We asked to see your pet artwork — you unleashed your creativity
Last month, Chloe Veltman reported on artists who've found inspiration in their pets: Pablo Picasso made studies of Lump, an adored dachshund; Frida Kahlo's catalogue is packed with self-portraits featuring her pet monkeys and parrots.
We were curious to see what other pet-inspired artworks were out there, so we asked you to share some of yours, and dear readers, you did not disappoint. Below is just a small sampling of the hundreds of masterpieces we received. (Responses have been lightly edited for length and clarity.)
As a student of photography and an animal lover, Andrea Jones of Urbana, Ill., says she always loved Eadweard Muybridge's Animals in Motion series. So she enlisted her husky, Lucy, to riff on those famous images.
"I often took pictures of Lucy from a balcony inside my house that overlooked the living room floor, where Lucy frequently lay sleeping," Jones explains. "Sleeping Lucy is very much not in motion, but with the images of her many different sleeping positions strung together, it looks like she's performing some impressive gymnastics."
Also in the "let sleeping dogs lie" (but then make art out it) category was this cozy portrait of Nelson curled up in his favorite chair, by Chana Snyder of Massachusetts.
The clothes make the dog for (from left) Murphy Moo, Chloe the Yorkie and Countess Ravioli.
Murphy Moo is a pug beagle mix. Murphy's human, Michelle Wickstrom of Green River, Wyo., is a high school art teacher who made this small acrylic on canvas as an example for her class. "I painted Murphy as a Tudor gentleman," Wickstrom says.
Krista Nussey of Fort Worth, Texas, painted the center portrait for a good friend. Chloe the Yorkie is getting up in years, "but she's always had the most vibrant, sassy personality," Nussey says. "I think I captured her essence with this painting."
And as for Countess Ravoli, Ryan Parker of Portland, Ore., says the Old English bulldog "definitely deserves the royal treatment in gouache, watercolor, and pencil in the style of classical portrait masters. ... She's always the life of the party and produces equal parts affection and slobber."
A horse is a horse of course of course unless of course that horse is also your muse, as was the case for Samantha Reeves of Lexington, Ky., and Kate Kosnoff of Indiana.
"I carved and tooled a portrait of my wife's draft horse filly, Praline," Reeves explains, of the artwork on the left. "The base is vegetable-tanned leather, cut, stamped and sculpted to her portrait. Then I hand-painted the alcohol dyes to match her color, with a touch of white paint for her markings. As a bonus, I took a lock of Praline's hair, braided it, and sewed it onto the portrait as a keepsake."
On the right, you can see Bambino, an 8-year-old Hanoverian gelding. "In this photo, he is wearing a dried floral garland, handmade with flowers grown in Indiana," Kosnoff says. "He is reaching for a cookie, held by a handler just outside of the frame."
In creative portraiture, Joan Neubecker of Cleveland Heights, Ohio, took a page from 19th century photography when she set up this scene of herself shrouded, with her 11-month old Lynx Point Siamese, Wiley, on her lap.
"Back in the 19th century it was common for the photographer to photograph the mother hidden beneath a blanket and holding the baby," Neubecker says. "Often because the baby would not sit still unless held by the mother and it also put emphasis on the baby."
On the right, The Mona Lisa holds Gravy the cat — Hannah Little of Nevada, adds Gravy into famous artworks, and then puts these revised masterpieces up on her Instagram.
The Great & Powerful Oz ("Ozzie" for short) is a citron-crested cockatoo with an illustrious history. "We got Oz 40 years ago, tamed him and trained him to be in our magic act," writes Dianne Gerard of Cleveland, Ohio. "We performed in 25 states and have traveled to 40 countries. While he has been retired for a long time, he is still very entertaining!"
Doopers the cat is so sweet he inspired a cookie in his likeness. "An innovative sculptural form, this cookie represents commitment, enduring loyalty and candy," says Allison Raeck of Lansing, Mich. "I like to think the Tootsie Roll hair and Swedish Fish lips were a creative touch."
Also thinking beyond the canvas, Maria Bida of Dedham, Maine, made a snow sculpture of Tipper, a childhood dog (left), while Carlos Ferreira of Katonah, N.Y., immortalized Dominic the cat in Legos (center).
On the far right, is a cross stitch homage to Baku, a "notorious seat-thief" by Jamie Riley of De Pere, Wisc. "When I learned my cat (at age 14) had an inoperable tumor in his jawline, I started working on something to remember him by," Riley explains. The cross stitch sits on Riley's dresser. "I think of him daily — 2 1/2 years after his death."
Katherine Howard ("Kitty" for short) is named after Catherine Howard, the fifth (and ultimately beheaded) wife of King Henry VIII. Sabrina Burgoyne at Brigham Young University-Idaho, made this etching of Kitty using an X-ACTO knife on a black scratchboard.
In feathered friends, Rayah Jaymes lives in the San Francisco Bay area and has landlords who don't allow pets, but Jaymes' friends have parakeets (left). "I love all of my friends' pets and love to draw them!" Jaymes says. "Meet The Tonyas — they're so precious and animated!"
Across the country, are Nautilus, Green Bean, Nimbus and Nocturne, (right), four budgies shown in miniature paintings by Vivian Rosalee of Lowell, Mass.
Laura Kuisle of Rochester, Minn., made this photograph of her cats Luna (left), and Allie. "I caught both cats looking up, trying to smell the fresh spring air though the screen at the top of the door," Kuisle says. "It looks as through they are recharging in the sunlight."
There were so many extraordinary textures in the artworks you sent it was very hard to choose, but here are two of our favorites:
Zizu, left, is "brother, best friend and autism service dog," for Harrison Huguenin of New Jersey. "He likes to walk with me and sit by me in school (which I attend virtually) and when I do art. He is a big furry Great Pyrenees. I like to paint using different things. I painted this picture of Zizu using a fork. It was a lot of fun!"
And, on the right, Jess Burton of Ypsilanti, Mich., made this rendering of Remy, a standard poodle, using ink on watercolor paper.
Benny, Petey and Billy — collectively known as "The Goatie Boys" — graced the front of a holiday greeting card one year. Sandra "Sam" Adkins of Kalamazoo, Mich., says the Goatie Boys are "handsome, friendly and smart" and "fun to draw."
Lori Theis of Alameda, Calif., says she doesn't consider herself particularly artistic, but a year after she lost Chuckie (left), at age 14, she stumbled onto a class focused on making a mosaic of your pet. "I was still very sad and missed him greatly," Theis says. "I was so very pleased with the finished product and I think it captures his lovely spirit. I have it proudly on display in my dining room and smile each time I see it."
Whiskers, a domestic tuxedo cat who died of cancer, is immortalized in stained glass (right). "I made a kitchen cabinet door with her likeness," explains Steven Taschereau of Burrillville, R.I. "The eyes are painted on the back sides of glass beads so that it looks like she's watching you as you move around the room."
Each year, Jillian Emmons of Providence, R.I., makes a tree ornament for her twin boys who were born just before Christmas. "The ornament must represent something from the past year, is stamped with the year, and is presented to them on their birthday. The idea is that over time the tree will be covered in memories of life. ... Decorating the tree has become a trip down memory lane that we all cherish." This ornament shows Bucket, the family's miniature Australian Shepherd.
And last, but certainly not least, Louie was adopted from the Washington Humane Society (now Humane Rescue Alliance) when he was about a year old. "He was super skinny, he had a tail that had been broken and healed incorrectly, and they told us he had been living on the street," says Laura Smythe of Cheverly, Md. "I did this portrait of him when we'd had him for about two years and I wanted to capture his sweet, scrappy and curious nature."
We could go on, and on, and on. Thank you for sharing your beautiful works of art and your beloved pets with us!