Animal Paintings Fill a Room With Warmth

Man’s best friend has become a common centerpiece, moulded so into works of art and down to the personalized mug. Hailing from Memphis, Tennessee, one flight attendant and her mother scoured the world for a suitable pastel artist to render portraits of their four beloved dogs. Much like family pictures, this canvas preserves precious memories, especially after the death of two of the dogs. You shouldn’t even think that one dog looks like the next.

Last year she and her mother had their two current dogs, Kelly Rae, a cockapoo puppy, and Miss Manners, a Lhasa apso, portrayed together. Complete opposites, Kelly is beyond snoopy, while Miss Manners, as her name implies, stays a safe distance away. That ends our brief overview. The art cartels have begun to recognize the worth of doggie art.

According to one expert in 19th century animal art, who also owns his own gallery in Manhattan, says that quality pet portraits that cost $2,500 ten years ago now sell for $10,000. One of his paintings, of Neptune, a Newfoundland, was auctioned recently for $577,000, puppy sock his personal record. Two hundred fifty thousand is the going rate for a single profile painting done by a French animalier, now living in Long Island.

According to the gallery owner, the revival of Victorian decor caused this trend. Animal paintings, from pets to horses, pigs, and sheep, served the English for both business and pleasure. She testified as to the power of an animal painting to change the atmosphere in a room.

Her experience with thousand dollar animal art has not tainted her taste for locally commissioned pet portraits. The whole nation has become engrossed with pet paintings, all of which she considers serious art. Older portraits may not resemble descendants of the same breed, and in these cases the owner should commission a new painting. Animal artists must work within the guidelines of photos, that they take themselves sometimes, and the instructions of their patrons. A Germantown, Tennessee water colorist, who does mainly landscapes, once had to redo a portrait of two shaggy dogs because she failed to capture that doggy twinkle in their eyes because they could hardly see their eyes. She shared another story about a satisfied client, who asked her to paint his deceased dachshund in five different poses.


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