Category Archives: Blog

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

 
 
 

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

 
 
 

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.

xxx

 
 
 

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!


Gift Certificate
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.

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.

 

To all of my wonderful blog readers,

Let the spirit of love

gently fill our hearts and homes.

In this loveliest of seasons

may you find many reasons for happiness

Happy Holidays


As promised, I wanted to share the finished painting of Shiloh, the first prize winner in my “More than a Pet, More than a Friend…Family” photo contest. Shiloh’s photo was submitted by Jill C. CEO of the Ronald McDonald House of Dallas.

Shiloh Painting 1

Finished Painting

This is the finished portrait of Shiloh. As you can see, there is quite a difference between this painting and the full color palette step in my original post. I was quite pleased with the final product and, as you can see below, so were Shiloh and Jill.

Delivery

Delivering Shiloh’s finished painting to Jill at the Ronald McDonald House was a delight. Both Jill and Shiloh were very happy with his portrait and Shiloh was quite pleased to pose with it! I want to thank Jill for entering the contest and thank the Ronald McDonald House and Shiloh for all the work they do in the community!

Shiloh Painting 2


I hope you enjoyed seeing the progression of Shiloh’s painting. 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 would like your own custom painting – a portrait of a beloved pet or of a loved one – 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!

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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
*Food
*Separate activity pool areas for large and small breed dogs
*Entertainment
*Demonstrations
*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.

 
 

Photograph

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!

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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 https://petweek.org/.

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!

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