8 x 10 soft pastel on matt suede board
Carole Rodrigue © 2017
Ebony was a sweet girl that I am so fortunate to have been chosen to paint. She is dearly missed by her family and when they saw it, the portrait brought tears. She was a rescue dog and it's believed she was a cross between a Belgian Shepherd and a Husky. I was drawn by her gorgeous eyes and wanted to create the painting in a way that nothing would detract from the eyes. There's an innocent and youthful vitality in those eyes that speak volumes.
Painting pet portraits can be a bitter-sweet thing to do. Many times, the reason you are commissioned to paint a portrait is because someone's beloved pet is deceased. The reason you are hired is to create a treasured memory, capture a moment, a look. These portraits often bring tears at first, but then the fond memories come. I can't tell you how humbling it is to be able to participate in such an important part of people's lives.
Another commission I had completed last fall also reminds me of how privileged I am to take part in people's lives in such a special way. I was just sent a video from a client recently. The video shows a little girl reading a special birthday message to an elderly woman who is in a home. After she's done reading the note, the little girl presents the woman with a gift bag. The woman pulls out the painting from the gift bag, brings her hand up to her mouth, gasps, and sheds a tear as she recognizes her beloved pet who is deceased. There is family from across the country and others from overseas. They tell her this is the professional oil painting she had always wanted of her cherished friend.
When I saw this, I also cried. No words can describe the intimacy, the specialness of the moment, and how humbled and honoured I feel that something I created is helping this elderly woman and many others cherish their memories. It is so humbling to know that you participated in these people's lives in such a special way. Something you created as an artist has touched and moved someone somewhere. That my friends, is the greatest reward one can get from being an artist.