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.
First Story: A Beautiful Memory
A lady called and told me that she had a wonderful pet that was sick with cancer. Her beloved pet’s face had a big tumor. She wondered if I could paint a portrait that would show her dog the way she was before she fell ill. She wanted a beautiful memory.
We met in a park and I took many pictures of her dog in this natural setting 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 the painting on her wall with the dog lying below the painting. She and I were so pleased that we had created a lasting memory.
Second Story: The Best Picture
The second story is about a daughter who wanted to give her dad an oil painting of his best buddy for his birthday. I gave her a gift certificate to present to her dad. Shortly after that, I spoke to her father and he sent me four photos of his buddy. I emailed him that I thought the one on the couch was best. I thought the one of the dog in his car was not the one to use. He responded that he liked the one in the car best, but he would agree with my judgment. I decided we should talk on the phone about the painting. During the discussion, I discovered 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 buddies went everywhere together.
I delivered the painting and the owner was pleased. We have discussed other dogs that he might want me to paint. I hope someday I’ll have the opportunity since I have learned a lot. The best picture to paint is not always the one that is potentially the most artistic. Portraits of dogs and cats are memory makers.
Third Story: The Rest of the Story
A client asked me to paint a pet portrait of a pet that was getting up in age. The man knew his wife would love to have a portrait. I asked him to take several pictures 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 had to confess 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. I offered him his money back if by chance she really didn’t want it. The long and the short of it – she loved it and called me to help place it in the best place in her home.
As Paul Harvey would say – “here’s 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?