Saturday, January 26, 2013


Why do we want a pet?

I’m not the right person to ask as being allergic to most animals that cause hospitalization when I do come into contact with them. It’s not a situation I would like to create purposely.

Pets to most British people are part of the family, some are doted on more that others.  Earlier on in my life we have had dogs that I loved to bits.There are many dogs now that are said to be perfect for asthmatics but that still puts me off, having been really poorly several times it’s frightening to think what can happen to me, then having to take it back doesn't bear thinking about.

I love animals and if I’d not been allergic to them I would probably have at least one or two.  These days I think it would probably be nice to have one which would get me out in the fresh air more often and I’d get more exercise too. But is that a reason for having a dog? Not to my way of thinking, which brings thoughts of having to get up earlier to take the poor thing out to relieve itself, for me in all weathers does not bear thinking about. Do I love them enough to turn our life around at this stage in our lives?

Going anywhere these days can cause problems as to whether we can take them with us. I've seen them left in cars, taken to car boot sales in all weathers getting under other people’s feet, being left tied up outside supermarkets and shops thinking could do that to mine, but then what do you do with your pet when you also have to live your life. Leave it at home? I’d worry if it were crying for me as I've heard a neighbour’s dog do when she pops out for a little while. I’m a softie at heart.

These days there are holiday places that specifically cater for people who have dogs, but then I’d run into problems with others that I would be allergic to. When there is no other choice do you put them in kennels that I know are expensive and can cost as much as the owners holiday. Many people have someone to pet sit for families in their own home whilst they are away, whilst others have friends or family look after them in their own home. Good idea!

With all this in mind I think I’ll stick to painting them. I have in the past, done portraits of my friends pets, which I’m told, have looked exactly like their beloved pet which for me is something. When I decide I’m going to start a pet portrait I like to have a lot of photographs, that I hang up around my space for a while, it’s my way of getting to know the animal. When I feel I’m ready to start I draw the cat or dog straight onto a board or canvas and live with it for a day or two before applying paint. I start with a background that I think will show the pet’s personality or finished portrait best. The eyes show me it’s soul and brings the portrait alive, they are next. After that it depends on the animal’s fur where I continue. I work in layers allowing each one to dry before starting the next layer. I continually look at it to feel the essence of pet in front of me. They are well worth the effort and time I put into them.

I am at this time starting another portrait to paint in between the roses, which is drying in readiness of the next stage of its development. As this also needs time to dry I decided it would provide stimulation whilst I wait without going away of what I’m doing which has happened then the painting is never completed. I will take photographs for later publication.

I hope you like my pets, which is where I’m going to stay, painting rather than owning. 

Alphie belongs to a young lady i worked with at the time.

Ginger belongs to friends of ours and painted as a Christmas gift and was my first pet portrait..

Sasha belongs to one of the bosses I worked with at that time..

Belle belongs to a dear friend of mine and was a Christmas gift

This cat  was painted after it passed away to help a dear friend deal with it's loss. 

Painted for the same dear friends as a gift to a relative who was sick at the time

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