The Love of Dogs
Interested in commissioning a dog portrait of your own? Here are some of our favorite Southern artists who specialize in different styles of pet portraiture.
Honor Man's Best Friend
For almost as long as there has been man, there has been his best friend. More than any other animal, dogs hold a special place in our hearts.
Consequently, dogs have appeared in art since the days of cave paintings. King Charles II so adored his spaniels that they appeared in official portraits of him. Pablo Picasso did an entire series of paintings of his beloved dachshund, Lump.
We love the idea of giving special pets their due when it comes to art. That’s why we were immediately drawn to the collection of portraits in this Louisville dining room. These pieces were commissioned by the homeowner and done by artist Madison Cawein. While pet portraiture is not his specialty, these pieces were so exquisitely executed that we were simply amazed. Cawein works primarily in oils and is an unquestionable master of light and reflection. You can see some of his other works at www.bdeemer.com.
Using a technique he calls portrait fusion, Matthew starts with your favorite photograph, enhances the photo on his computer, prints the image on canvas, and then applies oil paints to create a truly unique piece of art. Believing that the eyes are the windows to the soul, Matthew strives to create timeless portraits that deliver that emotional feeling owners get by looking into their pets’ eyes. He’s happy to work with one of your existing photographs, or you can arrange for a photo session in his South Carolina studio. Prices start at $2,895. Learn more about Matthew and his art at www.topdogportraits.com, or call (803) 781-4692 ext. 4.
Always an artist at heart, Amelie painted a chance dog portrait for a Monday-night art class that led her to the artistic niche she had been searching for. Done in acrylic on canvas, her paintings have a pretty, lighthearted feel. She’s located in Dallas but will gladly work long-distance from a provided photo. Available in 12- x 12-inch and 24- x 24-inch sizes and any other size that you want, Amelie’s portraits start at $650. See more examples of her charming renderings at www.amelieart.com, or call (214) 366-9292.
For a more playful, folk art-style portrait, check out the work of this Chattanooga, Tennessee, artist. Self-taught, Beth uses acrylic paint on found wood to give the appealing naive feel of outsider art and make the paintings pop with color. She prefers to work from photographs and is happy to accommodate you on colors and composition. Her little treasures start at just $50. To see more examples of Beth’s work, visit www.bethgumnick.etsy.com, or e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Blending her traditional fine art skills with new technology, Rebecca creates unique and original digital art portraits in her Dallas studio. While created on the computer, her process still involves hand-drawn lines and painting techniques. Rebecca believes in a completely interactive experience. She starts with your original photograph and then creates six different color proofs for you to choose from, ranging in feel from bright pop art to soft watercolor. Prices start at $135. For more information, visit www.artpaw.com, or call 1- 888-225-4278.
Charlotte Cathey Holder
If you’re looking for a bit of pet humor, this Alabama artist’s paintings will fill the bill. As passionate about words as she is about painting, Charlotte combines her two loves for playful dog portrayals with the cleverest of titles, such as Lab Results and Bulldozers. She has dozens of designs available that represent most breeds. The framable prints of her original acrylic paintings start at less than $30 and include the title in the blank space below the painting. See all of her fun designs at www.catharticdesigns.com, or call 1-866-404-0401.
John W. Golden
This Wilmington, North Carolina, artist spent 15 years working to get the right match of his unique digital art style with the playful personalities of dogs. We think it was worth the wait. John’s breed portraits are created completely digitally, but they have the folksy appeal and visual texture of handpainted folk art. For just $18, you get a signed artist’s reproduction on archival paper. John has close to 40 breeds to choose from and is always working on the next. To view all of his whimsical designs, visit www.johnwgolden.etsy.com, or e-mail him at email@example.com.