customer, is a great comfort to both of them.

Often, people realize as their beloved fur family member’s age, they want to capture that special relationship in a custom painting, sometimes using photos from their pet’s younger years.

Rudy and Gloria 2

As you can see, portraits of beloved pets or loved ones can make wonderful gifts, no matter the occasion. As a reminder, Valentine’s Day is coming!

If you would like your own custom painting – as a gift of for yourself – 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!