When I started my pet portrait business in 2011, I received one of my first pet portrait commissions of a dog named, Jessie. The client ordered the painting as a surprise gift for her partner, and a back and forth gifting of my custom artwork between the couple ensued (adorable, right?). Not to mention, many, many, referrals.... I am so lucky to have such supportive patrons! Below are the paintings I completed for this particular couple at the beginning of my pet portrait career:
Flash forward to 2015!! Lots has happened since I first received these early commissions (biggest understatement of the year). I received an email from the client who commissioned the portrait of Jessie:
...Sadly, Jessie passed away last week. She was a terrific dog - incredibly well traveled. [Her owner] took her everywhere - beaches, forests, mountains. I was thinking of having another small portrait done in her memory. I'm thinking the same size as the others for Bo and Jessie. I thought perhaps the attached image would be good - it shows her lovingly looking up at [her owner] while we are on a gondola. Do you think this would make a good portrait?
I literally started to tear up when I read this. Four years really have gone by quickly! The description of Jessie's life was so beautifully written. A whirlwind of emotions hit me when I saw the photo of Jessie she wanted to have me paint. It perfectly illustrates the relationship between Jessie and her human, and the intense emotion between them. There is nothing that compares to that adoring, faithful gaze, and I couldn't imagine a better photograph to work from to commemorate her life.
Here is my artistic interpretation of the photo:
I adapted the photograph to fit in my style and to match the other paintings, but I hope this photograph is framed and hung in a special place in their home, as the context (the gondola, and the position of Jessie next to her owner) is such an important part of this photograph. Rest in Peace sweet Jessie... I hope there is an infinite number of squirrels to chase, treats, and belly rubs over that rainbow bridge!